TROTSKY’S LIES (Part 2: United Fronts)

(Part 2 in a series about Trotsky’s lies, falsehoods & flip-flops.)


Trotsky attacked the Communist International for supposedly helping Hitler, while also blaming Social-Democracy:

“(T)he Cominterm bureaucracy, together with social-democracy, is doing everything it possibly can to transform Europe, in fact the entire world, into a fascist concentration camp.”
–Trotsky, (Que signifie la capitulation de Rakovsky? 31 March 1934. La lutte, pp. 59—60)

However, Trotsky also went on to blame the Comintern for “not creating a united front” with Social-Democracy. The Communist International maintained that Social-Democrats in power made concessions to fascism while crushing the workers and were therefore unreliable allies. Trotsky attacked this theory, while only a little time ago he had accused Social-Democracy of the same exact thing:

“The policy of a united front of the workers against fascism flows from this situation. It opens up tremendous possibilities to the Communist Party. A condition for success, however, is the rejection of the theory and practice of “social fascism”, the harm of which becomes a positive measure under the present circumstances.”
–Trotsky, Fascism: What it is and how to fight it

trotsky pic


“Two irreconcilable programs thus confronted each other on the territory of republican Spain. On the one hand, the program of saving at any cost private property from the proletariat, and saving as far as possible democracy from Franco; on the other hand, the program of abolishing private property through the conquest of power by the proletariat. The first program expressed the interest of capitalism through the medium of the labor aristocracy, the top petty-bourgeois circles, and especially the Soviet bureaucracy… between the handful of Bolsheviks and the revolutionary proletariat stood counter-revolutionary wall of the Popular Front.”
–Trotsky, The Lessons of Spain: The Last Warning

While demanding unity with the Social-Fascist Trotsky at the same time attacked genuine anti-fascist unity in Spain. Trotsky ridiculed the notion of an anti-fascist alliance, saying it was philistinism. He attacked those Communists & Anarchists who united together:

“But “democratic” philistines – including Stalinists, Socialists, and Anarchists – regard the civil war of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat, even in areas most closely adjoining the front, as a natural and inescapable war, having as its tasks the safeguarding of the “unity of the Popular Front.” On the other hand, the civil war of the proletariat against the “republican” counterrevolution is, in the eyes of the same philistines, a criminal, “fascists,” Trotskyist war, disrupting … “the unity of the anti-fascist forces.””
–Trotsky, Ibid.

Trotsky in fact defended the actions of the POUM which together with a small fraction of the Anarchist forces began an insurrection against the Republican government & the United Front thus causing great harm to the war effort against fascist Franco. Trotsky’s complaint of the POUM was that it was too soft on the United Front. Similarly he attacked most of the Anarchists for collaborating with the United Front instead of attacking it.



“The official leadership of the Chinese revolution has been oriented all this time on a “general national united front” or on the “bloc of four classes”… the big bourgeoisie leads the petty-bourgeois democrats, the phrase-mongers of the national united front, behind it, and the latter, in turn, confuse the workers and drag them along behind the bourgeoisie…”
–Trotsky, The Chinese Revolution and the Theses of Comrade Stalin

Trotsky accused the Communists of lagging behind the bourgeois when the Communist Party united together with the petit-bourgeois KMT against feudalism. The KMT led by Sun Yat Sen was in fact a progressive petit-bourgeois nationalist party. During the time of this collaboration the Communists emerged as a strong independent force.

“The Bolshevik way, however, consists of an unconditional political and organizational demarcation from the bourgeoisie, of a relentless exposure of the bourgeoisie from the very first steps of the revolution, of a destruction of all petty-bourgeois illusions about the united front with the bourgeoisie”
–Trotsky, Ibid.

First United Front

Trotsky like the typical ultra-leftist condemned the united front of anti-feudal elements. The KMT however changed in its character after Sun Yat Sen’s death. Being originally a petit-bourgeois party of the peasants it now became a party of landlords & compradors. The KMT betrayed the communists and attacked them. Trotsky jumped with joy as this could be used as a political weapon against united fronts.

Of course, the real mistake of the Chinese & Soviet Communists was not seeing the change in the KMT, not the fact they had collaborated in the past. Trotsky however ignores this in his propaganda.

Second United Front

After the joint campaign against feudalism & the warlords, the KMT & the Communists now fought for power in the Chinese civil war. The story of the United Front in China becomes more complicated still. After the invasion of Japan into China the Communists demanded a halt in the civil-war and the creation of an anti-Japanese United Front of all patriotic elements. Trotsky had previously ridiculed Stalin’s thesis of isolating the right-wing of the KMT and working with the followers of Sun Yat Sen’s program. This is exactly what Mao Tse-Tung proposed.

Mao demanded an Anti-Japanese United Front but the right-wing faction of the KMT was opposed to this view. They in fact rather supported Japanese imperialism then the independence of their own country. This isolated them from the Chinese masses and caused a rift inside their own party. The KMT eventually agreed to a half-hearted collaboration against Japan but in the eyes of the masses they were traitors. The KMT became the party of compradors, imperialist puppets and the richest most corrupt bourgeois and landlords. The Communists gained the status of the party of the masses, of the peasantry and patriotic forces. This United Front was not lagging behind the bourgeois like Trotsky asserted, it was led by the Proletariat, by the Communists.

Uniting maximum force against the main target proved successful as did the thesis of isolating the right-wing.



Trotsky’s theory & praxis is utterly inconsistent on the issue of the United Front. One day he condemns the Leninists for building one, while the next he condemns them for not building one! He accused social-democracy of helping fascism while he also called for unity with social-fascism. Trotsky attacked the Chinese for “lagging behind the bourgeois” when they in reality overthrew the bourgeois. In Spain Trotsky demanded a militant struggle against the anti-fascist United Front.

Trotsky’s actions are not merely ultra-left. They are more then that. They are opportunism pure and simple. Opportunism to the right & to the “left”, which ever suited his purpose.


The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia (by Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers) PART IV

Book Four: From Munich to San Francisco

CHAPTER XXII – The Second World War

1. Munich

“Take me to the Duke of Hamilton,” said Hess, speaking in English. l have come to save humanity!”

Rudolph Hess, Adolf Hitler’s Deputy 

“The fateful decade 1931-1941,” the U. S. State Department declared in its official publication Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, “began and ended with acts of violence by Japan. It was marked by the ruthless development of a determined policy of world domination on the part of Japan, Germany and Italy.”

The Second World War began in 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on the pretext of saving Asia from Communism. Two years later, Hitler overthrew the German Republic on the pretext of saving Germany from Communism. In 1935 Italy invaded Ethiopia to save it from “Bolshevism and barbarism.” In 1936 Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland; Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Agreement; and German and Italian troops invaded Spain on the pretext of saving it from Communism.

In 1937 Italy joined Germany and Japan in their Anti-Comintern Agreement; Japan struck again in China, seizing Peiping, Tientsin and Shanghai. The following year, Germany seized Austria. The Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis was formed “to save the world from Communism.”.

Addressing the Assembly of the League of Nations in September 1937, the Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov said: –

We know three states which in recent years have made attacks on other states. With all the difference between the regimes, ideologies, material and cultural levels of the objects of attack, all three states justify their aggression by one and the same motive – the struggle against Communism. The rulers of these states naively think, or rather pretend to think, that it is sufficient for them to utter the words “anti-Communism,” and all their international felonies and crimes will be forgiven them!

Under the mask of the Anti-Comintern Agreement, Germany, Japan and Italy were marching towards the conquest and enslavement of Europe and Asia.

Two possible courses faced the world: unity of all nations opposed to the Nazi, Fascist and Japanese aggression and the halting of the Axis war menace before it was too late; or disunity, the piecemeal surrender to aggression, and inevitable Fascist victory. The Axis Propaganda Ministries, the agents of Leon Trotsky, French, British and American reactionaries all combined in the international Fascist campaign against collective security. The possibility of unity against aggression was attacked as “Communist propaganda”; dismissed as a “utopian dream”; assailed as an “incitement to war.” In its place was offered the policy of Appeasement, the scheme of turning the inevitable war into a united onslaught against Soviet Russia. Nazi Germany made the most of this policy.

The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, the hero of appeasement, said collective security would divide Europe into “two armed camps.”

The Nazi newspaper Nachtausgabe declared in February 1938: –

We know now that the English Premier, like ourselves, regards Collective Security as nothing but nonsense.

Speaking in Manchester on May 10, 1938, Winston Churchill replied: –

We are told that we must not divide Europe into two armed camps. Is there then to be only one armed camp? – the Dictators’ armed camp and a rabble of outlying peoples, wandering around its outskirts, wondering which of them is going to be taken first and whether they are going to be subjugated or merely exploited?

Churchill was called a “war-monger.”…

In September 1938, the policy of Appeasement reached its culmination. The Governments of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Great Britain and France signed the Munich Pact – the anti-Soviet Holy Alliance of which world reaction had been dreaming since 1918.

The Pact left Soviet Russia without allies. The Franco-Soviet Treaty, cornerstone of European collective security, was dead. The Czech Sudetenland became part of Nazi Germany. The gates of the East were wide-open for the Wehrmacht.(1)

“The Munich Agreement,” wrote Walter Duranty in The Kremlin and the People, “seemed to mark the greatest humiliation which the Soviet Union had suffered since the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.”

The world awaited the Nazi-Soviet war.

Returning to England, waving a scrap of paper in his hand, with Hitler’s signature on it, Neville Chamberlain cried: –

“It means peace in our time!”

Twenty years before, the British spy Captain Sidney George Reilly had cried: “At any price this foul obscenity which has been born in Russia must be crushed… Peace with Germany! Yes, peace with anybody!… Peace, peace on any terms – and then a united front against the true enemies of mankind!”

On June 11, 1938, Sir Arnold Wilson, Chamberlain’s supporter in the House of Commons, declared: –

Unity is essential and the real danger to the world today does not come from Germany or Italy… but from Russia.

But the first victims of the anti-Soviet Munich Pact were not the Soviet peoples. The first victims were the democratic peoples of Europe. Once again, the anti-Soviet facade covered a betrayal of democracy.

In February 1939, the British and French Governments recognized the Fascist dictatorship of Generalissimo Franco as the legitimate government of Spain. In the last days of March, after two and a half years of epic, agonizing struggle against overwhelming odds, Republican Spain became a Fascist province.

On March 15, Czechoslovakia ceased to be an independent state. Nazi Panzer divisions rumbled into Prague. The Skoda munitions works and twenty-three other arms factories, comprising an armaments industry three times as great as that of Fascist Italy, became Hitler’s property. The pro-Fascist General Jan Sirovy, one-time leader of the Czech interventionist armies in Soviet Siberia, handed over to the German High Command the arsenals, storehouses, a thousand planes and all the first-rate military equipment of the Czechoslovakian Army.

On March 20, Lithuania surrendered its only port, Memel, to Germany.

On Good Friday morning, April 7, Mussolini crossed the Adriatic and invaded Albania. Five days later, King Victor Emmanuel accepted the Albanian crown.

From Moscow, even as Hitler was moving into Czechoslovakia, Stalin warned the appeasement politicians of England and France that their anti-Soviet policy would end in a disaster for themselves. Stalin spoke in Moscow on March 10, 1939, before the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The undeclared war, said Stalin, which the Axis powers were already waging in Europe and Asia, under the mask of the Anti-Comintern Pact, was directed not only against Soviet Russia but also, and now in fact primarily, against the interests of England, France and the United States.

“The war is being waged,” said Stalin, “by aggressor states, which in every way infringe upon the interests of the non-aggressive states, primarily England, France and the U.S.A., while the latter draw back and retreat, making concession after concession to the aggressors… without the least attempt at resistance and even with a certain amount of connivance. Incredible but true.”

The reactionary politicians in the Western democracies, particularly in England and France, said Stalin, had rejected the policy of collective security. Instead, they still dreamed of an anti-Soviet coalition camouflaged by diplomatic phrases like “appeasement” and “non-intervention.” But this policy, said Stalin, was already doomed. Stalin added: “… certain European and American politicians and newspaper writers, having lost patience waiting for `the march on the Soviet Ukraine,’ are themselves beginning to disclose what is really behind the policy of nonintervention. They are saying quite openly, putting it down in black and white, that the Germans have cruelly `disappointed’ them, for instead of marching farther east, against the Soviet Union, they have turned west, you see and are demanding colonies. One might think that the districts of Czechoslovakia were yielded to Germany as the price of an undertaking to launch war on the Soviet Union, and that now the Germans are refusing to meet their bills…

“Far be it from me,” said Stalin, “to moralize on the policy of non-intervention, to talk of treason, treachery and so on. It would be naive to preach morals to people who recognize no human morality. Politics is politics, as the old, case-hardened bourgeois diplomats say. It must be remarked, however, that the big and dangerous political game started by the supporters of the policy of non-intervention may end in a serious fiasco for them.”

The Soviet Union still wanted international co-operation against aggressors and a realistic policy of collective security; but, Stalin made clear, such co-operation must be genuine and wholehearted. The Red Army had no intention of becoming a cat’s-paw for the appeasement politicians of England and France. Finally, if the worst came, the Red Army was confident of its own strength and of the unity and loyalty of the Soviet people. As Stalin put it: –

“… in the case of war, the rear and front of our army… will be stronger than those of any other country, a fact which people beyond our border who love military conflicts would do well to remember.”

But Stalin’s blunt, significant warning was ignored.

In April 1939, a poll of British public opinion showed that 87 per cent of the English people were in favor of an Anglo-Soviet alliance against Nazi Germany. Churchill saw the Anglo-Soviet rapprochement as “a matter of life or death.” In a speech on May 27, Churchill sharply declared: –

If His Majesty’s government, having neglected our defenses, having thrown away Czechoslovakia with all that Czechoslovakia means in military power, having committed us to the defense of Poland and Roumania, now rejects and casts away the indispensable aid of Russia, and so leads in the worst of ways into the worst of wars, they will have ill deserved the generosity with which they have been treated by their fellow countrymen.

On July 29 David Lloyd George backed up Churchill’s pleas with these words: –

Mr. Chamberlain negotiated directly with Hitler. He went to Germany to see him. He and Lord Halifax made visits to Rome. They went to Rome, drank Mussolini’s health and told him what a fine fellow he was. But whom have they sent to Russia? They have not even sent the lowest in rank of a Cabinet minister; they have sent a clerk in the Foreign Office. It is an insult… They have no sense of the proportion or of the gravity of the whole situation when the world is trembling on the brink of a great precipice…

The voices of the British people and of English statesmen like Churchill and Lloyd George went unheeded.

“A hard and fast alliance with Russia,” observed the London Times, “would hamper other negotiations.”…(2)

As the summer of 1939 drew to a close and war in Europe loomed ever nearer, William Strang, a minor Foreign Office official whom Chamberlain had sent to Moscow, remained the only British representative carrying on direct negotiations with the Soviet Government. Public pressure forced Chamberlain to make another show of negotiations with Russia. On August 11, a British military mission arrived in Moscow to conduct joint staff talks. The British mission had traveled from London on a thirteen-knot vessel, the slowest possible means of transport. When the mission arrived, the Russians learned it had no more authority than Strang to sign any agreement with the Soviet Government…

Soviet Russia was to be isolated and left alone to face a Nazi Germany passively, if not actively, supported by the Munich minded governments of Europe.

Joseph E. Davies later described the choice that the Soviet Government was forced to make. Writing to President Roosevelt’s advisor, Harry Hopkins, the former Ambassador to the Soviet Union stated on July 18, 1941: –

From my observations and contacts, since 1936, I believe that outside of the President of the United States alone no government in the world saw more clearly the menace of Hitler to peace and the necessity for collective security and alliances among non-aggressive nations than did the Soviet government. They were ready to fight for Czechoslovakia. They cancelled their non-aggression pact with Poland in advance of Munich because they wished to clear the road for the passage of their troops through Poland to go to the aid of Czechoslovakia if necessary to fulfill their treaty obligations. Even after Munich and as late as the spring of 1939 the Soviet government agreed to join with Britain and France if Germany should attack Poland or Roumania, but urged that an international conference of non-aggressor states should be held to determine objectively and realistically what each could do and then serve notice on Hitler of their combined resistance… The suggestion was declined by Chamberlain by reason of the objection of Poland and Roumania to the inclusion of Russia…

During all the spring of 1939 the Soviets tried to bring about a definite agreement that would assume unity of action and co-ordination of military plans to stop Hitler.

Britain… refused to give the same guarantees of protection to Russia with reference to the Baltic states which Russia was giving to France and Britain in the event of aggression against Belgium or Holland. The Soviets became convinced, and with considerable reason, that no effective, direct and practical, general arrangement could be made with France and Britain. They were driven to a pact of non-aggression with Hitler.

Twenty years after Brest-Litovsk, the anti-Soviet politicians of Europe had again forced Soviet Russia into an undesired, self-defensive treaty with Germany.

On August 24, 1939, the Soviet Union signed a Non-aggression Pact with Nazi Germany.

2. World War II

On September 1, 1939, Nazi mechanized divisions invaded Poland at seven points. Two days later, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. Within two weeks, the Polish regime, which under the influence of the anti-Soviet “Colonels’ clique” had allied itself with Nazism, refused Soviet aid and opposed collective security, fell to pieces, and the Nazis were mopping up the scattered remnants of their former ally.

On September 17, as the Nazi columns raced across Poland and the Polish Government fled in panic, the Red Army crossed the prewar Polish eastern border and occupied Byelorussia, the western Ukraine and Galicia before the Nazi Panzers could get there. Moving swiftly westward, the Red Army occupied all the territory which Poland had annexed from Soviet Russia in 1920.

“That the Russian armies should stand on this line was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace. ” declared Winston Churchill in a radio broadcast on October 1. “An Eastern Front has been created which Nazi Germany does not dare assail. When Herr yon Ribbentrop was summoned to Moscow last week it was to learn the fact, and accept the fact, that the Nazi designs upon the Baltic states and upon the Ukraine trust come to a dead stop.”

The advance of the Red Army to the west was the first of a series of moves by the Soviet Union counterbalancing the spread of Nazism and designed to strengthen Soviet defenses in preparation for the inevitable showdown with the Third Reich…

During the last week in September and the first days in October, the Soviet Government signed mutual assistance pacts with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These agreements specified that Red Army garrisons and Soviet airports and naval bases were to be established in the Baltic States.

There began immediately a wholesale deportation of the Nazi Fifth Column in the Baltic area. Within a few days 50,000 Germans had been deported from Lithuania, 53,000 from Latvia and 12,000 from Estonia. Overnight, the Baltic Fifth Columns so laboriously built up by Alfred Rosenberg suffered a devastating blow, and the German High Command lost some of its most strategic bases for the contemplated attack on the Soviet Union.

But to the north, Finland remained as a potential military ally of the Third Reich.

The most intimate working relationship existed between the German and the Finnish High Commands. The Finnish military leader, Baron Karl Gustav von Mannerheim, was in close and constant communication with the German High Command. There were frequent joint staff talks, and German officers periodically supervised Finnish army maneuvers. The Finnish Chief of Staff, General Karl Oesch, had received his military training in Germany, as had his chief aide, General Hugo Ostermann, who served in the German Army during the First World War. In 1939, the Government of the Third Reich conferred upon General Oesch one of its highest military decorations…

Political relations between Finland and Nazi Germany were also close. The Socialist Premier Risto Ryti regarded Hitler as a “genius”; Per Svinhufrud, the wealthy Germanophile who had been awarded the German Iron Cross, was the most powerful behind-the-scenes figure in Finnish politics.

With the aid of German officers and engineers, Finland had been converted into a powerful fortress to serve as a base for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Twenty-three military airports had been constructed on Finnish soil, capable of accommodating ten times as many airplanes as there were in the Finnish Air Force. Nazi technicians had supervised the construction of the Mannerheim Line, a series of intricate, splendidly equipped fortifications running several miles deep along the Soviet border and having heavy guns at one point only twenty-one miles from Leningrad. Unlike the Maginot Line, the Mannerheim Line had been designed not only for defensive purposes but also for garrisoning a major offensive force. As the Mannerheim Line neared completion in the summer of 1939, Hitler’s Chief of Staff, General Halder, arrived from Germany and gave the massive fortifications a final inspection…

During the first week of October, 1939, while still negotiating its new treaties with the Baltic States, the Soviet Government proposed a mutual assistance pact with Finland. Moscow offered to cede several thousand square miles of Soviet territory on central Karelia in exchange for some strategic Finnish islands near Leningrad, a portion of the Karelian Isthmus and a thirty-year lease on the port of Hango for the construction of a Soviet naval base. The Soviet leaders regarded these latter territories as essential to the defense of the Red naval base at Kronstadt and the city of Leningrad.

The negotiations between the Soviet Union and Finland dragged on into the middle of November without results. In order to reach some agreement, the Soviet Government made a number of compromises. “Stalin tried to teach me the wisdom of Finnish as well as Soviet interest in compromise,” declared the Finnish negotiator, Juho Passikivi, upon his return to Helsinki. But the pro-Nazi clique dominating the Finnish Government refused to make any concessions and broke off the negotiations.

By the end of November, the Soviet Union and Finland were at war. “The Finnish nation,” declared the Finnish Government, “is fighting for independence, liberty and honor… As the outpost of Western civilization, our nation has the right to expect help from other civilized nations.”

The anti-Soviet elements in England and France believed that the long-awaited holy war was at hand. The strangely inactive war in the west against Nazi Germany was the “wrong war.” The real war lay to the east. In England, France and the United States, an intense anti-Soviet campaign began under the slogan of “Aid to Finland.”

Prime Minister Chamberlain, who only a short time before had asserted his country lacked adequate arms for fighting the Nazis, quickly arranged to send to Finland 144 British airplanes, 114 heavy guns, 185,000 shells, 50,000 grenades, 15,700 aerial bombs, 100,000 greatcoats and 48 ambulances. At a time when the French Army was in desperate need of every piece of military equipment to hold the inevitable Nazi offensive, the French Government turned over to the Finnish Army 179 airplanes, 472 guns, 795,000 shells, 5100 machine guns and 200,000 hand grenades.

While the lull continued on the Western Front, the British High Command, still dominated by anti-Soviet militarists like General Ironside, drew up plans for sending 100,000 troops across Scandinavia into Finland, and the French High Command made preparations for a simultaneous attack on the Caucasus, under the leadership of General Weygand, who openly stated that French bombers in the Near East were ready to strike at the Baku oil fields.

Day after day the British, French and American newspapers headlined sweeping Finnish victories and catastrophic Soviet defeats. But after three months of fighting in extraordinarily difficult terrain and under incredibly severe weather conditions, with the temperature frequently falling to sixty and seventy degrees below zero, the Red Army had smashed the “impregnable” Mannerheim Line and routed the Finnish Army.(3)

Hostilities between Finland and the Soviet Union ended on March 13, 1940. According to the peace terms, Finland ceded to Russia the Karelian Isthmus, the western and northern shores of Lake Lagoda, a number of strategic islands in the Gulf of Finland essential to the defense of Leningrad. The Soviet Government restored to Finland the port of Petsamo, which had been occupied by the Red Army, and took a thirty-year lease on the Hango peninsula for an annual rental of 8,000,000 Finnish marks.

Addressing the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. on March 29, Molotov declared: –

The Soviet Union, having smashed the Finnish Army and having every opportunity of occupying the whole of Finland, did not do so and did not demand any indemnities for expenditures in the war as any other Power would have done, but confined its desires to a minimum… We pursued no other objects in the peace treaty than that of safeguarding Murmansk and the Murmansk railroad…

The undeclared war of Nazi Germany against Soviet Russia went on…

On the day that Finnish-Soviet hostilities ceased, General Mannerheim declared in a proclamation to the Finnish Army that “the sacred mission of the army is to be an outpost of Western civilization in the east.” Shortly afterwards, the Finnish Government began to construct new fortifications along the revised frontier. Nazi technicians came from Germany to supervise the work. Large armament orders were placed with Sweden and Germany. German troops began arriving in considerable numbers in Finland. The Finnish and the German commands set LP joint headquarters and held joint army maneuvers. Scores of Nazi agents swelled the staffs of the German Embassy at Helsinki and the eleven consulates around the country..

The lull in the west came to a sudden end in the spring of 1940. On April 9 German troops invaded Denmark and Norway. Denmark was occupied in a single clay without resistance. By the end of the month the Nazis had crushed organized Norwegian resistance, and the British troops, which had come to aid the Norwegians, were abandoning their few precarious footholds. A puppet Nazi regime was set up in Oslo under Major Vidkun Quisling.

On May 10, Chamberlain tendered his resignation as Prime Minister, having brought his country to possibly the most desperate situation in its long history. That same day, as the King asked Winston Churchill to form a new cabinet, the German Army invaded Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. By May 21, the Germans had smashed their way through crumbling opposition, reached the Channel and cut off the Allies in Flanders.

Panic swept through France. Everywhere, the Fifth Column was at work. French troops were deserted by their officers. Whole divisions found themselves without military supplies. Paul Reymud told the Senate that French Army chiefs had committed “unbelievable errors.” He denounced “traitors, defeatists and cowards.” Dozens of top-ranking French officers were suddenly arrested. But the arrests came too late. The Fifth Column was already in control of France.

The former French Minister of Aviation, Pierre Cot, later wrote in Triumph of Treason: –

… the Fascists had their own way in the country at large and in the Army. The anti-Communist agitation was a smoke screen behind which was being prepared the great political conspiracy that was to paralyze France and facilitate Hitler’s work… The most efficient instruments of the Fifth Column… were Weygand, Petain and Laval. At the Council of Ministers which was held at Cange, near Tours, on June 12, 1940, General Weygand urged the government to end the war. His principal argument was that a Communist revolution had broken out in Paris. He stated that Maurice Thorez, General Secretary of the Communist Party, was already installed in the Presidential Palace. Georges Mandel, Minister of the Interior, immediately telephoned to the Prefect of Police in Paris, who denied Weygand’s statements; there was no disturbance in the city, the population was quiet… As soon as they had seized power amid the confusion of the collapse, Petain and Weygand, with the help of Laval and Darlan, hastened to suppress all political liberties, gag the people, and set up a Fascist regime.

With every hour, confusion mounted and the debacle grew, as the French soldiers fought on desperately, hopelessly, and the world watched the betrayal of a nation on a scale never witnessed before…

From May 29 through June 4, the British Army evacuated its troops from Dunkirk, heroically rescuing 335,000 men.

On June 10, Fascist Italy declared war on France and England.

On June 14, Paris fell, and Petain, Weygand, Laval and the Trotskyite Doriot became the Nazi puppet rulers of France.

On June 22, an armistice between Germany and France was signed in the Compiegne Forest in the very same railroad car in which Marshal Foch had dictated the terms of surrender to the defeated Germans twenty-two years before.

As France crumbled, the Red Army again moved swiftly to strengthen the defenses of the Soviet Union.

In the middle of June, forestalling an imminent Nazi Putsch in the Baltic States, Soviet armored divisions occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

On June 27, the Red Army moved into Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, which Rumania had snatched from the Russians after the Revolution.

The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany now faced one another on their future battle lines.

Toward the end of July, the Nazis launched mass air raids over London and other English cities, pouring down tons of explosives upon the civilian population. The raids, which increased in ferocity throughout the next month, were intended to terrify and paralyze the whole nation, and swiftly bring an already gravely weakened England to her knees.

But with Churchill as Prime Minister profound changes were taking place within Great Britain. The confusion and division which had resulted from Chamberlain’s leadership had given way to determination and growing national unity. Across the narrow Channel the British people saw the workings of the Fifth Column. Churchill’s Government acted swiftly and with resolution. Scotland Yard and British Intelligence swooped down on Nazi agents British Fascists and leaders of secret Fifth Column intrigues, In, a sudden raid on the London headquarters of the British Union of Fascists, the authorities seized important documents and arrested many Fifth Columnists. The leader of the British Fascist Party, Sir Oswald Mosley, was arrested in his own apartment, sensational arrests followed. John Beckett, a former Member of Parliament and founder of the anti-Soviet and pro-Nazi People’s Party; Captain A. H. Ramsay, Tory Member of Parliament for Peebles; Edward Dudley Elan, an official in the Ministry of Health, his wife Mrs. Dacre Fox, and other prominent Pro-Nazis and Fascists were arrested. A Treachery Bill was passed, providing the death penalty for traitors.

Showing that it had learned well the lesson of France and of the Moscow Trials, the British Government in July 1940 announced the arrest of Admiral Sir Barry Domvile, former Director of Naval intelligence. Domvile, a friend of Alfred Rosenberg and of the late General Max Hoffmann, had been involved in most of the anti-Soviet conspiracies since 1918. At the time of his arrest, Domvile was the head of a secret pro-Nazi society in England called The Link which was organized with the aid of Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the Gestapo…

Assured against treachery from within, the British people faced the ordeal of the Nazi air blitz without flinching, and defended themselves. On the single day of September 17, 1940, the RAF downed no less than 185 German planes over England.

Meeting such fierce and unexpected resistance, and mindful of the Red Army on his eastern borders, Hitler paused at the Channel. He did not invade the British Isles…

The year was 1941. An air of tense expectancy hung over the whole of Europe as Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, the two greatest military powers in the world, prepared to lock in battle.

On March 1, the Germans entered Sofia, and Bulgaria became a Nazi base.

On April 6, after a popular revolt had overthrown Regent Prince Paul’s Yugoslavian regime and Nazi agents were forced to flee the country, the Soviet Government signed a non-aggression pact with the new Yugoslavian Government. That same day, Nazi Germany declared war on Yugoslavia and invaded it.

On May 5, Stalin became Premier of the U.S.S.R.(4)

At four o’clock on the morning of June 22, 1941, without any declaration of war, Hitler’s tanks, air force, mobile artillery, motorized units and infantry were hurled across the borders of the Soviet Union on a stupendous front stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Later that morning Goebbels broadcast Hitler’s war proclamation. It read in part: –

German people! At this moment a march is taking place that, as regards extent, compares with the greatest the world has hitherto seen. United with their Finnish comrades, the fighters of the victory of Narvik are standing in the Northern Arctic. German divisions commanded by the conqueror of Norway, in co-operation with the heroes of Finnish freedom, under their marshal, are protecting Finnish soil. Formations of the German eastern front extend from East Prussia to the Carpathians. German and Rumanian soldiers are united under Chief of State Antonescu from the banks of the Pruth along the lower reaches of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea. The task of this front, therefore, no longer is the protection of single countries, but the safeguarding of Europe and thereby the salvation of all.

Italv, Rumania, Hungary and Finland joined the Nazi war on Soviet Russia. Special Fascist contingents were raised in France and Spain. The united armies of a counterrevolutionary Europe had launched a Holy War against the Soviets. The Plan of General Max Hoffmann was being tested in action…

On November 11, 1941, the American Undersecretary of State, Sumner Welles, said in a speech at Washington: –

Twenty-three years ago today, Woodrow Wilson addressed the Congress of the United States in order to inform the representatives of the American people of the terms of the Armistice which signalized the victorious conclusion of the First World War… Less than five years later, shrouded in the cerements of apparent defeat, his shattered body was placed in the grave beside which we are now gathered…

The heart-searching question which every American citizen must ask himself on this day of commemoration is whether the world in which we have to live would have come to this desperate pass had the United States been willing in those years which followed 1919 to play its full part in striving to bring about a new world order based on justice and on “a steadfast concert for peace.”… A cycle in human events is about to come to an end… The American people… have entered the Valley of Decision.

On December 7. 1941, without warning, Japanese bombing planes and battleships attacked the United States of America. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy declared war on the United States…

On December 9, in an address to the American people, President Roosevelt said: –

The course that Japan has followed for the past ten years in Asia has paralleled the course of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe and Africa. Today, it has become far more than a parallel. It is collaboration so well calculated that all the continents of the world, and all the oceans, are now considered by the Axis strategists as one gigantic battlefield.

In 1931, Japan invaded Manchukuo -without warning.

In 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia – without warning.

In 1938, Hitler occupied Austria – without warning.

In 1939, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia – without warning. Later in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland -without warning.

In 1940, Hitler invaded Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg – without warning.

In 1940, Italy attacked France and later Greece – without warning.

In 1941, Hitler invaded Russia – without warning.

And now Japan has attacked Malaya and Thailand – and the United States – without warning.

It is all of one pattern.

The masks were off. The secret war of the Axis Anti-Comintern against Soviet Russia had merged with the world war against all free peoples.

On December 15, 1941, in a Message to Congress, President Roosevelt declared: –

In 1936 the Government of Japan openly associated itself with Germany by entering the anti-Comintern Pact. This pact, as we all know, was nominally directed against the Soviet Union; but its real purpose was to form a league of fascism against the free world, particularly against Great Britain, France and the United States.

The Second World War had entered its final decisive phase as a global conflict between the forces of international Fascism and the united armies of progressive mankind.


1. On September 24, 1938, with the Nazis moving on Czechoslovakia, the leading editorial in the Socialist Appeal, New York Trotskyite newspaper declared: “Czechoslovakia is one of the most monstrous national abortions produced by the labors of the infamous Versailles conference… Czechoslovakia’s democracy has never been more than a shabby cloak for advanced capitalist exploitation… This perspective necessarily entails the firmest revolutionary opposition to the Czechoslovakian bourgeois state, under any and all circumstances.”

Under such pseudo-revolutionary slogans, the Trotskyites throughout Europe and America carried on an incessant campaign against the defense of small nations from Axis aggression and against collective security. As Abyssinia, Spain, North and Central China, Austria and Czechoslovakia were invaded one after another by Germany, Italy and Japan, the members of Trotsky’s Fourth International spread throughout the world the propaganda that collective security was an “incitement to war.” Trotsky asserted “the defense of the national State” was really “a reactionary task.” In his pamphlet, The Fourth International and the War, which was used as basic propaganda material by the Trotskyites in their fight against collective security, Trotsky wrote: –

“The defence of the national State, first of all in Balkanized Europe – is in the full sense of the word a reactionary task. The national State with its borders, passports, monetary system, customs and the army for the protection of customs has become a frightful impediment to the economic and cultural development of humanity. Not the defence of the national State is the task of the proletariat but its complete and final destruction.”

Trotsky’s followers and sympathizers in Europe and America conducted a bitter struggle against the Popular Front in France, the Spanish Republican Government and other patriotic, anti-Fascist mass movements which were trying to achieve national unity within their own countries and collective security agreements with the Soviet Union. The Trotskyite propaganda declared these movements would only involve their countries in war. “The Stalinist version of the United Front,” declared C. L. James, a leading British Trotskyite, “is not unity for action but unity to lead all workers into imperialistic war.”

Trotsky himself ceaselessly “warned” against the “dangers” involved in an Axis defeat at the hands of the nonaggressor nations. “A victory of France, of Great Britain and the Soviet Union… over Germany and Japan,” Trotsky declared at the Hearings in Mexico in April 1937, “could signify first a transformation of the Soviet Union into a bourgeois state and the transformation of France into a fascist state, because for a victory over Hitler it is necessary to have a monstrous military machine… A victory can signify the destruction of fascism in Germany and the establishment of fascism in France.”

In this way Trotsky and his fellow propagandists worked hand-in-glove with the appeasers and with the Axis Propaganda Ministries to persuade the people of Europe that collective security was war-mongering and that these agencies attempting to achieve it were “Stalinist” tools.

2. On the day that the Nazi Army entered Prague, a delegation of the Federation of British Industries was in Dusseldorf drawing up the final details of a comprehensive agreement with German big business.

In July the British press carried the sensational disclosure that Robert S Hudson, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, had been with Dr. Helmuth Wohlthat, Hitler’s economic adviser, to discuss the possibility of a British loan of 51,000,000 pounds to Nazi Germany.

By no means all British big businessmen were in sympathy with the policy of appeasing the Nazis. On June 8, the banker and coal magnate Lord Davies declared in the House of Lords: “The Russian Government know perfectly well that in certain quarters in this country there is lurking a hope that the German Eagles would fly eastwards and not westwards, as it was apparently intended they should do at the time when Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.”… Regarding Chamberlain’s negotiations with the Soviet Government, Lord Davies said, “Sometimes I wonder whether, even now, the Cabinet are really in earnest or whether these negotiations are not merely another sop to public opinion.”

3. In June 1940 the institute for Propaganda Analysis in New York City reported: “The American press told less truth and retailed more fancy lies about the Finnish war than about any recent conflict.”

4. At 10:30 P.M. on the night of Saturday, May 10, 1941, a German Messerschmitt plane plummeted earthward over Lanarkshire, Scotland, and buried its nose in a field near Dungavel Castle, property of the young Duke of Hamilton. A former employee on the Duke’s estate saw the fallen plane and then the slow, white plume of a descending parachute- Armed with a pitchfork he ran out to find a man lying on the ground with a broken ankle. The man was Rudolph Hess, Adolf Hitler’s Deputy.

“Take me to the Duke of Hamilton,” said Hess, speaking in English. l have come to save humanity!”

Hess hoped through Hamilton and his friends to gain British Tory backing for the Nazi attack on Soviet Russia.

Sir Patrick Dollan, Lord Provost of Glasgow, Scotland, said on June 11, 1911: “Hess came here… in the belief that he could remain in Scotland two days, discuss his peace proposals with a certain group and be given a supply of petrol and maps to enable him to return to Germany and tell them the results of his conversation.”

Referring to the Hess Mission in his speech of November 6, 1941, Stalin declared: “The Germans knew that their policy of playing upon the contradictions between the classes in separate states, and the contradictions between these states and the Soviet Union, had already produced results in France, the rulers of which had allowed themselves to be intimidated by the spectre of revolution, had refused to resist, and terror-stricken had placed native land under the heel of Hitler. The German-fascist strategists thought the same thing would occur with Great Britain and the United States of America. The notorious Hess was sent to Britain by the German fascists for this very purpose, in order to persuade the British politicians to join the general campaign against the U.S.S.R. But the Germans gravely miscalculated. Rudolph Hess became a prisoner of the British Government.”

CHAPTER XXIII – American Anti-Comintern

1. Heritage of the Black Hundreds

The chief aim of Axis secret diplomacy after June 22, 1941, was to prevent at all costs the United States from joining the Anglo-Soviet Alliance against Nazi Germany. The isolation of America was vitally essential to the master plan of the German and Japanese High Commands.

America became a focal point of Axis anti-Soviet propaganda and intrigue.

Ever since 1918, the American people had been subjected to a continuous stream of false propaganda about Soviet Russia. The Russian Revolution was portrayed as the work of “wild, unruly mobs” incited by “cutthroats, criminals and degenerates”; the Red Army was an “undisciplined rabble”; Soviet economy was “unworkable” and Soviet industry and agriculture were “in a hopeless state of anarchy”; the Soviet people were just waiting for war to rise in rebellion against their “ruthless masters in Moscow’

The moment Nazi Germany attacked Soviet Russia, a chorus of voices in the United States predicted the immediate collapse of the U.S.S.R. Here are some typical statements made by Americans following the invasion of Soviet Russia: –

Hitler will be in control of Russia in thirty days. – Congressman Martin Dies, June 24, 1941

It will take a miracle bigger than any seen since the Bible was written to save the Reds from utter defeat in a very short time. – Fletcher Pratt, New York Post, June 27, 1941

Russia is doomed and America and Great Britain are powerless to prevent her swift destruction before the Blitzkrieg hammering of the Nazi Army. – Hearst’s New York Journal-American, June 27, 1941

… in staff work and leadership, in training and equipment they [the Russians] are no match for the Germans; Timoshenko and Budyenny and Stern are not the same caliber as Keitel and Brauchitch; Purges and politics have hurt the Red Army. – Hanson W. Baldwin, New York Times, June 29, 1941

There need be no excuses and no explanations, except that incompetence, despotism, lack of managerial capacity, lack of initiative, government by fear and purge left the giant helpless and incapacitated. Soviet Russia had bluffed the world for a quarter of a century and the bluff has been called.

We must be prepared for the shock of the elimination of Soviet Russia from the war altogether; George E. Sokolsky, July 26, 1941

On November 20, 1941, an editorial entitled “Ignorance of Russia appeared in the Houston Post. It posed a question that was uppermost in many American minds. The editorial stated: –

Something that has not been satisfactorily explained is why the people of the United States for the last twenty years have been kept largely in ignorance of the material progress of Soviet Russia.

When Hitler attacked Russia, the almost unanimous opinion in this country was that Stalin could not last long. Our “best minds” had no hope for Russia. They looked forward to a quick conquest of the country by the Nazis. .. Russia was expected by most Americans to fold up as the Nazis advanced…

How and why was this information kept from the American people for so long?

A barrier had been raised between the American people and the people of Soviet Russia ever since 1918. Artificial hatred and fear of Soviet Russia had been stimulated in America by reactionary politicians and businessmen, by White Russian émigrés and counterrevolutionary agents, and, finally, by representatives of the Axis Propaganda Ministries and Intelligence Services.

Immediately after the Russian Revolution, White Russian émigrés began flooding America with anti-Soviet forgeries and stirring up suspicion and hostility against Soviet Russia. From the start, the anti-Soviet campaign of the Czarist émigrés in the United States merged with a fascist secret war against America itself.

The first Nazi cells were formed in the United States in 1924. They operated under Fritz Gissibl, head of the Nazi Teutonia Society in Chicago. That same year Captain Sidney George Reilly and his White Russian associates formed a branch of his International League against Bolshevism in the United States. Throughout the nineteen-twenties, Nazi agents like Fritz Gissibl and Heinz Spanknoebel, operating under orders from Rudolph Hess and Alfred Rosenberg, carried on their anti-democratic and anti-Soviet work in America in ultimate collaboration with the anti-Soviet White Russians.

The White Russian Peter Afanassieff, alias Prince Peter Kushubue, alias Peter Armstrong, arrived in San Francisco in 1922, aided in the American distribution of The Protocols of Zion, and, in collaboration with the former Czarist officer Captain Victor de Kayville, began publishing a pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic propaganda sheet, The American Gentile. In this work, Afanassieff was associated with the Nazi agents Fritz Gissibl and Oscar Pfaus.

Nicolai Rybakoff, a former colonel in the Japanese-controlled White Russian Army of Ataman Grigori Semyonov, arrived in the United States in the early nineteen-twenties and carried on anti-Soviet and anti-Semitic propaganda. In 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany, Rybakoff founded Rossiya, a pro-Nazi Russian newspaper in New York City. The Japanese agent Semyonov and his aide-in-chief, Rodzaevsky, maintained contact with Rybakoff from Manchukuo, where they commanded a Japanese-financed army of White Russians. Japanese propaganda from Manchukuo was regularly featured in Rossiya, along with Nazi propaganda. In 1941, after Hitler’s attack on Russia, Rybakoff’s New York paper described the Nazi Wehrmacht as “a fiery sword of the justly-punishing Providence, the Christian patriotically anti-bolshevik white victorious legions of Hitler.”(1)

The chief liaison between the Nazis and the White Russians in the United States was James Wheeler-Hill, national secretary of the German-American Bund. Wheeler-Hill was not a German; he was a White Russian, born in Baku. He had gone to Germany after the defeat of the White armies in Russia, and then came to the United States. In 1939, Wheeler-Hill was arrested as a Nazi spy by the FBI.

The most important German and Japanese agent among the White Russians in the United States was “Count” Anastase A. Vonsiatsky. On September 25, 1933, the Nazi agent Paul A. von Lilienfeld-Toal wrote in a letter to William Dudley Pelley, chief of the pro-Nazi American Silver Shirts: –

This is to give you a report about my contacts with the White Russians… I am in touch with the “General Staff of the Russian Fascists” (Box 631, Putnam, Conn.). Their leader, Mr. A. A. Vonsiatsky, is abroad just now, but his assistant, Mr. D. I. Kunle, wrote me a nice letter and mailed me several copies of their paper Fascist.

“Count” Vonsiatsky of Thompson, Connecticut, was an ex-Czarist officer who had fought in Denikin’s White Army. After Denikin’s defeat, Vonsiatsky headed a White terrorist band in the Crimea which kidnaped Russian citizens, held them for ransom, and tortured them to death if the money was not forthcoming. Vonsiatsky came to the United States in the early nineteen-twenties and married Mrs. Marion Buckingham Ream Stephen, an American multimillionairess who was twenty-two years older than himself. Vonsiatsky became an American citizen and settled down on the luxurious Ream estate in Thompson.

With his wife’s fortune at his disposal, Vonsiatsky began to entertain grandiose visions of creating an anti-Soviet army which he would personally lead into Moscow. He started traveling extensively in Europe, Asia and South America, meeting with representatives of the Torgprom, the International League against Bolshevism, and other anti-Soviet agencies.

In August 1933, Vonsiatsky founded the “Russian Fascist National Revolutionary Party” in the United States. Its official emblem was the swastika. Its headquarters was at the Ream estate in Thompson, where Vonsiatsky set up a private arsenal of rifles, machine guns and other military equipment and began drilling squads of uniformed, swastika-wearing young men.

In May 1934, Vonsiatsky visited Tokyo, Harbin and other Far Eastern centers, and conferred with members of the Japanese High Command and fascist White Russians, including Ataman Semyonov. From Japan, Vonsiatsky went to Germany where he met with Alfred Rosenberg, Dr. Goebbels and representatives of the German Military Intelligence. Vonsiatsky undertook to keep Germany and Japan regularly supplied with espionage data from the United States.

Branch offices of Vonsiatsky’s party were established in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, in Sao Paulo, Brash and in Harbin, Manchukuo. These branch offices worked directly under the supervision of the German and Japanese Military Intelligence Services.

In addition to its espionage operations in the United States, the, organization financed and headed by Vonsiatsky carried on a campaign of sabotage and terror against the Soviet Union. The February 1934 issue of Vonsiatsky’s The Fascist, published in Thompson, Connecticut, reported: –

On October 7 the Fascist Trio No. A-5 caused the crash of a military train. According to information received here about 100 people were killed.

In the Starobinsk district, thanks to the work of the “brothers,” the sowing campaign was completely ‘sabotaged’. Several Communists in charge of the sowing campaign mysteriously disappeared!

On September 3, in the District Ozera Kmiaz, the Communist Chairman of a collective farm was killed by “brothers” Nos. 167 and 168!

In April 1934 the Fascist stated that its editorial office was “in receipt of 1,500 zlotys to be delivered to Boris Koverda when he is discharged from prison. The money is a present from Mr. Vonsiatsky.” At the time, Boris Koverda was serving a prison sentence in Poland for having assassinated Soviet Ambassador Voikov in Warsaw.

The official program of the Russian National Fascist Revolutionary Party stated: –

Arrange the assassination of Soviet military instructors, military correspondents, political commanders, as well as the most outstanding Communists… Assassinate, first of all, the Party secretaries…

Sabotage all orders of the Red authorities… Hamper communication of the red power… Hack down telegraph poles, cut wires, interrupt and destroy all telephone communications.. .

Remember firmly, brother fascists: We have been wrecking, we still ‘wreck and in the future we shall continue to wreck! (2)

Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, “Count” Anastase Vonsiatsky was arrested by the FBI. He was tried for violation of the Espionage Act, found guilty of divulging United States military information to the German and Japanese Governments, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.(3)

2. “Saving America from Communism”

An atmosphere of intense hostility toward the Soviet Union was fostered in the United States by an influential minority of reactionary Americans who feared social and economic progress at home and abroad.

On August 13, 1931, Herbert Hoover, then President of the United States, stated in an interview with the San Francisco News: –

To tell the truth, the ambition of my life is to stamp out Soviet Russia.

In 1931, at the time Hoover made his statement to the San Francisco News, a “Plan for an International Movement to Combat the Red Menace” was sponsored in the United States by an organization called the National Civic Federation. The founder and head of this organization, which specialized in anti-Communist and anti-labor agitation, was a former Chicago newspaperman, Ralph M. Easley. In 1927, Norman Hapgood wrote an exposé of Easley’s “professional patriotism” in which he declared: –

Soviet Russia is, of course, Mr. Easley’s chief abomination. He has freely sponsored the cause of the Czarists, with Mr. Boris as his chief adviser.

The membership of Easley’s National Civic Federation included Representative Hamilton Fish of New York; Harry Augustus Jung, a former labor spy and anti-Semitic propagandist in Chicago; George Sylvester Viereck, the ex-agent of the Kaiser and future Nazi agent; Matthew Woll, reactionary vice-president of the American Federation of Labor and acting president of the National Civic Federation, who publicly referred to Soviet Russia as “this Red Monster – this Madman”; and a number of other prominent Americans interested in the anti-Bolshevik crusade.

Early in 1933, Easley became chairman of an organization called the American Section of the International Committee to Combat the World Menace of Communism. The international headquarters of this organization was in Europa House, Berlin. Many members of the National Civic Federation joined Easley in the new organization.(4)

The American Section of the International Committee to Combat the World Menace of Communism sponsored the first official Nazi propaganda document to be circulated in the United States. it took the form of an anti-Soviet book, printed in English, and entitled Communism in Germany. The book was published in Germany by the firm of Eckhart-Verlag. Thousands of copies were shipped across the Atlantic for distribution in America.

Through extensive mailings and at “patriotic” rallies in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities, the book was widely circulated free of charge. A nationwide campaign of newspaper articles, lectures, meetings and form letters was arranged to promote the book in the United States.

The book was prefaced by this quotation: –

At the beginning of this year there were weeks when we were within a hair’s breadth of Bolshevist chaos!

Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in his proclamation of the 1st September, 1933.

The next page of the book featured the following statement: – WHY AMERICANS SHOULD READ THIS BOOK

The question of Communist propaganda and activities is of immediate importance to the American people in view of the consideration now being given to the question of recognition of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by the Government of the United States.

Here is a challenging book. It should be read by every thoughtful citizen because it presents the history of the life-and-death struggle Germany has been waging against Communism. It reveals that the subversive methods and destructive objectives of the Communists in Germany are the same as are employed in the United States by those enemies of civilized nations…

The value of this German expose as an object lesson to other countries has led our committee to place it in the hands of leaders of public opinion throughout the United States.

Directly underneath this announcement there followed a list of names of leading members of the American Section of the International Committee to Combat the World Menace of Communism: –

Walter C. Cole (chairman, Council of National Defense, Detroit Board of Commerce)
John Ross Delafield (commander-in-chief, Military Order of the World War)
Ralph M. Easley (chairman, National Civic Federation)
Hamilton Fish (United States Congressman)
Elon Huntington Hooker (chairman, American Defense Society)
F. O. Johnson (president, Better America Federation)
Orvel Johnson (Lieutenant-Colonel, R.O.T.C. Association of the United States)
Harry Jung (chief, American Vigilante Intelligence Association)
Samuel McRoberts (banker)
C. G. Norman (chairman, Building Trades Employers’ Association)
Ellis Searle (editor, the United Mine Worker)
Walter S. Steele (editor, National Republic)
John B. Trevor (chairman, American Coalition)
Archibald E. Stevenson (former member, United States Military Intelligence) For the American Section of the International Committee to Combat the World Menace of Communism

These are the records of some of the American sponsors of the Nazi propaganda book, Communism in Germany:-

Harry Augustus Jung, former labor spy, headed the anti-democratic Chicago organization called the American Vigilante Intelligence Federation. Its organ the Vigilant was listed as recommended reading by the official Nazi propaganda agency, World Service. Among Jung’s early associates in anti-Soviet activities was the White Russian Peter Afanassieff, who supplied Jung with a translated version of the Protocols for distribution in “quantity lots” throughout the United States. Jung was subsequently befriended by Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the isolationist and violently anti-Soviet Chicago Tribune, and set up offices in the Tribune Tower in Chicago.

Walter S. Steele, editor of the National Republic, carried on an incessant anti-Soviet propaganda campaign intended to influence American businessmen. Steele collaborated with Jung in the distribution of The Protocols of Zion.

James B. Trevor was head of the American Coalition, an organization which in 1942 was listed by a Department of Justice indictment as an agency which had been used in a conspiracy to undermine the morale of the United States armed forces. Trevor was intimately associated with anti Soviet White Russians, and his organization constantly spread anti-Soviet propaganda.

Archibald E. Stevenson, a onetime member of the Military Intelligence Division of the United States Army, was one of the leading instigators of anti-Soviet agitation in the United States throughout the period prior to the Second World War. A close associate of Ralph M. Easley, Stevenson subsequently became public relations counsel for the New York State Economic Council, an anti-labor and anti-democratic propaganda agency whose chairman was Merwin K. Hart, a notorious propagandist for the Spanish Fascist dictator, Generalissimo Franco.

Representative Hamilton Fish, of New York, visited Soviet Russia in 1923, when he was head of the firm Hamilton Fish & Company, Exporters and Importers. After his return to the United States he introduced a resolution into Congress calling for the establishment of commercial relations with Soviet Russia. Subsequently, he became one of the most bitter anti-Soviet propagandists in the United States. In the early 1930’s, as chairman of a Congressional committee to investigate “American communism,” Fish was the chief spokesman of the White Russian anti-Soviet émigrés in the United States and other inveterate foes of Soviet Russia. Among the “experts” who supplied Fish’s committee with material were the former Okhrana agent, Boris Brasol, and the German propagandist, George Sylvester Viereck. After Hitler came to power in Germany, Fish hailed the Nazi leader as the man who had saved Germany from Communism. As a key exponent of isolationism and appeasement, Fish shared platforms with notorious American pro-Nazis and inserted their propaganda in the Congressional Record. In the fall of 1939 Fish conferred in Nazi Germany with Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi Foreign Minister; Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Foreign Minister; and other Axis leaders. Fish toured Europe in a German plane, urging a second Munich and claiming that “Germany’s claims” were “just.” In February 1942 it was disclosed at the trial of the Nazi agent Viereck that Fish’s Washington office had been used as the headquarters of a Nazi propaganda ring and that Fish’s secretary, George Hill, was one of the key members of the German propaganda network in the United States.

At the time of America’s entry into the Second World War, scores of American fascist organizations describing themselves as “anti-Communist” were active throughout the United States. These organizations had received guidance and, many of them, financial support from Berlin and Tokyo. Paid agents of Nazi Germany had founded a number of the organizations. Some of the organizations, like the German-American Bund and the Kyffhauser Bund, made little attempt to conceal their foreign affiliation; others, like the Silver Shirts, the Christian Front, American Guards, American Nationalist Confederation, and the Crusaders for Americanism masqueraded as patriotic societies which were “saving America” from the “menace of Communism.”

By 1939, no less than 750 fascist organizations had been formed in the United States, and were flooding the country with pro-Axis, anti-Semitic and anti-Soviet bulletins, magazines, newsletters and newspapers. In the name of saving America from Communism, these organizations and publications called for the overthrow of the Government of the United States, the establishment of an American fascist regime, and an alliance with the Axis against Soviet Russia.

On November 18, 1936, William Dudley Pelley, chief of the Nazi-inspired Silver Shirts, declared: –

Let us understand thoroughly that if a second civil war comes to this country, it will not be a war to overthrow the American government, but to overthrow the Jew-Communist usurpers who have seized the American government and bethought themselves to make it a branch office of Moscow…

After the Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia, Father Charles E Coughlin, leader of the pro-Nazi Christian Front, declared in the July 7, 1941, issue of his propaganda organ Social Justice. –

Germany’s war on Russia is a battle for Christianity… We remember that atheistic Communism was conceived and brought to birth in Russia chiefly through the instrumentality of godless Jews.

The same propaganda was disseminated throughout the United States by Gerald B. Winrod’s Defender of Wichita, Kansas; William Kullgren’s Beacon Light of Atascadero, California; Court Asher’s X-Ray of Munice, Indiana; E. J. Garner’s Publicity of Wichita, Kansas; Charles B. Hudson’s America in Danger! of Omaha, Nebraska; and many similar pro-Axis, anti-Soviet publications.

After Pearl Harbor, a number of these persons were indicted by the Department of justice on charges of spreading seditious propaganda and plotting with Nazi agents to overthrow the United States Government. Nevertheless, throughout the war, they continued to spread the propaganda that the Axis Powers were waging a “holy war” and that the United States had been tricked into the conflict by the connivance of “Jewish Communist conspirators in Washington, London and Moscow.”

3. Paul Scheffer: A Case History

A few days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a dapper, middle-aged German journalist who was living in a fashionable apartment house in New York City. His name was Paul Scheffer. He was listed in the State Department files as the American correspondent for Das Reich, the official publication of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry.

The career of Paul Scheffer is a striking illustration of how Nazi agents were able to operate in the United States under the mask of anti-Sovietism…(5)

At one time, Paul Scheffer had been a journalist of international renown. As the Moscow correspondent for the Berliner Tageblatt from 1922 until 1929, Scheffer acquired the reputation of being “the best-informed man on Soviet Russia.” His colorfully written dispatches from the Soviet Union were reprinted in a dozen languages. His friends and admirers included eminent statesmen, celebrated literary figures and leading industrialists and financiers in Europe and America.

In the fall of 1929 Scheffer’s career as a Moscow correspondent came to an abrupt, unexpected conclusion. During one of his periodic visits to Germany, the Soviet authorities suddenly forbade him to return to the U.S.S.R. There was a furor of indignant protests among Scheffer’s many distinguished friends. They demanded to know what possible reason there could be for such action on the part of the Soviet Government. The answer to that question was locked in the files of the Soviet secret police.

Some of the facts were made public eight years later, on March 2, 1938, when Mikhail Chernov, the Right conspirator and former Commissar of Agriculture of the Soviet Union, testified before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.

Chernov admitted he had received 4000 rubles a month from the German Military Intelligence for providing them with Russian military and trade secrets and for organizing extensive sabotage. He named the German agent under whose supervision his first espionage-sabotage assignments had been carried out. The German agent, Chernov said, was “Paul Scheffer, correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt.”

On March 13, 1938, a Soviet firing squad executed Mikhail Chernov. Only a few days before the execution, Paul Scheffer arrived in the United States as the American correspondent for the Berliner Tageblatt…

After being barred from the Soviet Union in 1929, Scheffer had become one of Europe’s most prolific and highly paid anti-Soviet propagandists. Scarcely a week elapsed without one of his articles, fiercely attacking the Soviet Government and predicting its imminent collapse, appearing in some out European or American periodical.

In 1931, Scheffer, who had married a former Russian countess visited the United States to campaign against American recognition of the Soviet Government. “If America decides upon recognition,” Scheffer gravely warned in an article in Foreign Affairs which was reprinted in the Reader’s Digest, “it may hereafter be said that in 1931 she made her deliberate choice between bourgeois Europe and the Soviets… recognition by America could only provoke Communist Russia to greater aggressiveness and enterprise in its attacks on bourgeois European countries.”

When Hitler came to power, Scheffer was the London correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt. He immediately returned to Germany and was appointed editor-in-chief of the paper, which had now come under the supervision of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry.(6)

In the winter of 1937, Scheffer was ordered to take up residence in the United States. He was soon cabling dispatches to the Berliner Tageblatt from New York City, which were a skillful mixture of anti-American propaganda and information which might be of interest to the German military authorities. Before long Scheffer was promoted to the position of American correspondent for Das Reich, the official organ of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry. In this capacity, Scheffer was Dr. Goebbels’s special representative in the United States. One of his chief functions was to stir up sentiment against Soviet Russia in the United States. Anti-Soviet articles by “the Russian expert” Scheffer appeared regularly in well-known American magazines and news-papers. One of Scheffer’s favorite subjects was the Moscow Trials. For his numerous American readers Scheffer interpreted the trials, at which he himself had been exposed as a German agent, as “gigantic frame-ups.” He described Bukharin, Pyatakov, Radek and the other Russian fifth columnists as “the real Bolshevik leaders.” His most extravagant praise, however, was reserved for Leon Trotsky.

In a typical article, “From Lenin to Stalin,” which appeared in the April 1938 issue of the well-known American quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Scheffer explained that Stalin was a “cunning Oriental” motivated by greed, jealousy and lust for power, and that he had arranged the execution of the Trotskyites only because they stood in the way of his personal ambitions.

Scheffer’s propaganda work in the United States did not end with his arrest after Pearl Harbor. On September 13, 1943, the Sunday edition of the New York Times featured on the front page of its magazine section an article on Germany carrying the byline, “Conrad Long.” The author was described in an editorial note as “a close student of German affairs in the present war.” The article contained the information that “the crops of the Ukraine” had been “allegedly doubled this summer by German methods.”

In reality, there was no “Conrad Long.” That was a pseudonym. The author of the Times article was Paul Scheffer. Following Scheffer’s arrest, certain of his influential American friends had managed to secure his release from internment. They arranged for him to write under a pen name for the Times. They even obtained employment for Scheffer as an expert adviser on German affairs, in the U. S. Office of Strategic Services.

In the spring of 1944 Scheffer was rearrested by agents of the Department of Justice. It was understood that this time Dr.Goebbels’s former special representative would be kept in confinement for the duration of the war.

4. The Dies Committee

In August 1938, just before the signing of the Munich Pact, a Special Congressional Committee to investigate un-American activities was formed in the United States. The Chairman of this Committee was Representative Martin Dies of Texas.

When the Dies Committee was formed, it was assumed the Committee would combat Axis intrigue in the United States.

Instead, the “investigation” carried on by Congressman Dies concentrated on one thing: convincing the American people that their chief and most deadly enemy was Soviet Russia.

The first Chief Investigator appointed by the Dies Committee was a little-known former labor spy and anti-Soviet propagandist named Edward F. Sullivan. Before coming to work for Dies, Sullivan had been associated with the anti-Soviet Ukrainian nationalist movement in America, which took its directives from Hetman Skoropadski and other White Ukrainian émigrés in Berlin. As a young, penniless newspaperman in Boston, Sullivan had been hired to help build anti-Soviet sentiment among Ukrainian-Americans. Although he could not speak one word of Ukrainian, Sullivan began spreading propaganda for an “independent Ukraine.”

Martin Dies’s future Chief Investigator soon became an outstanding figure in the fascist Ukrainian-American movement. As spokesman for the movement, he came into close association with Nazi agents and propagandists, collaborated with them and even publicly identified himself with their cause. On June 5, 1934, Sullivan addressed a meeting of German-American Bund members and uniformed Storm Troops at Thurnhall, Lexington Avenue and 85th Street, New York City. Sullivan was reported to have shouted, “Throw the lousy Jews into the Atlantic Ocean!”

In August 1936, Sullivan was featured as a main speaker at a national conference attended by leading American anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi propagandists which was held at Asheville, North Carolina. Other speakers at the conference were William Dudley Pelley, chief of the Silver Shirts; James True, who was publisher of a fascist bulletin in collaboration with Sullivan; and Ernest F. Elmhurst, alias E. F. Fleischkopf, a Bund member and Nazi agent. The speakers violently attacked Soviet Russia and denounced the Roosevelt Administration as part of a “Jewish Communist plot.” The Asheville press reported that Sullivan’s speech was “what Hitler would have said had he been speaking.”(7)

When liberal America organizations uncovered some of the facts about Sullivan’s unsavory record, Congressman Dies reluctantly dropped Sullivan as his Chief Investigator. “For reasons of economy, said Dies. Sullivan then rejoined the fascist Ukrainian movement and founded the Ukrainian-American Educational Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This organization, which specialized in promoting anti-Soviet agitation among the one million Ukrainian-Americans, was in touch with the German Embassy in Washington. Sullivan continued to co-operate with pro-Nazi and anti-Soviet propagandists throughout the country. “July fourth will be a good date for your party,” wired Coughlin regarding an affair he and Sullivan were arranging together. Despite his official separation from the Dies Committee, Sullivan remained in touch with it as one of its “anti-Communist experts.” On July 27, 1939, Sullivan received a letter from his friend Harry Jung, anti-Soviet and anti-Semitic propagandist in Chicago. Jung wrote: –

One of the Committee investigators has been here for some little while and he has been spending some time with us and we have loaded him up with a lot of startling information.

I really hope that the co-operation between our respective offices will be complete, satisfying and reciprocal…

Sullivan’s place as Dies’s chief aide and adviser on the Committee to investigate un-American activities was taken by J. B. Matthews, a renegade from the American radical movement. Matthews’s writings were widely publicized and distributed by leading American fascists and Axis agents. The Nazi Propaganda Ministry recommended his work. Articles by Matthews appeared in Contra-Komintern, an organ of Alfred Rosenberg’s Aussen-politisches Amt.

Week after week, in the marble-columned caucus room in the old House Office Building in Washington, a macabre procession of ex-convicts, labor spies, foreign agents and racketeers were solemnly paraded before the Dies Committee as “expert witnesses” to testify that Moscow agents were plotting to overthrow the government of the United States. These were some of the “anti-Communist” witnesses: –

Alvin Halpern: on the second day of his testimony, a District of Columbia Court sentenced him to a term of two years’ imprisonment for the crime of larceny; his testimony was included nevertheless in the public records of the Dies Committee.

Peter J. Innes: a labor spy who had been expelled from the National Maritime Union for stealing $500 from the union treasury; he was subsequently sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for attempted rape of a small child.

William C. McCuiston: an organizer of strong-arm squads for attacking trade-unionists; he testified before the Dies Committee while under indictment for the murder of Philip Carey, a labor leader who was shot and clubbed to death in New Orleans; subsequently acquitted on murder charge.

William Nowell: a labor spy, who was confidential adviser to the fascist leader, Gerald L. K. Smith, ex-Silver Shirter No. 3223.

Richard Krebs, alias Jan Valtin: ex-convict and confessed former Gestapo agent.(8)

“General” Walter G. Krivitsky, alias Samuel Ginsberg, a self-styled “GPU agent” under Yagoda, who had fled to the United States, where he published a lurid anti-Soviet autobiography.(9)

The files of Martin Dies soon overflowed with the names of supposedly dangerous “Bolsheviks.” At frequent intervals the Congressman from Texas would dramatically announce that he had uncovered a nationwide Fifth Column operating under directions from Moscow.

In 1940, Congressman Dies published a book to popularize the “findings” of his Committee. Entitled The Trojan Horse in America: A Report to the Nation, Dies’s book was chiefly devoted to anti-Soviet propaganda. While German-American Bundists and Christian Fronters were staging pro-Nazi mass demonstrations in American cities as spearheads of the Nazi Fifth Column, Congressman Dies pictured Stalin “at the head of 150 divisions of uniformed Soviet troops” invading the United States. Dies declared that, in fact, “Moscow agents” had already begun “the Soviet invasion of the United States.” (10)

Two days after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, Dies predicted, “Hitler will be in control of Russia in thirty days.” The Congressman denounced the idea of sending aid to the Red Army. “American aid to Russia is foolish,” he declared, “because Germans will only get the equipment anyway.” He warned that “the very great danger exists that our government, by its aid to Russia, has opened up for Stalin a new Western Front right here in the capital of America.”

In a letter to President Roosevelt, written on October 2, 1941, shortly after the President had proclaimed that the defense of the Soviet Union was vital to the defense of America, Dies announced his intention of continuing his anti-Soviet propaganda campaign. “I intend, Mr. President,” wrote Dies, “to seize every opportunity to let the American people know that the similarities between Stalin and Hitler are far more striking than their differences.”

Even after the United States and Soviet Russia became military allies, Martin Dies continued his anti-Soviet campaign. On March 29, 1942, Henry Wallace, Vice-President of the United States, declared: –

If we were at peace, these tactics could be overlooked as the product of a witchcraft mind. We are not at peace, however. We are at war, and the doubts and angst which this and similar statements of Mr. Dies tend to arouse in the public mind might as well come from Goebbels himself as far as their practical effect is concerned. ‘As a matter of fact, the effect on our morale would be less damaging if Mr. Dies were on the Hitler payroll… We Americans must face the implications of this ugly truth.

5. Lone Eagle

Late in 1940, as Hitler was completing the enslavement of Europe and preparing for his coming showdown with the Red Army, a strange phenomenon appeared on the American political scene. It was called the America First Committee. During the following year, on a national scale, through the medium of press, radio, mass rallies, street-corner meetings and every other kind of promotional device, the America First Committee energetically spread anti-Soviet, anti-British and isolationist propaganda among the American people.

The original leaders of the America First Committee included General Robert E. Wood; Henry Ford; Colonel Robert R. McCormick; Senators Burton K. Wheeler, Gerald P. Nye and Robert Rice Reynolds; Representatives Hamilton Fish, Clare E. Hoffman and Stephen Day; and Katherine Lewis, the daughter of John L. Lewis.

The leading woman spokesman for the Committee was the ex-aviatrix and socialite Laura Ingalls; she was subsequently convicted as a paid agent of the Nazi Government. Behind the scenes, another Nazi agent, George Sylvester Viereck, was writing much of the propaganda which America First publicists were circulating. Ralph Townsend, later convicted as a Japanese agent, headed a branch of the America First Committee on the West Coast and was a member of the editorial board of the Committee’s propaganda organs, Scribner’s Commentator and the Herald.(11) Werner C. von Clemm, later convicted of smuggling diamonds into the United States in collusion with the German High Command, served as an incognito strategist and financial supporter of the New York branch of the America First Committee. Frank B. Burch, subsequently convicted of having received $10,000 from the Nazi Government for illegal propaganda services in the United States, was one of the founders of the Akron, Ohio, branch of the Committee.

In July 1942 a Department of Justice indictment listed the America First Committee as an agency which had been used in a conspiracy to undermine the morale of the United States armed forces…

By far the most prominent leader and spokesman of the America First Committee was the famous American aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, who had already distinguished himself as a pro-Nazi and anti-Soviet agitator in Europe and America.

Lindbergh had paid his first visit to Germany in the summer of 1936. He traveled as a guest of the Nazi Government. The Nazis held impressive ceremonies in Lindbergh’s honor and extended many special favors to him. High Nazi officials personally conducted him on a private “inspection tour” of German war plants and air bases. Lindbergh was deeply impressed with Nazi Germany.

At the lavish parties given for him by Field Marshal Hermann Goering and other Nazi bigwigs, Lindbergh expressed his conviction that the German Air Force was unbeatable. “German aviation ranks higher than that in any other country,” he told the Luftwaffe ace, General Ernst Udet. “It is invincible!”

“Wonder what the hell is the matter with that American?” the German air commander, General Bruno Loerzer, remarked to the political journalist, Bella Fromm. “He’ll scare the wits out of the Yankees with his talk about the invincible Luftwaffe. That’s exactly what the boys here want him to do.”

“He’s going to be the best promotion campaign we could possibly invest in,” said Axel von Blomberg, the son of the Nazi Minister of War, after attending a party given for Lindbergh in 1936.

Two years later, in the crucially decisive days preceding the Munich Pact, Lindbergh visited the Soviet Union. He was there only a few days. On his return, he immediately began spreading the word that the Red Army was hopelessly ill-equipped, badly trained and wretchedly commanded. He asserted that Soviet Russia would be useless as a partner in any military alliance against Nazi Germany. In his opinion, Lindbergh declared, it was necessary to co-operate with, not against, the Nazis.

Lindbergh’s black and orange plane became a familiar sight on the airfields of Europe’s anxious capitals as he flew from one country to another, advocating the formation of political and economic alliances with the Third Reich…

As the Munich negotiations got under way, small select groups of anti-Soviet British businessmen, aristocrats and politicians gathered at Lady Astor’s estate at Cliveden to hear Lindbergh’s views or the European situation. Lindbergh spoke of Germany’s vast air power, swiftly expanding war production and brilliant military leadership. The Nazis, he repeated again and again, were invincible. He recommended that France and Great Britain come to terms with Hitler and “permit Germany to expand eastward into Russia without declaring war.” (12)

A series of intimate conferences were arranged for Lindbergh with British Members of Parliament and various key political figures. Among them was David Lloyd George, who subsequently had this to say about the American flyer: –

He was in Russia, I think, about a week. He had not seen any of the great leaders of Russia, he could not have seen much of the air force, and he came back and told us that the Russian army was no good, that Russian factories were in an awful mess. And there were a great many who believed it – except Hitler.

Lloyd George’s conversation with Lindbergh left the former Prime Minister with the conviction, as he put it, that the American flyer was “the agent and the tool of much more astute and sinister men than himself.”

From the Soviet Union came the same accusation in more specific language. A group of outstanding Soviet flyers published a statement in Moscow accusing Lindbergh of circulating the “colossal lie” that “Germany possesses such a strong air force it is capable of defeating the combined air fleets of England, France, Russia and Czechoslovakia.” The Soviet airmen went on to say: –

Lindbergh plays the role of a stupid liar, lackey and flatterer of German Fascists and their English aristocratic protectors. He had an order from English reactionary circles to prove the weakness of Soviet aviation and give Chamberlain an argument for capitulation at Munich in connection with Czechoslovakia.

Three weeks after the signing of the Munich Pact, the Government of the Third Reich demonstrated its official appreciation of the services Lindbergh had rendered Nazi Germany. On the evening of October 18, 1938, at a dinner given in Lindbergh’s honor in Berlin, Field Marshal Goering conferred on the American flyer one of Germany’s highest decorations, the Order of the German Eagle…

Having lived abroad for three and a half years, Lindbergh returned to the United States shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939.

As soon as the Nazis invaded Poland, and Great Britain and France declared war on Germany, Lindbergh rushed into print with an urgent pronunciamento: the war against Germany was the wrong war; the right war lay to the east. In an article entitled “Aviation, Geography and Race,” in the November issue of Reader’s Digest, in language startlingly reminiscent of Alfred Rosenberg, Lindbergh declared: –

We, the heirs of European culture, are on the verge of a disastrous war, a war within our own family of nations, a war which will reduce the strength and destroy the treasures of the white race… Asia presses toward us on the Russian border, all foreign races stir relentlessly… We can have peace and security only so long as we band together or preserve that most priceless possession our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies, and dilution by foreign races.

During 1940 Lindbergh identified himself more and more closely with the isolationist, anti-Soviet, and frequently pro-Axis movement that was then mushrooming on the American scene. He became the leading spokesman for the isolationist No Foreign Wars Committee and the idol of the U. S. Fifth Column.(18)

That fall Lindbergh addressed a small group of students at Yale University. “We must make our peace with the new powers in Europe,” Lindbergh told them.

The meeting at Yale University had been arranged by a wealthy young student named R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., who was heir to the Quaker Oats fortune. Shortly afterwards, Stuart’s group was incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, under the name of the America First Committee…

Speaking at huge rallies staged throughout the country by the America First Committee and over coast-to-coast radio hookups, Lindbergh told the American people that Soviet Russia and not Nazi Germany was their real enemy. The war “between Germany on the one side and England and France on the other side,” warned Lindbergh, could only result “either in a German victory or in a prostrate and devastated Europe.” The war must be converted into a united offensive against the Soviet Union.(14)

The entire America First publicity apparatus was put to work in a nationwide campaign protesting the sending of Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union. Charles E. Lindbergh, Representative Hamilton Fish, Senators Burton K. Wheeler and Gerald P. Nye and other Congressional spokesmen for the America First Committee denounced aid to the Red Army and declared that the fate of Soviet Russia was of no concern to the United States.

Herbert Hoover took a part in the campaign. On August 5, together with John L. Lewis, Hanford MacNider, and thirteen other leading isolationists, the former President issued a public statement protesting the “promise of unauthorized aid to Russia and other such belligerent moves. The statement declared: –

Recent events raise doubts that this war is a clear-cut issue of liberty and democracy. It is not purely a world conflict between tyranny and freedom. The Anglo-Russian alliance has dissipated that illusion.”

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the America First Committee was officially disbanded. Its chairman, General Wood, pledged the support of the America First membership to the United States war effort against Germany and Japan. Lindbergh retired from the American public scene, and entered the employment of Henry Ford as a technical consultant to the Ford Motor Company.

But the anti-Soviet America First propaganda went on…

When the Red Army began its great counteroffensives in Russia, the former America First spokesmen, who had shortly before announced that Russia was smashed, now declared that Moscow and its “Comintern agents” were about to “communize” all of Europe.(16) When the Red Army approached its western borders, the America Firsters predicted that Soviet troops would not cross the frontier but would make a “separate peace” with Nazi Germany, leaving Britain and the United States to fight on alone. When the Red Army crossed its border, the America Firsters again raised the cry of a Europe “dominated by Moscow.”…

Three of the most influential newspaper publishers in the United States, who had formerly sponsored the America First Committee, continued to spread vicious anti-Soviet propaganda even after the United States and Soviet Russia were allied in the war against Nazi Germany. These three publishers -William Randolph Hearst, Captain Joseph M. Patterson, and Colonel Robert R. McCormick- printed for their many millions of readers an endless series of articles and editorials designed to arouse suspicion and antagonism against America’s ally, the Soviet Union.

Here are some typical passages from their newspapers during the war: –

You know we cannot expect too much of Russia. The bear that walks like a man does not always think like a man. There is always in the Russian mental processes the suggestion of the brutal selfishness and utter untrustworthiness of this wild animal which is her symbol. – Hearst’s New York Journal-American, March 30, 1942

Summarizing the various war fronts, matters seem to be progressing very favorably in Russia – for RUSSIA. Of course, Russia is not a full partner of the United Nations. She is a semi-partner of the Axis. Hearst’s New York Journal-American, March 30, 1942

What Stalin is getting at is this: He is preparing the way for a separate peace with Germany at the moment when he considers that this is good policy. He lays the ground for it by accusing the allies of not living up to their agreements. Therefore he is released from any that he may have made. He may not need this excuse. It is there if he wants it. He has prepared the ground. – McCormick’s Chicago Tribune, August 10, 1943

If Stalin can get more out of Germany with less trouble than he can get from his so-called allies later, what would a supremely self-centered man, to whom perfidy is a natural habit, choose? The whole career of the Georgian tenant of the Kremlin has been a turbulent stream of self-interest unscrupulously flowing from sources of natural cupidity to the objects desired. – McCormick’s Chicago Tribune, August 24, 1943

Which will smell better – a Russian Europe or a German Europe? – Patterson’s Daily News, August 27, 1943

It is ridiculous to plan to preserve peace with the aid of Russia. Russia invaded poor Finland and Poland, and was ready to pounce on Germany with England’s sanction, only Hitler beat her to it. – Letter of November 2, 1943, from a series of similar letters printed regularly in Patterson’s New York Daily News

President Roosevelt warned on April 28, 1942, that the war effort “must not be impeded by a few bogus patriots who use the sacred freedom of the press to echo the sentiments of the propagandists in Tokyo and Berlin.”

On November 8, 1943, at a Madison Square Garden meeting celebrating the tenth anniversary of U. S.-Soviet diplomatic relations, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes issued a scathing denunciation of the anti-Soviet propaganda campaign which was still being carried on without interruption by Hearst, Patterson and McCormick. The outspoken Secretary of the Interior declared: –

Unfortunately there are powerful and active forces in this country that are deliberately fostering ill will toward Russia. … Let me simply mention, as an example, the Hearst press and the Patterson-McCormick newspaper axis, particularly the latter…If these newspaper publishers hate Russia and Great Britain, their hate of their own country is more than libertine… They must hate their own country and despise its institutions if, deliberately, they pursue an intention to stir up hate for the two nations whose help we must have if we are to defeat Hitler…

In the fall of 1944, as Nazi Germany faced imminent defeat as a result of the combined offensives of the armies of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, a renewed call to arms against Soviet Russia was heard in the United States.

From Rome, the recently liberated capital of Italy, William C. Bullitt, the former Ambassador to Moscow and Paris, called for a new anti-Soviet alliance to save Western civilization from the menace of “Soviet imperialism.”

The career of William C. Bullitt had followed a familiar pattern…

In 1919, Bullitt had been one of Woodrow Wilson’s emissaries to Soviet Russia. Fifteen years later, in 1934, he became the first American Ambassador to Soviet Russia. Wealthy, ambitious, with a flair for diplomatic intrigue, Bullitt formed friendly relations with a number of the Russian Trotskyites. He began to talk of the necessity for Soviet Russia to surrender Vladivostok to Japan and to make concessions to Nazi Germany in the Welt. In 1935, Bullitt visited Berlin. William E. Dodd, then American Ambassador to Germany, recorded in his diplomatic Welt diary: –

Coming through Berlin in the spring or summer of 1935, he (Bullitt) reported to me that he was sure Japan would attack eastern Russia within six months and he expected that Japan would take all the Far Eastern end of Russia.

Bullitt said Russia had no business trying to hold the peninsula which projects into the Japanese sea at Vladivostok. That is all going to be taken soon by Japan. I said: You agree that if the Germans have their way Russia with 160,000,000 people shall be denied access to the Pacific, and be excluded from the Baltic? He said: “Oh, that makes no difference.”… I was amazed at this kind of talk from a responsible diplomat…

At luncheon with the French Ambassador, he repeated his hostile attitude and argued at length with the French for the defeat of the Franco-Soviet peace pact then being negotiated, which the English Ambassador reported to me was the best possible guarantee of European peace… Later, or about the same time, when the new Italian Ambassador came here directly from Moscow, we were told that Bullitt had become attracted to Fascism before leaving Moscow.

On January 27, 1937, Ambassador Dodd recorded: –

Recently reports have come to me that American banks are contemplating large new credits and loans to Italy and Germany whose war machines are already large enough to threaten the peace of the world. I have even heard, but it seems unbelievable to me, that Mr. Bullitt is lending encouragement to these schemes.

In 1940, after the fall of France, Bullitt returned from France to the United States to announce that Marshal Petain was a “patriot” who, by surrendering to Nazism, had thereby saved his country from Communism.

Four years later, as the Second World War was drawing to its close, Bullitt reappeared on the European continent as a “correspondent” for Life magazine. From Rome he sent a sensational article to Life, which was published in that periodical on September 4, 1944. Purporting to give the opinions of certain anonymous “Romans,” Bullitt repeated the anti-Soviet propaganda which for twenty years had been utilized by international Fascism in its drive for world conquest. Bullitt wrote: –

The Romans expect the Soviet Union to dominate Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia… They expect that, besides eastern Poland, the Russians will also annex East Prussia, including Konigsberg… A sad joke going the rounds in Rome gives the spirit of their [the “Romans”] hope: What is an optimist? A man who believes that the third world war will begin in about 15 years between the Soviet Union and western Europe backed by Great Britain and the U. S. What is a pessimist? A man who believes that western Europe, Great Britain and the U. S. will not dare to fight.

Bullitt asserted that the menace against which Western civilization must unite was Moscow and its “Communist agents.”

It was the same cry with which, a quarter of a century before, at the close of the First World War, Captain Sidney George Reilly had sought to rally counterrevolution throughout the world.(17)

But profound changes had taken place in the world.

Even as William C. Bullitt was calling for a new crusade against Soviet Russia, the armies of Great Britain and the United States and the Soviet Union were converging from east, west, north and south upon the citadel of counterrevolution – Berlin.

In the face of the threat of Fascist slavery and against the most reactionary force which the world had ever seen, the Western democracies had found their most powerful ally in the state which had been born out of the Russian Revolution. The alliance was no accident. The inexorable logic of events, after a quarter of century of tragic misunderstanding and artificially incited hostility, had inevitably brought together and forged into a fighting unity the freedom-loving peoples of the world. Out of the unparalleled bloodshed and suffering of the Second World War emerged the United Nations.


1. Associated with Rybakoff as a contributor to Rossiya was the ex-agent of the Ochrana and anti-Semitic propagandist, Boris Brasol, who (?)up the first anti-Soviet White Russian organization in the United (?) shortly after the Russian Revolution and who had obtained wide distribution in America for The Protocols of Zion. (See page 145.)

Brasol had never lost hope in the restitution of Czarism in Russia. During the 1920’s and 1930’s he campaigned tirelessly in the United States against the Soviet Union, organizing White Russian anti-Soviet societies, writing articles and books attacking Soviet Russia, and supplying U. S. Government agencies with anti-Soviet forgeries. On November 15, 1935, at a small secret meeting in New York City of leading representatives of anti-Soviet White Russian organizations, Brasol spent more than an hour reporting on his “anti-Soviet work” since his arrival in the United States in 1916; at this meeting he referred with special pride to his “own modest work” in helping prevent recognition of the Soviet Union by the United States before 1933.

Promoting himself as an authority on Russia law, Brasol became a legal consultant for the law firm of Coudert Brothers of New York City. He was employed by U. S. Government agencies to give “expert advice” on matters relating to Soviet Russia. He gave lectures on Russian literature and similar subjects at Columbia University and other well-known American educational institutes. In every way, Brasol used his many influential contacts to promote suspicion and hostility against Soviet Russia.

When the isolationist and anti-Soviet American First Committee was formed in the fall of 1940, Brasol immediately became one of its most active supporters. He prepared large amounts of anti-Soviet propaganda literature for distribution by the Committee, and his articles were featured in America First publications. Among the propaganda material provided by Brasol to the America First Committee, and widely circulated by that organization, was a leaflet published after the Nazi invasion of the U.S.S.R., in protest against American Lend-Lease aid to Russia. The leaflet featured a “Declaration of the Russian Emigrant Colony in Shanghai,” signed by twenty-one White Guard organizations in the Far East, all of which were operating under the supervision of the Japanese Government. Among the organizations listed was the Russian Fascist Union, headed by Konstantin Rodsaevesky, aide-in-chief to Ataman Grigori Semyonov.

in June 1940, Vonsiatsky informed a reporter from the newsletter, the Now, that he and Leon Trotsky had “parallel interests” in their struggle against the Soviet regime.

3. Fascist White Russians were not the only Russian émigrés carrying on anti-Soviet agitation in the United States. A number of former Russian Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries and other anti-Soviet political elements had come to America and had made the United States the headquarters for their continued intrigue or propaganda activities against Soviet Russia. Typical of these émigrés were Victor Chernov, Raphael Abramovitch, Nikifor Grigorieff and Nathan Chanin.

In Czarist Russia, Victor Chernov had been one of the leaders of the Social Revolutionary movement. As such, he had been intimately associated with two other Social Revolutionary leaders: the extraordinary Czarist agent provocateur and assassin, Ievno Aseff; and the anti-Soviet conspirator and assassin, Boris Savinkov. In his book Memoirs of a Terrorist, Savinkor describes how he went to Geneva in 1903 to consult with Chernov about the plans for assassinating the Czarist Minister of Interior, Von Plehve. Savinkov also tells how he and Aseff went before the Central Committee of the Social Revolutionary Terrorist Brigade in 1906 to get out of their assignment to assassinate Premier Stolypin. “The Central Committee,” (?) Savinkov, “declined to grant our request and ordered us to continue the work against Stolypin… Present, in addition to Aseff and myself, was Tchernov [Chernov], Natanson, Sletov, Kraft and Pankratov.” After the collapse of Czarism, Chernov became Minister of Agriculture in the (?)


Provisional Government. He carried on a bitter fight against Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Following the establishment of the Soviet Government, he helped organize Social Revolutionary plots against the Soviet regime. Leaving Russia in the early 1920’s, he became one of the most active anti-Soviet propagandists among the Russian émigrés and a leader of anti-Soviet activity in Prague, Berlin, Paris and other European capitals. At the beginning of the Second World War, he came from France to the United States of America, he continued his anti-Soviet propaganda and organizational operations. He worked closely with anti-Soviet Socialist elements in the American labor movement. On March 30, 1943, David Dubinsky, President of the (?) Ladies’ Garment Workers, introduced Chernov as a guest of (?) at a rally in New York City protesting the execution by the Soviet authorities of Henry Erlich and Victor Alter, two Polish Socialists who had been found guilty by the Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme court of spreading disruptive propaganda in the Red Army and urging the Soviet troops to make peace with the Germans.

Associated with Victor Chernov in his anti-Soviet activity in the United States was Raphael Abramovitch, the former Russian Menshevik leader who, according to testimony given at the Menshevik trial in March 1931, was a leading member of the espionage-sabotage ring then plotting the over throw of the Soviet Government. (See page 171.) After carrying on anti-Soviet activities in Berlin and London, Abramovitch came to the United States and settled down in New York City, where he, like Victor (?); formed close working relations with David Dubinsky and other Socialist labor leaders. His violent attacks on Soviet Russia appeared in the New Leader, the New York Forward and other anti-Soviet publications.

Nikifor Grigorieff, an anti-Soviet Ukrainian émigré and former leading member of the Ukrainian Social Revolutionary Party, came to the United States in 1939. As a prominent anti-Soviet propagandist in émigré circles in Europe, Grigorieff had worked closely with Victor Chernov. In Prague, Grigorieff was an editor of a magazine called Suspilstvo (Community), which published propaganda claiming that “Soviet Russia and the Soviet Ukraine are in the hands of the Jews” and advocating a “great anti-Jewish struggle… on the territory of the Ukraine, White Russia, Lithuania and Poland.” After he came to the United States, Grigorieff continued his anti-Soviet activities. Following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Grigorieff and Chernov helped form a “Committee for the Promotion of Democracy” in New York City, which called for the “liberation” from the U.S.S.R. of the Ukraine and other Soviet republics. Among the propaganda material distributed by Grigorieff in the United States was a booklet entitled Basic Principles of Independent Ukrainian Political Action, which contained “statistics” to show that Jews “dominate” industry, finance and politics in the Soviet Ukraine. In this same booklet Grigorieff advocated the desertion of soldiers from the Red Army, urging that they “not risk their lives for their oppressors. ”

Also prominent among the “left-wing” anti-Soviet Russian émigrés in the United States was Nathan Chanin, Educational Director of the Workmen’s Circle and regular contributor to the anti-Soviet Forward. In the early 1930’s Chanin published propaganda appealing for funds to finance “the secret Social Democratic cells now at work in Russia” and “the difficult struggle our comrades carry on in Russia against Bolshevism.. In January 1942 Chanin wrote, “The last shot has not yet been fired… And the last shot will be fired from free America – and from that shot the Stalin regime, too, will be shot to pieces.”

4. In 1933 a central agency to direct the International anti-Soviet agitation was set up by Alfred Rosenberg in Berlin. It was called the International Committee to Combat the Menace of Bolshevism – the original form of the

Anti-Comintern. Affiliates included: –

General League of German Anti-Communist Associations, Anti-Communist Bloc of South America, Anti-Communist Union of the Province of North China European Anti-Communist League

American Section of the International Committee to Combat the World Menace of Communism

5. Japanese agents were also active in spreading anti-Soviet propaganda in the United States. A typical case was that of John C. Le Clair, assistant personnel director of the International Telephone Company and former history instructor at New York City College and St. Francis College in Brooklyn. As an accepted authority on the Far East, Le Clair wrote numerous articles for well-known American periodicals, in which he praised Japan and declared that Soviet Russia represented the real menace to the United States. He also edited a column called “Comments and Forecasts,” which contained similar propaganda and was distributed to 200 newspapers and periodicals throughout the country. Characteristic of Le Clair’s articles was one which appeared in the September 1940 issue of the magazine America under the title “No Friendship Wanted Between the United States and the USSR.” Arrested by FBI agents in the fall of 1943, Le Clair pleaded guilty in a New York Federal court on September 8 to having served as a secret paid propaganda agent of the Japanese government for a three-year period ending a few months prior to Pearl Harbor.

6. To those of his influential friends abroad who still considered him a liberal journalist and who were deeply surprised at his return to Germany, Scheffer confidentially explained that he was undertaking some (space here that shouldn’t be, a hard return perhaps?)

anti-Nazi mission in the Third Reich. With an eye toward his future work, Scheffer wanted to maintain his useful associations in foreign circles. Strangely enough, many of his friends believed his story.

Among those whom Scheffer failed to convince of his anti-Nazi sentiments was the anti-fascist American Ambassador to Germany, the late William E. Dodd. On November 15, 1936, Dr. Dodd wrote in his diary the following notation about Scheffer: “I have been watchful of this Scheffer who was a Social Democrat a few years ago, was several years in the United States as correspondent for the German press and is now a good Nazi.”

(7) American taxpayers who paid Sullivan’s salary while he was Chief Investigator of un-American activities for the Dies Committee might have been interested in Sullivan’s police record: –


Place of Offense




Charlestown, Mass.



Driving so as to endanger



Fined $25

Driving without license



Fined $25

Driving so as to endanger



Placed on file




6 mos. House of Correction; appealed




-prossed Superior Court 4/12/32

Operating after license



Filed suspended

Violation of Section 690

New York City


Acquitted of the penal law

(Sodomy)Arrested on charges of im-



Charges (this should follow ‘charges’ as the ‘im’ goes with ‘personating’) personating FBI officer

8. In January 1941, when the German High Command was completing its preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union, a sensational anti-Soviet book was published in the United States entitled Out of the Night. The author’s name was given as Jan Valtin.

“Jan Valtin” was one of the several aliases of Richard Krebs, a former Gestapo agent. His other aliases were Richard Anderson, Richard Peterson, Richard Williams, Rudolf Heller and Otto Melchior.

Krebs’s book, Out of the Night, purported to be the confession of a Communist, “Jan Valtin,” who had been traveling about the world carrying out sinister assignments for Moscow. The author described in lurid detail the criminal conspiracies which had supposedly been engineered by “Bolshevik agents” against world democracy. The author related how after ten years of criminal service “for the Conmintern,” including an attempted murder in California in 1926, he had begun to have “doubts about the desirability and the purpose of the Communist Party.” Finally, so his story went, he had decided to make a complete break with Moscow and tell all…

Krebs arrived in the United States in February 1938. He brought with him from Europe the manuscript of Out of the Night, which bore a startling resemblance to an anti-Soviet propaganda book which was being currently circulated in Nazi Germany. In preparing the book for publication in the United States, Krebs was assisted by the American journalist Isaac Don Levine, a veteran anti-Soviet propagandist and a regular contributor to the Hearst press.

Aided by an unprecedented promotional campaign, Out of the Night became a sensational best-seller. The Book-of-the-Month Club distributed 165,000 copies among its readers. Reader’s Digest published a lengthy condensation with the comment that the autobiography had been “carefully authenticated by the publishers.” In two consecutive issues Life magazine quoted extensive sections from the book. Few books in the history of American publishing received the promotional ballyhoo and expensive advertising lavished on Out of the Night.

While a number of book reviewers were openly skeptical about the book, others, well-known for their anti-Soviet sentiments, showered praises on Krebs’s work. Freda Utley, anti-Soviet newspaperwoman writing in the Saturday Review of Literature, described the book in these words: “No other book more clearly reveals the aid which Stalin gave to Hitler before he won power, and which he must be giving him today.” Sidney Hook, an admirer of Trotsky, declared in the New Leader, organ of the so-called Social Democratic Federation: “As a sheer story it is so compelling in its breath-taking sequences that it could never be accepted as fiction, for it violates all the canons of fictional credibility.” William Henry Chamberlin, whose anti-Soviet interpretation of the Moscow Trials had appeared in the Tokyo propaganda organ, Contemporary Japan, urged in the New York Sunday Times Book Supplement that “Valtin” become “a valuable assistant to those United States agencies which are engaged in combating espionage, sabotage and other illegal, foreign inspired activities.” Max Eastman, Eugene Lyons, and others of the anti-Soviet, pro-Trotsky literary clique in America excitedly hailed the “historic expose” by the former Gestapo agent.

“Jan Valtin” became a national figure. He was invited to testify as an anti-Soviet expert before the Dies Committee.

On March 28, 1941, Krebs was served with a warrant of arrest as an undesirable and deportable alien. The subsequent Federal hearings established that Krebs had been found guilty of attempted murder in California in 1926 and had served thirty-nine months in San Quentin. The Los Angela court records showed that this crime, which Krebs had portrayed in Out of the Night as a Comintern assignment, had resulted from an argument over a bill which Krebs owed a small merchant. Explaining in court why he had tried to kill the merchant, Krebs said, “The Jew made me mad.”

The Federal hearings also revealed that Krebs had been deported from the United States in December 1929 and that in 1938, as in 1926, he had entered the United States illegally. In addition, the hearings established that in 1934 Krebs had acted as a witness for the Nazi Government in securing a treason conviction against a fellow seaman. As for his connection with the German Communist Party, from which he had been expelled, Krebs admitted that he had “penetrated the organization.”

The U. S. Immigration Court stated in its findings: “Within the past five years the subject has been considered an agent of Nazi Germany. On the record before us it appears he has been completely untrustworthy and amoral.”

The exposure of Krebs as a former Nazi agent and convicted criminal received little publicity. Later, endorsed and vouched for by his influential anti-Soviet American friends, Krebs was given a clear bill of health by U. S. Immigration authorities as a reformed individual and was granted American citizenship papers. Out of the Night remained on public library bookshelves throughout the country and continued to spread its anti-Soviet message among tens of thousands of Americans.

9. According to Louis Waldman, who was Krivitsky’s American attorney, Krivitsky’s entry into the United States had been “sponsored by William C Bullitt, ambassador to France:’ For comment on Bullitt’s anti-Soviet activities see page 374.

10. Pro-Axis and anti-Soviet elements in the United States enthusiastically supported the work of Congressman Martin Dies. On December 8. 1939. Merwin K. Hart, the leading American spokesman for the Spanish Fascist regime of Generalissimo Franco, gave a banquet in New York City at which Dies was the guest of honor. Among those attending the banquet were John B. Trevor, Archibald E. Stevenson and Fritz Kuhn, head of the German American Bund. When newspapermen asked Kuhn what he thought of the Dies Committee, he replied: “I am in favor of it being appointed again and I wish them to get more money.”

Here are some other comments by anti-Soviet agitators on the work of the Dies Committee: –

I have the highest respect for the Dies Committee and sympathize with its program. – George Sylvester Viereck, Nazi agent, sentenced on February 21, 1942, to serve eight months to two years in prison

I founded the Silver Legion in 1933… to propagandize exactly the same principles that Mr. Dies and his Committee are engaged in prosecuting right now.-William Dudley Pelley, leader of the pro-Nazi Silver Shirts, sentenced on August 13, 1942, to fifteen years’ imprisonment for criminal sedition; again indicted in 1944 on charges of participating in a Nazi conspiracy against America

In your appreciation of the work accomplished by Dies employ some of your leisure moments to write him a letter of encouragement. In fact a million letters, brought to his desk would be an answer to those who are bent on destroying him and the legislative body he represents. – Father Charles E. Coughlin, pro-Nazi propagandist, founder of the Christian From and of Social Justice, which in 1942 was banned from the U. S mails as seditious

Berlin itself openly expressed enthusiastic approval of Dies’s anti-Soviet work in the United States. The short-wave monitoring system of the Federal Communication Commission reported in the winter of 1941 that Representative Martin Dies was the American “most frequently and approvingly” quoted on Axis short-wave broadcasts beamed to the Western Hemisphere.

11. The editors of the Herald operated short-wave receivers which were kept tuned day and night to Hitler-dominated Europe and to Japan. Official Axis propaganda, received in this manner, was incorporated into the Herald and into Scribner’s Commentator.

The Herald and Scribner’s Commentator were distributed throughout the United States free of charge, handed out at America First Committee rallies and circulated on a mass scale to specially prepared America First mailing lists supplied by Charles E. Lindbergh, Hamilton Fish, Charles E. Coughlin, Senator Burton K. Wheeler, and the Nazi agents Frank Burch, George Sylvester Viereck and others.

12. Describing his activities during this period, Lindbergh told an America First Committee rally in the United States on October 30, 1941: “By 1938 I had come to the conclusion that if a war occurred between Germany on the one side and England and France on the other it would result either in a German victory or in a prostrate and devastated Europe. I therefore advocated that England and France… permit Germany to expand onward into Russia without declaring war.”

12.13. 13. In 1937, John C. Metcalfe, a reporter for the Chicago Daily Times and later a Federal agent, had recorded the following statement made to him by Hermann Schwarzmann, leader of the Astoria, Long Island, unit of the German American Bund: “You know who might become the Fuehrer of our great political party? Lindbergh! Yes, that is not so far-fetched as you might think. You know he could carry the public with him very easily. The Americans like him… Yes, there are a lot of things being planned the public knows nothing about as yet.”

14. The Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia was enthusiastically hailed by the America First Committee. The America First mouthpiece, the Herald, carried this headline: –

Europe Masses to Fight Russian Communists. Seventeen Nations Join the German Reich in Holy Crusade against the U.S.S.R.

Soviet Russia’s defeat by Nazi Germany was pictured as being in the interest of the United States. The August 1, 1941, issue of the America First Research Bureau Bulletin stated: –

“Did you know that even if Nazi Germany conquers Communist Russia, the enlarged German economy may be weakened rather than strengthened?”

15. On October 30, 1941, with the Nazis nearing Moscow, an America First Rally at Madison Square Garden, New York City, was addressed by John Cudahy, the former captain with the American interventionist army in Archangel who, subsequently, as American Ambassador to Belgium, adopted a pro-German stand which forced his recall from that post. Cudahy urged that the United States Government initiate an international “peace conference” which would include Nazi Germany. Cudahy declared that “those in positions of authority in the Nazi Government realize the great threat of American potential war power. Von Ribbentrop told me this when I saw him in Berlin five months ago.” Cudahy added that this would be a good bargaining point in “peace negotiations” with the Nazis. “They say there can be no peace with Hitler. But Hitler is only a passing phase…” said Cudahy. “We have in this country a great European expert and a man of purest patriotic motives, Herbert Hoover… Let us put Mr. Hoover to work on a plan for a permanent peace settlement.”

The invocation at the America First Rally which Cudahy addressed was given by a Reverend George Albert Simons. Before the Russian Revolution, this Reverend Mr. Simons had been a pastor at a Protestant missionary church in St. Petersburg. There he had become friendly with Boris Brasol, the anti-Semitic propagandist who was to play a major role in distributing the Protocols of Zion in America. In February 1919 Mr. Simons testified before the Senate Committee investigating “Bolshevism.” Here is an excerpt from Mr. Simons’s testimony: “More than half of the agitators in the so-called Bolshevik movement were Yiddish. This thing [the Russian Revolution] is Yiddish and one of its bases is to be found in the East Side of New York.” Mr. Simons recommended the Protocols of Zion as a valuable source of information about the Revolution. He said: “… it shows what this secret Jewish society has been doing to make a conquest of the world… and finally to have the whole world, if you please, in their grip, and now, in that book ever so many things are said with regard to their program and methods which dovetail into the Bolshevik regime.’

16. On May 22, 1943, the Comintern, or Communist International, was formally dissolved. In a special article for the United Press, the former American Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph E. Davies, summed up the dissolution of the Comintern as follows: “To the well-informed in the Foreign Offices of the world this action did not come as a surprise. It was simply placing the cap on the pedestal, to complete and close a chapter in the development of Soviet foreign policy. This can be best understood from a brief survey of the historical facts in connection with the Comintern… It was organized in 1919 when the young revolutionary government was being attacked on all sides… Under Stalin, however, it finally became a clearinghouse for the working-class movement of other countries. In the democratic countries these [Communist] parties were advised to seek lawful status and to conduct their activities through peaceful and constitutional methods. In these countries, they generally became vociferous but non-violent minorities. Only in aggressor or hostile countries was it probable that Comintern support was actively given to revolutionary class warfare and internal subversive attacks upon governments… The enemy – the Nazis, Fascists, and Japs – have done their utmost to scare us with the bogy of the Communist threat to our Western civilization. It was done under the disguise of a so called anti-Comintern pact that they originally got together in 1936, 1937, 1939 and 1940, in their conspiracy to conquer us, as well as the rest of the world… At one stroke, on May 22 [1943], Stalin and his associates in Moscow spoiled Hitler’s game… When they abolished the Comintern, they spike the last big gun of Hitler’s propaganda… The abolition of the Comintern, moreover, was a definite act, confirming their expressed purpose to co-operate with, and not to stir up trouble for, their neighbors, with whom they are pledged to collaboration to win the war and the peace… The abolition of the Comintern contributes to the cementing of confidence between fighting allies in the war effort. It is also a contribution to postwar construction, in the building of a decent world community of nations, who, realistically, seek to build that world by co-operating and working together as good neighbors.”

17. The same cry was re-echoed, even after the final defeat of Nazi Germany by the Anglo-American-Soviet coalition, when Congresswoman Clare Lure, wife of the publisher of the magazines Time, Life and Fortune. returned from a European tour early in 1945 to inform Americans that Bolshevism was threatening to engulf the whole of Europe because of the Red Army’s defeat of Nazi Germany. Mrs. Luce called on the United States to give its support to all anti-Soviet forces in Europe. This, of course, had been the chief hope of the Nazis and the main theme of the Nazi Propsgana Minister, Dr. Goebbels, during his last broadcasts from besieged Berlin.

Again, the same cry was raised when one of a group of American Senators visiting Rome in the spring of 1945 was said to have asked a gathering of American soldiers if they would not be willing to go on “and finish (?)” by fighting against Soviet Russia. The soldiers were reported to have received the Senator’s anti-Bolshevik crusading with obvious disapproval. Many of them walked out of the room.

At the same time, anti-Soviet propaganda continued to be spread in the United States by a number of books similar in style and content to Jan Valtin’s Out of the Night. Among the most widely circulated of these books published in 1945 were Report on the Russians by William L. White and One Who Survived by Alexander Barmine.

The American journalist William L. White wrote his Report on the Russians after a hasty, six-weeks tour of the Soviet Union. From beginning to end White’s book, which originally appeared in condensed form in the Reader’s Digest, was a tirade against the Soviet people, their leaders and even against their war effort. Hailed as a “rich objective report” by such anti-Soviet journals as the Social-Democratic New Leader and enthusiastically quoted by the Patterson-McCormick and Hearst press, White’s book was vigorously condemned by those sections of the American press concerned with the maintenance of good relations between the United Nations. A group of distinguished American correspondents who had worked in the Soviet Union during the war, including John Hersey, Richard Lauterbach, Ralph Parker and Edgar Snow, issued a public statement sharply denouncing White’s book as “a highly biased and misleading report, calculated to prolong the oldest myths and prejudices against a great ally, whose sacrifices in this war have saved us incalculable bloodshed and suffering.” The statement of the foreign correspondents pointed out that “White was ignorant not only of the language but evidently, of this history and culture [of Russia] as well,” that White’s book’s “fundamental dishonesty lies in the total absence of either foreground or background detail,” and that “the book has to be linked with the significance of ignorant and inimical groups here and in Europe, who seek to sharpen distrust and suspicion among the Allies.” Nevertheless, Report on the Russians, promoted a lavish high-Pressure publicity campaign, continued to reach tens of thousands of American readers.

Alexander Barmine’s book, One Who Survived, purported to be the “inside story” of Soviet politics and leadership by a former “Soviet diplomat” and “specialist” in Soviet affairs. Like the Report on the Russians, Barmine’s book virulently attacked everything connected with the Soviet Union, declaring that Stalin was the leader of “a triumphant counterrevolution” which had become “a reactionary dictatorship.” At the time of the exposure and liquidation of the Russian fifth column, Alexander Barmine was serving as the Soviet charge d’affaires in Athens, Greece. Barmine promptly left his post and refused to return to the Soviet Union. In One Who Survived, Barmine relates that a number of the Soviet conspirators who were executed had been among his closest “friends” and “colleagues.” Regarding General Tukhachevsky, who was found guilty of plotting with the German General Staff against the Soviet Union, Barmine states, “In Moscow I had worked in intimate collaboration with him,” and adds that the Russian general “had been in the last years my close friend.” Barmine also remarks that he “carried out” a “few jobs” under the direction of Arkady Rosengoltz, who admitted in 1938 to having been a paid agent of the German Military Intelligence; and that he, Barmine, had been visited in Paris by the “keen-witted” Leon Sedov Trotsky. The book One Who Survived contained a eulogistic introduction by Max Eastman, and was vigorously promoted by other anti-Soviet persons in the United States. Like William L. White’s book, Barmine’s One Who Survived was praised and publicized with special enthusiasm by the New Leader, the editors of which included Eugene Lyons, whose anti-Soviet writings were periodically quoted by official agencies of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry; William Henry Chamberlin, whose anti-Soviet articles were featured by the Hearst press and whose interpretation of the Moscow trials appeared in the Japanese propaganda organ, Contemporary Japan; Sidney Hook, former follower of Trotsky; John Dewey, former Chairman of the “Commission of Inquiry” at the Trotsky hearings in Mexico; and Max Eastman, Trotsky’s former close collaborator, friend and translator.

In Europe, both W. L. White’s and Alexander Barmine’s writings were used by the Nazis in their propaganda campaign against the Soviet Union. The publication of White’s Report on the Russians was hailed in an enthusiastic front-page article in the ‘January 30, 1945, issue of Der Westkaempfer (West Front Fighter), official organ of the Nazi Reichwehr; the article asserted that White’s book proved the possibility of division in the ranks of the United Nations. In March 1945, American troops in Italy were bombarded by the Nazis with shells containing pamphlet reprints of an article by Barmine which had previously been published in the Reader’s Digest under the title “The New Communist Conspiracy.”

The end of the Second World War in Europe found the voices of the anti-Bolshevik crusaders no less shrill than after 1918, but far less potent in their influence on Americans and other peoples, who had learned much since the death of Woodrow Wilson.

CHAPTER XXIV – The Case of the Sixteen

IN the last months of the Second World War, the chief propagandist issue of anti-Soviet agitation in Great Britain and the United States centered on the question of Poland. As the Red Army drove westward, crossing the Polish frontiers and liberating ever greater sections of Poland from the Nazi invaders, British Tories and American isolationists charged that “Polish freedom” was now endangered by the Soviet Union. Week after week, the Hearst and Patterson-McCormick press in the United States called for anti-Soviet action to save Poland from “Bolshevism.” In the United States Congress and the British Parliament, speakers rose repeatedly to denounce “Red Imperialistic aims in Poland” and to accuse the Soviet Government of betraying the principles of the United Nations. Much of this anti-Soviet propaganda was based on statements and material officially released by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London and by its representatives in Washington, D. C. The London Polish Government-in-Exile was composed of Polish militarists, spokesmen of Poland’s feudal landlords, some Polish fascists and a few socialists and peasant leaders, who had found haven in England after Poland’s collapse in 1939.(1)

At the time, there were actually two Polish governments. Besides the emigre regime in London, a Provisional Polish Government, the so-called Warsaw regime, existed within Poland itself. The Warsaw Government, based on an alliance of Polish anti-fascist parties, repudiated the 1935 Pilsudski fascist constitution which the London Poles upheld. The Warsaw Government stood for sweeping economic and political reforms inside Poland, the abolition of the feudal estates, and close friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

At the Yalta Conference, in February 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin discussed the question of the future of Poland at length, and agreed that the Warsaw regime was to be “reorganized on a broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from Poland itself and from Poles abroad,” and then recognized as the legitimate Provisional Government of the country.

The Yalta agreement met with strenuous opposition from the London Polish émigrés and their American and British allies. It was denounced as a “betrayal of Poland.” Diplomatic intrigues were set afoot to prevent the fulfillment of the Yalta decision.

The anti-Soviet agitation and intrigues around the Polish issue reached their height when in May 1945 the Soviet Government announced that it had arrested sixteen Polish agents of the London Government-in-Exile on charges of anti-Soviet conspiracy. This action on the part of the Soviet Government, declared the Polish émigrés in London, was the most extreme example of Moscow’s program to stifle “Polish democracy” and impose a “Red dictatorship” upon the Polish people…

The best-known name among the sixteen Poles arrested by the Soviet Government was that of General Leopold Bronislaw Okulicki, former Chief of Staff of the Polish army in exile. This army had played a key role in the anti-Soviet campaign of the Polish émigrés…

This Polish army was originally, organized on Soviet soil in 1941 by joint Polish-Soviet agreement, to fight side by side with the Red Army against the Germans. It was headed by General Wladislaw Anders, a former member of the “colonels’ clique” which had dominated Poland under the Pilsudski dictatorship. To train and equip Anders’s army for military action against Germany, the Soviet Government granted a loan without interest of 300,000,000 rubles, and gave the army facilities for recruiting and encampment. However, General Anders, Okulicki and other Polish militarists secretly opposed the alliance with the Red Army. They believed that Soviet Russia was doomed to speedy defeat by Nazi Germany and were acting accordingly.

A report by Lieutenant Colonel Berling, subsequently leader of the armed forces of the Warsaw regime, revealed that in 1941, shortly after the formation of the first Polish units on Soviet soil, General Anders held a conference with his officers at which he stated: –

When the Red Army collapses under German blows, which will be no later than within a few months, we will be able to break through to Iran via the Caspian Sea. Since we will be the only armed power in this territory, we will be in a position to do whatever we please.

When, contrary to General Anders’s expectations, the Red Army failed to collapse before the Nazi blitzkrieg, the Polish commander informed his officers that they need not be concerned about meeting the terms of the Polish-Soviet military agreement to fight jointly against Germany. “There is no need to hurry,” Anders told General Borucie-Spiechowiczow, commander of the Polish 5th Infantry Division.

Anders and his officers, according to Lieutenant Colonel Berling, “did everything possible to drag out the training and arming of the divisions” so that they would not have to go into action against Germany. The Polish Chief of Staff, General Okulicki, actively sabotaged the equipping of the Polish troops. In Berling’s words: –

Okulicki sabotaged the organization of the base on the Caspian Sea for receiving English arms and provisions from Iran. Soviet authorities built a special railway branch and warehouses on the shores of the Caspian Sea, but General Anders’ command prevented a single rifle, tank or sack of supplies from coming through.

Polish officers and men who were eager to accept the Soviet help and to take up arms against the German invaders of their homeland were terrorized by the reactionary clique headed by Generals Anders and Okulicki. Lists were compiled of “friends of the Soviet” who were “traitors to Poland.” A special index known as File B contained the names and records of all those said to be “sympathetic to the Soviets.” Fascist anti-Semitic propaganda was promoted by the Polish command. “There was,” reported Berling, “open talk about the need `to square accounts with the Jews,’ and there were frequent cases of Jews being beaten up.” The Dwojka, espionage service of Anders’s army, began secretly accumulating data about Soviet war plants, state farms, railroads, army depots and positions of the Red Army troops.

By the spring of 1942, Anders’s army in Russia had still failed to fight a single engagement against the German enemy. Instead, Polish officers and men were being intensively indoctrinated with the anti-Soviet and anti-Semitic ideology of their generals. Finally the Polish command requested that its army be evacuated to Iran under British auspices. By August 1942, 75,491 Polish officers and men and 37,756 members of their families had left Soviet territory, without ever having struck one blow for their native land.

On March 13, 1944, the Australian correspondent James Aldridge cabled the New York Times an uncensored report on the fascist behavior of the émigré Polish army leaders in Iran. Aldridge stated that he had wanted to make public the facts about the Polish émigrés for over a year, but the Allied censorship would not permit him to do so. One Allied censor told Aldridge: “I know it’s all true, but what can I do? We recognize the Polish Government, you know.”

Here are a few of the facts reported by Aldridge: –

The Polish camp was divided into classes. At the camp conditions got progressively worse as one’s situation was lower. The Jews were separated into a ghetto. The camp was run on totalitarian lines… A continuous campaign against Russia was conducted by the more reactionary groups… When more than 300 Jewish children had been fixed up to go to Palestine, the Polish elite, who were very anti-Semitic, put pressure on the Iraqui authorities not to allow the Jewish children to pass through…

I have heard many Americans say they would like to tell the real story about the Poles, but that it was useless because the Poles have such a powerful lobbying bloc in Washington…

From Iran, the Polish émigrés moved to Italy, where, under the direction of the British High Command, and supported by the Vatican, the Polish émigré army established its headquarters. The ambition of Generals Anders, Okulicki and their associates, which they made little attempt to conceal, was to convert this Polish émigré army into the nucleus of a new White Army for eventual action against Soviet Russia.

As the Red Army neared the Polish border in the spring of 1944, the London Polish émigrés intensified their anti-Soviet campaign. “An essential condition both for our victory and our very existence is at least the weakening, if not the defeat, of Russia,” declared Penstwo Polski, one of the underground newspapers circulated in Poland by agents of the Government-in-Exile. Secret instructions from the London Poles to their underground agents stated: “At all costs an effort must be made to keep on the best terms with all German civil authorities.”

The Polish Government-in-Exile was preparing for armed action against the Soviet Union. The agency which was to carry out this action was the Armia Krajowa, or AK, an underground military apparatus inside Poland organized and controlled by the London émigrés. The Armia Krajowa or AK was headed by General Bor-Komorowski.

Early in March 1944, General Okulicki was summoned to the headquarters of General Sosnkowski, military representative of the London Polish émigrés. Later, General Okulicki gave this description of this secret conference: –

… when I was received by General Sosnkowski, before flying to Poland, he said that in the near future we could expect a Red Army offensive which would result in routing the Germans in Poland. In that case, Sosnkowski said, the Red Army would occupy Poland and would not permit the existence of the Armia Krajowa on Polish territory as a military organization subordinated to the London Polish government.

Sosnkowski proposed that the Armia Krajowa should carry out a sham dissolution after the Red Army drove the Nazis from Poland, and that a secret “reserve headquarters” be established for operations in the rear of the Red Army: –

Sosnkowski stated that these reserve headquarters would have to direct the struggle of the Armia Krajowa against the Red Army.

Sosnkowski asked that these instructions be conveyed to the commander of the Armia Krajowa in Poland, General Bor-Komorowski…

Shortly after, General Okulicki was mysteriously flown into German-occupied Poland, where he promptly contacted General Bor-Komorowski, and delivered Sosnkowski’s instructions. The commander of the Armia Krajowa told Okulicki that he would set up a special apparatus to carry out the following tasks: –

1. Preserve arms for underground activities and for the preparation of an uprising against the U.S.S.R.

2. Create armed combat detachments, of not more than sixty men each.

3. Form terrorist, “liquidation” groups for assassinating the enemies of the AK and representatives of the Soviet military command.

4. Train saboteurs for operations behind the Soviet lines.

5. Carry on military intelligence and espionage activities in the rear of the Red Army.

6. Preserve the radio stations already set up by the AK and maintain radio communications with the central command of the AK in London.

7. Conduct printed and oral propaganda against the Soviet Union.

In the fall of 1944, the Red Army reached the banks of the Vistula and halted before Warsaw to regroup its forces and bring up fresh supplies after its prolonged summer offensive. The strategy of the Soviet High Command was not to launch a frontal attack upon the Polish capital but to take it by sudden encirclement, thus preserving the city and its population. But, without the knowledge of the Soviet High Command and acting on orders from London, General Bor-Komorowski initiated a general uprising of the Polish patriots in Warsaw, declaring that the Red Army was about to move on the city. With the Red Army completely unprepared to cross the Vistula at this time, the Nazi High Command was able systematically to bomb and shell every section of the city held by the insurgent Polish patriots. Here is General Okulicki’s own account of General Bor-Komorowski’s role in the ultimate surrender of the Polish forces in Warsaw: –

At the close of September, 1944, the commander of the Armia Krajowa, General Bor-Komorowski, negotiated regarding surrender with the commander of the German troops in Warsaw – SS. Obergruppenfuehrer von Den-Bach. Bor-Komorowski appointed the deputy chief of the second (intelligence) department of headquarters, Colonel Bogusla wski, to conduct negotiations as representative of the chief of staff of the Armia Krajowa. Reporting to Bor-Komorowski in my presence on the terms of surrender advanced by the Germans, Boguslawski said that von Den-Bach thought it necessary for the Poles to cease armed struggle against the Germans because it was the Soviet Union that was the common enemy of Poland and Germany. On meeting Bor-Komorowski on the day of the surrender I told him that von Den-Bach was possibly right and Bor-Komorowski agreed with me on this.

Throughout the fall and winter months of 1944 and the spring of 1943, with the Red Army waging gigantic offensives aimed at the final smashing of the German military power on the Eastern Front, the Armia Krajowa under General Okulicki’s leadership carried on a widespread campaign of terrorism, sabotage, espionage and armed raids in the rear of the Soviet armies.

“Measures of the Soviet military command in the zone of hostilities were sabotaged,” later declared Stanislaw Jasiukowicz, Vice-Premier in Poland of the London Government-in-Exile and one of Okulicki’s confederates. “Our press and radio stations engaged in slanderous propaganda. The Polish people were being incited against the Russians.”

Detachments of Okulicki’s AK dynamited trains carrying Red Army troops, destroyed Soviet supply depots, mined roads along which Russian troops were passing and disrupted Soviet transport and communication lines in every possible manner. An order issued on September 17, 1944, by one of Okulicki’s aides, read as follows: –

The operations must be universal – blowing up military trains, trucks, railway tracks, burning of bridges, destruction of stores and village soviets. It must be carried out in secret.

A commander of an AK detachment named Lubikowski, who conducted a special secret school for spies and saboteurs, later reported regarding some of the assignments carried out by his agents: –

I received a written report on the execution of my order … from Ragner who informed me that he carried out twelve acts of sabotage, derailed two trains, blew up two bridges and damaged a railway track in eight places.

Specially trained groups of AK terrorists waylaid and murdered Red Army soldiers and spokesmen for the Warsaw regime. According to incomplete data subsequently made public by the Soviet military authorities, AK terrorists killed 594 Red Army officers and men over a period of eight months and wounded an additional 294…

At the same time, acting under instructions received by radio from the Polish command in London, General Okulicki’s agents carried on extensive intelligence operations behind Soviet lines. A directive of the London Polish Government, addressed to

General Okulicki and dated November 11, 1944, No. 7201-1-777, read as follows: –

Since the knowledge of the military intentions and possibilities… of the Soviets in the east is of basic importance for foreseeing and planning further developments in Poland, you must… fill the gap by transmitting intelligence reports in accordance with the instructions of the intelligence department of headquarters.

The directive went on to request detailed information regarding Soviet military units, supply trains, fortifications, airdromes, armaments and war industry.

Week after week coded intelligence reports were dispatched to the Poles in London from a network of illegal radio stations operating in the rear of the Red Army. A typical radiogram, No. 621-2, sent from Cracow to the chief command in London, and intercepted and deciphered by the Soviet Military Intelligence, read as follows: –

In the latter half of March an average of 20 trains with troops and munitions (artillery, American tanks, infantry, of whom one third were women) were passing daily in a western direction… An order on the urgent conscription of 1895-1925 age classes has been posted in Cracow. A ceremony of commissioning 800 officers brought from the east took place in Cracow with the participation of General Zymierski…

On March 22, 1945, General Okulicki summed up the ultimate hopes of his superiors in London in a secret directive addressed to Colonel “Slavbor,” the commandant of the western district of the Armia Krajowa. Okulicki’s extraordinary directive read: –

In the event of the victory of the U.S.S.R. over Germany, this will not only threaten Britain’s interests in Europe but the whole of Europe will be frightened… Considering their own interests in Europe, the British will have to proceed to the mobilization of the forces of Europe against the U.S.S.R. It is clear that we shall take our place in the front ranks of this European anti-Soviet bloc; it is also impossible to visualize this bloc without the participation of Germany which will be controlled by the British.

These plans and hopes of the Polish émigrés were short-lived. Early in 1945, the Soviet Military Intelligence began rounding up the Polish conspirators behind the Soviet lines. By the summer of 1945, the ringleaders were in Soviet hands. Sixteen of them, including General Okulicki, faced trial before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.

The trial began on June 18 in the House of Trade Unions in Moscow. It lasted three days. The testimony clearly established that the Polish émigrés and their underground apparatus had been led by their hatred for Soviet Russia into giving substantial aid to the Nazi invaders of their own country.

During the trial, the following exchange took place between the Soviet Prosecutor, Major General Afanasiev, and the short, tight-lipped leader of the anti-Soviet Polish underground, General Okulicki: –

AFANASIEV: Did your action interfere with the Red Army’s operations against the Germans… ?

OKULICKI: It interfered.

AFANASIEV: Whom did it help?

OKULICKI: Naturally, it helped the Germans.

Major General Afanasiev told the court that he would not demand the death sentence for any of the defendants because they were “mere puppets” of the Polish émigrés in London and because “we are now experiencing the joyful days of victory and they are no longer dangerous.” The Soviet Prosecutor added: –

This trial sums up the activities of the Polish reactionaries who for years have fought the Soviet Union. Their policy led to the occupation of Poland by the Germans. The Red Army fought for freedom and independence against barbarism… The Soviet Union, with the help of the Allies, played the decisive role in Germany’s defeat. But Okulicki and the others wanted to knife the Red Army in the back… They prefer a cordon sanitaire around Russia to friendship with her….

On June 21, the Soviet Military Collegium handed down its verdict. Three of the accused were acquitted. General Okulicki and eleven of his confederates were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms ranging from ten years to four months.(2)

Following the trial, the United States and Great Britain withdrew their recognition of the London Polish Government-in-Exile.(3) The Warsaw regime, reorganized in accordance with the terms of the Yalta agreement, was formally recognized as the Provisional Government of Poland.

1. The London Polish Government-in-Exile considered itself the legitimate heir to the Pilsudski regime whose traditional policy was based on opposition to Soviet Russia. As Raymond Leslie Buell wrote in his book Poland: The Key to Europe: “Pilsudski believed that Poland had to have a large territory. For historical reasons it was easier to get this base at the expense of Russia than of Germany.” Prewar Polish diplomacy, under the direction of the former anti-Soviet Intelligence officer Colonel Josef Beck, was directed not against Nazi Germany but against Soviet Russia. The Polish Army, with the largest percentage of cavalry of any army in the world, was organized for operations on the Ukrainian plains. Polish industries were concentrated on the German border; Polish military fortifications on the Soviet frontier. Since its formation, the Poland dominated by the militarists and feudal landlords was a cornerstone of the anti-Soviet cordon sanitaire, and a rendezvous for international agents plotting the overthrow of the Soviet Government. Boris Savinkov established his headquarters in Poland after fleeing from Russia and, with the direct aid of Pilsudski, built a White Army in Poland of 30,000 men for use against Soviet Russia. In the late 1920’s, the Torgprom conspirators came to an understanding with the Polish High Command that Poland was to be one of the chief bases in the new war of intervention they were plotting against Soviet Russia. The Polish Intelligence Service established intimate working relations with all anti-Soviet forces, including the Trotskyite-Bukharinist underground organization. In 1938, the Munich Pact brought the anti-Soviet character of the Polish rulers clearly into the open. When the Nazis served their ultimatum on Czechoslovakia and the Czechs were preparing to resist, the Polish Government mobilized its army and placed it directly in the way of any possible assistance to the Czechs from the Soviet Union. As a reward. Hitler permitted the Poles to seize the Teschen district from the Czechs at the time of the partition of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, on the eve of the Nazi attack on Poland, the Polish militarists still refused to revise their suicidal anti-Soviet policy; rejected a proposed military agreement with Soviet Russia; and would not permit the Red Army to cross Polish boundaries to meet the Nazi Wehrmacht. The consequences of this policy for Poland were disastrous, and almost immediately after the Nazi invasion the Polish Government fled abroad, taking with it the Polish gold reserves. First in France and subsequently in England, representatives of this Polish Government constituting themselves the Polish Government-in-Exile, continued the antiSoviet intrigues which had brought their nation to ruin. They were supported in these intrigues by powerful elements in international economic. political and religious circles which regarded victory for Soviet Russia in the war against Nazi Germany as a menace to their own interests.

2. The trial of the sixteenth individual named in the indictment, Anton Paidak, was postponed because of his illness. When these sixteen Poles had originally been arrested by the Soviet authorities, the American Secretary of State, Edward R. Stettinius, and the British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, had vigorously protested, declaring the arrested men were important Polish “democratic leaders.” After the trial, Stettinius and Eden maintained a discreet silence.

3. The Soviet Government had severed diplomatic relations with the Polish Government-in-Exile two years previously, on April 25, 1943, because of the London regime’s anti-Soviet conspiratorial activities.

Since its inception, the Polish Government-in-Exile had been chiefly sponsored and financed by the British Government. After the recognition of the Warsaw regime, it was understood that some of the Polish émigrés would be offered British citizenship, and perhaps given police jobs in the British colonies. On learning of the Allied decision to recognize the Warsaw regime, General Anders and his aides issued public statements declaring that the Polish émigré troops under their command would never accept the Allied decision, would remain loyal to the – `government” in London, and would return to their native land only “with arms in their hands.” By the fall of 1945, however, large numbers of the Polish émigré troops were deserting the cause of their reactionary leaders, and, on the invitation of the Warsaw regime, were returning to Poland to participate in its reconstruction.

CHAPTER XXV – United Nations

IN a struggle for existence, people learn to know their friends and to recognize their enemies. In the course of the Second World War, many illusions and lies were stripped bare.

The war presented the world with many surprises. The world was stunned at first when the Fifth Columns emerged out of the underworld of Europe and Asia to seize power with the aid of the Nazis and the Japanese armies in many countries. The speed with which the early victories of the Axis were won astonished all those who had not known of the long years of secret Axis preparations, intrigue, terror and conspiracy.

But the greatest of all surprises of the Second World War was Soviet Russia. Overnight, it seemed, a thick false fog was torn apart, and through it emerged the true stature and meaning of the Soviet nation, its leaders, its economy, its army, its people and, in Cordell Hull’s words, “the epic quality of their patriotic fervor.”

The first great realization which came out of the Second World War was that the Red Army, under Marshal Stalin, was the most competent and powerful fighting force on the side of world progress and democracy.

On February 23, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army informed his fellow countrymen concerning the Red Army: 

The world situation at the present time indicates that the hopes of civilization rest on the worthy banners of the courageous Russian Army. During my lifetime I have participated in a number of wars and have witnessed others, as well as studying in great detail the campaigns of outstanding leaders of the past.

In none have I observed such effective resistance to the heaviest blows of a hitherto undefeated enemy, followed by a smashing counterattack which is driving the enemy back to his own land.

The scale and grandeur of the effort mark it as the greatest military achievement in all history.

The second great realization was that the economic system of the Soviet Union was amazingly efficient and capable of sustaining mass production under unprecedentedly adverse conditions.

On his return from an official mission to Moscow in 1942, the Vice-Chairman of the United States War Production Board, William Batt, reported: 

I went with a somewhat uncertain feeling about the Russians’ ability to stand up to an all-out war; I became convinced very quickly, however, that the entire population was in the fight to the last woman and child.

I went rather doubtful of the Russians’ technical skill; I found them extraordinarily hard-headed and skillful at running their factories and turning out the machines of war.

I went very much perplexed and troubled by accounts circulated here of disunity and arbitrariness in the Russian Government; I found that Government strong, competent and supported by immensely popular enthusiasm.

In a word, I went with a question to be answered: is Russia a dependable, a competent ally?… And my question was answered for me in a ringing affirmative.

The third great realization was that the multinational peoples of the Soviet Union were united behind their government with a patriotic fervor unique in history.

At Quebec, on August 31, 1943, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared concerning the Soviet Government and its leadership: 

No government ever formed among men has been capable of surviving injuries so grave and cruel as those inflicted by Hitler on Russia… Russia has not only survived and recovered from those frightful injuries but has inflicted, as no other force in the world could have inflicted, mortal damage on the German army machine.

The fourth great realization was that the alliance of the Western democracies with Soviet Russia opened up the realistic promise of a new international order of peace and security among all peoples. On February 11, 1943, the New York Herald Tribune stated in an editorial: 

There are but two choices before the democracies now. One is to cooperate with Russia in rebuilding the world – as there is an excellent chance of doing, if we believe in the strength of our own principles and prove it by applying them. The other is to get involved in intrigues with all the reactionary and anti-democratic forces in Europe, the only result of which will be to alienate the Kremlin.

In New York City on November 8, 1943, the Chairman of the United States War Production Board, Donald Nelson, reported on his visit to Soviet Russia: 

I have come back from my journey with a high faith in the future of Russia, and in the benefit which that future will bring to the entire world, including ourselves. So far as I can see, once our victory is won and we have put this war behind us, we shall have nothing to fear except suspicion of each other. Once we are working in collaboration with the other United Nations to produce for peace and to raise the living standards of peoples everywhere, we shall be on our way toward new levels and prosperity and greater human satisfactions than we have ever known.

On December 1, 1943, at the historic Conference of Teheran, the answer was given to the anti-democratic and anti-Soviet conspiracy which for twenty-five years had kept the world in an incessant turmoil of secret diplomacy, counterrevolutionary intrigue, terror, fear and hatred, and which had culminated inevitably in the Axis war to enslave humanity.

The leaders of the three most powerful nations on earth, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States of America, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Marshal Joseph Stalin of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, met together for the first time, and after a series of military and diplomatic conferences issued the Declaration of the Three Powers.

The Declaration of Teheran guaranteed that Nazism would be wiped out by the united action of the three great allies. More than that, the Declaration opened up to the war-torn world a perspective of enduring peace and a new era of amity among the nations. The Declaration read: 

We, the President of the United States of America, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the Premier of the Soviet Union, have met in these four days past in this the capital of our ally, Teheran, and have shaped and confirmed our common policy.

We express our determination that our nations shall work together in the war and in the peace that will follow.

As to the war, our military staffs have joined in our round-table discussions and we have concerted our plans for the destruction of the German forces. We have reached complete agreement as to the scope and timing of operations which will be undertaken from the east, west and south. The common understanding which we have here reached guarantees that victory will be ours.

And as to the peace, we are sure that our concord will make it an enduring peace. We recognize fully the supreme responsibility resting upon us and all the nations to make a peace which will command good will from the overwhelming masses of the peoples of the world and banish the scourge and terror of war for many generations.

With our diplomatic advisors we have surveyed the problems of the future. We shall seek the cooperation and active participation of all nations, large and small, whose peoples in heart and in mind are dedicated, as are our own peoples, to the elimination of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance. We will welcome them as they may choose to come into the world family of democratic nations.

No power on earth can prevent our destroying the German armies by land, their U-boats by sea, and their war plants from the air. Our attacks will be relentless and increasing.

Emerging from these friendly conferences we look with confidence to the day when all the peoples of the world may live free lives untouched by tyranny and according to their varying desires and their own consciences.

We came here with hope and determination. We leave here friends in fact, in spirit, and in purpose. Signed at Teheran, Dec. 1, 1943.


The historic Teheran Accord was followed by the decisive Crimea Decisions of February 1945. Once again the three statesmen, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, came together, this time at Yalta in the Crimea, where they agreed upon their joint policies for the final defeat of Nazi Germany and the complete elimination of the German General Staff. The Yalta discussions looked forward to the period of peace that was to come, and laid the groundwork for the epoch-making United Nations Conference at San Francisco at which the Charter of a world security organization, rooted in the alliance of the three greatest powers, was to be promulgated in April.

On the eve of the San Francisco Conference, on April 12, 1945, Soviet Russia lost a great friend and the whole world lost a great democratic leader: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. But the work he had initiated went on. President Harry S. Truman, immediately on taking office, pledged himself to carry on the war against Axis aggression to a victorious conclusion in alliance with the other members of the United Nations, and to fulfill Roosevelt’s postwar program for lasting peace in firm accord with Great Britain and Soviet Russia.

On May 8, 1945, the representatives of the German High Command, in the presence of the chief American, British and Soviet generals, signed in ruined Berlin the final act of unconditional surrender of the forces of the Nazi Wehrmacht. The war in Europe was concluded. Winston Churchill, in a message to Marshal Stalin, said: “Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness these proud achievements.”

No war in history had been fought so fiercely as the war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. For one thousand four hundred and eighteen days, forty-seven months, four years, battles of unprecedented scope and violence raged on the gigantic battlefields of the Eastern Front. The end came on May 2, 1945, when armored troops of the Red Army stormed and captured the heart of the Nazi citadel – Berlin. An anonymous Red Army man hoisted the Red Flag over the Reichstag.

The flags of freedom flew everywhere in Europe.(1)

As this book went to press, the authors interviewed the man with whose story this book begins: Colonel Raymond Robins. A few years ago, Colonel Robins retired from public affairs to live quietly on his 2000-acre estate at Chinesgut Hill, Florida, which he has deeded to the United States Government as a wildlife refuge and agricultural experimental station. Colonel Robins has retained his “outdoor mind,” his passionate concern for the welfare of the common man, his impatience with prejudice and greed, and his keen interest in the nation whose birth amid the turmoil of revolution he personally witnessed.

Here is what Colonel Robins said: 

“The greatest hour I shall ever know was to see the light of hope for freedom from age-long tyrannies and oppressions in the eyes of the workers and peasants of Russia as they responded to the appeals o f Lenin and other leaders o f the Soviet Revolution.

“Soviet Russia has always wanted international peace. Lenin knew that his great domestic program would be deflected if not destroyed by war. The Russian people have always wanted peace. Education, production, exploitation o f a vast and rich territory engage all their thoughts and energies and hopes. The greatest Minister o f Foreign Affairs in our generation, Commissar Maxim Litvinov, worked ably and steadily for collective security until the Anglo-French appeasement policies towards Mussolini and Hitler made collective security impossible.

“Soviet Russia exploits no colonies, seeks to exploit none. Soviet Russia operates no foreign trade cartels, seeks none to exploit. Stalin’s policies have wiped out racial, religious, national and class antagonisms within the Soviet territories. This unity and harmony o f the Soviet peoples point the path to international peace.”


1. The Anglo-American war in the Far East, against the third partner of the Axis, Imperial Japan, continued. Here, too, Soviet Russia showed its strength and its identity of interest with the democratic cause.

Japan was one of the first powers to intervene against the young Soviet Republic in 1919. The Tanaka Memorial of 1927 called for Japanese conquest of the Soviet Far East as a preliminary to domination of the entire Pacific region. Japan’s rulers repeatedly conspired against the Soviet regime. In July 1938, Japanese armed forces actually invaded Soviet territory, only to be hurled back by Soviet troops. “Incidents,” often involving considerable forces of men, tanks and planes, were frequent along the Soviet-Manchurian border throughout 1938; but in 1939 the rout of the Japanese Army in what amounted to a major engagement of armored divisions caused the Japanese war lords to reconsider their plans for an immediate full-scale attack on Soviet Russia from the east. An armistice was signed in September 1939, on terms unfavorable to Japan, which formed the basis for the neutrality pact of April 1941. The Soviet Government never concealed its opposition to the feudal-fascist clique which ruled in Tokyo, and it was clear that a day of reckoning would come between Soviet Russia and Imperial Japan.

Throughout the period when the Red Army was battling the Nazi Wehrmacht in the West, the Far Eastern Red Army continuously immobilized a massive Japanese army, reportedly composed of more than 500,000 of the best mechanized troops at Tokyo’s command, on the Manchurian border. On April 6, 1945, following the Yalta Conference, the Soviet Government denounced its neutrality pact with Japan on the following grounds, as stated in the Soviet Note of that date: “Germany attacked the USSR and Japan – Germany’s ally – helped the latter in her war against the USSR. In addition, Japan is fighting against the USA and Great Britain, which are allies of the Soviet Union. In such a situation the pact of neutrality between Japan and the USSR has lost its meaning, and the continuance of this pact has become impossible.”

On August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union formally entered the war against Japan, thus fulfilling a pledge made at the Yalta Conference in January 1945 to enter the Far Eastern war within ninety days after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Following the Soviet war declaration, and the American atomic bombing of two Japanese industrial centers, the Japanese Government capitulated and sued for peace. On September 2, Japan acknowledged her defeat and signed the act of unconditional surrender. East and West, the Second World War was over.

Bibliographical Notes

In the preparation of this hook, the authors have drawn heavily upon the official records of the U. S. State Department; the Hearings and Reports of various U. S. Congressional Committees; official documents published by the Government of Great Britain; and the verbatim reports published by the Soviet Government of the proceedings at the espionage, sabotage and treason trials which have taken place in Soviet Russia since the Revolution. We have also made extensive use of the published memoirs of leading personages mentioned in this book. All of the dialogue in this book is drawn from these memoirs, from official records or other documentary sources. The Index of the New York Times, The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature and the International Index to Periodicals were invaluable reference sources. We wish to express our appreciation in particular to Harper and Brothers for permission to quote at length from Britain’s Master Spy, Sidney Reilly’s Narrative written by Himself, edited and compiled by His Wife. We also wish to record our special indebtedness to Cedric Belfrage for his editorial and research assistance during the early stages of the work on this book. The following is a list of the chief source references for The Great Conspiracy. It is by no means an exhaustive bibliography, being merely intended as a record and acknowledgment of those sources which the authors have found particularly useful and, in some cases, indispensable.


The basic material for the account of Raymond Robins’s mission has been drawn from Robins’s own testimony before the Overman Committee in 1919, as recorded in German and Bolshevik Propaganda; Report and Hearings o f the Subcommittee o f the Judiciary o f the United States Senate, 65th Congress, Volume III (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1919), and from William Hard’s Raymond Robins’ Own Story (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1920). The dialogue between Robins and such persons as his chief, Colonel William Boyce Thompson, Alexander Kerensky, Major General Alfred Knox and Lenin is as Robins himself reported it. Robins’s testimony before the Senate Subcommittee provides one of the richest, most comprehensive and most vivid eyewitness pictures of the Bolshevik Revolution, and is well worth the attention of any student interested in this period. For the historical background to this period the authors have drawn upon a number of sources, including the Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1918, Russia, Vols. I, II and III (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1931); John Reed’s Ten Days That Shook the World (New York, Boni & Liveright, Inc., 1919); The History of the Communist Party o f the Soviet Union, edited by a Commission of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. (New York, International Publishers, 1939); Albert Rhys Williams, The Soviets (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1937); James Bunyan and H. H. Fisher, The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918, documents and materials (Stanford University, California, 1933); Vladimir 1. Lenin, A Political Biography Prepared by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (New York, International Publishers, 1943); Lenin, V. I. Ulyanov (Ogiz, State Publishing House of Political Literature, 1939) – an extremely interesting collection of unusual documents and photographs; Frederick L. Schuman, American Policy Toward Russia Since 1917 (International Publishers, 1938). Of all the written accounts of the Revolution, John Reed’s Ten Days That Shook the World remains after twentyseven years the most exciting and enlightening. It is not difficult to understand why Lenin himself said that he read this classic of reportage with “the greatest interest and with never slackening attention.” The facts regarding Ambassador David Francis’s secret dealings with the counterrevolutionary forces and the various anti-Soviet intrigues in which he became involved are drawn from his own confidential reports to the State Department, subsequently published in Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of she United otates, 1918, Russia; and also from Francis’s autobiographical account, Russia From the American Embassy, April 1916-November 1913 (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1931). Other useful sources describing the intrigues of the period include Sir Samuel Hoare’s The Fourth Seal (London, W. Heinemann, Ltd., 1930); Alexander F. Kerensky’s The Catastrophe and The Crucifixion of Liberty (New York, John Day, 1934); and Boris Viktorovich Savinkov’s Memoirs of a Terrorist (New York, A. C. Boni, 1931). Each of these three books gives an interesting picture of the diverse elements among the forces fighting against the Soviets at the time of the Revolution. A fascinating and scholarly examination of the Brest-Litovsk peace controversy, with much interesting material on the activities of Trotsky and the Left Opposition at this time, is John Wheeler-Bennett’s The Forgotten Peace, Brest-Litovsk, March 1918 (New York, Morrow, 1939). Bruce Lockhart has written his own account of his mission and his experiences in Russia during the Revolution in British Agent (New York, Garden City Publishing Company, 1933). Additional firsthand material may be found in Captain Jacques Sadoul’s The Socialist R. public of Russia (London, People’s Russian Information Bureau, 1918). The notorious socalled “Sisson Documents,” which purported to show that the Bolshevik Revolution was a plot engineered by the German High Command and certain German banks, were first published in the United States as The German-Bolshevik Conspiracy (U. S. Public Information Committee, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1918). Leon Trotsky’s account of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations and a polemical justification of his conduct throughout the revolutionary period may be consulted in Trotsky’s The History of the Russian Revolution, translated from the Russian by Max Eastman (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1932).


For the basic material in this chapter dealing with the career and exploits of Captain Sidney George Reilly of the British Secret Intelligence Service the authors have drawn extensively on Reilly’s personal narrative as contained in Britain’s Master Spy, Sidney Reilly’s Narrative written by Himself, edited and compiled by His Wife (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1933). Although written in a style reminiscent of the lurid British “penny dreadfuls,” this account by the British master spy of his own conspiracy against the Soviet Government remains the most complete record of its kind available in print. Additional material on Reilly’s career and personality may be found in Winfried Ludecke’s Secrets of Espionage (New York, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1929); Richard Wilmer Rowan’s Terror in Our Time (New York, Longmans, Green and Company, 1941); R. H. Bruce Lockhart’s British Agent (New York, Garden City Publishing Company, Inc., 1933); and in the accounts of British Secret Intelligence Operations in Soviet Russia written by Reilly’s friend and colleague, George Hill: Go Spy the Land, Being the Adventures o f I.K.8 o f the British Secret Service (London, Cassell & Company, Ltd., 1932) and Dreaded Hour (London, Cassell & Company, Ltd., 1936). The dialogue in this chapter, unless otherwise so indicated in the text, is quoted from Reilly’s own narrative.


The basic material for the account of the American Expedition in Siberia is drawn from General William S. Graves’s American Siberian Adventure, 1918-1920 (New York, Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1931). No other book gives so vivid a picture of this phase of the war, of intervention against Soviet Russia. Of considerable interest is the foreword to Graves’s book by the former Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker. Material supplementing Graves’s account of the Siberian expedition is to be found in the Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations o f the United States, 1918 (Russia); David Francis’s Russia From the American Embassy, April 1916-November 1918; Lansing Papers, 1914-1920, 2 volumes; and George Stewart, The White Armies o f Russia (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1933).


Contemporary periodicals and newspapers offer valuable material on public sentiment and the general mood in Europe and the United States at the rime of the Versailles Treaty. The authors have consulted in particular the New York Times, the Nation, the New Republic and the Literary Digest. Of special interest is Walter Lippmann’s and Charles Merz’s A Test o f the News, Supplement to the August 4, 1920, issue of New Republic. Other useful sources are George Seldes, World Panorama, 1918-1935 (New York, Blue Ribbon Books, Inc., 1935); Roger Burlingham and Alden Stevens, Victory Without Peace (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1944); The Bullitt Mission to Russia (New York, B. W. Huebsch, 1919). A remarkable description of the various inter-Allied intrigues in Paris at the time of the Versailles Peace Conference appears in Herbert O. Yardley’s The American Black Chamber (New York, Blue Ribbon Books, Inc., 1931; published in England under the title of Secret Service in America, Faber and Faber, Limited, 1931). For the discussions at the Paris Peace Conference the authors have drawn heavily upon the Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States: The Paris Peace Conference 1919, Volumes III and IV. Material of interest regarding Churchill’s role is included in Rene Kraus’s popular biography Winston Churchill (New York, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1940).


There is extensive material dealing with the war of intervention against Soviet Russia. The authors have drawn chiefly upon these sources: William Payton Coates and C. Z. Coates, Armed Intervention in Russia, 1918-22 (London, Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1935); George Stewart, The White Armies o f Russia,* Captain Sergei N. Kournakoff, Russia’s Fighting Forces (New York, International Publishers, 1942); History of the Civil War in the U.S.S.R., Edited by Gorky, Molotov, Voroshilov and others (London, Lawrence and Wishart, Ltd., 1937); V. Parvenov, The Intervention in Siberia (New York, Workers Library Publishers, 1937); History o f the Communist Party o f the Soviet Union (New York, International Publishers, 1939); Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis: The Aftermath (New York, Doubleday, Page and Company, 1922); and Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1918, Russia, Vols. I, II and III. Among the numerous personal accounts dealing with this period, the authors have made particular reference to the following: Ralph Albertson, Fighting Without a War, An Account of Military Intervention in North Russia (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920); John C. Cudahy, Archangel: The American War with Russia, by A Chronicler (Chicago, S. C. McClure Company, 1924); and Sir Paul Dukes, Red Dusk and the Morrow (New York, Doubleday, Page and Company, 1922). David Francis’s Russia From the American Embassy, April 1916-November 1918, includes a most interesting description of the situation in Archangel during the early days of intervention, as does Francis’s testimony in 1919 before the Senate Subcommittee investigating German and Bolshevik Propaganda. General William S. Graves’s American Siberian Adventure, 1918-1920, is an indispensable source of material on intervention in Siberia. The character of the White Guard counterrevolutionary forces in Eastern Russia and the type of warfare they waged are impressionistically described in Vladimir Pozner’s Bloody Baron, The Story of Baron Roman von Ungern Sternberg (New York, Random House, 1936).


For the details of Herbert Hoover’s financial investments and promotional operations in Czarist Russia and for material on his anti-Soviet activities as Food Relief Administrator, the authors have drawn largely from three biographies of Hoover: John Knox, The Great Mistake (Washington, D. C., National Foundation Press, Inc., 1930); Walter Liggett, The Rise of Herbert Hoover (New York, the H. U. Fly Company, 1932); and John Hamill, The Strange Career o f Herbert Hoover Under Two Flags (New York, William Faro, Inc., 1931). General material regarding foreign investments in Czarist Russia is to be found in Colonel Cecil L’Estrange Malone’s speech in the House of Commons on foreign investments in Czarist Russia as quoted in the November 13, 1920, issue of Soviet Russia, the official organ of the Russian Soviet Government Bureau, published in New York City. Further material on this subject is contained in Colonel Malone’s The Russian Republic (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Howe,1920).


The phrase “ferment of the aftermath” which the authors have used as the subtitle to the opening section of this chapter is borrowed from Winston Churchill, and the material illustrating the world-wide uncertainty, unrest and insecurity of the postwar period is drawn from the excellent compilation of newspaper clippings and contemporary comment published by George Seldes, under the title World Panorama, 1918-1935 (New York, Blue Ribbon Books, Inc., 1935). The authors have also made reference to contemporary newspapers and magazines. The revealing British Foreign Office memorandum quoted in this chapter was first made public by the newspaperman and dramatist John L. Balderstone; it is reproduced in more detail in the Seldes book. Material on the little-known and extraordinary story of the great exodus of the defeated White armies from Soviet Russia may be found in George Stewart’s The White Armies o f Russia (New Yoik, The Macmillan Company, 1933) and in the memoirs written by some of the persons involved, Wrangel, Denikin, Krasnov, etc. A full account of the establishment, character and composition of the Torgprom may be found in Wreckers on Trial, A Record of the Trial of the Industrial Party, held in Moscow, November-December 1930 (New York, Workers Library Publishers, 1931). The most interesting and complete account of the early development of Nazi ideology and the role of Alfred Rosenberg and his White Russian associates is contained in Konrad Heiden’s Der Fuehrer (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1944). The authors are also indebted to Heiden’s A History o f National Socialism (New fork, Alfred A. Knopf, 1935) and National Socialism, a document published by the U. S. State Department (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943). The part played by General Max Hoffmann in the White Russian and German imperialist conspiracies which preceded and led up to the triumph of Nazism is brilliantly expounded in Ernst Henri’s Hitler Over Russia? (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1936). The authors have also consulted Hoffmann’s The War of Lost Opportunities (New York, International Publishers, 1925) and War Diaries and other Papers (London, M. Lecker, 1929) and the famous diplomatic diary of the British Ambassador Lord D’Abernon, The Diary of an Ambassador: Versailles to Rapallo, 1920.1922 (New York, Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1929). Additional valuable material on the collaboration of early Nazism with the anti-White Russian emigres may be found in The Brown Network (New York, Knight Publications, Inc., 1936).


The material concerning the activities of Captain Sidney Reilly and his wife, including the dialogue and letters quoted in this chapter, is drawn from Mrs. Reilly s memoirs which form the second part of the book Britain’s Master Spy (see note to Chapter III). Mrs. Reilly’s memoirs contain an account of the anti-Soviet conspiracy in which she became involved following her marriage to Sidney Reilly and in which, by her own account, she continued to participate for some time after his death. For our account of the personality and career of Boris Savinkov we have drawn on Savinkov’s Memoirs o f a Terrorist (New York, A. C. Boni, 1931); Boris Nikolajewsky’s Ase ff, the Spy (New York, Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1934); and on the vivid and candid biographical sketch of Savinkov written by Winston Churchill in Great Contemporaries (New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1937). Somerset Maugham’s impressions of Boris Savinkov may be found in Maugham’s article “The Strangest Man I Ever Knew,” Red Book magazine, October 1944. The description by Savinkov’s aide, Fomitchov, of the organization of anti-Soviet terrorist cells financed and armed by the Polish Intelligence Service is quoted from Fomicchov’s letter of September 17, 1924, to Izvestia, as reprinted in the October 2, 1924, issue of International Press Correspondence (English Edition, Vol. 4, No. 70, Vienna). For a full and enlightening account of the secret war waged at this period by international oil interests against the Soviet Government see Glyn Roberts’s The Most Powerful Man in the World (New York, Covici-Friede, 1938). Roberts’s book, a biography of Sir Henri Deterding, devotes considerable attention to Deterding’s crusade against Soviet Russia, and traces the influence of Deterding through such notorious anti-Soviet incidents in British politics as the Arcos Raid, Zinoviev Letter, etc. Additional material concerning the attitude of the oil interests toward Soviet Russia may be found in Francis Delaisi’s Oil: Its Influence or Politics (London, Labour Publishing Company, 1922) and R. Page Arnot’s The Politics o f Oil (London, Labour Publishing Company, 1924). There are also numerous references to the subject in reports in the London Times, Morning Post, Daily Mail and the New York Times concerning the negotiations at the Genoa and the Hague economic conferences of the period 1922-1924. An inside picture of the intrigues of the oil interests during this period is to be found in George Hill’s Dreaded Hour (London, Cassell & Company, Ltd., 1936). A detailed account of the Noi Jordania uprising in the Caucasus, including quotations from secret communications between the conspirators which were seized by the Soviet authorities, may be found in the October 9, 1924, issue of International Press Correspondence (Vol. 4, No. 72). An interesting report of the trial of Boris Savinkov and his sensational testimony to the court can be found in the September 11, 1924, issue of International Press Correspondence (Vol. 4, No. 65).


The facts regarding Captain Sidney Reilly’s anti-Soviet operations in the United States and his last secret mission in Soviet Russia are taker. from Britain’s Master Spy, Sidney Reilly’s Narrative written by Himself, edited and compiled by His Wife. The material on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic and anti-democratic activities in the early 1920’s is drawn largely from the sensational series of articles by Norman Hapgood which appeared under the title “The Inside Story of Henry Ford’s Jew Mania” in the JuneNovember, 1921, issues of Hearst’s International. The files of Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent are replete with anti-Semitic and anti-democratic propaganda. The intrigues in which Boris Brasol was involved in the early 1920’s are also described in Norman Hapgood’s articles in Hearst’s International. The sort of anti-democratic and anti-Semitic propaganda which Brasol spread in the United States is amply illustrated by his own books, such as The World at the Crossroads (Boston, Small, Maynard and Company, 1921). An interesting account of the origin and record of The Protocols o f the Wise Men o f Zion, which Brasol distributed in the United States, appears in Konrad Heiden’s Der Fuehrer (New York, Lexington Press, 1944).


Material and comment on the diplomatic atmosphere in Europe and Asia throughout this period may be found in’R. Palme Dhtt’s World Politics (New York, Random House, 1936), and in F. L. Schuman’s International Politics, Third Edition (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1941). The Tanaka Memorial has been reprinted in the pamphlet Japanese Imperialism Exposed, The Secret Tanaka Document (New York, International Publishers, 1942). Glyn Roberts’s biography of Sir Henri Deterding contains many revelations of the hectic anti-Soviet intrigues in which Deterding, Hoffmann and their associates were involved during this period. The account of the meeting in Paris in 1928 attended by Professor Ramzin at which Demsov announced that the French General Staff had drawn up a plan of attack against Soviet Russia is drawn from the court testimony of Professor Ramzin and others before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. as recorded in Wreckers on Trial, A Record o f the Trial o f the Industrial Party, held in Moscow November-December 1930 (New York, Workers Library Publishers, 1931). This record also contains the details of the plan of attack on the U.S.S.R. and testimony regarding the various negotiations carried on by Ramzin and others with French, British and German political and industrial personalities. The mysterious affair of the Chervonetz Trial is dealt with by Glyn Roberts in his biography of Deterding; see also the New York Times reports on the Trial in 1927 and Ernst Henri’s Hitler Over Russia? (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1936).


The facts regarding the trial of the Industrial Party conspirators in the winter of 1930 are taken from contemporary newspaper accounts and from the record of the trial as published in Wreckers on Trial, A Record of the Trial of the Industrial Party, held in Moscow, November-December, 1930 (New York, Workers Library Publishers, 1931). Testimony from the Menshevik Trial in March 1931 is recorded in The Menshevik Trial (New York, Workers Library Publishers, 1931). A collection of contemporary statements regarding the Menshevik trial by emigre Russian Mensheviks and their associates in the Second International is presented in the pamphlet The Moscow Trial and the Labour and Socialist International (London, The Labour Party, 1931); this pamphlet includes an article by Raphael Abramovitch entitled “My journey to Moscow,” in which he denies certain of the accusations made against him at the trial but admits the existence of a secret conspiratorial Menshevik apparatus in Soviet Russia. A verbatim record of the trial of the Vickers engineers in April 1933 is given in the Trial o f the Vickers Engineers: Official Vertatim Report: Proceedings of Special Session of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. in Moscow, April 12-19, 1933, three volumes (Moscow, State Law Publishing House, 1933). A very interesting and outspoken account of the discussions between the British Ambassador to Russia, Sir Esmond Ovey, and the Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov, regarding the arrest and trial of the Vickers engineers may be found in the Red Paper Lsued in Moscow by the Soviet Government on April 16, 1933. Allan Monkhouse’s own version of his arrest and trial by the Soviet Government is contained in his book Moscow 1911-1933 (Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1934). A brief but comprehensive account of the reaction of the British press to the trial of the Vickers engineers can be found in Maurice Dobb’s The Press and the Moscow Trial (London, Friends of the Soviet Union, 1933). For the description of Hitler’s coming to power in Germany the authors have made special reference to Konrad Heiden’s A History of National Socialism (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1935). Material has also been drawn from Adolf Hitler, My New Order, edited with commentary by Raoul de Roussv de Sales, New York, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941. Hitler’s Mein,’Kampf offers the most vivid example possible of the employment by the Fascist Counterrevolution of the propa ganda device of the “menace of Bolshevism.” Useful sources of material for the period immediately following the establishment of the Third Reich are: Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy, 1933-1941, (New York, William Funk, Inc., 1942); Frederick L. Schuman’s Europe on the Eve (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1939); The Brown Network (New York, Knight Publications, 1936); and Ernst Henri’s two remarkable and prophetic books, Hitler Over Europe (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1934) and Hitler Over Russia? (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1936).


Trotsky’s own account of his early career may be found in his autobiography, My Life (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1931), and in his own early political writings. Firsthand impressions of Trotsky in 1918 may be found in Bruce Lockhart’s British Agent and in Raymond Robins’s testimony before the Overman Committee in 1919. For Lenin’s estimate of Trotsky we have consulted in particular Lenin’s Selected Works (New York, International Publishers) and Vladimir I. Lenin, A Political Biography Prepared by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute, Moscow (New York, International Publishers, 1943). The best Soviet account available in English of the development of the Bolshevik Party and the significance of Trotsky’s struggle against Lenin and Stalin is N.. Popov’s Outline History o f the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, two volumes (Moscow-Leningrad, CoOperative Publishing Society of Foreign Workers in the U.S.S.R., 1934). A later Soviet history containing the new material made available as a result of the Moscow Trials is the official History o f the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), Edited by a Commission of the Central Committee of the C.P.S. U. (B) (New York, International Publishers, 1939). Very interesting material on Trotsky’s political career before and after the Russian Revolution may be found in the speeches by various Soviet officials, including Stalin, Krupskaya, Zinoviev and Kamenev, collected in The Errors of Trotskyism (London, Centropress, 1925). A lively report of an interview with Trotsky in Moscow in 1924 and other journalistic materia’i on Trotsky is contained in Isaac F. Marcosson’s Turbulent Years (New York, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1938). Winston Churchill’s acid portrait of Trotsky in Great Contemporaries is valuable, among other things, for the light it sheds on Churchill’s attitude towards Trotsky. Additional historical material covering the period of Trotsky’s factional struggle within the Bolshevik Party may be found in Sir Bernard Pares’s Russia (New York, Penguin Books, 1943) and a dispassionate estimate of the political program of the Trotskyite faction is contained in the second volume of Sidney and Beatrice Webb’s Soviet Communism, A New Civilization? (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1937). (In a later edition of their book, the Webbs have omitted the question mark in the subtitle.) Material concerning Trotsky’s. conspiratorial intrigues against the Soviet Government while Lenin was still alive and after Lenin’s death may be found in the little-known pamphlet written by Trotsky on the death of his son in Paris in 1938: Leon Sedoff, Son-Friend-Fighter (New York, Young People’s Socialist League – Fourth International – 1938). This pamphlet also contains material on Trotsky and Sedov in Alma Ata, including an account of the organization of the underground Trotskyite courier system which Sedov supervised. There are numerous journalistic records cf Trotsky in exile at Constantinople and Prinkipo which may be found in the newspapers and magazines of the period. Three articles of major interest are S. Saenger’s “With Trotsky in Constantinople,” Living Age, July 1929; Emil Ludwig’s “Trotsky in Exile,” Living Age, February 1930; and John Gunther s “Trotsky at Elba,” Harper’s Magazine, April 1932. A documented examination of Trotsky’s political career, with a polemical account of the evolution of Trotsky’s faction into a conspiratorial anti-Soviet organization, is J. R. Campbell’s Soviet Policy and Its Critics (London, Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1939). Unless otherwise so indicated in the text, the material – quotations, dialogue and incidents – concerning the secret intrigues of the Trots kyitr~ and Right conspirators and their connections with foreign Intelligence Services is drawn directly from the official records of the three Moscow Trials held before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. in August 1936, January 1937 and March 1938. For example, the details of Krestinsky’s negotiations with General Seeckt and of Rakovsky’s dealings with the British Intelligence Service in the 1920’s are drawn from KrestinskoJ ‘s and Rakovsky’s testimony before the Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme Court in 1938. Similarly, the account of the meetings and negotiations in Berlin between Sedov,Pyatakov, Shestov, Smirnov, etc. are drawn from the testimonyof Smirnov in 1936 and Pyatakov, Shestov and others in 1937.Stacements by Trotsky and his son, Sedov, are given here and in subsequent chapters as quoted by their fellow conspirators testifying at the trials. The records of the trials are available in three volumes: Report o f Court Proceedings in the Case o f the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, August 19-24, 1936 (Peoples Commissariat of Justice of the U.S.S.R., Moscow, 1936); Verbatim Report o f Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Center, January 23-30, 1937 (Peoples Commissariat of Justice of the U.S.S.R., Moscow 1937); Verbatim Report of Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites, March 2-13, 1938 (Peoples Commissariat of Justice of the U.S.S.R., Moscow 1938). These volumes are a source of basic material on anti-Soviet intrigue, especially during the period of Trotsky’s exile from Soviet Russia and Hitler’s coming to power in Germany. The official public records of these trials, comprising more than 1500 pages of detailed testimony, are not only fascinating reading but also represent the most comprehensive public expose ever made of a contemporary secret state conspiracy. In addition, these records contain the first full disclosures of the inner workings of an Axis Fifth Column. They are an invaluable source of material for this period in world history, in which the Axis Fifth Columns played a major role.


Material on Nazi-fascist terrorism and the organization of the Fifth Column in Europe during the years immediately following Hitler’s rise to power may be found in such books as The Brown Network; Ernst Henri’s Hitler Over Europe and Hitler Over Russia?; Konrad Heiden’s History of National Socialism; and in numerous newspaper reports and magazine articles. An excellent account of Axis preparations for conquest by “internal aggression” is given in Elwyn F. Jones’s The Battle for Peace (London, Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1938). The basic material on the operations of the Trotskyite and Right conspirators in Soviet Russia is drawn here as in the preceding chapters from the official records of the three Moscow Trials held before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. in August 1936, January 1937 and March 1938. Firsthand reports of evidence of underground conspiracy and sabotage in Soviet Russia during this period may be found in the dispatches of Walter Duranty in the New York Times, in those of Joseph E. Barnes in the New York Herald Tribune and in other contemporary newspaper reports. Eyewitness accounts of the three Moscow Trials may be found in the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, the Manchester Guardian and other American and British newspapers and magazines. The files of Soviet Russia Today contain many firsthand impressions of the three trials and discussions of their political implications. Walter Duranty’s The Kremlin and the People (New York, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941) recapitulates his personal reactions as an American newspaperman in Moscow at the three trials. Additional firsthand data is contained in D. N. Pritt’s At the Moscow Trial (New York, Soviet Russia Today, 1937) and other writings by Pritt. John Gunther’s Inside Europe, Revised Edition (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1938), also contains a summary and evaluation of the trials. Material on the international diplomatic intrigue against collective security during the 1930’s may be found in Genevieve Tabouis’s They Call Me Cas..andra (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1942) and in Bella Fromm’s Blood and Banquets, A Berlin Social Diary (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1942). Both of these books contain interesting information on Tukhachevsky’s relations with foreign diplomats and militarists. An indispensable source of material is Joseph E. Davies’s Mission to Moscow (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1941); this unique book is based on the personal observations of the American Ambassador to the Soviet Union and on his official reports to the U. S. State Department.


Trotsky’s reaction to the 1936 and 1937 trials may be found in the pamphlet I Stake My Life, Trotsky’s Address to the N. Y. Hippodrome Meeting (New York, Pioneer Publishers, 1937) and more elaborately in The Case of Leon Trotsky (Harper and Brothers, 1937), which is the record of the hearings staged in Mexico by the Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky. Further Trotskyite material on the trials is contained in Max Schachtman’s Behind the Moscow Trials (New York, Pioneer Publishers, 1936). Articles in contemporary American periodicals by Max Eastman, William Henry Chamberlin, Eugene Lyons and other antiSoviet writers repeat, according to the individual styles of the and.ors, the basic arguments and propaganda put forth by Trotrkv. Contemporary periodicals may also be referred to for descriptions of Trotsky’s mode of life in his Mexican exile. Examples of Trotskyite propaganda circulated in America may be found in The Fourth Tnternational and The Militant. A documented account of the role of the Trotskyites during the Spanish Fascist revolt in Spain is to be found in the pamphlet by George Soria, Trotskyisnn,in the Service o f Franco, A Documented Record of the Trea^fiery by the P.O.U.M. in Spain (New York, International Publishers, 1938). Material on the role of the Trotskyites in China may he found in Agnes Smedley’s Red Flood Over China (Moscow-Leningrad, Co-operative Publishing Society of Foreign Workers in the U.S.S.R., 1934) and Battle Hymn of China (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1943); and in Anna Louise Strong’s One-Fifth o f Mankind, China Fights for Freedom (New York, Modern Age Books, 1938). Josef Stalin’s famous report to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, published as Mastering Bolshevism (New York, Workers Library Publishers, 1937), deals in some detail with the character and activities of the Trotskyites in Russia and makes reference to the activities of the Fourth International in Norway, France, Germany and the United States. Material on Trotsky’s negotiations with the Dies Committee is contained in August Raymond Ogden’s The Dies Committee (Washington, The Catholic University of America Press, 1943). The New York Times of the period contains detailed reports on the murder of Trotsky and the “Jacson” case. The Trotskyite version of the murder a:: an “act of Stalin’s vengeance” may be found in Albert Goldman’s The Assassination of Leon Trotsky (New York, Pioneer Publishers, 1941); in contemporary articles in the American Trotskyite newspaper the Militant and in the article in the Militant by Betty Kuehn, Trial of Trotsky’s Murderer (April 1943).


A general survey of the period 1931-1941, with regrettably sparse reference to Soviet Russia, is contained in the official U. S. State Department publication, Peace and War: United States Foreign Poli-,y (Washington, Department of State, 1943). Two invaluable books covering this period of latent war and endless diplomatic intrigue are Frederick L. Schuman’s Europe on the Eve (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1939) and Night Over Europe (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1941). Further material on the period may be found in John Gunther’s Inside Europe, Revised Edition (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1938); F. Elwy n Jones’s The Attack from Within, The Modern Technique of Aggression (London, Penguin Books, Ltd., 1939); Joseph E. Davies’s Mission to Moscow (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1941); Ambassador Dodd’s Diary (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1941); R. Palme Dutt’s World Politics: and, especially, the files of the New York Times of this period. A historic Soviet document of the period is Stalin’s Report on the Work of the Central Committee to the Eighteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U. (B), March 10, 1939 (New York, International Publishers, 1939). A valuable book on Soviet relations with the Baltic States is Gregory Meiksins’s The Baltic Riddle (New York, L. B. Fischer, 1943). General material op the Red Army’s march into the Baltic, the Balkans and Finland will be found in the files of Soviet Russia Today. Of the very many books written about the fall of France the authors have drawn on Pierre Cot’s Triumph of Treason (Chicago-New York, Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, 1944) and Pertinax’s The Gravediggers of France (New York, Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1944). The files of the New York Times and other newspapers and magazines of the period are an indispensable source of material.


An excellent summary of the reaction of the American press to the invasion of Soviet Russia by Nazi Germany in June 1941 is contained in George Seldes’s The Facts Are, A Guide to Falsehood and Propaganda in the Press and Radio (New York, In Fact, Inc., 1942). For material dealing with the anti-Soviet activities of fifth columnists and White Russian emigres, the authors have drawn extensively upon their own files. Sources of published data on pro-fascist “anti-Bolshevik” operations of subversive individuals and agencies in America include Michael Sayers and Aibert E. Kahn, Sabotage: The Secret War Against America (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1942); John Roy Carlson, Under Cover (New York, E. P. Dutton & Company, 1943); and the newsletter The Hour, April 1939-May 1943. One of the most interesting pieces of Nazi-sponsored “anti-Communist” propaganda distributed in the United States is Communism in Germany, The Truth About the Communist Conspiracy on the Eve of the National Revolution (Berlin,.Europa House, 1933), which contains a commendatory foreword signed by various Americans including Representative Hamilton Fish. One could list endlessly sources of anti-Soviet propaganda in books, newspapers and magazines published in the United States. Typical of the myriad pro-Nazi and “anti-Communist” propaganda publications that appeared in the United States following Hitler’s rise to power in Germany are Deutscher Weckruf and Beobachter, the official organ of the German-American Bund; Father Charles E. Coughlin’s Social Justice; William Dudley Pelley’s Liberator; Gerald Winrod’s Defender; Court Asher’s X-Ray; and E. J. Garner’s Publicity. Interesting material on the relationship between Representative Hamilton Fish and the German agent George Sylvester Viereck is contained in the testimony of Fish’s secretary, George Hill, during the Federal trial of Viereck in February 1942 in Washington, D. C.; the most detailed reports of this trial may be found in a series of articles by Dillard Stokes in the Washington Post. William E. Dodd’s views regarding the activities of the German propaganda agent Paul Scheffer are expressed in the published diary of the American Ambassador to Germany: Ambassador Dodd’s Diary, Edited by William E. Dodd, Jr., and Martha Dodd (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1941). Ample evidence of Scheffer’s anti-Soviet propaganda work in the United States can be found in his own articles in Living Age, Foreign Affairs, Fortnightly Review and other such periodicals. The published records of Martin Dies’s Special Committee on UnAmerican Activities contains a vast amount of anti-Soviet propaganda. Other important examples of anti-Soviet propaganda are Martin Dies’s Trojan Horse in America (New Y(Tk, Dodd Mead & Company, 1940) and Jan Valtin’s Out of the Night (New York, Alliance Book Corporation, 1941). An interesting analysis of the reactionary use of “anti-Communistic” propaganda in the United States may be found in George Seldes’s Witchhunt (New York, Modern Age, 1940). The extensive anti-Soviet propaganda circulated by the America First Committee is amply illustrated in the bulletins of the America First Research Bureau and in the Herald and Scribner’s Commentator, two publications sponsored by the Committee, as well as in the public addresses before America First rallies of such America First spokesmen as Representative Hamilton Fish, Senator Gerald P. Nye and Sena tor Burton K. Wheeler, whose speeches are quoted at length in the New York Times and other newspapers. Particularly inter esting accounts of Charles A. Lindbergh’s pro-appeasement ac tivities in Great Britain and in Central Europe during the summer of 1938 are contained in the English newsletter, the Week, and in Bella Fromm’s Blood and Banquets. The files of the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, the Washington Times Herald, and the Hearst press are an especially abundant source of propaganda against the Soviet Union. Pertinent information on the anti-Soviet sentiments of William C. Bullitt is contained in Ambassador Dodd’s Diary.


Documented evidence of the Polish anti-Soviet conspiracy is to be found in the Soviet Government’s indictment of the sixteen agents of the Polish Governnment-in-Exile tried in Moscow in June 1945; the translated text of this indictment is published in the pamphlet, The Case of the 16 Poles (New York, The National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, Inc., 1945). Additional details of the conspiracy, made public in the testimony of the Polish conspirators during their trial in Moscow, appear in the cabled dispatches of American foreign correspondents to the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune and PM. A comprehensive account of earlier anti-Soviet intrigues of Polish emigres in Russia is contained in the lengthy statement released on May 18, 1943, to the British and American press by the Soviet Vice Commissar of Foreign Affairs, A. Y. Vyshinsky. Raymond Leslie Buell’s Poland: Key to Europe (New York, A. A. Knopf, 1939) contains useful background material on Poland.


A source of basic material on Soviet affairs during the war against Nazi Germany is the excellent Information Bulletin issued three times weekly by the Soviet Embassy at Washington, D. C. There are numerous books by American correspondents, such as Henry C. Cassidy, Larry Lesueur, Maurice Hindus, Leland Stowe, Quentin Reynolds, Richard Lauterbach, Edgar Snow and Ralph Parker, who visited the Soviet Union during the conflict and brought back their eyewitness reports. The cabled dispatches of Maurice Hindus to the New York Herald Tribune and those of Ralph Parker to PM are especially vivid in their record of what the Soviet people endured during the war years and what they expect of future co-operation with their allies. Wendell Willkie’s One World (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1943) is a great American’s personal statement of the ideals summed up in the Teheran Proclamation. A similar American statement is to be found in `halter Lippmann’s study of American foreign policy, U. S. Foreign Policy: Shield of the Republic (Boston, Little, Brown and Company and Atlantic Monthly Press, 1943).

The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia (by Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers) PART III

Book Three: Russia’s Fifth Column

CHAPTER XV – The Path to Treason

1. Rebel among Revolutionaries

From the moment Hitler took power in Germany, the international counterrevolution became an integral part of the Nazi plan of world conquest. In every country, Hitler mobilized the counterrevolutionary forces which for the past fifteen years had been organizing throughout the world. These forces were now converted into the Fifth Columns of Nazi Germany, organizations of treason, espionage and terror. These Fifth Columns were the secret vanguards of the German Wehrmacht.

One of the most powerful and important of these Fifth Columns operated in Soviet Russia. It was headed by a man who was perhaps the most remarkable political renegade in all history.

The name of this man was Leon Trotsky.

When the Third Reich came into being, Leon Trotsky was already the leader of an international anti-Soviet conspiracy with powerful forces inside the Soviet Union. Trotsky in exile was plotting the overthrow of the Soviet Government, his own return to Russia and the assumption of that personal power he had once so nearly held.

“There was a time,” Winston Churchill wrote in Great Contemporaries, “when Trotsky stood very close to the vacant throne of the Romanovs.”

In 1919-1920, the world press dubbed Trotsky the “Red Napoleon.” Trotsky was War Commissar. Dressed in a long smart military topcoat, with shining high boots, an automatic pistol on his hip, Trotsky toured the battlefronts delivering fiery orations to the Red Army soldiers. He converted an armored train into his private headquarters and surrounded himself with a specially uniformed, personal armed bodyguard. He had his own faction in the Army Command, in the Bolshevik Party and in the Soviet Government. Trotsky’s train, Trotsky’s guard, Trotsky’s speeches, Trotsky’s features – his shock of black hair, his little black pointed beard and his darting eyes behind his glittering pince-nez – were world-famous. In Europe and in the United States, the victories of the Red Army were credited to “Trotsky’s leadership.”

Here is how War Commissar Trotsky, addressing one of his spectacular mass rallies in Moscow, was described by the famous American foreign correspondent, Isaac F. Marcosson: –

Trotsky made his appearance in what actors call a good entrance . . . after a delay, and at the right psychological moment, he emerged from the wings and walked with quick steps to the little pulpit which is provided for speakers at all Russian gatherings.

Even before he came on the stage there was a tremor of anticipation throughout the great audience. You could get the murmur, “Trotsky comes.” . . .

On the platform his voice was rich, deep and eloquent. He attracted and repelled; dominated and domineered. He was elemental, almost primitive in his fervor – a high-powered human engine. He inundated his hearers with a Niagara of speech, the like of which I have never heard. Vanity and arrogance stood out pre-eminently.

After his dramatic deportation from Soviet Russia in 1929, a myth was woven by anti-Soviet elements throughout the world around the name and personality of Leon Trotsky. According to this myth Trotsky was “the outstanding Bolshevik leader of the Russian Revolution” and “Lenin’s inspirer, closest co-worker and logical successor.”

But in February 1917, one month before the collapse of Czarist, Lenin himself wrote: –

The name Trotsky signifies: Left phraseology and a bloc with the right against the aim of the left.

Lenin called Trotsky the “Judas” of the Russian Revolution.(1)

Traitors are made, not born. Like Benito Mussolini, Pierre Laval, Paul Joseph Goebbels, Jacques Doriot, Wang Ching-wei and other notorious adventurers of modern times, Leon Trotsky began his career as a dissident, extreme leftist element within the revolutionary movement of his native land.

The name Trotsky was a pseudonym. He was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein, the son of prosperous middle-class parents, in Yanovka, a little farming village near Kherson in southern Russia, in 1879. His first ambition was to be an author.

“In my eyes,” Trotsky wrote in his autobiography My Life, “authors, journalists and artists always stood for a world that was more attractive than any other, a world open to the elect.”

The youthful Trotsky started work on a play, and appeared in Odessa literary salons in high-heeled boots, wearing a blue artist’s smock, with a round straw hat on his head, and carrying a black cane. While still a student, he joined a group of bohemian radicals. At eighteen, he was arrested by the Czarist police for distributing left-wing literature and exiled, along with hundreds of other students and revolutionists, to Siberia. He escaped from Siberia in the fall of 1902, and went to live abroad, where he was to spend the greater part of his life as an agitator and conspirator among the Russian émigrés and cosmopolitan socialists in the European capitals.

For the first few months of 1903 Trotsky was a member of the staff of Iskra, the Marxist paper which Lenin was editing in exile in London. Following the Menshevik-Bolshevik split which took place in the Russian Marxist movement that summer, Trotsky became affiliated with Lenin’s political opponents, the Mensheviks. Trotsky’s literary talent, flamboyant oratory, dominating personality and flair for self-dramatization soon won him the reputation of being the most brilliant young Menshevik agitator. He toured the Russian radical student colonies of Brussels, Paris, Liege, Switzerland and Germany assailing Lenin and the other Bolsheviks who called for a disciplined, highly organized revolutionary party to lead the struggle against Czarism. In a pamphlet entitled Our Political Tasks, published in 1904, Trotsky accused Lenin of trying to impose a “barracks-room regime” on the Russian radicals. In language startlingly similar to that which he was later to use in his attacks on Stalin, the young Trotsky denounced Lenin as “the leader of the reactionary wing of our party.”

In 1905, following the Czarist defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, the workers and peasants rose in the abortive “first” Russian Revolution. Trotsky hastened back to Russia and became a leading member of the Menshevik-controlled St. Petersburg Soviet. In the hectic atmosphere of intrigue, the intense political conflict and the sense of imminent power, Trotsky found his element. At twenty-six, he emerged from the experience convinced that he was destined to be the leader of the Russian Revolution. Already Trotsky was talking in terms of his “fate” and his “revolutionary intuition.” Years later, in My Life, he wrote: –

I came to Russia in February of 1905; the other émigré leaders did not come until October and November. Among the Russian comrades, there was not one from whom I could learn anything. On the contrary, I had to assume the position of teacher myself. . . . In October, I plunged headlong into the gigantic whirlpool, which, in a personal sense, was the greatest test for my powers. Decisions had to be made under fire. I can’t help noting here that those decisions came to me quite obviously. . . . I organically felt that my years of apprenticeship were over . . . in the years that followed I have been learning as a master learns, and not as a pupil. . . . No great work is possible without intuition. . . . The events of 1905 revealed in me, I believe, this revolutionary intuition, and enabled me to rely on its assured support during my later life. . . . In all conscientiousness, I cannot, in the appreciation of the political situation, as a whole and of its revolutionary perspectives, accuse myself of any serious errors of judgment.

Abroad again, after the defeat of the 1905 revolution, Trotsky set up his own political headquarters in Vienna and, attacking Lenin as “a candidate for the post of dictator,” launched a propaganda campaign to build his own movement and to promote himself as a “revolutionary internationalist.” From Vienna, Trotsky moved restlessly to Rumania, Switzerland, France, Turkey, enlisting followers and forming valuable connections with European Socialists and leftist radicals. Gradually and persistently, among the Russian emigre Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries and bohemian intellectuals, Trotsky built up a reputation for himself as Lenin’s chief rival within the Russian revolutionary movement.

“The whole construction of Leninism,” wrote Trotsky in a confidential letter to the Russian Menshevik leader Tscheidze, on February 23, 1913, “is at present built up on lies and contains the poisonous germ of its own disintegration.” Trotsky went on to tell his Menshevik associate that, in his opinion, Lenin was nothing more than “a professional exploiter of every backwardness in the Russian workers’ movement.”

The collapse of the Czar’s regime in March 1917 found Trotsky in New York City, editing a Russian radical newspaper, Novy Mir (New World), in collaboration with his friend and Lenin’s opponent, Nicolai Bukharin, an ultra-leftist Russian emigre politician whom one observer described as “a blond Machiavelli in a leather jacket.”(2) Trotsky hastily booked passage for Russia. His trip was interrupted when the Canadian authorities arrested him at Halifax. After being held in custody for a month, he was released at the request of the Russian Provisional Government and sailed for Petrograd.

The British Government had decided to let Trotsky return to Russia. According to the memoirs of the British agent Bruce Locknart, the British Intelligence Service believed it might be able to make use of the “dissensions between Trotsky and Lenin ” (3) . . .

Trotsky reached Petrograd in May. At first he tried to create a revolutionary party of his own – a bloc composed of former émigrés and extreme leftist elements from different radical parties. But it was soon clear that there was no future for Trotsky’s movement. The Bolshevik Party had the support of the revolutionary masses.

In August 1917, Trotsky made a sensational political somersault. After fourteen years of opposition to Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Trotsky applied for membership in the Bolshevik Party.

Lenin had repeatedly warned against Trotsky and his personal ambitions; but now, in the crucial struggle to establish a Soviet Government, Lenin’s policy called for a united front of all revolutionary factions, groups and parties. Trotsky was the spokesman for a sizable group. Outside of Russia his name was better known than that of any other Russian revolutionary except Lenin. Moreover, Trotsky’s unique talents as an orator, agitator and organizer could be used to great advantage by the Bolsheviks. Trotsky’s application for membership in the Bolshevik Party was accepted.

Characteristically, Trotsky made a spectacular entry into the Bolshevik Party. He brought with him into the Party his entire motley following of dissident leftists. As Lenin humorously put it, it was like coming to terms with a “major power.”

Trotsky became Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, in which he had made his first revolutionary appearance in 1905. He held this position during the decisive days that followed. When the first Soviet Government was formed as a coalition of Bolsheviks, left Social Revolutionaries and former Mensheviks, Trotsky, became Foreign Commissar. His intimate knowledge of foreign languages and wide acquaintance with foreign countries fitted him for the post.

2. The Left Opposition

First as Foreign Commissar and then as War Commissar, Trotsky was the chief spokesman of the so-called Left Opposition within the Bolshevik Party.(4) Although few in number, the oppositionists were talented speakers and organizers. They had wide connections abroad, and among the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries in Russia. In the early days after the Revolution they secured important posts in the army, diplomatic corps and executive state institutions.

Trotsky shared the leadership of the Opposition with two other dissident radicals: Nicolai Bukharin, the slim, blond, self-styled “Marxist ideologist,” who headed a group of so-called “Left Communists”; and Grigori Zinoviev, the burly, eloquent leftist agitator, who, together with Trotsky’s brother-in-law, Leo Kamencv, led his own sect, called “Zinovievites.” Trotsky, Bukharin and Zinoviev frequently quarreled among themselves on questions of tactics, and because of personal rivalries and conflicting political ambitions, but at crucial moments they joined forces in repeated attempts to gain control of the Soviet Government.

Trotsky’s own followers included: Yuri Pyatakov, radical son of a rich Ukrainian family, who had fallen under Trotsky’s influence in Europe; Karl Radek, the brilliant Polish “leftist” journalist and agitator who had become associated with Trotsky in opposition to Lenin in Switzerland; Nicolai Krestinsky, a former lawyer and ambitious Bolshevik Duma representative; Grigori Sokolnikov, a youthful cosmopolitan radical who entered the Soviet Foreign Office under Trotsky’s auspices; and Christian Rakovsky, the former wealthy financial backer of the Rumanian Socialists, a Bulgarian by birth, who had lived in most European countries, taken a medical degree in France and become one of the leaders of the Ukrainian Soviet uprising in 1918.

In addition, as War Commissar, Trotsky surrounded himself with a clique of tough, violent army men who formed a special “Trotsky Guard” fanatically devoted to their “leader.” A prominent member of Trotsky’s military faction was Nicolai Muralov, the six-foot, daredevil commander of the Moscow Military Garrison. Trotsky’s personal bodyguard included Ivan Smirnov, Sergei Mrachkovsky and Ephraim Dreitzer. The former Social Revolutionary terrorist, Blumkin, the assassin of Count Mirbach, became chief of Trotsky’s personal bodyguard.(5)

Trotsky also allied himself with a number of former Czarist officers whom he befriended and, despite frequent warnings from the Bolshevik Party, placed in important military posts. One exCzarist officer with whom Trotsky became intimately associated in 1920, during the Polish campaign, was Mikhail Nicolayevich Tukhachevsky, a military leade: with Napoleonic ambitions of his own.

The aim of the combined Left Opposition was to supplant Lenin and take power in Soviet Russia.

The great issue facing the Russian revolutionaries after the defeat of the White Armies and the intervention was: What to do with the Soviet power? Trotsky, Bukharin and Zinoviev held that it was impossible to build socialism in “backward Russia.” The Left Opposition wanted to convert the Russian Revolution into a reservoir of “world revolution,” a world center from which to promote revolutions in other countries. Stripped of its “ultrarevolutionary verbiage,” as both Lenin and Stalin repeatedly pointed out, the Left Opposition really stood for a wild struggle for power, “bohemian anarchism” and, inside Russia, military dictatorship under War Commissar Trotsky and his associates.

The issue came to a head at the Congress of Soviets in December 1920. It was the coldest, hungriest and most crucial year of the Revolution. The Congress assembled in the Hall of Columns in Moscow. The city was snowbound, frozen stiff, starved and sick. In the great hall, unheated because of the fuel crisis, the Soviet delegates were wrapped in sheepskins, blankets and furs, shivering from the intense December cold.

Lenin, still pale and shaken from the aftereffects of Fanya Kaplav’s poisoned bullets which had so nearly ended his life in 1918, rose on the platform to give his reply to the Left Opposition. He described the terrible conditions prevailing in Russia. He called for national unity to meet the “incredible difficulties” of reorganizing economic and social life. He announced the New Economic Policy abolishing the rigid so-called “War Communism” and restoring a measure of private trade and capitalism in Russia and opening the way for the beginning of reconstruction. “We take one step backward,” said Lenin, “in order at a later date to take two steps forward!”

When Lenin announced the “temporary retreat” of the New Economic Policy, Trotsky exclaimed: “The cuckoo has cuckooed the end of the Soviet Government!”

But Lenin believed that the work of the Soviet Government had only begun. He told the Congress: –

Only when the country is electrified, when industry, agriculture and transport are placed on a technical basis of modern large-scale production – only then will our victory be complete.

There was a huge map of Russia on the platform. At a signal from Lenin, a switch was touched and. the map was suddenly illuminated. It showed the Congress how Lenin envisaged the future of his country. Electric lights sparkled on the map at multitudinous points, indicating to the frozen and hungry Soviet delegates the future power stations, hydroelectric dams and other vast projects from which streams of electrical energy would one day pour to transform Old Russia into a modern, industrialized, socialist nation. A murmur of excitement, applause and incredulity swept the cold, packed hall.

Trotsky’s friend, Karl Radek, watched the prophetic spectacle through his thick glasses, shrugged his shoulders, and whispered: “Electro-fiction!” Radek’s witticism became a Trotskyite slogan. Bukharin said Lenin was trying to fool the peasants and workers with his “Utopian chatter about electricity!”

Outside Soviet Russia, Trotsky’s international friends and supporters in Socialist and left Communist circles believed that Lenin’s regime was doomed. Many other observers also believed Trotsky and the Left Opposition were on the verge of power. The American foreign correspondent, Isaac F. Marcosson, reported that Trotsky had “the young Communists, most of the officers, and the rank and file of the Red Army behind him.” But the outside world, like Trotsky himself, overestimated his strength and popularity.

In an effort to rally a mass following, Trotsky toured the country, snaking dramatic appearances at public rallies, delivering impassioned speeches, accusing the “Old Bolsheviks” of having “degenerated,” and calling on the “youth” to support his movement. But the Russian soldiers, workers and peasants, fresh from the victorious struggle against the would-be White Napoleons, were in no mood to tolerate a “Red Napoleon” arising within their own ranks. As Sir Bernard Pares wrote in his History of Russia, concerning Trotsky at this period: –

An acute critic who saw him at close quarters has truly said that Trotsky by his nature and by his methods belonged to pre-revolutionary times. Demagogues were getting out of date. . . .

At the Tenth Bolshevik Party Congress, in March 1921, the Central Committee headed by Lenin passed a resolution outlawing all “factions” in the Party as a menace to the unity of the revolutionary leadership. From now on all party leaders would have to submit to the majority decisions and the majority rule, on penalty of expulsion from the Party. The Central Committee specifically warned “Comrade Trotsky” against his “factional activities,” and stated that “enemies of the State,” taking advantage of the confusion caused by his disruptive activities, were penetrating the Party and calling themselves “Trotskyites.” A number of important Trotskyites and other Left Oppositionists were demoted. Trotsky’s chief military aide, Nicolai Muralov, was removed as commander of the strategic Moscow Military Garrison and replaced by the old Bolshevik, Klementi Voroshilov.

The following year, in March 1922, Josef Stalin was elected General Secretary of the Party and made responsible for the carrying out of Lenin’s plans.

Following the blunt Party warning, and the demotion of his followers, Trotsky’s mass following began to melt away. His prestige was on the wane. Stalin’s election was a crushing blow to Trotsky’s faction in the Party apparatus.

Power was slipping from Trotsky’s hands.

3. The Path to Treason

From the beginning, the Left Opposition had functioned in two ways. Openly, on public platforms, in its own newspapers and lecture halls, the oppositionists brought their propaganda to the people. Behind the scenes, small clandestine factional conferences of Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, Radek, Pyatakov and others mapped out the over-all strategy and planned the tactics of the Opposition.

With this opposition movement as a base, Trotsky built a secret conspiratorial organization in Russia based on the “fives system” which Reilly had developed and which the Social Revolutionaries and other anti-Soviet conspirators had used.

By 1923, Trotsky’s underground apparatus was already a potent and far-reaching organization. Special codes, ciphers and passwords were devised by Trotsky and his adherents for purposes of illegal communication. Secret printing presses were set LIP throughout the country. Trotskyite cells were established in the army, the diplomatic corps, and in the Soviet state and party institutions.

Years later, Trotsky revealed that his own son, Leon Sedov, was involved at this time in the Trotskyite conspiracy which was already ceasing to be a mere political opposition within the Bolshevik Party and was on the point of merging with the secret war against the Soviet regime.

“In 1923,” wrote Trotsky in 1938 in the pamphlet Leon Sedov: Son-Friend-Fighter, “Leon threw himself headlong into the work of the Opposition. . . . Thus, at seventeen, he began the life of a fully conscious revolutionist. He quickly grasped the art of conspiratorial work, illegal meetings, and the secret issuing and distribution of Opposition documents. The Komsomol (Communist Youth organization) rapidly developed its own cadres of Opposition leaders.”

But Trotsky had gone further than conspiratorial work inside Soviet Russia. . . .

In the winter of 1921-1922, the swarthy, furtive-eyed former lawyer and leading Trotskyite, Nicolai Krestinsky, had become the Soviet Ambassador to Germany. In the course of his duties in Berlin, Krestinsky visited General Hans von Seeckt, commander of the Reichswehr. Seeckt knew from his Intelligence reports that Krestinsky was a Trotskyite. The German general gave Krestinsky to understand that the Reichswehr was sympathetic with the aims of the Russian Opposition led by War Commissar Trotsky.

In Moscow, a few months later, Krestinsky reported to Trotsky what General Seeckt had said. Trotsky was desperately in need of funds to finance his growing underground organization. He told Krestinsky that the Opposition in Russia needed foreign allies and must be prepared to form alliances with friendly powers. Germany, Trotsky added, was not an enemy of Russia, and there was no likelihood of an early clash between them; the Germans were looking westward and burning with a desire to revenge themselves on France and England. Opposition politicians in Soviet Russia must be prepared to capitalize on this situation. . . .

When Krestinsky returned to Berlin in 1922, he had Trotsky’s instructions to “take advantage of a meeting with Seeckt during official negotiations to propose to him, to Seeckt, that he grant Trotsky a regular subsidy for the development of illegal Trotskyite activities.”

Here, in Krestinsky’s own words, is what happened: –

I put the question before Seeckt and named the sum of 250,000 gold marks. General Seeckt, after consulting his assistant, the chief of staff (Haase) agreed in principle and put up the counter demand that certain confidential and important information of a military nature should be transmitted to him, even if not regularly, by Trotsky in Moscow or through me. In addition, he was to receive assistance in obtaining visas for some persons whom they would send to the Soviet Union as spies. This counter-demand of General Seeckt was accepted and in 1923 this agreement was put into effect.(6)

On January 21, 1924, the creator and leader of the Bolshevik Party, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, died.

Trotsky was in the Caucasus recuperating from a mild attack of influenza. He did not return to Moscow for Lenin’s funeral, but stayed on at the seaside resort of Sukhum.

“At Sukhum I spent long days lying on the balcony facing the sea,” Trotsky wrote in My Life. “Although it was January the sun was warm and bright. . . . As I breathed the sea air in, I assimilated with my whole being the assurance of my historical rightness. . . .”

4. The Struggle for Power

Immediately after Lenin’s death, Trotsky made his open bid for power. At the Party Congress in May 1924, Trotsky demanded that he, and not Stalin, be recognized as Lenin’s successor. Against the advice of his own allies, he forced the question to a vote. The 748 Bolshevik delegates at the Congress voted unanimously to maintain Stalin as General Secretary, and in condemnation of Trotsky’s struggle for personal power. So obvious was the popular repudiation of Trotsky that even Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev were compelled to side publicly with the majority and vote against him. Trotsky furiously assailed them for “betraying” him. But a few months later Trotsky and Zinoviev again joined forces and formed a “New Opposition.”

The New Opposition went further than any previous faction of its kind. It openly called for “new leadership” in Soviet Russia and rallied every kind of malcontent and subversive element in a nationwide propaganda and political struggle against the Soviet Government. As Trotsky himself later wrote: “In the wake of this vanguard, there dragged the tail end of all sorts of dissatisfied, ill-equipped and chagrined careerists.” Spies, Torgprom saboteurs, White counterrevolutionaries, terrorists, flocked into the secret cells of the New Opposition. The cells began to store arms. An actual secret Trotskyite army was in process of formation on Soviet soil.

“We must aim far ahead,” Trotsky told Zinoviev and Kamenev, as he records in My Life. “We must prepare for a long and serious struggle.”

From outside Russia, Captain Sidney George Reilly of the British Intelligence Service decided it was the moment to strike. The would-be Russian dictator and British puppet, Boris Savinkov, was sent back into Russia that summer to prepare the expected counterrevolutionary uprising.(7) According to Winston Churchill, who himself played a part in this conspiracy, Savinkov was in secret communication with Trotsky. In Great Contemporaries, Churchill wrote: “In June 1924, Kamenev and Trotsky definitely invited him [Savinkov] to return.”

That same year, Trotsky’s lieutenant, Christian Rakovslcy, became Soviet Ambassador to England. Rakovsky, whom in 1937 Trotsky described as “my friend, my genuine old friend,” was visited in his London office shortly after his arrival by two British Intelligence officers, Captain Armstrong and Captain Lockhart. The British Government had at first refused to accept a Soviet representative in London. According to Rakovsky, the British officers informed him: –

Do you know why you received your agreement in Engiand? We have been making enquiries about you from Mr. Eastman and learn that you belong to Mr. Trotsky’s faction, and that you are on intimate terms with him. And only in consideration of this did the Intelligence Service consent to your being accredited Ambassador to this country.(8)

Rakovsky returned to Moscow a few months later. He told Trotsky, what had happened in London. The British Intelligence Service, like the German, wished to establish relations with the Opposition.

“This is something to think about,” said Trotsky.

A few days later, Trotsky told Rakovsky that “relations with the British Intelligence Service should be established.” °

Captain Reilly, preparing his last coup in Russia, was writing to his wife: “There is something entirely new, powerful and worth while going on in Russia.” Reilly’s agent, the British consular official Commander E., had reported to him that contacts had been made with the opposition movement in Soviet Russia. . . .

But that fall, after going into Soviet Russia to meet secretly with the opposition leaders, Reilly was shot by a Soviet border guard.

A few months after Reilly’s death, Trotsky developed what he later referred to in My Life as a “mysterious temperature” which “Moscow physicians” were “at a loss” to explain. Trotsky decided it was necessary for him to go to Germany. He records in his autobiography: –

The matter of my visit abroad was taken up at the Politbureau, which stated that it regarded my trip as extremely dangerous in view of the information it had and the general political situation, but that it left the final decision to me. The statement was accompanied by a note of reference from the G.P.U. indicating the inadmissibility of my trip. . . . It is possible that the Politbureau was also apprehensive of my taking action abroad to consolidate the foreign opposition. Nevertheless, after consulting my friends, I decided to go.

In Germay, according to his own story, Trotsky stayed at a private clinic in Berlin,” where he was visited by Nicolai Krestinsky, Trotsky’s liaison with the German Military Intelligence. While Trotsky and Krestinsky were conferring together at the clinic a German “police inspector,” according to Trotsky, suddenly appeared and announced that the German secret police were taking extraordinary measures to safeguard Trotsky’s life because they had discovered a “plot” to assassinate him.

.As a result of this time-honored Intelligence device, Trotsky and Krestinsky were closeted with the German secret police for several hours. . . .

A new agreement was reached that summer between Trotsky and the German Military Intelligence. Krestinsky later defined the terms of this agreement: –

At that time we had already become accustomed to receiving sums regularly, in sound currency. . . . This money went for the Trotskyite work which was developing abroad in various countries, for publishing literature and so forth. . . . In 1928, when the struggle of the Trotskyites abroad against the Party leadership was at its height, both in Moscow and among the fraternal groups . . . Seeckt . . . advanced the proposal that the espionage information which was being transmitted to him not regularly but from time to time should now assume a more regular character, and, in addition, that the Trotskyite organization should pledge that in case it assumed power during a possible new worid war, this Trotsky-ite government would take into consideration the just demands of the German bourgeoisie, that is to say, mainly for concessions and for the conclusion of treaties of a different kind.

After I consulted Trotsky… I answered General Seeckt in the affirmative and our information began to assume a more systematic character, no longer sporadic, as it had been before. Verbally, promises were made with regard to a future post-war agreement.

…we kept on receiving money. Beginning with 1923 until 1930 we received annually 250,000 German marks in gold… approximately 2,000,000 gold marks.

Back in Moscow after his trip to Germany, Trotsky launched an all-out campaign against the Soviet leadership. “During 1926,” writes Trotsky in My Life, “the party struggle developed with increasing intensity. In the autumn the Opposition even made an open sortie at the meetings of the party locals.” These tactics failed and aroused widespread resentment among the workers who angrily denounced the Trotskyite disruptive activities. “The Opposition,” wrote Trotsky, “was obliged to beat a retreat. . . .”

With the threat of war hanging over Russia in the summer of 1927, Trotsky renewed his attacks on the Soviet Government. In Moscow, Trotsky publicly declared: –

“We must restore the tactics of Clemenceau, who, as is well known, rose against the French Government at a time when the Germans were 80 kilometers from Paris!”

Stalin denounced Trotsky’s statement as treasonable. “Something like a united front from Chamberlain(10) to Trotsky is being formed,” said Stalin.

Once again, a vote was taken on the subject of Trotsky and his Opposition. In a general referendum of all Bolshevik Party members the overwhelming majority, by a vote of 740,000 to 4000, repudiated the Trotskyite Opposition and declared themselves in favor of Stalin’s administration.(11)

In My Life, Trotsky describes the hectic conspiratorial activity which followed his stunning defeat at the general referendum: “Secret meetings were held in various parts of Moscow and Leningrad attended by workers and students of both sexes, who gathered in groups of from twenty to one hundred and two hundred to hear some representative of the Opposition. In one day I would visit two, three and sometimes four of such meetings. . . . The Opposition cleverly prepared a huge meeting in the hall of the High Technical School, which had been occupied from within. . . . The attempts of the administration to stop the meeting proved ineffectual. Kamenev and I spoke for about two hours.”

Trotsky was feverishly preparing for the coming showdown. By the end of October, his plans were made. An uprising was to take place on November 7, 1927, the Tenth Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Trotsky’s most resolute followers, former members of the Red Army Guard, were to head the insurrection. Detachments were posted to take over strategic points throughout the country. The signal for the rising was to be a political demonstration against the Soviet Government during the mass workers’ parade in Moscow on the morning of November 7. In MY Life, Trotsky later stated: –

The leading group of the opposition faced this finale with its eyes wide open. We realized only too clearly that we could make our ideas the common property of the new generation not by diplomacy and evasions but only by an open struggle which shirked none of the practical consequences. We went to meet the inevitable debacle, confident, however, that we were paving the way for the triumph of our ideas in a more distant future.

Trotsky’s insurrection collapsed almost as soon as it started. On the morning of November 7, as the workers marched through the Moscow streets, Trotskyite propaganda leaflets were showered down on them from high buildings announcing the advent of the “new leadership.” Small bands of Trotskyites suddenly appeared in the streets, waving banners and placards. They were swept away by the irate workers.

The Soviet authorities acted swiftly. Muralov, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky, Dreitzer and other former members of the Trotsky military guard were promptly seized. Kamenev and Pyatakov were arrested in Moscow. Government agents raided secret Trotskyite printing presses and arms dumps. Zinoviev and Radek were arrested in Leningrad, where they had gone to organize a simultaneous Putsch. One of Trotsky’s followers, the diplomat Joffe who had been Ambassador to Japan, committed suicide. In some places, Trotskyites were arrested in the company of former White officers, Social Revolutionary terrorists, and foreign agents. . . .

Trotsky was expelled from the Bolshevik Party and sent into exile.

5. Alma Ata

Trotsky was exiled to Alma Ata, capital of the Kazakh Soviet Republic in StLeria, near the border of China. He was given a house for himself, his wife Natalie and his son, Sedov. Trotsky was treated leniently by the Soviet Government, which was as yet unaware of the real scope and significance of his conspiracy. He was permitted to retain some of his personal bodyguards, including the former Red Army officer Ephraim Dreitzer. He was allowed to receive and send personal mail, to have his own library and confidential “archives” and to be visited from time to time by friends and admirers.

But Trotsky’s exile by no means put an end to his conspiratorial activities . . .

On November 27, 1927, the subtlest of all the Trotskyite strategists, the German agent and diplomat, Nicolai Krestinsky, had written a confidential letter to Trotsky which laid down the exact strategy followed by the Trotskyite conspirators during the ensuing years. It was absurd, wrote Krestinsky, for the Trotskyite Opposition to try to continue its open agitation against the Soviet Government. Instead, the Trotskyites must try to get back into the Party, secure key positions in the Soviet Government, and continue the struggle for power from within the governmental apparatus itself. The Trotskyites, said Krestinsky, must seek “slowly, gradually, and by persistent work within the Party, and the Soviet apparatus, to restore, to again earn the confidence of the masses and influence over the masses.”

Krestinsky’s subtle strategy appealed to Trotsky. He soon issued instructions, as Krestinsky later revealed, to his followers who had been arrested and exiled to “get back into the Party by deception,” “continue our activities in secret’,’ and “occupy there more or less independent responsible posts.” Pyatakov, Radek, Zinoviev, Kamenev and other exiled oppositionists began denouncing Trotsky, proclaiming the “tragic error” of their past opposition and pleading for readmission to the Bolshevik Party.

Trotsky’s house in Alma Ata was the center of intense anti-Soviet intrigue. “The ideological life of the opposition seethed like a cauldron at the time,” Trotsky later wrote in the pamphlet Leon Sedov: Son-Friend-Fighter. From Alma Ata, Trotsky directed a clandestine nationwide propaganda and Subversive campaign against the Soviet regime.(12)

Trotsky’s son, Leon Sedov, was placed in charge of the secret communication system by which Trotsky kept in touch with his own followers and other oppositionists throughout the country. In his early twenties, with great nervous energy, and already trained as an expert conspirator, Sedov combined a fierce attachment to the aims of the Opposition with a continuous, embittered resentment against his father’s egoistic and dictatorial behavior. In Leon Sedov: Soya-Friend-Fighter, Trotsky revealed the important role which Sedov played in supervising the secret communication system from Alma Ata. Trotsky wrote: –

In the winter of 1927 . . . Leon had passed his twenty second year. . . . His work in Alma Ara, during that year, was truly peerless. We called him our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Police and Minister of Communications. And in fulfilling all these functions he had to rely on an illegal apparatus.

Sedov served as liaison with the secret couriers who brought messages to Alma Ata and took back Trotsky’s “directives”: –

Sometimes special couriers also arrived from Moscow. To meet them was no simple matter. . . . Outside connections were handled entirely by Leon. He would leave the house on a rainy night or when the snow fell heavily, or, evading the vigilance of the spies, he would hide himself during the day in the library to meet the courier in a public bath or among the thick weeds in the outskirts of the town, or in the oriental market place where the Kirghiz crowded with their horses, donkeys and wares. Each time he returned happy, with a conquering gleam in his eyes and the precious booty under his clothing.

Almost “100 items a week” of a secret character passed through Sedov’s hands. In addition, great quantities of propaganda and personal mail were sent out by Trotsky from Alma Ata. Many of the letters contained “directives” for his followers, as well as anti-Soviet propaganda. “Between April and October (1928),” Trotsky boasted, “we received approximately 1000 political letters and documents and about 700 telegrams. In the same period, we sent out 500 telegrams and not fewer than 800 political letters. . . .”

In December 1928, a representative of the Soviet Government was sent to visit Trotsky at Alma Ara. He told Trotsky, according to My Life: “The work of your political sympathizers throughout the country has lately assumed a definitely counterrevolutionarv character; the conditions in which you are placed at Alma-Ata give you full opportunity to direct this work. . . .” The Soviet Government wanted a promise from Trotsky to discontinue his seditious activity. Failing this, the Government would be forced to take strong action against him as a traitor. Trotsky refused to heed the warning. His case was taken up in Moscow by the special collegium of the OGPU. An extract from the Minutes of the OGPU, dated January 18, 1929, reads as follows: –

Considered: the case of citizen Trotsky, Lev Davidovich, under article 5810 of the Criminal Code, on a charge of counter-revolutionary activity expressing itself in the organization of an illegal anti-Soviet party, whose activity has lately been directed towards provoking anti-Soviet actions and preparing for an armed struggle against the Soviet power. Resolved: citizen Trotsky, Lev Davidovich, to be deported from the territory of the U.S.S.R.

On the morning of January 22, 1929, Trotsky was formally deported from the Soviet Union.

It was the beginning of the most extraordinary phase of Leon Trotsky’s career.

“Exile usually means eclipse. The reverse has happened in the case of Trotsky,” Isaac F. Marcosson was later to write in Turbulent Years: “A human hornet while he was within Soviet confines, his sting is scarcely less effective thousands of miles away. Exercising remote control he had become Russia’s Public Enemy Number One. Napoleon had one St. Helena which ended his career as a European trouble-maker. Trotsky has had five St. Helenas. Each has been a nest of intrigue. Master of propaganda, he has lived in a fantastic atmosphere of national and international conspiracy like a character in a E. Phillips Oppenheim mystery story.”


(1) Here are some other comments periodically made by Lenin concerning Trotsky and his activities within the Russian revolutionary movement: –

1911. “In 1903, Trotsky was a Menshevik; he left the Mensheviks in 1904; returned to the Mensheviks in 1905, parading around with ultra-revolutionary phrases the while; and again turned his back on the Mensheviks in 1906. . . . Trotsky plagiarizes today from the ideas of one faction, tomorrow those of the other, and thus he regards himself as superior to both factions. . . . I must declare that Trotsky represents his own faction only.”

1911. “Such people as Trotsky with his puffed up phrases . . . are now the disease of the age. . . . Everyone who supports Trotsky’s group supports the policy of lies and deception of the workers . . . it is Trotsky’s special task . . . to throw sand in the eyes of the workers . . . it is not possible to discuss essentials with Trotsky, for he has no views . . . we merely expose him as a diplomatist of the meanest description.”

1912. “This bloc is composed of lack of principle, hypocrisy and empty phrases. . . . Trotsky covers them by the revolutionary phrase, which costs him nothing and binds him to nothing.”

1914. “The old participants in the Marxian movement in Russia know Trotsky’s personality very well, and it is not worth while talking to them about it. But the young generation of workers do not know him and we must speak of him. . . . Such types are characteristic as fragments of the historical formations of yesterday, when the mass Labour Movement of Russia was still dormant. . . .”

1914. “Comrade Trotsky has never yet possessed a definite opinion on any single, earnest Marxian question; he has always crept into the breach made by this or that difference, and has oscillated from one side to another.”

1915. “Trotsky . . . as always, entirely disagrees with the social-chauvinists in principle, but agrees with them to everything in practice.”

(2) Trotsky had arrived in the United States only two months before the downfall of the Czar, after being expelled from France in the late fall of 1916. Bukharin had preceded him to the United States from Austria.

(3) In his memoirs British Agent, Bruce Locknart expresses the belief that the British Government at first made a serious mistake in the way it handled Trotsky. Locknart writes: “We had not handled Trotsky wisely. At the time of the first revolution he was in exile in America. He was then neither a Menshevik nor a Bolshevik. He was what Lenin called a Trotskyist – that is to say, an individualist and an opportunist. A revolutionary with the temperament of an artist and undoubted physical courage, he had never been and never could be a good party man. His conduct prior to the first revolution had incurred the severest condemnation by Lenin. . . . In the spring of 1917 Kerensky requested the British Government to facilitate Trotsky’s return to Russia. . . . As usual in our attitude toward Russia, we adopted disastrous half-measures. Trotsky was treated as a criminal. At Halifax . . . he was interned in a prison camp. . . . Then, having roused his bitter bate, we allowed him to return to Russia.”

(4) For Trotsky’s oppositionist activities as Foreign Commissar during the Brest-Litovsk Peace crisis see page 23.

Following his removal from the post of Foreign Commissar, Trotsky publicly admitted the error of his opposition to Lenin at Brest-Litovsk, and again offered unreserved co-operation with Lenin. Trotsky was given a new post which seemed suited to his organizational and oratorical talents. He was made War Commissar. The military strategy and practical leadership of the Red Army was chiefly in the hands of men like Stalin, Frunze, Voroshilov, Kirov, Shots, and Budyenny. Relying on the advice of a number of former Czarist “specialists” who surrounded him, War Commissar Trotsky repeatedly opposed the military decisions of the Bolshevik Central Committee and flagrantly exceeded his authority. In several cases, only the direct intervention of the Central Committee prevented Trotsky from executing leading Bolshevik military representatives at the front who objected to his autocratic conduct.

In the summer of 1919 Trotsky, stating that Kolchak was no longer a menace in the east, proposed shifting the forces of the Red Army into the campaign against Denikin in the south. This, Stalin pointed out, would have given Kolchak a much-needed breathing spell and the opportunity to reorganize and re-equip his army and launch a fresh offensive. “The Urals with their works,” declared Stalin as military representative of the Central Committee, “with their network of railways, should not be left in Kolchak’s hands, because he could there easily collect the big farmers around him and advance to the Volga.” Trotsky’s plan was rejected by the Central Committee, and he took no further part in the campaign in the east, which led to the final defeat of Kolchak’s forces.

In the fall of 1919 Trotsky drew up a plan for a campaign against Denikin. His plan called for a march through the Don steppes, an almost roadless region filled with bands of counterrevolutionary Cossacks. Stalin, who had been sent to the Southern Front by the Central Committee, rejected Trotsky’s plan and proposed instead that the Red Army advance across the Donets Basin with its dense railroad network, coal supplies and sympathetic working-class population. Stalin’s plan was accepted by the Central Committee. Trotsky was removed from the Southern Front, ordered not to interfere with operations in the south, and “advised” not to cross the line of demarcation of the Southern Front. Denikin was defeated according to Stalin’s plan.

Among War Commissar Trotsky’s closest associates was the former Czarist officer, Colonel Vatzetis, who served as commander-in-chief with Trotsky on the Eastern Front against Kolchak. The Soviet authorities uncovered the fact that Vatzetis was involved in intrigues against the Red Army High Command. Vatzetis was removed from his post. In My Life, Trotsky offered this curious apology for his former associate: “. . . Vatzetis in his moments of inspiration would issue orders as if the Soviet of Commissaries and the Central Executive Committee did not exist . . . he was accused of dubious schemes and connections and had to be dismissed, but there was really nothing serious about the accusations. Perhaps before going to sleep, the chap had been reading Napoleon’s biography, and confided his ambitious dreams to two or three young officers.”

(5) In April 1937, Trotsky had this to say about his association with the assassin, Blumkin: “He was a member of my military secretariat during the War, and personally connected with me. . . . His past – he had a very extraordinary past. He was a member of the Left Social Revolutionary Opposition and had participated in the insurrection against the Bolsheviks. He was the man who killed the German Ambassador Mirbach. . . . I employed him in my military secretariat and throughout, when I needed a courageous man, Blumkin was at my disposal.”

(6) Quotations and dialogue throughout Book III, unless otherwise stated in the text, referring to the secret activities of the Trotskyites in Russia, are drawn from the testimony at the trials which took place before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. in Moscow in August 1936, January 1937, and March 1938. Dialogue and incidents directly involving Trotsky and his son, Sedov, unless otherwise so indicated in the text, are taken from the testimony of the defendants at these trials. See Bibliographical Notes.

(7) See page 133.

(8) This statement was made by Rakovsky during his testimony before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. in March 1938. At the period to which Rakovsky was referring, in the 1920’s, the American author and journalist Max Eastman was the official translator of Trotsky’s writings and a lead* disseminator of Trotskyite propaganda in the United States. It was Max Eastman who first made public the so-called “Lenin Testament” or “Lenin Will,” which purported to be an authentic document written by Lenin in 1923 and kept, according to Eastman, “locked in a safe” by Stalin. The alleged Will stated that Trotsky was more fitted to be Ceneral Secretary of the Bolshevik Party than Stalin. In 1928, Eastman translated a propaganda work by Trotsky entitled The Real Situation in Russia. In the supplement to the translated edition of this book Eastman included the text of the so-called Testament and wrote concerning his own role in aiding the Trotskyite Opposition: “. . at the height of a militant effort of the Opposition . . . I published the following translation of the full text of the Testament in the N. Y. Times, using the money received in the further propagation of Bolshevik [i.e. Trotskyite] ides. . . .”

Trotsky himself at first admitted that Lenin had left no Testament or Will. In a letter to the New York Daily Worker on August 8, 1925, Trotsky wrote: –

“As for the `will,’ Lenin never left one, and the very nature of his relations with the Party as well as the nature of the Party itself made such a `will’ absolutely impossible.

“In the guise of a `will’ the emigre and foreign bourgeois and Menshevik press have all along been quoting one of Lenin’s letters (completely mutilated) which contains a number of advises on questions of organization.

“All talk about a secreted or infringed `will’ is so much mischievous invention directed against the real will of Lenin, and of the interests of the Party created by him.”

But to this day the Trotskyite propagandists still refer to Lenin’s Will as an authentic document establishing the fact that Lenin had chosen Trotsky as his successor.

(9) In 1926 Rakovsky was transferred from his London post to Paris. He saw Trotsky in Moscow before he left for France. Trotsky told him that the situation in Russia was coming to a crisis and it was necessary to enlist every possible source of foreign aid. “I have come to the conclusion,” Trotsky told Rakovsky, “that we must give instructions to our confederates abroad, ambassadors and trade representatives, to sound out conservative circles in the capitalist countries to which they have been accredited to what extent the Trotskyites can count on their support.”

On reaching France, Rakovsky began to sound out French reactionary circles on behalf of the Trotskyite Opposition. France was then the center of the Torgprom conspiracy, and the French General Staff led by Foch and Petain was already considering plans of attack on the Soviet Union. Rakovsky subsequently stated regarding the “negotiations which Trotsky instructed me to conduct”: “I met the deputy Nicole in Roye. Nicole is a very big flax spinner in the north, a factory owner, and belongs to the Right Republican circles. I asked him then what opportunities or prospects there were for the opposition – whether support could be sought among French capitalist circles aggressively inclined toward the U.S.S.R. He replied: `Of course, and to a larger extent than you perhaps expect.’ But this, he said, would mainly depend on two circumstances. The first circmnstance was that the opposition should become indeed a real force, and the second circumstance was to what extent the opposition would agree to concessions to French capital. The second conversation I had in Paris took place in 1927, in September, and was with the deputy Louis Dreyfus, a big grain merchant. I must say that both the conversation and the conclusion were analogous to those which I had with Nicole.”

(10)Sir Austen Chamberlain, violently anti-Soviet British Foreign Secretary, then in office.

(11)Four thousand votes was the most that the Opposition forces polled at any one time in the entire course of their agitation. Despite the Party ban on ‘ factions” and the official insistence on “revolutionary unity” as the cornerstone of Soviet domestic politics, an astonishing measure of freedom of debate, criticism and assembly was granted to the Trotskyite oppositionists by the Soviet Government. Especially after Lenin’s death, when the country was going through a period of domestic and foreign crisis, Trotsky was able to take advantage of this situation to attempt to build a mass movement in Soviet Russia behind his own faction. The public propaganda of the Opposition exploited every possible kind of political argument against the Soviet regime. The social and economic policies of the Stalin administration were subjected to continuous criticism under such slogans as “incompetence in administration,” “uncontrolled bureaucracy,” “one-man, oneparty dictatorship,” “degeneration of the old leadership” and so on. No attempt was made to suppress Trotsky’s agitation until it had openly exposed itself as, in fact, anti-Soviet and connected with other anti-Soviet forces. From 1924 until 1927, in the words of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, in Soviet communism – A New Civilisation?, “There ensued what must seem surprising to those who believe that the USSR lies groaning under a peremptory dictatorship, namely, three years of incessant public controversy. This took various forms. There were repeated debates in the principal legislative organs, such as the Central Executive Committee (TSIK) of the AllUnion Congress of Soviets and the Central Committee of the Communist Party. There were hot arguments in many of the local soviets, as well as in the local Party organs. There was a vast [Oppositionist] literature of books and pamphlets, not stopped by the censorship, and published, indeed, by the state publishing houses, extending, as it stated by one who has gone through it, to literally thousands of printed pages.” The Webbs add that the issue “was finally and authoritatively settled by the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party in April 1925; a decision ratified, after more discussion, by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Party Conference of October 1926 and December 1927” and “After these decisions, Trotsky persisted in his agitation, attempting to stir up resistance; and his conduct became plainly factious.”

(12)In Trotsky’s absence, responsibility for directing the remaining forces of the Opposition temporarily fell into the hands of Nicolai Bukharin who, disagreeing with Trotsky’s leadership, had shrewdly refrained from taking any open part in the disastrous attempted Putsch. Bukharin had come to consider himself, and not Trotsky, as the true leader and theoretician of the Opposition. At the special “Marxist school” which he headed in Moscow, Bukharin had surrounded himself with a group of “cadres,” as he called them, recruited from among young students. Bukharin trained a number of these students in the technique of the conspiracy. He was also in close touch with members of the technical intelligentsia who had joined the Industrial Party. Previously, Bukharin had called himself a “Left Communist”; now, after Trotsky’s debacle, he began to formulate the principles of what was soon to be publicly known as the Right Opposition.

Bukharin believed that Trotsky had acted hastily and that his failure was largely due to the fact that he had not acted in unison with all the other anti-Soviet forces at work within the country. Bukharin now set out to remedy this with his Right Opposition. Following the outlawing of the Trotskyites, the first Five-Year Plan was about to go into full-scale operation. The country was facing new hardships, difficulties and extreme tensions. Together with the government official, Alexei Rykov, and the tradeunion official, Al. Tomsky, Bukharin organized the Right Opposition within the Bolshevik Party in secret co-operation with the Toryprom agents and the Alensheviks. The Right Opposition was based on open opposition to the Five-Year Plan. Behind the scenes, Bukharin formulated the real program of the Right Opposition at conspiratorial meetings with Trotsky’s representatives, and with agents of the other underground organizations.

“If my program stand were to be formulated practically,” Bukharin later stated, “it would be, in the economic sphere, State capitalism, the prosperous muzhik individual, the curtailment of the collective farms, foreign concessions, surrender of the monopoly of foreign trade, and, as a result – the restoration of capitalism in the country. . . Inside the country, our actual program [was] the bloc with the Alensheviks, Social Revolutionaries and the like. . . . A lapse . . . in the political sense into ways where there are undoubtedly elements of Cacsarism . . . elements of Fascism.”

Bukharin’s new political line for the Opposition attracted a following among high-ranking careerist officials in Soviet Russia who had no faith in the success of the Five-Year Plan. The leaders of the kulak organizations which were fiercely resisting collectivization in the countryside provided Bukharin’s Right Opposition with elements of the mass base which Trotsky had previously sought in vain. Trotsky at first resented Bukharin’s assumption of leadership of the movement he had initiated; but, after a brief period of rivalry and even feuding, the differences were reconciled. The public and “legal” Phase of the Right Opposition lasted until November 1929 when a plenum of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party declared that the propaganda of the views of the Rights was incompatible with membership in the Party. Buldiarin, Rykov and Tomsky were removed from their high official positions.

CHAPTER XVI – Genesis of a Fifth Column

1. Trotsky at Elba

ON February 13, 1929, Leon Trotsky arrived at Constantinople. He did not arrive like a discredited political exile. Trotsky came like a visiting potentate. Headlines in the world press reported his arrival. Foreign correspondents waited to greet the private motor launch which brought him to the quay. Brushing them aside, Trotsky strode to a waiting automobile chauffeured by one of his personal bodyguards, and was whisked away to personal quarters in the city which had been prepared in advance for his coming.

A political storm broke in Turkey. Pro-Soviet spokesmen demanded Trotsky’s expulsion; anti-Soviet spokesmen welcomed him as the enemy of the Soviet regime. The Turkish Government seemed undecided. There were rumors of diplomatic pressure to keep Trotsky in Turkey, near to the Soviet borders. Finally, a compromise was reached. Trotsky was to stay in Turkey and yet not in Turkey. The exiled “Red Napoleon” was to be given a haven on the Turkish island of Prinkipo. Trotsky, his wife and son, and a number of his bodyguards moved there a few weeks later. . . .

At Prinkipo, the picturesque Black Sea island where Woodrow Wilson dreamed of holding an Allied-Soviet peace conference, the exiled Trotsky established his new political headquarters with his son, Leon Sedov, as his chief aide and second-in-command. “In Prinkipo a new group of young co-workers from different countries had meanwhile been successfully formed in intimate collaboration with my son,” Trotsky later wrote. A strange, hectic atmosphere of mystery and intrigue surrounded the small house in which Trotsky lived. The house was guarded outside by police dogs and armed bodyguards. Inside, the house swarmed with radical adventurers from Russia, Germany, Spain and other countries, who had joined Trotsky at Prinkipo. He called them his “secretaries.” They formed a new Trotsky guard. There was a constant stream of visitors to the house: anti-Soviet propagandists, politicians, journalists, hero worshipers of the exile, and would-be “world revolutionists.” Bodyguards stood outside the door of Trotsky’s library while he held private conferences with renegades from the international Communist or Socialist movements. From time to time, their visits cloaked with secrecy, agents of Intelligence Services and other mysterious persons came for interviews with Trotsky.

At first, the head of Trotsky’s armed bodyguard at Prinkipo was Blumkin, the Social Revolutionary assassin who had followed Trotsky with doglike devotion since the early nineteen twenties. Late in 1930, Trotsky sent him back to Soviet Russia on a special mission. Blumkin was caught by the Soviet police, put on trial, found guilty of smuggling arms and anti-Soviet propaganda into the U.S.S.R., and shot. Later, Trotsky’s bodyguard was headed by a Frenchman, Raymond Molinier, and by an American, Sheldon Harte.

With elaborate care, Trotsky sought to maintain his reputation as a “great revolutionary” in temporary exile. He was in his fiftieth year. His stocky, slightly humped figure was growing plump and flabby. His famous shock of black hair and little, pointed beard were gray. But his movements were still rapid and impatient. His dark eyes behind the inveterate pince-nez which glittered on his sharp nose gave his somber, mobile features an expression of peculiar malevolence. Many observers were repelled by his “Mephistophelian” physiognomy. Others found in Trotsky’s voice and eyes an almost hypnotic fascination.

In maintaining his reputation outside of Soviet Russia, Trotsky left nothing to chance. He was fond of quoting the words of the French Anarchist, Proudhon: “Destiny – I laugh at it; and as for men, they are too ignorant, too enslaved for me to feel annoyed at them.” But before he granted interviews to important visitors, Trotsky carefully rehearsed his role, and even studied appropriate gestures before a mirror in his bedroom. Journalists who visited Prinkipo had to submit their articles to be edited by Trotsky before publication. In conversation, Trotsky poured out an unending flow of dogmatic assertion and anti-Soviet invective, emphasizing every sentence and gesture with the theatrical intensity of a mass orator.

The liberal German writer, Emil Ludwig, interviewed Trotsky soon after he settled at Prinkipo. Trotsky was in an optimistic mood. Crisis was facing Russia, he told Ludwig; the Five-Year Plan was a failure; there would be unemployment, economic and industrial disaster; the collectivization program in agriculture was doomed; Stalin was leading the country to a catastrophe; the Opposition was growing. . . .

“How large is your following inside Russia?” asked Ludwig. Trotsky was suddenly cautious. He waved a plump, white, manicured hand. “It is difficult to estimate.” His following was “scattered,” he told Ludwig, working illegally, “underground.” “When do you expect to come out into the open again?”

To this, after some consideration, Trotsky replied: “When an opportunity is presented from the outside. Perhaps a war or a new European intervention – when the weakness of the government would act as a stimulus!”

Winston Churchill, still passionately interested in every phase of the world anti-Soviet campaign, made a special study of the exile on Prinkipo. “I never liked Trotsky,” Churchill declared in 1944. But Trotsky’s conspiratorial audacity, his oratorical talents and demonic energy appealed to Churchill’s adventurous temperament. Summing up the whole purpose of Trotsky’s international conspiracy from the moment he left Soviet soil, Churchill wrote in Great Contemporaries:-

Trotsky . . . strives to rally the underworld of Europe to the overthrow of the Russian Army.

Also, about this time, the American foreign correspondent John Gunther visited Trotsky’s Prinkipo headquarters. He spoke with Trotsky and a number of Trotsky’s Russian and European associates. To Gunther’s surprise, Trotsky did not behave like a defeated exile. He behaved more like a ruling monarch or dictator. Gunther thought of Napoleon at Elba – just before the dramatic return and the Hundred Days. Gunther reported: –

A Trotsky movement has grown up throughout most of Europe. In each country there is a nucleus of Trotskyite agitators. They take orders from Prinkipo direct. There is a sort of communication between the various groups, through their publications and manifestos but mostly through private letters. The various central committees are linked to an international headquarters in Berlin.

Gunther tried to get Trotsky to talk about his Fourth International, just what it stood for and what it did. Trotsky was reserved on the subject. In one expansive moment, he showed Gunther a number of “hollow books” in which secret documents were concealed and transported. He praised the activities of Andreas Nin in Spain. (1) He also had followers and influential sympathizers in the United States. He spoke of Trotskyite cells being formed in France, Norway and Czechoslovakia. Their activities, he told Gunther, were “semi-secret.”. . .

Gunther wrote that Trotsky had “lost Russia, or at least for a while. No man knows whether he may not regain it in ten or twenty years.” Trotsky’s chief aim was “to hold out, hope for Stalin’s downfall in Russia, and meantime bend every bit of energy to unceasing perfection of his counter-Communist organization abroad.”

Only “one tiling,” Gunther concluded, could put Trotsky “back at once in Russia.”

That one thing was “Stalin’s death.”

From Prinkipo during 1930-1931, Trotsky launched an extraordinary anti-Soviet propaganda campaign which soon penetrated every country. It was an entirely new kind of anti-Soviet propaganda, infinitely more subtle and confusing than anything that had been devised by the anti-Bolshevik crusaders in the past.

Times had changed. Following the great Crisis, the whole world was revolutionary-minded in that it did not want a return to the ways of the past which had brought so much misery and suffering. The early counterrevolution of Fascism in Italy had been effectively promoted by its ex-Socialist founder, Benito Mussolini, as the “Italian Revolution.” In Germany, the Nazis were gaining mass backing, not only by enlisting anti-Bolshevik reaction, but also by posing among the German workers and peasants as “National Socialists.” As far back as 1903, Trotsky had mastered the propaganda device of what Lenin called “ultra-revolutionary slogans which cost him nothing.”

Now, on a world-wide scale, Trotsky proceeded to develop the propaganda technique he had originally employed against Lenin and the Bolshevik Party. In innumerable ultra-leftist and violently radical-sounding articles, books, pamphlets and speeches, Trotsky began to attack the Soviet regime and call for its violent overthrow – not because it was revolutionary; but because it was, as he phrased it, “counterrevolutionary” and “reactionary.”

Overnight, many of the older anti-Bolshevik crusaders abandoned their former pro-Czarist and openly counterrevolutionary propaganda line, and adopted the new, streamlined Trotskyite device of attacking the Russian Revolution “from the Left.” In the following years, it became an accepted thing for a Lord Rothermere or a William Randolph Hearst to accuse Josef Stalin of “betraying the Revolution.”. . .

Trotsky’s first major propaganda work to introduce this new anti-Soviet line to the international counterrevolution was his melodramatic, semi-fictitious autobiography, My Life. First published as a series of anti-Soviet articles by Trotsky in European and American newspapers, its aim as a book was to vilify Stalin and the Soviet Union, increase the prestige of the Trotskyite movement and bolster the myth of Trotsky as the “world revolutionary.” Trotsky depicted himself in My Life as the real inspirer and organizer of the Russian Revolution, who had been somehow tricked out of his rightful place as Russian leader by “crafty,” “mediocre” and “Asiatic” opponents.

Anti-Soviet agents and publicists immediately ballyhooed Trotsky’s book into a sensational world-wide best seller which was said to tell the “inside story” of the Russian Revolution. Adolf Hitler read Trotsky’s autobiography as soon as it was published. Hitler’s biographer, Konrad Heiden, tells in Der Fuehrer how the Nazi leader surprised a circle of his friends in 1930 by bursting into rapturous praises of Trotsky’s book. “Brilliant!” cried Hitler, waving Trotsky’s My Life at his followers. “I have learnt a great deal from it, and so can you!”

Trotsky’s book rapidly became a textbook for the anti-Soviet Intelligence Services. It was accepted as a basic guide for propaganda against the Soviet regime. The Japanese secret police made it compulsory reading for imprisoned Japanese and Chinese Communists, in an effort to break down their morale and to convince them that Soviet Russia had betrayed the Chinese Revolution and the cause for which they were fighting. The Gestapo made similar use of the book . . .

My Life was only the opening gun of Trotsky’s prodigious anti-Soviet propaganda campaign. It was followed by The Revolution Betrayed, Soviet Economy in Danger, The Failure of the Five-Year Plan, Stalin and the Chinese Revolution, The Stalin School of Falsification, and countless other anti-Soviet books, pamphlets and articles, many of which first appeared under flaring headlines in reactionary newspapers in Europe and America. Trotsky’s “Bureau” supplied a continual stream of “revelations,” “exposures” and “inside stories” about Russia for the anti-Soviet world press.

For consumption inside the Soviet Union, Trotsky published his official Bulletin o f the Opposition. Printed abroad, first in Turkey, then in Germany, France, Norway and other countries, and smuggled into Russia by secret Trotskyite couriers, the Bulletin was not intended to reach the Soviet masses. It was aimed at the diplomats, state officials, military men, and intellectuals who had once followed Trotsky or who seemed likely to be influenced by him. The Bulletin also contained directives for the propaganda work of the Trotskyites both within Russia and abroad. Ceaselessly, the Bulletin drew. lurid pictures of coming disaster for the Soviet regime, predicting industrial crises, renewed civil war, and the collapse of the Red Army at the first foreign attack. The Bulletin skillfully played on all the doubts and anxieties which the extreme tensions and hardships of the construction period aroused in the minds of unstable, confused and dissatisfied elements. The Bulletin openly called upon these elements to undermine and carry out acts of violence against the Soviet Government.

Here are some typical examples of the anti-Soviet propaganda and calls for the violent overthrow of the Soviet regime which Trotsky spread throughout the world in the years following his expulsion from the U.S.S.R.: –

The policy of the present-day leadership, the tiny group of Stalin, is leading the country at full speed to dangerous crises and collapses. – Letter to Members o f Communist Party of the Soviet Union, March 1930

The impending crisis of Soviet economy will inevitably, and within the very near future, crumble the sugary legend [that socialism can be built in one country] and, we have no reason to doubt, will scatter many dead. . . . The (Soviet) economy functions without material reserves and without calculation . . . the uncontrolled bureaucracy has tied up its prestige with the subsequent accumulation of errors . . . a crisis is impending [in the Soviet Union] with a retinue of consequences such as the enforced shutting down of enterprises and unemployment. – Soviet Economy in Danger, 1932

The hungry workers [in the Soviet Union] are dissatisfied with the policies of the party. The party is dissatisfied with the leadership. The peasantry is dissatisfied with industrialization, with collectivization, with the city. – Article in the Militant (U.S.A.), February 4, 1933

The first social shock, external or internal, may throw the atomized Soviet Society into civil war. – The Soviet Union and the Fourth International, 1933

It would be childish to think that the Stalin bureaucracy can be removed by means of a Party or Soviet Congress. Normal, constitutional means are no longer available for the removal of the ruling clique. . . . They can be compelled to hand over power to the Proletarian vanguard only by FORCE. -Bulletin o f the Opposition, October 193 3

The political crises converge toward the general crisis which is creeping onward. – The Kirov Assassination, 1935

Inside the Party Stalin has put himself above all criticism and the State. It is impossible to displace him except by assassination. Every oppositionist becomes, ipso facto, a terrorist. – Statement from interview with William Randolph Heart’s New York Evening Journal, January 26, 1937.

Can we expect that the Soviet Union will come out of the coming great war without defeat? To this frankly posed question, we will answer as frankly: If the war should remain only a war, the defeat of the Soviet Union would be inevitable. In a technical, economic and military sense, imperialism is incomparably more strong. If it is not paralyzed by revolution in the West, imperialism will sweep away the present regime. -Article in American Mercury, March 1937

The defeat of the Soviet Union is inevitable in case the new war shall not provoke a new revolution. . . . If we theoretically admit war without revolution, then the defeat of the Soviet Union is inevitable. – Testimony at Hearings in Mexico, April 1937

2. Rendezvous in Berlin

From the moment Trotsky left Soviet soil, agents of foreign Intelligence Services had been eager to contact him and to make use of his international anti-Soviet organization. The Polish Defensiva, the Italian Fascist Ovra; the Finnish Military Intelligence, the White Russian émigrés who directed anti-Soviet secret services in Rumania, Yugoslavia and Hungary, and reactionary elements with the British Intelligence Service and the French Deuxiéme Bureau were all prepared to deal with “Russia’s Public Enemy Number One” for their own purposes. Funds, assistants, a network of espionage and courier services were at Trotsky’s disposal for the maintenance and extension of his international anti-Soviet propaganda activities and for the support and reorganization of his conspiratorial apparatus inside Soviet Russia.

Most important of all was Trotsky’s growing intimacy with the German Military Intelligence (Section 111B) which, under the command of Colonel Walther Nicolai, was already collaborating with Heinrich Himmler’s growing Gestapo. . . .

Up to 1930, Trotsky’s agent, Krestinsky, had received approximately 2,000,000 gold marks from the German Reichswehr for financing Trotskyite activities in Soviet Russia, in exchange for espionage data turned over to the German Military Intelligence by the Trotskyites. Krestinsky later revealed: –

Beginning with 1923 until 1930 we received annually 250,000 German marks in gold, approximately 2,000,000 gold marks. Up to the end of 1927 the stipulations of this agreement were carried out mainly in Moscow. After that, from the end of 1927 almost to the end of 1928, in the course of about 10 months there was an interruption in the money because after Trotskyism had been smashed I was isolated, I did not know of Trotsky’s plans, I received no information or instructions from him. . . . This went on until October 1928 when I received a letter from Trotsky, who at that time was in exile in Alma Ata. . . . This letter contained Trotsky’s instructions that I was to receive from the Germans the money, which he proposed to hand over to Maslow or to Trotsky’s French friends, that is Roemer, Madeline Paz and others. I got in touch with General Seeckt. At that time he had resigned and occupied no post whatever. He volunteered to talk it over with Hammerstein and to obtain the money. He obtained the money. Hammerstein was at that time the Chief of Staff of the Reichswehr, and in 1930 he became Commander in Chief of the Reichswehr.

In 1930 Krestinsky was appointed Assistant Commissar of Foreign Affairs and transferred from Berlin to Moscow. His removal from Germany, together with the inner crisis which was then going on within the Reichswehr as a result of the rising power of Nazism, again temporarily halted the flow of German money to Trotsky. But already Trotsky was about to enter into a new, extended agreement with the German Military Intelligence.

In February 1931, Trotsky’s son, Leon Sedov, rented an apartment in Berlin. According to his passport, Sedov was in Germany as a “student”; ostensibly, he had come to Berlin to attend a “German scientific institute.” But there were more urgent reasons for Sedov’s Presence in the German capital that year. . . .

A few months before, Trotsky had written a pamphlet entitled Germany: The Key to the International Situation. One hundred and seven Nazi deputies had been elected to the Reichstag. The Nazi Party had received 6,400,000 votes. As Sedov arrived in Berlin, a mood of feverish expectancy and tension hung over the German capital. Brown-shirted storm troopers, singing the “Horst Wessel,” were parading on the Berlin streets, smashing Jewish stores and raiding the homes and clubs of liberals and workers. The Nazis were confident. “Never in My Life have I been so well disposed and inwardly content as in these days,” wrote Adolf Hitler in the pages of the Volkischer Beobachter.

Officially, Germany was still a democracy. Trade between Germany and Soviet Russia was at its peak. The Soviet Government was buying machinery from German firms. German technicians were getting big jobs in Soviet mining and electrification projects. Soviet engineers were visiting Germany. Soviet trade representatives, buyers and commercial agents were continually traveling back and forth between Moscow and Berlin on assignments connected with the Five-Year Plan. Some of these Soviet citizens were followers or former adherents of Trotsky.

Sedov was in Berlin, as his father’s representative, on conspiratorial assignments.

“Leon was always on the lookout,” Trotsky later wrote in his pamphlet Leon Sedov: Son-Friend-Fighter, “avidly searching for connecting threads with Russia, hunting up returning tourists, Soviet students assigned abroad, or sympathetic functionaries in the foreign representations.” Sedov’s chief assignment in Berlin was to contact old members of the Opposition, communicate Trotsky’s instructions to them, or collect important messages from them for his father. “To avoid compromising his informant” and to “evade the GPU spies,” wrote Trotsky, Sedov “chased for hours through the streets of Berlin.”

A number of important Trotskyites had managed to secure posts on the Soviet Foreign Trade Commission. Among them was Ivan N. Smirnov, the one-time Red Army officer and former leading member of Trotsky’s Guard. After a short period in exile, Smirnov had followed the strategy of other Trotskyites, denounced Trotsky, and pleaded for readmission to the Bolshevik Party. An engineer by profession, Smirnov soon obtained a minor post in the transportation industry. Early in 1931 Smirnov was appointed as a consultant engineer to a trade mission that was going to Berlin.

Soon after his arrival in Berlin, Ivan Smirnov was contacted by Leon Sedov. At clandestine get-togethers in Sedov’s apartment and in out-of-the-way suburban beer halls and cafes, Smirnov learned of Trotsky’s plans for the reorganization of the secret Opposition in collaboration with agents of the German Military Intelligence.

From now on, Sedov told Smirnov, the struggle against the Soviet regime was to assume the character of an all-out offensive. The old rivalries and political differences between the Trotskyites, the Bukharinites, the Zinovievites, the Mensheviks, the Social Revolutionaries and all other anti-Soviet groups and factions must be forgotten. A united Opposition must be formed. Secondly, the struggle from now on must assume a militant character. A nation-wide campaign of terrorism and sabotage was to be initiated against the Soviet regime. It would have to be worked out in every detail. By widespread and carefully synchronized blows the Opposition would be able to throw the Soviet Government into hopeless confusion and demoralization. The Opposition would then seize power.

Smirnov’s immediate task was to convey Trotsky’s instructions for the reorganization of the underground work, and the preparations for terrorism and sabotage, to the most trusted members of the Opposition in Moscow. He was also to make arrangements for the sending of regular “informational data” to Berlin to be delivered by Trotskyite couriers to Sedov, who would then relay the data to his father. The password by which the couriers were to identify themselves was: “I have brought greetings from Galya.”

Sedov asked Smirnov to do one more thing while he was still in Berlin. He was to get in touch with the head of a Soviet Trade Mission which had recently arrived in Berlin and to inform this personage that Sedov was in the city and wished to see him on a matter of the utmost importance.

The head of this Soviet Trade Mission which had just arrived in Berlin was Trotsky’s old follower and most devoted admirer, Yuri Leonodovich Pyatakov.

Lean and tall, well-dressed, with a high sloping forehead, pale complexion and a neat, reddish goatee, Pyatakov looked more like a scholarly professor than the veteran conspirator he was. In 1927, following the attempted Putsch, Pyatakov had been the first leading Trotskyite to break with Trotsky and seek readmission to the Bolshevik Party. A man of outstanding ability in business management and organization, Pyatakov secured several good jobs in the rapidly expanding Soviet industries even while still in exile in Siberia. At the end of 1929, he was readmitted to the Bolshevik Party on probation. He held a succession of board chairmanships on transport and chemical industrial planning projects. In 1931, he got a seat on the Supreme Economic Council, the chief Soviet planning institution; and that same year he was sent to Berlin as head of a special trade mission to purchase German industrial equipment for the Soviet Government.

Following Sedov’s instructions, Ivan Smirnov sought out Pyatakov in his Berlin office. Smirnov told Pyatakov that Leon Sedov was in Berlin and had a special message for him from Trotsky. A few days later, Pyatakov met Sedov. Here is Pyatakov’s own account of the meeting: –

There is a cafe known as the “Am Zoo” not far from the Zoological Gardens on the square. I went there and saw Lev Sedov sitting at a small table. We had known each other very well in the past. He told me that he was not speaking to me in his own name, but in the name of his father – Trotsky, and that Trotsky, learning that I was in Berlin, gave him categorical orders to look me up, to meet me personally and have a talk with me. Sedov said that Trotsky had not for a moment abandoned the idea of resuming the fight against Stalin’s leadership, that there had been a temporary lull owing partly to Trotsky’s repeated movements from one country to another, but that this struggle was now being resumed, of which he, Trotsky, was hereby informing me. . . . After this, Sedov asked me pointblank: “Trotsky asks, do you, Pyatakov, intend to take a hand in this fight?” I gave my consent.

Sedov then proceeded to inform Pyatakov of the lines along which Trotsky was proposing to reorganize the Opposition: –

. . . Sedov went on to outline the nature of the new methods of struggle: there could be no question of developing a mass struggle of any form, of organizing a mass movement; if we adopted any kind of mass work we would come to grief immediately; Trotsky was firmly in favor of the forcible overthrow of the Stalin leadership by methods of terrorism and wrecking. Sedov further said that Trotsky drew attention to the fact that a struggle confined to one country would be absurd and the international question could not possibly be evaded. In this struggle we must also have the necessary solution for the international problem, or rather, inter-state problems.

Whoever tries to brush these questions aside, said Sedov, relating what Trotsky said, signs his own testimonium pauperatis.

A second meeting between Sedov and Pyatakov soon followed. This time Sedov said to him: “You realize, Yuri Leonodovich, that inasmuch as the fight has been resumed, money is needed. You can provide the necessary funds for the fight.” Sedov informed Pyatakov how this could be done. In his official capacity as trade representative of the Soviet Government in Germany, Pyatakov was to place as many orders as possible with the two German firms, Borsig and Demag. Pyatakov was not to be “particularly exacting as to prices” in dealing with these concerns. Trotsky had an arrangement with Borsig and Demag. “You will have to pay higher prices,” said Sedov, “but this money will go for our work.”(2)

There were two other secret oppositionists in Berlin in 1931 whom Sedov put to work in the new Trotskyite apparatus. They were Alexei Shestov, an engineer on Pyatakov’s trade mission, and Sergei Bessonov, a member of the Berlin Trade Representation of the U.S.S.R.

Bessonov, a former Social Revolutionary, was a tubby, mild-appearing, dark-complexioned man in his middle forties. The Berlin Trade Representation of which Bessonov was a member was the most central Soviet trade agency in Europe and conducted trade negotiations with ten different countries; Bessonov himself was permanently stationed in Berlin. He was therefore ideally equipped to serve as a “liaison point” between the Russian Trotskyites and their exiled leader. It was arranged that secret Trotskyite communications from Russia would be sent to Bessonov in Berlin who would then relay them to Sedov or Trotsky.

Alexei Shestov was a different personality, and his job was to be suited to his temperament. He was to become one of the chief organizers of the German-Trotskyite espionage and sabotage cells in Siberia where he was a member of the Board of the Eastern and Siberian Coal Trust. Shestov was in his early thirties. In 1923, while still a student in the Moscow Mining Institute, Shestov had joined the Trotskyite Opposition, and in 1927 he headed one of the secret printing presses in Moscow. A slim, pale-eyed young man with an intense, violent disposition, Shestov followed Trotsky with fanatical devotion. “I met Trotsky several times personally,” he liked to boast. To Shestov, Trotsky was “the leader,” and that was how he almost invariably referred to him.

“It’s no use sitting around and whistling for fair weather,” Sedov told Shestov when they met in Berlin. “We must proceed with all forces and means at our disposal to an active policy of discrediting Stalin’s leadership and Stalin’s policy.” Trotsky held that “the only correct way, a difficult way but a sure one, was forcibly to remove Stalin and the leaders of the Government by means of terrorism.”

“We have really gotten into a blind alley,” Shestov readily agreed. “It is necessary to disarm or to map out a new path of struggle!”

Sedov asked Shestov if he knew a German industrialist by the name of “Herr Dehlmann.” Shestov said he knew him by reputation. Dehlmann was a director of the firm Frölich-Klüpfel-Dehlmann. Many of the firm’s engineers were employed in the west Siberian mines where Shestov himself worked.

Sedov then told Shestov that he was to “get in touch with Dehlmann” before he returned to Soviet Russia. The Dehlmann firm, explained Sedov, could be very helpful to the Trotskyite organization in “undermining Soviet economy” in Siberia. Herr Dehlmann was already helping to smuggle Trotskyite propaganda and agents into the Soviet Union. In return, Shestov could supply Herr Dehlmann with certain information about the new Siberian mines and industries, in which the German director was particularly interested. . . .

“Are you advising me to make a deal with the firm?” asked Shestov.

“What’s so terrible about that?” replied Trotsky’s son. “If they are doing us a favor, why shouldn’t we do them a favor and furnish them with certain information?”

“You’re simply proposing that I become a spy!” exclaimed Shestov.

Sedov shrugged his shoulders. “It’s absurd to use words like that,” he said. “In a fight it is unreasonable to be as squeamish as that. If you accept terrorism, if you accept destructive undermining in industry, I absolutely fail to understand why you cannot agree with this.”

A few days later, Shestov saw Smirnov and told him what Trotsky’s son had said to him.

“Sedov ordered me to establish connections with the firm of Frölich-Klüpfel-Dehlmann,” said Shestov. “He bluntly told me to establish connections with a firm engaged in espionage and sabotage in the Kuzbas. In that case I’ll be a spy and a saboteur.”

“Stop slinging about big words like ‘spy’ and ‘saboteur’!” cried Smirnov. “Time is passing and it is necessary to act. . . . What is there that surprises you in that we consider it possible to overthrow the Stalin leadership by mobilizing all the counter-revolutionary forces in the Kuzbas? What do you find so terrible in enlisting German agents for this work? . . . There is no other way. We have to agree to it.”

Shestov was silent. Smirnov said to him, “Well, how is your mood?”

“I have no personal mood,” said Shestov. “I do as our leader Trotsky taught us – stand at attention and wait for orders!” Before he left Berlin, Shestov met Herr Dehlmann, the director of the German firm which was financing Trotsky. Shestov was recruited, under the code name of “Alyosha,” into the German Military Intelligence Service. Shestov subsequently stated: –

I met the director of this firm, Dehlmann, and his assistant Koch. The essence of the conversation with the heads of the firm Frölich-Klüpfel-Dehmann was as follows: first, on supplying secret information through the representatives of this firm working in the Kuznetsk Basin and on the organization of wrecking and diversive work together with the Trotskyites. It was also said that the firm in its turn would help us and that they could send more people upon the demand of our organization. . . . They would in every way help the Trotskyites to come to power. (3)

On his return to Soviet Russia, Shestov brought back a letter which Sedov had given to him for Pyatakov, who had returned to Moscow. Shestov hid the letter in the sole of one of his shoes. He delivered it to Pyatakov at the Commissariat of Heavy Industry. The letter was from Trotsky himself, written from Prinkipo. It outlined the “immediate tasks” confronting the Opposition in Soviet Russia.

The first task was “to use every possible means to overthrow Stalin and his associates.” This meant terrorism.

The second task was “to unite all anti-Stalin forces.” This meant collaboration with the German Military Intelligence and any other anti-Soviet force that would work with the Opposition.

The third task was “to counteract all measures of the Soviet Government and the Party, particularly in the economic field.” This meant sabotage.

Pyatakov was to be Trotsky’s chief lieutenant in charge of the conspiratorial apparatus inside Soviet Russia.

3. The Three Layers

Throughout 1932, Russia’s future Fifth Column began to take concrete shape in the underworld of the Opposition. At small secret meetings and furtive conferences, the members of the conspiracy were made aware of the new line and instructed in their new tasks. A network of terrorist cells, sabotage cells and courier systems was developed in Soviet Russia. In Moscow and Leningrad, in the Caucasus and in Siberia, in the Donbas and in the Urals, Trotskyite organizers addressed motley secret gatherings of die-hard enemies of the Soviet regime – Social Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, leftists, rightists, nationalists, anarchists and White Russian fascists and monarchists. The message of Trotsky was spread through the seething underworld of oppositionists, spies and secret agents; a new offensive against the Soviet regime was under way.

Trotsky’s emphatic demand for the preparation of acts of terror at first alarmed some of the older Trotskyite intellectuals. The journalist Karl Radek showed signs of panic when Pyatakov acquainted him with the new line. In February 1932, Radek received a personal letter from Trotsky conveyed, as were all Trotskyite communications of a confidential character, by secret courier.

“You must bear in mind,” Trotsky wrote his wavering follower, Radek, “the experience of the preceding period and realize that for you there can be no returning to the past, that the struggle has entered a new phase and that the new feature in this phase is that either we shall be destroyed together with the Soviet Union, or we must raise the question of removing the leadership.”

Trotsky’s letter, together with Pyatakov’s insistence, finally convinced Radek. He agreed to accept the new line – terrorism, sabotage and collaboration with “foreign powers.”

Among the most active organizers of the terrorist cells which were now built throughout the Soviet Union were Ivan Smirnov and his old comrades in the Trotsky Guard: Serge Mrachkovsky and Ephraim Dreitzer.

Under Smirnov’s direction, Mrachkovsky and Dreitzer began forming small groups of professional gunmen and former Trotskyite associates from civil-war days who were ready for violent methods.

“The hopes we’ve placed on the collapse of the Party’s policy,” Mrachkovsky told one of these terrorist groups in Moscow in 1932, “must be considered doomed. The methods of struggle used until now haven’t produced any positive results. There remains only one path of struggle, and that is the removal of the leadership of the Party by violence. Stalin and the other leaders must be removed. That is the principal task!”

Meanwhile, Pyatakov was engaged in seeking out conspirators in key industrial jobs, especially in the war industries and transport, and recruiting them for the all-out sabotage campaign that Trotsky wanted to launch against the Soviet economy.

By the summer of 1932, an agreement to suspend past rivalries and differences, and to work together under Trotsky’s supreme command, was under discussion between Pyatakov, as Trotsky’s lieutenant in Russia, and Bukharin, the leader of the Right Opposition. The smaller group headed by the veteran oppositionists, Zinoviev and Kamenev, agreed to subordinate its activities to Trotsky’s authority. Describing the hectic negotiations which were going on between the conspirators at this time, Bukharin later said: –

I had talks with Pyatakov, Tomsky and Rykov. Rykov had talks with Kamenev, and Zinoviev with Pyatakov. In the summer of 1932 I had a second conversation with Pyatakov in the People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry. At that time this was a very simple matter for me, since I was working under Pyatakov. At that time he was my boss. I had to go into his private office on business, and I could do so without arousing suspicion. . . .

In this talk, which took place in the summer of 1932, Pyatakov told me of his meeting with Sedov concerning Trotsky’s policy of terrorism . . . we decided that we would find a common language very soon and that our differences in the struggle against Soviet power would be overcome.

The final negotiations were concluded that fall at a secret meeting which was held in a deserted dacha, summer house, on the outskirts of Moscow. Sentries were posted by the conspirators around the house and along all roads leading to it to guard against surprise and to ensure absolute secrecy. At this meeting something like a High Command of the combined Opposition forces was formed to direct the coming campaigns of terror and sabotage throughout the Soviet Union. This High Command of the Opposition was named the “Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.” It was constructed on three different levels or layers. If one of the layers was exposed, the others would carry on.

The first layer, the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, headed by Zinoviev, was responsible for the organization and direction of terrorism.

The second layer, the Trotskyite Parallel Center, headed by Pyatakov, was responsible for the organization and direction of sabotage.

The third and most important layer, the actual Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites, headed by Bukharin and Krestinsky, comprised most of the leaders and highest-ranking members of the combined Opposition forces.

The entire apparatus consisted of not more than a few thousand members and some twenty or thirty leaders who held positions of authority in the army, Foreign Office, secret service, industry, trade-unions, Party and Government offices.

From the start, the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites was penetrated and led by paid agents of foreign Intelligence Services, especially of the German Military Intelligence. These are some of the foreign agents who were leading members of the new conspiratorial bloc: –

Nicolai Krestinsky, Trotskyite and Assistant Commissar of Foreign Affairs, was an agent of the German Military Intelligence since 1923, when he first undertook espionage assignments from General Hans von Seeckt.

Arkady Rosengoltz, Trotskyite and People’s Commissar of Foreign Trade, had been carrying out espionage assignments for the German High Command since 1923. “My espionage activities began as far back as 1923,” Rosengoltz himself later related, “when, on Trotsky’s instructions, I handed various secret information to the Commander-in-Chief of the Reichswehr, Seeckt, and to the Chief of the German General Staff, Hasse.” In 1926 Rosengoltz began working for the British Intelligence Service, while maintaining his connections with Germany.

Christian Rakovsky, Trotskyite and former Ambassador to Great Britain and France, agent of the British Intelligence Service since 1924. In Rakovskv’s own words: “I established criminal connections with the British Intelligence Service in 1924.” In 1934, Rakovsky also became an agent of the Japanese Intelligence Service.

Stanislav Rataichak, Trotskyite and Chief of the Central Administration of the Chemical Industry; agent of the German Military Intelligence. He had been sent into Soviet Russia by the Germans immediately after the Revolution. He carried on espionage and sabotage activities in the industries being built by the Soviet Government in the Urals.

Ivan Hrasche, Trotskyite, executive in the Soviet chemical industry, came into Soviet Russia as a spy for the Czechoslovakian Intelligence Service in 1919, disguised as a returning Russian prisoner of war. Hrasche became an agent of the German Intelligence Service.

Alexei Shestov , Trotskyite, and member of the Board of Eastern and Siberian Coal Trust, became an agent of the German Intelligence Service in 1931, working for it through the German firm of Frölich-Klüpfel-Dehlmann and carrying out espionage and sabotage assignments in Siberia.

Gavrill Pushin, Trotskyite, and executive at the Gorlovka Chemical Works, became an agent of the German Military Intelligence in 1935. According to his own subsequent admission to the Soviet authorities, he provided the Germans with: “(1) figures of the output of all Soviet chemical enterprises during 1934; (2) the program of work of all Soviet chemical enterprises for 1935; (3) the plan of construction of nitrogen works which comprised construction work up to 1938.”

Yakov Livshitz, Trotskyite and official on the Soviet Far Eastern Railroad Commission, was an agent of the Japanese Military intelligence and regularly transmitted to Japan secret information concerning the Soviet railroads.

Ivan Knyazev, Trotskyite, and executive on the Urals railroad system; agent of the Japanese Intelligence Service. Under its supervision, he carried on sabotage activities in the Urals, and kept the Japanese High Command supplied with information about the Soviet transport system.

Yosif Turok, Trotskyite, and Assistant Manager of the Traffic Department on the Perm and Urals Railway; agent of the Japanese Intelligence Service. In 1935 Turok received 35.000 rubles from the Japanese in payment for the espionage and sabotage assignments he was carrying out in the Urals.

Mikhail Chernov, a member of the Rights, and People’s Commissar of Agriculture of the U.S.S.R.; agent of the German Military Intelligence since 1928. Under the supervision of the Cermans, Chernov carried out extensive sabotage, as well as espionage assignments, in the Ukraine.

Vasily Sharangovich, a member of the Rights, and Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia, had been sent into Soviet Russia as a Polish spy in 1921. During the following years he continued to work under the supervision of the Polish Intelligence Service, supplying it with espionage data as well as carrying on sabotage activities in Byelorussia.

Grigori Grinko, a member of the Rights and an official of the People’s Commissariat of Finance; agent of the German and Polish Intelligence Services since 1932. He was a leader of the fascist Ukrainian nationalist movement, helped smuggle arms and ammunition into the Soviet Union and carried on espionage and sabotage work for the Germans and the Poles.

The conspiratorial apparatus of the Trotskyites, Rights and Zinovievites was, in fact, the Axis Fifth Column in Soviet Russia.


(1) For Nin’s later connections with the Fascist Fifth Column in Spain, see footnote on page 283.

(1)(2) (2) The firms Borsig and Demag were “fronts” for the German Military Intelligence. By dealing with these firms, Pyatakov was able to place considerable sums at the disposal of Trotsky. An independent witness, the American engineer, John D. Littlepage personally observed Pyatakov’s dealings with these German firms. Littlepage was employed by the Soviet Government in the capacity of an expert in the gold and copper mining industries In a series of articles concerning his experiences in Soviet Russia, published in the Saturday Evening Post in January 1938, Littlepage wrote:-

“I went to Berlin in the spring of 1931 with a large purchasing commission headed by Pyatakov; my job was to offer technical advice on purchases of mining machinery. . . .

“Among other things, the commission in Berlin was buying several dozen mine hoists, ranging from 100 to 1,000 horse-power. . . . The commission asked for quotations on the basis of pfennigs per kilogram. After some discussion, the German concerns [Borsig and Demag] . . . reduced their prices between 5 and 6 pfennigs per kilogram. When I studied these proposals, I discovered that the firms had substituted cast-iron bases weighing several tons for the light steel provided in the specifications, which would reduce the cost of production per kilogram, but increase the weight, and therefore the cost to purchaser.

“Naturally, I was pleased to make this discovery, and reported to members of the commission with a sense of triumph. . . . The matter was so arranged that Pyatakov could have gone back to Moscow and showed that he had been very successful in reducing prices, but at the same time would have paid out money for a lot of worthless cast iron and enabled the Germans to give him very substantial rebates. . . . He got away with the same trick on some other mines, although I blocked this one.”

Later, Littlepage observed several instances of industrial sabotage in the Urals, where, because of the work of a Trotskyite engineer named Kabakov, production in certain mines was deliberately kept down. In 1937, states Littlepage, Kabakov was “arrested on charges of industrial sabotage. . . . When I heard of his arrest, I was not surprised.” Again, in 1937, Littlepage found further evidence of sabotage in Soviet industry directed personally by Pyatakov. The American engineer had reorganized certain valuable mines in southern Kazakstan and left detailed written instructions for the Soviet workers to follow so as to ensure maximum production. “Well,” writes Littlepage, “one of my last jobs in Russia, in 1937, was a hurry call to return to these same mines. . . . Thousands of tons of rich ore already had been lost beyond recovery, and in a few more weeks, if nothing had been done meanwhile, the whole deposit might have been lost. I discovered that . . . a commission came in from Pyatakov’s headquarters. . . . My instructions had been thrown in the stove, and a system of mining introduced throughout those mines which was certain to cause the loss of a large part of the ore body in a few months.” Littlepage found “flagrant examples of deliberate sabotage.” Just before he left Russia, and after he had submitted a full written report on his findings to the Soviet authorities, many members of the Trotskyite sabotage ring were rounded up. Littlepage found that the saboteurs had used his instructions “as the basis for deliberately wrecking the plant” by doing exactly the opposite of what he had instructed. The saboteurs admitted, Littlepage stated in the Saturday Evening Post, that “they had been drawn into a conspiracy against the Stalin regime by opposition Communists, who convinced them that they were strong enough to overthrow Stalin and his associates and seize power for themselves.”

(3) The Germans were particularly concerned about the new industrial base which Stalin was building in far-off West Siberia and in the Urals. This base was out of range of bombing planes and, in the event of war, might prove a major factor on the Soviet side. The Germans wanted to penetrate this base with spies and saboteurs. Borsig, Demag and Frölich-Klüpfel-Dehlmann, which had contracts with the Soviet Government whereby they were supplying machinery and technical assistance for the Five-Year Plan, were used as “fronts” by the German Military Intelligence. German spies and saboteurs were sent to Russia posing as “engineers’ and “specialists.”

The German Military Intelligence also recruited agents from among Soviet engineers in Germany who were susceptible to blackmail or bribery. One Soviet engineer, Mikhail Stroilov, who was enlisted as a German spy in Berlin in December 1930, and was subsequently recruited into the Trotskyite organization in Siberia, told a Soviet court after his arrest in 1937:

“The thing started gradually with my meeting with [the German spy] von Berg. . . . He spoke Russian excellently because he had lived in Russia, in St. Petersburg, 15 or 20 years before the revolution. This man visited the Technical Bureau several times and had talks with me on business matters, in particular about hard alloys manufactured by the firm of Walram. . . . Berg advised me to read Trotsky’s My Life. . . . In Novosibirsk, German specialists began to come to me with the agreed password. Until the end of 1934 six men came to see me: Sommeregger, Worm, Baumgarten, Maas, Hauer and Flessa [“engineers” employed by the German firm, Frölich-Klüpfel-Dehlmann].. . . . My first report, made on January 1932 through engineer Flessa, and telling of the vast plan of development in the Kuznetsk Basin, was in effect espionage. . . . I received instructions . . . that I should proceed to decisive wrecking and destructive acts . . . the plan of wrecking and destructive work was drawn up … by the West-Siberian Trotskyite organization.”

CHAPTER XVII – Treason and Terror

1. The Diplomacy of Treason

IN the years 1933-1934, a mysterious malaise seemed to seize the nations of Europe. One country after another was suddenly shaken by coups d’état, military Putsches, sabotage, assassinations and startling revelations of cabals and conspiracies. Scarcely a month passed without some new act of treachery and violence. An epidemic of treason and terror raced across Europe.

Nazi Germany was the center of infection. On January 11, 1934, a United Press dispatch reported from London: “With Nazi Germany as the center of the new Fascist movements, agitation and violence by those who believe the old form of government is doomed have spread over the continent.”

The term “Fifth Column” was as yet unknown. But already the secret vanguards of the German High Command had launched their offensive against the nations of Europe. The French Cagoulards and Croix de Feu; the British Union of Fascists; the Belgian Rexists; the Polish POW; the Czechoslovakian Henlein-ists and Hlinka Guards; the Norwegian Quislingites; the Rumanian Iron Guards; the Bulgarian IMRO; the Finnish Lappo; the Lithuanian Iron Wolf; the Latvian Fiery Cross, and many other newly created Nazi secret societies or reorganized counterrevolutionary leagues were already at work paving the way for the German Wehrmacht’s conquest and enslavement of the Continent and preparing for the attack on the Soviet Union.

Here is a partial list of the most important acts of Nazi-fascist terrorism immediately following Hitler’s rise to power: –

October 1933:

Assassination of Alex Mailov, Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, at Lvov, Poland, by agents of the Nazi-financed OUN, terrorist organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

December 1933:

Assassination of Premier Ion Duca of Rumania by the Iron Guards, Nazi-Rumanian terrorists

February 1934:

Uprising in Paris, France, of Croix de Feu, Nazi-inspired French fascist organization

March 1934:

Attempted coup d’état in Estonia by Nazifinanced fascist Liberty Fighters

May 1934:

Fascist coup d’état in Bulgaria

May 1934:

Attempted Putsch in Latvia by Nazi controlled Baltic Brotherhood

June 1934:

Assassination of General Bronislav Pieracki, Polish Minister of Interior, by agents of the Nazi-financed OUN, terrorist organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

June 1934:

Assassination of Ivan Babiy, head of Organization for Catholic Action in Poland, by OUN agents

June 1934:

Attempted mass uprising in Lithuania by Nazi Iron Wolf organization

July 1934:

Abortive Nazi Putsch in Austria and assassination by Nazi terrorists of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss

October 1934:

Assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and the French Foreign Minister Barthou by agents of the Ustachi, Nazi controlled Croatian fascist organization

Two men were chiefly responsible for the organization and supervision of these Nazi Fifth Column activities which soon extended far beyond Europe, penetrating the United States, Latin America, Africa, and, linking up with the Japanese Intelligence Service, all the area of the Far East. These two men were Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolph Hess. Rosenberg headed the Aussenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP (Foreign Political Office of the Nazi Party) which had the task of directing thousands of Nazi espionage, sabotage and propaganda agencies throughout the world, with special points of concentration in eastern Europe and Soviet Russia. As Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess was in charge of all secret foreign negotiations for the Nazi Government.

It was Alfred Rosenberg, the one-time Czarist émigré from Reval, who first established secret official Nazi relations with Leon Trotsky. It was Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s deputy, who cemented them. . . .

In September 1933, eight months after Adolf Hitler became dictator of Germany, the Trotskyite diplomat and German agent Nicolai Krestinsky stopped off in Berlin for a few days on his way to take his annual “rest cure” at a sanatorium in Kissingen. Krestinsky then held the post of Assistant Commissar in the Soviet Foreign Office.

In Berlin, Krestinsky saw Sergei Bessonov, the Trotskyite liaison agent at the Soviet Embassy. In great excitement, Kristin-sky informed Bessonov that “Alfred Rosenberg, the leader of the Foreign Affairs Department of the National Socialist Party of Germany,” had been “making soundings in our circles on the question of a possible secret alliance between the National Socialists in Germany and the Russian Trotskyites.”

Krestinsky told Bessonov that he must see Trotsky. A meeting must be arranged at all costs. Krestinsky would be in the Kissingen sanatorium until the end of September, then he would go to Merano in the Italian Tyrol. Trotsky could contact him, with due precautions, in either place.

The meeting was arranged. In the second week of October, 1933, Leon Trotsky, accompanied by his son Sedov, crossed the Franco-Italian border on a false passport and met Krestinsky at the Hotel Bavaria in Merano. (1)

The conference which followed covered almost all the major issues concerning the future development of the conspiracy inside Soviet Russia. Trotsky began by stating flatly that “the seizure of power in Russia could be consummated only by force.” But the conspiratorial apparatus alone was not strong enough to carry out a successful coup and to maintain itself in power without outside aid. It was therefore essential to come to a concrete agreement with foreign states interested in aiding the Trotskyites against the Soviet Government for their own ends.

“The embryo of such an agreement,” Trotsky told Krestinsky, was our agreement with the Reichswehr; but this agreement in no way satisfied either the Trotskyites or the German side for two reasons: first, the other party to this agreement was only the Reichswehr and not the German Government as a whole. . . . Second, what was the substance of our agreement with the Reichswehr? We were receiving a small sum of money and they were receiving espionage information which they would need during an armed attack. But the German Government, Hitler particularly, wants colonies, territory, and not only espionage information. And he is prepared to be satisfied with Soviet territory instead of the colonies for which he would have to fight England, America and France. As for us, we do not need the 250,000 gold marks. We need the German armed forces in order to come to power with their assistance. And it is towards this end that the work should be carried on.”

The first thing, said Trotsky, was to reach an agreement with the German Government. “But the Japanese are also a force with which it is necessary to come to terms,” Trotsky added. It would be necessary for the Russian Trotskyites to initiate “soundings” with the Japanese representatives in Moscow. “In this connection,” Trotsky instructed Krestinsky, “use Sokolnikov, who is working in the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Eastern Affairs. . . .”

Trotsky went on to give Krestinsky instructions about the inner organization of the Russian conspiratorial apparatus. “Even if the Soviet Union is attacked, let us say, by Germany,” said Trotsky, “that does not as yet make it possible to seize the machinery of power unless certain internal forces have been prepared. . . . It is necessary to have strongholds both in the towns and in the countryside among the petty bourgeoisie and the Kulaks, and there it is the Rights who have the connections. Finally, it is necessary to have a stronghold, an organization in the Red Army among the commanders, in order, with our united effort, to seize the most vital places at the necessary moment and to come to power, to replace the present Government, which must be arrested, by a Government of our own which has been prepared beforehand.”

On his return to Russia, Krestinsky was to get in touch with General Tukhachevsky, Assistant Chief of Staff of the Red Army; “a man,” as Trotsky told Krestinsky, “of a Bonapartist type, an adventurer, and ambitious man, who strives not only for a military but also for a military-political role, and who will unquestionably make common cause with us.”

Trotsky’s followers in Russia were to give every assistance to General Tukhachevsky, while at the same time taking care to place their own men in strategic positions, so that, when the coup d’etat came, the ambitious Tukhachevsky would not be able to control the new government without the aid of Trotsky.

Before the conference broke up, Trotsky gave Krestinsky specific orders for Pyatakov on the carrying out of the terrorist and sabotage campaigns in Soviet Russia. In speaking of this, Trotsky declared that the “diversionist acts and acts of terrorism” must be considered from two points of view. First, “of applying them in time of war for the purpose of disorganizing the defensive capacity of the Red Army, for disorganizing the Government at the moment of the coup d’état.” But secondly, said Trotsky, it must be realized that these acts would make his, Trotsky’s, position “stronger” and would give him “more confidence in his negotiations with foreign governments” because he “would be able to refer to the fact that his followers in the Soviet Union were both sufficiently strong and sufficiently active.”

Back in Moscow, Krestinsky delivered a full report on his meeting with Trotsky before a secret meeting of the Russian Trotskyites. A few of the conspirators, particularly Karl Radek who was supposed to be Trotsky’s “Foreign Minister,” were nettled by the fact that Trotsky had entered into such important negotiations without having first consulted them.

After hearing krestinsky’s report, Radek sent off a special message to Trotsky asking for “further clarification on the question of foreign policy.”

Trotsky’s reply, written from France, was handed to Radek a few weeks later by Vladimir Romm, a young foreign correspondent of the Soviet news agency Tass who was serving as a Trotskyite courier. Romm had received the letter from Trotsky in Paris and had smuggled it into Russia concealed in the cover of the popular Soviet novel, Tsusima. (2) Radek later described the contents of this letter as follows: –

Trotsky put the question in this way: the accession of Fascism to power in Germany had fundamentally changed the whole situation. It implied war in the near future, inevitable war, the more so that the situation was simultaneously becoming acute in the Far East. Trotsky had no doubt that this war would result in the defeat of the Soviet Union. This defeat, he wrote, will create favorable conditions for the accession to power of the bloc. . . . Trotsky stated that he had established contacts with a certain Far Eastern state and a certain Central European state, and that he had openly told semi-official circles of these states that the bloc stood for a bargain with them and was prepared to make considerable concessions both of an economic and a territorial character.

In the same letter, Trotsky informed Radek that the Russian Trotskyites working in diplomatic posts would be approached in the near future by certain foreign representatives and that, when this took place, the Trotskyite diplomats were to confirm their loyalty to Trotsky and to assure the foreign representatives that they stood behind Trotsky in every way. . . .

Grigori Sokolnikov, the Trotskyite Assistant Commissar for Eastern Affairs, hurried into Radek’s office at Izvestia a short time later. “Just imagine,” Sokolnikov burst out nervously as soon as the door was closed. “I am conducting negotiations at the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. The conversation comes to a close. The interpreters have left the room. The Japanese envoy suddenly turns to me and asks: am I informed about the proposals Trotsky has made to his Government?”

Sokolnikov was highly perturbed by the incident. “How does Trotsky visualize this?” he asked Radek. “How can I, as Assistant People’s Commissar, conduct such negotiations? This is an absolutely impossible situation!”

Radek tried to calm his agitated friend. “Don’t get excited,” he said. “Trotsky obviously doesn’t understand the situation here.” Radek went on to assure Sokolnikov that it would not happen again. He had already written to Trotsky telling him that it was impossible for the Russian Trotskyites to carry on negotiations with German and Japanese agents – “under the eyes of the OGPU.” The Russian Trotskyites, said Radek, would have to “put their mandate on Trotsky’s visa” to go ahead with the negotiations on his own, so long as he kept them fully informed of his progress. . . .

Soon after, Radek himself was attending a diplomatic function in Moscow when a German diplomat sat down beside him and quietly said: “Our leaders know that Mr. Trotsky is striving for a rapprochement with Germany. Our leader wants to know, what does this idea of Mr. Trotsky signify? Perhaps it is the idea of an émigré who sleeps badly? What is behind these ideas?”

Describing his reaction to this unexpected Nazi approach, Radek later said: –

Of course, his talk with me lasted only a couple of minutes; the atmosphere of a diplomatic reception is not suited to lengthy perorations. I had to make my decision literally in one second and give him an answer. . . . I told him that realist politicians in the U.S.S.R. understand the significance of a German-Soviet rapprochement and are prepared to make the necessary concessions to achieve this rapprochement..

On the night of June 30, 1934, the Nazi terror struck within its own ranks in Germany when Hitler liquidated dissident elements within his movement. Within twenty-four hours, Captain Ernst Roehm, Chief of Staff of Hitler’s Storm Troops; Edmund Heines, Supreme Group Leader in Eastern Germany; Karl Ernst, Chief Leader of the Berlin Storm Troops; and scores of their friends and associates fell before the bullets of Hitler’s gunmen in Munich and Berlin. Intense anxiety and fear gripped the whole Nazi movement.

From Paris, Trotsky immediately dispatched one of his most trusted “secretaries,” an international spy named Karl Reich, alias Johanson, to contact Sergei Bessonov, the Trotskyite liaison in Berlin. Bessonov was summoned to Paris to make a detailed report to Trotsky on the situation inside Germany.

Bessonov was unable to get to Paris immediately; but at the end of July he managed to leave Berlin. After meeting Trotsky in a Paris hotel and making his report on the German situation, he returned to Berlin that same evening. Trotsky was in a state of great nervous excitement when Bessonov saw him. The events in Germany, the elimination of the “radical Nazis” headed by Roehn, might bring about some hitch in his plans. Bessonov assured Trotsky that Hitler, Himmler, Hess, Rosenberg, Goering and Goebbels still held the state power firmly in their hands.

“They will come to us yet!” cried Trotsky. He went on to tell Bessonov that he would have important assignments for him to carry out in Berlin in the near future. “We must not be squeamish in this matter,” said Trotsky. “In order to obtain real and important help from Hess and Rosenberg, we must not stop short at consenting to big cessions of territory. We shall consent to the cession of the Ukraine. Bear that in mind in your work and in your negotiations with the Germans, and I shall also write about it to Pyatakov and Krestinsky.”

A web of treason was already being spun through the various offices of the Soviet Diplomatic Corps. Ambassadors, secretaries, attaches and minor consular agents were involved in the conspiratorial network, not only in Europe, but also in the Far East….

The Soviet Ambassador to Japan was taking part in the conspiracy. His name was Yurenev. He had been a secret Trotskyite since 1926. On instructions from Trotsky, he established connections with the Japanese Intelligence Service. Assisting Yurenev in his dealings with Japan was Trotsky’s old friend, Christian Rakovsky, the one-time Ambassador to England and France. Rakovsky no longer held any important post in the Soviet Foreign Office. He worked as an official on various public health commissions. But he was still an important personality in the underground conspiracy.

In September 1934, Rakovsky went to Japan with a Soviet delegation to attend the international conference of Red Cross societies which was to take place in Tokyo in October. Before leaving for Japan, Rakovsky received an envelope from the Commissariat of Heavy Industry in Moscow. It was from Pyatakov and it contained a letter which Rakovsky was to deliver to Ambassador Yurenev in Tokyo. Ostensibly, the letter expressed a routine request for official trade information. On the back of the letter, written in invisible ink, there was a message to Yurenev informing him that Rakovsky was to be “utilized” in the negotiations with the Japanese.

The day after Rakovsky arrived in Tokyo he was contacted by a Japanese agent. The encounter took place in a corridor of the Japanese Red Cross building in Tokyo. Rakovsky was told that the aims of the Russian Trotskyite movement “fully coincided” with those of the Japanese Government. The Japanese agent added that he was sure Rakovsky would be able to provide Tokyo with valuable information concerning the “situation” inside Soviet Russia.

That same evening Rakovsky told Yurenev about his conversation with the Japanese agent. “The idea is to enlist me as a spy,” said Rakovsky, “as an informer for the Japanese Government.”

“There is no need to hesitate,” replied the Trotskyite Ambassador. “The die is cast.”

A few days later, Rakovsky dined by appointment with a high officer of the Japanese Intelligence Service. The Japanese officer began the conversation boldly. “We are aware that you are a very close friend and adherent of Mr. Trotsky,” he told Rakovsky. “I must ask you to write to him that our government is dissatisfied with his articles on the Chinese question and also with the behavior of the Chinese Trotskyites. We have a right to expect a different line of conduct on the part of Mr. Trotsky. Mr. Trotsky ought to understand what is necessary. There is no need to go into details, but it is clear that an incident provoked in China would be a desirable pretext for intervening in China.”

The Japanese officer then went on to tell Rakovsky the sort of confidential information the Japanese Government would be interested in receiving from the Russian Trotskyites: data concerning conditions in collective farms, railroads, mines and industries, especially in the Eastern sections of the U.S.S.R. Rakovsky was given various codes and spy names for his use in delivering this information. It was arranged that Dr. Naida, a secretary of the Red Cross delegation, would act as liaison between Rakovsky and the Japanese Intelligence Service. . . .

Before he left Tokyo, Rakovsky had a final chat with Yurenev. The Trotskyite Ambassador was depressed. “We have gotten into such a mess that sometimes one does not know how to behave!” he said gloomily. “One is afraid that by satisfying one of our partners we may offend another. For instance, here at present, antagonism is arising between Great Britain and Japan in connection with the Chinese question, while we have to maintain connections both with the British and the Japanese Intelligence Services. . . . And here I have to find my bearings in all this!”

Rakovsky replied: “We Trotskyites have to play three cards at the present moment: the German, the Japanese, and the British. . . . What we are doing is a policy of putting everything at stake, of everything for everything; but if a risky venture succeeds, the adventurers are called great statesmen!”(3)

2. The Diplomacy of Terror

While the Russian conspirators were cementing their treasonable ties with the representatives of Germany and Japan, another phase of the secret offensive against the Soviet Government was already under way. Treason was being supplemented by terror. . . .

In April 1934, a Soviet engineer named Boyarshinov walked into the office of the construction chief at the vital Kuznetsk coal mines in Siberia to report that something was very wrong in his department. There were far too many accidents, underground fires, mechanical breakdowns. Boyarshinov suspected sabotage.

The construction chief thanked Boyarshinov for the information. “I will inform the right people,” he said. “In the meantime don’t say anything to anybody about this.”

The construction chief was Alexei Shestov, German spy and chief organizer of Trotskyite sabotage in Siberia.

A few days later Boyarshinov was found dead in a ditch. A speeding truck had hit him as he was going home from work along a lonely strip of country road. The driver of the truck was a professional terrorist named Cherepukhin. Shestov had given him the assignment of murdering Bovarshinov and paid him 15,000 rubles for the job.(4)

In September 1934, V. M. Molotov, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the U.S.S.R., arrived in Siberia on an inspection tour of the mining and industrial areas. Molotov was returning from a visit to one of the mines at the Kuznetsk coal basin when the car in which he was driving suddenly went off the road, careened down a steep embankment and stopped just at the edge of a steep gully. Severely shaken and bruised, but otherwise unhurt, Molotov and his companions scrambled from the overturned car. They had narrowly escaped death. . . .

The driver of the car was Valentine Arnold, the manager of the local garage. Arnold was a member of the Trotskyite terrorist apparatus. Shestov had instructed him to murder Molotov; and Arnold had deliberately driven the car off the road, intending to kill himself along with Molotov. The attempt failed only because at the last minute Arnold lost his nerve and slowed down as he approached the embankment where the “accident” was scheduled to have taken place. . . .

By the autumn of 1934, Trotskyite and Right terrorist groups were functioning throughout the Soviet Union. These terrorist groups included among their members former Social Revolutionaries, one-time Mensheviks, professional gunmen and ex-agents of the Czarist Ochrana. In the Ukraine and Byelorussia, in Georgia and Armenia, in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and the Maritime Region of the Far East, anti-Soviet nationalists and fascists were recruited into the terrorist apparatus. In many places, Nazi and Japanese agents directly supervised the operations of these groups.

A list had been compiled of the Soviet leaders who were to be assassinated. At the head of the list was the name of Josef Stalin. Among the other names were Klementi Voroshilov, V. M. Molotov, Sergei Kirov, Lazar Kaganovich, Andrei Zhdanov, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, Maxim Gorky and Valerian Kuibyshev.

The terrorists periodically received messages from Leon Trotsky stressing the urgency of eliminating the Soviet leaders. One of these messages reached Ephraim Dreitzer, Trotsky’s former bodyguard, in October 1934. Trotsky had written it in invisible ink on the margins of a German motion picture magazine. It was brought to Dreitzer by his sister, who had been given the magazine by a Trotskyite courier in Warsaw. Trotsky’s message to Dreitzer read: –

Dear friend. Convey that today we have the following main tasks before us:

l) To remove Stalin and Voroshilov.

2) To unfold work for organizing nuclei in the army.

3) In the event of war, to take advantage of every setback and confusion to capture the leadership.

The message was signed Starik (“Old Man”), which was Trotsky’s code signature.

In one case, the conspirators, after prolonged observation, established the route along which Commissar of Defense Voroshilov usually drove in Moscow. Three terrorists, armed with revolvers, were stationed for a number of days on Frunze Street, one of the thoroughfares along which Voroshilov’s car passed. But the car always traveled at a high speed, and the terrorists decided, as one of them reported afterwards, that “It was useless firing at the fast running car.”

Several plots to kill Stalin also miscarried. A Trotskyite terrorist, assigned to shoot Stalin at an important Party conference in Moscow, managed to get into the meeting but was unable to approach close enough to the Soviet leader to use his revolver. Another time, terrorists fired with high-powered rifles at Stalin as he was passing in a motorboat along the shore of the Black Sea, but the shots missed. “A pity,” said Leo Kamenev, when the terrorist Ivan Bakayev reported the failure of one of his blots to kill Stalin. “Let’s hope the next time we’ll be more successful.” (5)

Trotsky became more and more inpatient. The tone of his communications to his followers in Russia underwent a sharp change. He angrily berated them for being “all the time engaged in organizational preparations and conversations” and for not having accomplished “anything concrete.” Trotsky began sending special agents of his own into the Soviet Union to help organize and to expedite terrorist acts. These agents, who were either Russian émigrés or German Trotskyites, traveled on false passports provided for them by the conspirators in the Soviet diplomatic service or by the German Military Intelligence and the Gestapo.

The first of these special agents was a German Trotskyite named Nathan Lurye. He was followed by two more of Trotsky’s men: Konon Berman-Yurin and Fritz David, alias Ilya-David Kruglyansky. In March 1933 Trotsky sent a fourth and fifth agent: Valentine Olberg and Moissei Lurye, alias Alexander Emel (Moissei Lurye was no relative of Nathan Lurye).

Before Nathan Lurye left Berlin, he was instructed that in Moscow he was to operate under the supervision of a German engineer and architect named Franz Weitz, who was then employed in the Soviet Union. Franz Weitz was not one of Leon Trotsky’s followers. Weitz was a member of the National Socialist Party of Germany. He had been sent into the Soviet Union as a secret emissary of Heinrich Himmler, director of the Nazi Gestapo. Himmler had given Weitz the assignment of organizing terrorist and espionage operations in the Soviet Union in collaboration with the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center.

When one of Zinoviev’s followers questioned this direct tie-up with a Nazi agent, Zinoviev replied: “What is there in this disturbing to you? You are an historian. You know the case of Lasalle and Bismarck, when Lasalle wanted to use Bismarck in the interests of the revolution. Why cannot we today utilize Himmler?”

Shortly before they left for Russia, Trotsky’s emissaries, Konon Berman-Yurin and Fritz David, were summoned to special conferences with Trotsky himself. The meetings took place in Copenhagen toward the end of November 1932. Konon Berman-Yurin later stated: –

I had two meetings with him [Trotsky]. First of all he began to sound me on my work in the past. Then Trotsky passed to Soviet affairs. Trotsky said: “The principal question is the question of Stalin. Stalin must be physically destroyed.” He said that other methods of struggle were now ineffective. He said that for this purpose people were needed who would dare anything, who would agree to sacrifice themselves for this, as he expressed it, historic task. . . .

In the evening we continued our conversation. I asked him how individual terrorism could be reconciled with Marxism. To this Trotsky replied: problems cannot be treated in a dogmatic way. He said that a situation had arisen in the Soviet Union which Marx could not have foreseen. Trotsky also said that in addition to Stalin it was necessary to assassinate Kaganovich and Voroshilov. . . .

During the conversation he nervously paced up and down the room and spoke of Stalin with exceptional hatred. . . . He said that the terrorist act should, if possible, be timed to take place at a plenum or at the congress of the Comintern, so that the shot at Stalin would ring out in a large assembly. This would have a tremendous repercussion far beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. . . . This would be an historical political event of world significance.

To Fritz David, his other emissary, Trotsky said: “Terror against Stalin – that is the revolutionary task. Whoever is a revolutionary – his hand will not tremble.” Trotsky spoke of the “growing discontent” in Soviet Russia. David asked him, “Do you think this discontent will disappear in the event of a war between the Soviet Union and the Japanese?” Trotsky replied, “No, on the contrary, under these conditions the forces hostile to the regime will try to unite and take the lead of these discontented masses, to arm them and lead them against the ruling bureaucrats.”

The Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center was to carry out the first major blow of the conspiracy against the Soviet Government. This first blow was the assassination of Sergei Kirov, Secretary of the Leningrad Party, and one of Stalin’s closest co-workers in the Soviet Government. . . .

Early in November 1934, Zinoviev, who was in Moscow, sent his follower, Bakayev, to check up on the organization of terrorist cells in Leningrad.

The Leningrad terrorists, who had made repeated attempts to get close to Kirov, were not too pleased to receive Zinoviev’s emissary. “So Grigori Eveseyevich [Zinoviev] doesn’t trust us,” one of the gunmen said to Bakayev. “He sends people here to check up on our mood and our work. Well, we’re not a proud lot!”

A conference of the Leningrad terrorist cells, attended by seven terrorists, acquainted Bakayev with the latest developments. Bakayev was informed that a regular watch had been established along the route which Kirov took from his home to his office at the Smolny Institute. Bakayev was introduced to the man who had been selected to carry out the actual assassination: Leonid Nikolayev, a pale, slender, thirty-year-old former bookkeeper who had been dismissed from his post for irregularities in his accounts and expelled from the Komsomol [Communist youth organization] for general unreliability.

Nikolayev told Bakayev that he planned to shoot Kirov either near his home or in the Smolny Institute. He added that he had already tried to get an appointment with Kirov but that so far he had failed.

Bakayev repeated the instructions which Zinoviev had given him in Moscow: –

The principal task is to organize the terroristic work so secretly as to preclude our being compromised in any way. . . .

When under examination, the main thing is to persistently deny any connection with the organization. If accused of terroristic activities, you must emphatically deny it and argue that terror is incompatible with the views of Bolsheviks-Marxists. . . .

Zinoviev was satisfied with developments in Leningrad. Both he and Kamenev were confident that the assassination of Kirov would soon take place. They believed that this act would throw the Soviet Government into confusion and be a signal for similar acts against Soviet leaders throughout the country. “Heads are peculiar,” remarked Kamenev, “in that they do not grow again. . . .

On December 1, 1934, at 4:27 P.M., Sergei Kirov left his office in the Smolny Institute. He walked down the long marble-lined corridor leading to a room where he was to deliver a report on the decision of the Central Committee to abolish the bread rationing system. As Kirov passed an intersecting corridor, a man sprang out, thrust a revolver at the back of Kirov’s head and fired.

At 4:30 P.M. Sergei Kirov was dead.

The assassin was Leonid Nikolayev. He tried to get away and then to turn the gun on himself, but he was seized before he could do either.

On December 28, 1934, Leonid Nikolayev was placed on trial before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. “When I shot Kirov,” Nikolayev testified, “I reasoned as follows: Our shot must be a signal for an explosion, a revolt within the country against the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and against the Soviet Government.”

The Military Collegiumn sentenced Nikolayev to be shot.(6)

Nikolayev did not divulge the fact that Zinoviev, Kamenev and the other leaders of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center had been directly involved in the plot to murder Kirov.

But it was clear to the Soviet Government that the careful planning and preparation behind the assassination involved a far more elaborate and dangerous organization than Nikolayev’s terrorist group. The Bolshevik Party appointed a special investigator to probe into the Leningrad affair. His name was N. I. Yezhov, a member of the Central Committee of the Party and head of the Control Commission.

Two weeks after the trial of Nikolayev, Grigori Zinoviev, Leo Kamenev and several of their known associates, including Bakayev, faced a Leningrad court, charged with complicity in the assassination of Kirov. Throughout the trial Zinoviev and Kamenev followed a course of conduct carefully planned in advance. Admitting nothing that the Soviet Government had not established by its own investigation, they feigned deep remorse and “confessed” that the political oppositionist activities in which they had been involved had “created an atmosphere” conducive to “anti-Soviet activities.” They said they were leaders of a “Moscow Center” of political opposition, and they accepted “moral responsibility” for Kirov’s murder, since they had headed the seditious political movement from which the crime had sprung. But they fervently denied they themselves had any foreknowledge of the plot to assassinate Kirov.

“I am accustomed to feel that I am a leader,” Zinoviev declared, “and it goes without saying that I should have known everything. . . This outrageous murder has thrown such an ominous light upon the whole previous anti-Party struggle, that I recognize that the Party is absolutely right in speaking of the political responsibility of the former anti-Party Zinoviev group for the murder committed.”

Kamenev played the same role. ” I must say that I am not a coward by nature, but I never counted on fighting with arms,” he said. “I always expected that a situation would arise in which the Central Committee would be compelled to negotiate with us, that it would move up and make room for us. . . .”

The ruse succeeded. The trial failed to establish that Zinoviev and Kamenev had participated directly in the plot to kill Kirov. Instead, they were found guilty only of carrying on anti-Soviet seditious activities. The verdict of the court stated: –

The trial did not bring to light any facts furnishing grounds for qualifying the acts of the members of the Moscow center in connection with the assassination of Comrade S. M. Kirov on December 1, 1934, as being a direct incitement to this heinous crime; nevertheless, the trial has completely confirmed the fact that the members of the counter-revolutionary Moscow center were aware of the terrorist sentiments of the Leningrad group and inflamed these sentiments. . . .

Zinoviev was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, and Kamenev to five, for their conspiratorial activity.

The trial had only scratched the surface of the conspiracy. Among the many facts which the Leningrad trial failed to bring to light, perhaps the strangest were these: –

When Zinoviev and Kamenev were arrested, four agents of the Soviet secret police had brought them to NKVD headquarters.(7) The agents were Molchanov, Chief of the Secret Political Department of the NKVD; Pauker, Chief of the Operations Department; Volovich, Assistant Chief of the Operations Department; and Bulanov, Assistant to the Chairman of the NKVD.

In arresting Zinoviev and Kamenev, the four NKVD agents acted in a most extraordinary fashion. They not only failed to search the apartments of the, suspects for incriminating material; they actually permitted Zinoviev and Kamenev to destroy a number of incriminating documents. . . .

Still more remarkable were the records of these four NKVD agents.

Molchanov and Bulanov were themselves secret members of the Trotskyite-Right conspiratorial apparatus.

Pauker and Volovich were German agents.

These men had been specially picked to make the arrests by Henry G. Yagoda, the Chairman of the NKVD.


(1) Trotsky was then living at St. Palais, a small village at the foot of the Pyrenees in the South of France. In July, he had left Prinkipo. (He soon moved with his retinue of body guards and “secretaries” to a guarded villa near Paris.)

At the time Trotsky came to France, the French reactionaries and fascists were desperately striving to prevent the proposed Franco-Soviet collective security alliance.

The French Government, which gave Trotsky permission to enter France and establish his anti-Soviet headquarters in that country, was headed at the time by Edouard Daladier, whose appeasement policies, fulfilled at Munich, were to play so important a part in betraying France and the other anti-fascist nations of Europe into the hands of the Nazis. The French Radical Deputy Henri Guernot personally sponsored Trotsky’s pleas to be admitted to France. The necessary arrangements were made by the Minister of the Interior, Camille Chautemps the dubious French politician who helped quash the investigation of the fascist Cagoulard conspiracy and later became vice-Premier of the first Pétain Cabinet. “You have had the kindness to call my attention to Mr. Leon Trotsky, exile of Russian origin, who has asked, for reasons of health, authorization to live in the Departments of the South . . , ,” Minister of Interior Chautemps wrote Deputy Guernot. “I have the honor to inform you that . . . the interested party will obtain without difficulty, when he makes the request, a passport visa for France.”

Among Trotsky’s numerous other influential friends and sympathizers in France were: Jacques Doriot, the renegade French Communist and Nazi agent; and Marcel Déat, the one-time Socialist professor, Nazi agent, and, after the downfall of France, leading collaborationist.

Trotsky’s presence in France was also approved by anti-Soviet elements in the French Intelligence Service and secret police. In April 1937, at the Hearings in Mexico, Trotsky declared: “. . . Monsieur Thome and Monsieur Cado, the general secretary of the police and the préfecture of the Department of Charente Inféricure – all the summits of the police were very well acquainted with my situation. It was the secret agent of the police who was informed of every step of mine.”

(2) Vladimir Romm had been Tass correspondent in Tokyo, Geneva and Paris. He met Trotsky in Paris in 1933 by special appointment at a café in the Bois de Boulogne. After telling Romm that only “extreme measures” would enable the conspirators to gain their ends, Trotsky quoted a Latin proverb: “What medicine cannot heal, iron will heal, and what iron cannot heal, fire will heal.” In 1934 Romm was appointed Tass correspondent in the United States. Before he left for America, Romm saw Sedov in Paris. Romm subsequently stated: “Sedov told me that in connection with my going to America, Trotsky had asked to be informed in case there was anything interesting in the sphere of Soviet-American relations. When I asked why this was so interesting, Sedov told me: `This follows from Trotsky’s line on the defeat of the U.S.S.R. Inasmuch as the date of the war of Germany and Japan depends to a certain extent on the state of Soviet American relations, this cannot fail to be of interest to Trotsky.”‘

(3) On February 20, 1937, the Tokyo newspaper Miyako carried a report on a secret session of the “Planning and Budget Commission” of the Japanese Government. At this meeting, Deputy Yoshida asked General Sugiyama, Minister of War, whether he or the army had any information concerning the carrying capacity of the Soviet Siberian Railway. The War Minister answered in the affirmative, saying that the carrying capacity of the strategic Soviet railway was known to the Japanese High Command in full detail. General Sugiyama went on to say: “In Russia there are elements in opposition to the present government and it was precisely from them that we learned it.” The publication of this statement in the newspaper Miyako was the occasion of a severe shake-up in Tokyo press circles. The newspaper was fined heavily by the Government for betraying confidential information and its chief news editor, Yaguchi Gilei, was forced to resign at the request of the War Department.

(4) The money paid by Shestov to Boyarshinov’s murderer was part of a secret fund of 164,000 rubles which Trotskyite gunmen, operating under Shestov’s directions, had stolen from the Anzherka State Bank. The fund had been established to help finance sabotage and terrorist activities in Siberia.

(5) The inner atmosphere of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, despite its “political” facade, was reminiscent of New York’s Murder, Inc., and similar gangs.

Bakayev, a former political assistant of Zinoviev in the Petrograd Soviet, was responsible for keeping the gunmen of the Terrorist Center in line. He had the job, given him by Zinoviev, of silencing any individuals who might betray the organization. In mid-1934, when an attempt to kill Stalin failed because the appointed assassin, Bogdan, lost his nerve at the decisive moment, Bakayev undertook to silence Bogdan. He visited Bogdan at the Tatter’s apartment and spent the night with him. In the morning, after Bakayev left, Bogdan lay, dead on the floor of his living room with a bullet in his head and a gun beside his body. A letter, which Bakayev had forced him to write, was found in the room. It stated that Bogdan had committed suicide because of the “persecution” of the Trotsky-Zinoviev Opposition by the Soviet Government.

A member of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, Isak Reingold, later testified that “both Zinoviev and Kamenev” had decided that when they took power they would place Bakayev in a key job in the OGPU. “By use of the OGPU machinery,” testified Reingold, “he was to assist in covering the traces, in doing away with, in killing, not only the employees of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, the OGPU, who might be in possession of any threads of the conspiracy, but also the direct perpetrators of terrorist acts against Stalin and his immediate assistants. By the hand of Bakayev, the Trotskyite-“Zinovievite organization was to destroy its own activities, its own gunmen, who were involved in this matter.”

(6) The assassination of Kirov was enthusiastically hailed by the Russian fascists, as well as by the Rights and Trotskyites. “Count” Anastase Vonsiatsky, ex-Czarist officer and Japanese agent in the United States, declared in the March 1935 issue of his paper, the Fascist, which was published in Thompson, Connecticut, U.S.A.: “Kirov is finished! Next shot must be aimed at Stalin – a signal to insurrection. . . . Not loud was the shot of our brother Nikolayev but it resounded throughout the world. . . Hats off, Russian people, before Nikolayev’s grave. . . . Long live the immortal hero, Nikolayev!” For further details concerning Vonsiatsky and White Russian fascism, see page 345 ff.

(7) At the end of 1934, the NKVD (Department of Public Security) replaced the OGPU as the agency responsible for internal security affairs in the U.S.S.R.

CHAPTER XVIII – Murder in the Kremlin

l. Yagoda

IN May 1934, six months before the assassination of Sergei Kirov, a heart attack caused the death of Vyacheslav R. Menzhinsky, the long-ailing Chairman of the OGPU. His post was filled by the forty-three-year-old OGPU Vice-Chairman, Henry G. Yagoda, a short, quiet, efficient-looking man with a receding chin and a trim little mustache.

Henry Yagoda was a secret member of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. He had joined the conspiracy in 1929, as a member of the Right Opposition, not because he believed in Bukharin’s or Trotsky’s program, but because he thought the oppositionists were destined to come to power in Russia. Yagoda wanted to be on the winning side. In his own words: –

I followed the course of the struggle with great attention, having made up my mind beforehand that I would join the side which emerged victorious from this struggle…. When measures of repression began to be taken against the Trotskyites, the question as to who would come out the victor – the Trotskyites or the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – was as yet not finally settled. In any event, that was what I thought. Therefore I, as Assistant Chairman of the OGPU, in carrying out the punitive policy, did it in such a way that it would not arouse the anger of the Trotskyites against me. When I was sending Trotskyites into exile, I created for them such conditions in their places of exile as enabled them to carry on their activity.

Yagoda’s role in the conspiracy was at first known only to the three top leaders of the Rights: Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky. In 1932, when the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites was formed, Yagoda’s role became known to Pyatakov and Krestinsky.

As Vice-Chairman of the OGPU, Yagoda was able to protect the conspirators from exposure and arrest. “I took all measures, in the course of a number of years,” he later stated, “to guard the organization, particularly its center, against exposure.” Pagoda appointed members of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites as special agents in the OGPU. In this way, a number of agents of foreign Intelligence Services were ere able to penetrate the Soviet secret police and, under Yagoda’s protection, carry on espionage activities for their respective governments. The German agents, Pauker and Volovich, whom Yagoda sent to effect the arrest of Zinoviev and Kamenev were appointed to their OGPU positions by Pagoda himself. “I considered them,” Pagoda said later, referring to the foreign spies, “as a valuable force. in the realization of the conspiratorial plans, particularly along the lines of maintaining connections with foreign Intelligence Services.”

In 1933, Ivan Smirnov, the leading organizer of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, was unexpectedly arrested by Soviet Government agents. Yagoda could not prevent the arrest. On pretext of examining the prisoner, Yagoda visited Smirnov in his cell and “coached him” on how to behave under questioning.

In 1934, before the murder of Kirov, the terrorist Leonid Nikolayev was picked up by OGPU agents in Leningrad. In his possession they found a gun. and a chart showing the route which Kirov traveled daily. When Yagoda was notified of Nikolayev’s arrest, he instructed Zaporozhetz, assistant chief of the Leningrad OGPU, to release the terrorist without further examination. Zaporozhetz was one of Yagoda’s men. He did what he was told.

A few weeks later, Nikolayev murdered Kirov.

But the Murder of Kirov was only one of a number of murders carried out by the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites with the direct aid of Henry Yagoda….

Behind his quiet, efficient exterior, Yagoda concealed an inordinate ambition, ferocity and cunning. With the secret operations of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites depending more and more on his protection, the Vice-Chairman of the OGPU began to conceive of himself as the central figure and dominating personality of the entire conspiracy. Yagoda had dreams of becoming Russia’s Hitler. He read Mein Kampf. “It is a worthwhile book,” he confided to his devoted henchman and secretary, Pavel Bulanov. He was particularly impressed, he told Bulanov, by the fact that Hitler had “risen from a top sergeant to be the man he is.” Yagoda himself had started his career as a top sergeant in the Russian Army.

Yagoda had his own ideas about the kind of government whichwould be set up after Stalin was overthrown. It would be modeled on that of Nazi Germany, he told Bulanov. Yagoda himself would be the Leader; Rykov would replace Stalin as secretary of a reorganized Party; Tomsky would be chief of the trade-unions, which would come under strict military control like the Nazi labor battalions; the “philosopher” Bukharin, as Yagoda put it, would be “Dr. Goebbels.”

As for Trotsky, Yagoda was not sure if he would permit Trotsky to return to Russia. It would depend on circumstances. Meanwhile, however, Yagoda was prepared to make use of Trotsky’s negotiations with Germany and Japan. The coup d’état, said Yagoda, must be timed to coincide with the outbreak of war against the Soviet Union.

“All means will be required for the achievement of this coup-, armed action, provocation and even poisons,” Yagoda told Bulanov. “There are times when one must act slowly and extremely cautiously, and there are times when one must act quickly and suddenly.”

The decision of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites to adopt terrorism as a political weapon against the Soviet regime had Yagoda’s endorsement. The decision was communicated to him by Y. S. Yenukidze, a former soldier and official of the Kremlin secretariat, who was the chief organizer of terrorism for the Rights. Yagoda had only one objection. The terrorist methods employed by the conspirators seemed to him too primitive and dangerous. Yagoda set out to devise a more subtle means of political murder than the traditional assassin’s bombs, knives or bullets.

At first, Yagoda experimented with poisons. He set up a secret laboratory and put several chemists to work. His aim was to contrive a method of killing which made exposure impossible. “Murder with a guarantee,” was the way Yagoda put it.

But even poisons were too crude. Before long, Yagoda developed his own special technique of murder. He recommended it as a perfect weapon to the leaders of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. “It is very simple,” said Yagoda. “A person naturally falls ill, or he has been ill for some time. Those who surround him become accustomed, as is also natural, to the idea that the patient will either die or recuperate. The physician who treats the patient has the will to facilitate the patient’s recovery or his death…. Well? All the rest is a matter of technique.” One had only to find the right physicians.

2. The Murder of Menzhinsky

The first physician Yagoda involved in his unique murder scheme was Dr. Leo Levin, a corpulent, middle-aged, obsequious man, who liked to boast of his disinterest in political affairs. Dr. Levin was Yagoda’s own physician. More important to Yagoda was the fact that Dr. Levin was a prominent member of the Kremlin Medical Staff. Among his regular patients were a number of prominent Soviet leaders, including Yagoda’s superior, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, the Chairman of the OGPU.

Yagoda began showering special favors on Dr. Levin. He sent him imported wines, flowers for his wife and various other gifts. He placed a country home, free of charge, at the doctor’s disposal. When Dr. Levin traveled abroad, Yagoda permitted him to bring back foreign purchases without paying the regular customs duty. The physician was flattered and a bit puzzled at these unusual attentions from his influential patient.

Soon, under Yagoda’s manipulations, the unsuspecting Dr. Levin had accepted what amounted to a number of bribes and had committed some minor infractions of Soviet laws. Then Yagoda came bluntly to the point. He told Dr. Levin that a secret opposition movement, of which he himself was one of the leaders, was about to come to power in the Soviet Union. The conspirators, said Yagoda, could make good use of Dr. Levin’s services. Certain Soviet leaders, among theta some of Dr. Levin’s patients, had to be put out of the way.

“Have in mind,” Yagoda told the terrified doctor, “that you cannot help obeying me, you cannot get away from me. Once I place confidence in you with regard to this thing, you must appreciate this and you must carry this out. You cannot tell anybody about it. Nobody will believe you. They will believe not you, but me.” Yagoda added: “Let us now drop this conversation; you think it over at home, and I shall call you in a few days.”

Dr. Levin subsequently described his reaction to Yagoda’s words. He stated: –

I do not have to convey the psychological reaction, how terrible it was for me to hear this. I think that this is sufficiently understood. And then the ceaseless mental anguish. … He further said: “You are aware who is talking to you, the head of what institution is talking to you!”… He reiterated that my refusal to carry this out would spell ruin for me and my family. I figured that I had no other way out, that I had to submit to him.

Dr. Levin helped Yagoda to enlist the services of another physician who also frequently treated Menzhinsky. This physician was Dr. Ignaty N. Kazakov, whose distinctly unorthodox therapeutic methods were the cause of some heated controversy in Soviet medical circles during the early 1930’s.

Dr. Kazakov claimed to have discovered an almost infallible cure for a wide range of illnesses by means of a special technique which he called “lysatotherapy.” The OGPU Chairman Menzhinsky who suffered from angina pectoris and bronchial asthma had great faith in Kazakov’s treatments and took them regularly.(1)

On Yagoda’s instructions, Dr. Levin went to see Dr. Kazakov. Dr. Levin said to him: “Menzhinsky is a living corpse. You’re really wasting your time.”

Dr. Kazakov looked at his colleague in astonishment.

“I’ll have to have a special talk with you,” said Dr. Levin. “About what?” asked Dr. Kazakov.

“About Menzhinsky’s health.”.. ,

Later, Dr. Levin came to the point. “I thought you were cleverer. You still haven’t understood me,” he told Kazakov. “I’m surprised you’ve undertaken Menzhinsky’s treatment with so much zeal and you have ever improved his health. You should never have allowed him to get back to work.”

Then, to Dr. Kasakov’s mounting amazement and horror, Dr. Levin went on: –

“You must realize that Menzhinsky is actually a corpse, and, by restoring his health, by allowing him to get back to work, You are antagonizing Yagoda. Menzhinsky is in Yagoda’s way and Yagoda is interested in getting him out of the way as soon as possible. Yagoda is a man who doesn’t stop at anything.”

Dr. Levin added: –

“Not a word of this to Menzhinsky! I am warning you that, if you tell Menzhinsky about it, Yagoda will destroy you. You’ll not escape him no matter where you hide yourself. He would get you even if you were underground.”

On the afternoon of November 6, 1933, Dr. Kazakov received an urgent call from Menzhinsky’s home. When Dr. Kazakov arrived at the home of the OGPU Chairman, he was met by a heavy, stifling odor of turpentine and paint. Within a few minutes he found himself gasping for breath. One of Menzhinsky’s secretaries informed him that the house had been freshly painted and that “a special substance” had been added to the paint to “make the paint dry more quickly.” It was this “special substance” which caused the pungent, overwhelming odor.

Dr. Kazakov went upstairs. He found Nlenzhinsky in great agony. His bronchial condition had been terribly aggravated by the fumes. He was sitting in a cramped, awkward position, his face and body swollen, barely able to whisper. Dr. Kazakov listened to his breathing. It was labored and rasping, with greatly prolonged exhalation, characteristic of a serious attack of bronchial asthma. Dr. Kazakov immediately gave Menzhinsky an injection to relieve his condition. He then flung open all the windows in the room and ordered Menzhinskv’s secretary to open all doors and windows throughout the house. Gradually the odor died away. Dr. Kazakov stayed with Menzhinsky until his patient was feeling better. When the attack had passed, Dr. Kazakov went home.

He had scarcely entered his house when the telephone rang. It was a call from OGPU headquarters. Dr. Kazakov was informed that Henry Yagoda wished to see him at once. A car was already on its way to pick up Dr. Kazakov and bring him to Yagoda’s office….

“Well, how do you find Menzhinskv’s health?” was the first thing Yagoda said when he and Dr. Kazakov were alone in his office. The short, neat, dark Vice-Chairman of the OGPU was sitting behind his desk, coldly watching Dr. Kazakov’s expression.

Dr. Kazakov replied that with the sudden renewal of the asthmatic attacks, Menzhinskv’s condition was serious.

Yagoda was silent for a moment.

“Have you spoken to Levin?”

“Yes, I have,” replied Dr. Kazakov.

Yagoda abruptly rose from his seat and began pacing back and forth in front of his desk. Suddenly, he whirled on Dr. Kazakov, furiously exclaiming, “In that case, why are you fiddling about? Why don’t you act? Who asked you to butt into somebody else’s affairs?”

“What do you want of me?” asked Dr. Kazakov.

“Who asked you to give medical aid to Menzhinsky?” said Yagoda. “You’re fussing with him to no purpose. His life is of no use to anybody. He’s in everybody’s way. I order you to work out with Levin a method of treatment whereby it will be possible to bring about a quick end to Menzhinsky’s life!” After a pause, Yagoda added: “I warn you, Kazakov, if you make any attempt to disobey me I’ll find means of getting rid of you! You’ll never escape me….”

For Dr. Kazakov, the days that followed were full of terror, fear and nightmarish events. He went about his work in a daze. Should he or should he not report what he knew to the Soviet authorities? To whom could he speak? How could he be sure that he was not talking to one of Yagoda’s spies?

Dr. Levin, who saw him frequently during this period, told Kazakov of the existence of a vast undercover conspiracy against the Soviet Government. Famous, powerful state officials like Yagoda, Rykov and Pyatakov were in the conspiracy; brilliant writers and philosophers like Karl Radek and Bukharin had joined it; men in the army were secretly behind it. If he, Dr. Kazakov, performed some, valuable service for Yagoda now, Yagoda would remember it when he came to power. There was a secret war going on within the Soviet Union, and doctors, like other people, had to choose sides….

Dr. Kazakov succumbed. He told Levin that he would carry out Yagoda’s orders.

Here, in Dr. Kazakov’s own words, is the technique he and Dr. Levin used for the assassination of the Chairman of the OGPU, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky –

I met Levin and together with him worked out a method which consisted of the following. We took advantage of two main properties of albumen and albumenous products. First: the products of the hydrolytic decomposition of albumen possess the property of stimulating the effect of medicines. Second: lysatcs increase the sensitivity of the organism. These two properties were taken advantage of. Thirdly, advantage was taken of the peculiarities of Menzhinsky’s organism, of the combination of bronchial asthma and angina pectoris. It is a well-known fact that in a case of bronchial asthma the so-called parasympathetic section of the vegetative nervous system is excited. Therefore, in cases of bronchial asthma, substances are prescribed which excite the corresponding section, that is to say, the sympathetic the thyroid gland. Such a preparation is the extract of the suprarenal gland, a preparation of the medulla stratum. In case of angina pectoris it is just the sympathetic section which starts from the sub-jugular plexus of the sympathetic ganglion that is excited. That was the fine point which was taken advantage of….

Gradually, one set of preparations was introduced, while another was put aside…. It was necessary to introduce a number of heart stimulants – digitalis, adonis, atrophanthus – which stimulated the activity of the heart. These medicines were administered in the following order. First, lysates were administered; then there was an interval in the treatment with lystes: then heart stimulants were administered. As a result of this sort of treatment, a thorough weakening was brought about….

On the night of May 10, 1934, Menzhinsky died.

The man who took his place as chief of the OGPU was Henry Yagoda.

“I deny that in causing the death of Menzhinsky I was guided by motives of a personal nature,” Yagoda later stated. “I aspired to the post of head of the OGPU, not out elf personal consideration, but in the interests of our conspiratorial organization.”

3. Murder with a Guarantee

The murder list of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites included the following top Soviet leaders: Stalin, Voroshilov, Kirov, Menzhinsky, Molotov, Kuibyshev, Kaganovich, Gorky and Zhdanov. These men were well guarded. The Soviet Government had long, bitter experience in dealing with terrorists, and few chances were taken. Yagoda knew this very well. When the Right terrorist organizer, Yenukidze, communicated to him the decision of the Trotskyite-Zinovicvitc Terrorist Center to commit a public assassination of Sergei Kirov, Pagoda at first objected. As l Yagoda put it: –

I expressed my apprehension that a direct terrorist act might expose not only myself, but the whole organization as well. I pointed out to Yenukidze that there was a less dangerous method and I reminded him Yenukidze, how Menzhinsky’s death was brought about with the help of physicians. Yenukidze replied that the assassination of Kirov must be carried out the way it was planned, that the Trotskyites and Zinovievites took it upon themselves to commit this murder, and that it was our business not to place any obstacles. As for the safe method of causing death with the help of physicians, Yenukidze said that in the near future the center would discuss the question as to who exactly of the leaders of the Party and Government should be the first to be done to death by this method.

One day, towards the end of August 1934, a young secret member of the Right Opposition was summoned to Yenukidze’s Kremlin office. His name was Venyamin A. Maximov. In 1928, as a student, Maximov had attended the special “Marxist School” which Bukharin then headed in Moscow. Bukharin had recruited him into the conspiracy. A clever, unscrupulous youth, Maximov had been carefully trained by the Right leaders and, after his graduation, placed in various secretarial posts. At the time he was summoned to Yenukidze’s office, Maximov was the personal secretary of Valerian V. Kuibyshev, Chairman of the Supreme Council of National Economy, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, and an intimate friend and co-worker of Stalin.

Yenukidze informed Maximov that “whereas formerly the Rights calculated that the Soviet Government could be overthrown by organizing certain of the more anti-Soviet minded strata of the population, and in particular the kulaks, now the situation had changed… and it is necessary to proceed to more active methods of seizing power.” Yenukidze described the new tactics of the conspiracy. In agreement with the Trotskyites, he said, the Rights had adopted a decision to eliminate a number of their political opponents by terrorist means. This was to be done by “ruining the health of the leaders.” This method, said Yenukidze, was “the most convenient because of the fact that on the surface it would appear in the nature of an unfortunate issue to an illness and thereby make it possible for this terrorist activity of the Rights to be camouflaged.”

“Preparations for it have already begun,” Yenukidze added. He told Maxiniov that Yagoda was behind all this, and the conspirators had his protection. Maximov, as Kuibyshev’s secretary, was to be used in connection with the assassination of the Chairman of the National Supreme Economic Council. Kuibyshev suffered from a serious heart condition, and the conspirators planned to take advantage of it.

Maximov, startled at this assignment, showed some signs of hesitation.

A few days later, Maximov was again called to Yenukidze’s office. This time, while the assassination of Kuibyshev was discussed in more detail, a third man sat in a corner of the room. He did not utter a word during the entire conversation; but the implication of his presence was not lost on Maximov. The man was Henry Yagoda….

“what is demanded of you,” Yenukidze told Maximov, “is, first, to give them [Yagoda’s physicians] the opportunity of being unhindered so that they can be in frequent attendance on the patient, so that there should be no hitch in their so-called visits to the patient; and, secondly, in the event of acute illness, attacks of any kind, not to hurry in calling in the doctor, and if it is necessary, to call in only those doctors who are treating him.”

Toward the fall of 1934 Kuibyshev’s health suddenly took a sharp turn for the worse. He suffered intensely, and could do little work.

Dr. Levin later described the technique which, on Yagoda’s instructions, he employed to bring about Kuibyshev’s illness: –

The vulnerable spot in his organism was his heart, and it was this at which we struck. We knew that his heart had been in a poor condition over a considerable period of time. He suffered from an affection of the cardiac vessels, myocarditis, and he had slight attacks of angina pectoris. In such cases, it is necessary to spare the heart, to avoid potent heart stimulants, which would excessively stimulate the activity of the Heart and gradually lead to its further weakening…. In the case of Kuibyshev we administered stimulants for the heart without intervals, over a protracted period, up to the time he made his trip to Central Asia. Beginning with August, until September or October 1934, he was given injections without a break, of special endocrine gland extracts and other heart stimulants. This intensified and brought on more frequent attacks of angina pectoris.

At two o’clock on the afternoon of January 25, 1935, Kuibyshev suffered a severe heart attack in his office at the Council of People’s Commissars in Moscow. Maximov, who was with Kuibyshev at the time, had previously been told by Dr. Levin that in the event of such an attack the correct thing for Kuibyshev to do was to lie down and remain absolutely quiet. Maximov was told that his job was to see that Kuibyshev did exactly the opposite. He persuaded the desperately ill man to walk home.

Ghastly pale and moving with extreme difficulty, Kuibyshev left his office. Maximov promptly called Yenukidze and told him what had happened. The Right leader instructed Maximov to keep calm and not to call any doctors.

Kuibyshev painfully made his way home from the building of the Council of People’s Commissars to the house where lie lived. Slowly and with increasing agony, he climbed the stairs to his apartment on the third floor. His maid met him at the door, took one look at him and immediately telephoned his office that he was in urgent need of medical attention.

By the time the doctors arrived at the house, Valerian Kuibyshev was dead.

4. “Historical Necessity”

The most brutal of all the murders carried out under Yagoda’s supervision were those of Maxim Gorky and his son, Peshkov. Gorky was sixty-eight years old at the time of his murder. He was known and revered throughout the world not only as Russia’s greatest living writer but also as one of the world’s outstanding humanists. He suffered from tuberculosis and a bad heart condition. His son Peshkov had inherited an extreme susceptibility to respiratory infections. Both Gorky and his son were patients of Dr. Levin.

The murders of Gorky and his son, Peshkov, were carried out by Yagoda following a unanimous decision of the upper leaders of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites. In 1934 Yagoda communicated this decision to Dr. Levin and ordered him to carry it out.

“Gorky is a man who is very close to the highest leadership,” Yagoda told Dr. Levin, “a man very much devoted to the policy which is being carried out in the country, very devoted personally to Stalin, a man who will never tread our road. Then again, you know what authority Gorky’s words have both in our country and far beyond its borders. You are aware of the influence he enjoys and how much harm he can cause our movement by his words. You must agree to undertake this and you will reap the fruits of it when the new government comes to power.”

When Dr. Levin showed some perturbation at these instructions, Yagoda went on: “There is no need for you to be so upset, you should understand that this is inevitable, that this is a historical moment, that it is a historical necessity, a stage of the revolution through which we must pass, and you will pass through it with us, you will be a witness of it, and you must help us with the means you have at your disposal.”(2)

Peshkov was murdered before his father.

Dr. Levin later said: – There were three systems in his organism which could very easily be taken advantage of: they were the exceptionally excitable cardiac-vascular system, his respiratory organs, inherited from his father, not in the sense of suffering from tuberculosis, but in the sense of weakness, and finally the vegetative nervous system. Even a small quantity of wine affected his organism, whereas, despite this, he drank wine in large quantities….

Dr. Levin worked methodically on the weaknesses in Peshkov’s “organism.”

In the middle of April 1934, Peshkov caught a serious chill. Croupous pneumonia set in.

When it seemed that Peshkov might recover, Yagoda was furious. “Damn it all,” he exclaimed, “they are able to kill healthy people by their treatment, and here they cannot do the trick on a sick man!”

But finally Dr. Levin’s efforts achieved the desired results. As he himself later reported: –

The patient was very much enfeebled; his heart was in an abominable condition; the nervous system, as we know, plays a tremendous role during infectious diseases. He was altogether overwrought, altogether weakened and the ailment took an exceptionally grave turn.

… The progress of the sickness was aggravated by the fact that the medicines capable of bringing great benefit to the heart were eliminated, while, on the contrary, those that weakened the heart were applied. And finally… on May 11 he died of pneumonia.

Maxim Gorky was murdered by similar methods. During 1935, Gorky’s frequent trips away from Moscow, which took him out of Dr. Levin’s hands, temporarily saved his life. Then, early in 1936, came the opportunity for which Dr. Levin was waiting. Gorky contracted a serious case of grippe in Moscow. Dr. Levin deliberately aggravated Gorky’s condition, and, as in Peshkov’s case, croupous pneumonia set in. Once again, Dr. Levin murdered his patient: –

As regards Alexei Maximovich Gorky, the line was as follows: to use such medicines, which were in general indicated, against which no doubt or suspicion could arise and which could be used to stimulate the activity of the heart. Among such medicines were camphor, caffeine, cardiosol, digalen. We have the right to apply these medicines for a group of cardiac diseases. But in his case they were administered in tremendous doses. Thus, for example, he received as many as forty injections of camphor… in twenty-four hours. This dose was too heavy for him…. Plus two injections of digalen…. Plus four injections of caffeine…. Plus two injections of strychnine.

On June 18, 1936, the great Soviet writer died.

1. On December 23, 1943, Dr. Henry E. Sigerist, Professor of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and outstanding American authority on medical history, wrote the authors of this book regarding Dr. Ignaty N. Kazakov: –

“I spent a whole day with Professor Ignaty N. Kazakov at his clinic in 1935. He was a big man with a wild mane who looked more like an artist than a scientist and who reminded you of an opera singer. Talking to him, he gave you the impression that he was either a genius or a crook. He claimed to have discovered a new method of treatment which he called lystotherapy satotherapy but refused to disclose how he was preparing the lystes with which he treated a great variety of patients. He motivated his refusal with the argument that the method might be discredited if it were used carelessly or uncritically by others before it had been fully tested. The Soviet health authorities took a most liberal attitude and gave him all possible clinical and laboratory facilities to test and develop his method.

“Professor Kazakov expected my visit and the day I came he had invited a large number of his former patients in order to demonstrate them to me…. It was a regular circus and made a very bad impression. I had seen miracle cures performed by quacks in other countries… A few years later it was evident that his method was no good and that hewas not only a crook but a criminal.”

2. Despite his age, Gorky was hated and feared by the Trotskyites. Sergei Bessonov, the Trotskyite courier, related that as early as July 1934, Leon Trotsky told him: “Gorky is very intimate with Stalin. He plays an exceptional role in winning sympathy for the USSR among the democratic opinion of the world and especially of Western Europe…. Our former supporters among the intelligentsia are leaving us very largely under the influence of Gorky. From this I draw the conclusion that Gorky must be put out of the way. Convey this instruction to Pyatakov in the most categorical form; corky must be physically exterminated at all costs.”

The fascist Russian emigre’s and terrorists, who were working with the Nazis, had also placed Gorky on the list of those Soviet leaders they planned to assassinate. The November 1, 1934, issue of Za Rossiyu, the organ of the fascist Russian National League of New Regeneration, published in Belgrade, Yugoslovia, declared: “Kirov in Leningrad must be removed. We must also do away with Kossior and Postyshev in the South of Russia. Brothers, fascists, if you can’t get to Stalin, kill Gorky, kill the poet Demiyan Bieni, kill Kaganovich..

Yagoda’s motive in murdering Gorky’s son, Peshkov, was not only political. Previous to the murder, Yagoda told one of the conspirators that Peshkov’s death would be a “heavy blow” to Gorkv and would turn him into a “harmless old man.” But at his trial in 1938, Yagoda asked permission of the court to refrain from publicly revealing his reasons for having Peshkov killed. Yagoda asked that he be allowed to give this testimony at one of the in camera sessions. The court granted his wish. Ambassador Davies, in his book Mission to Moscow, gives this possible explanation for Peshkov’s murder: “Beneath it runs the tale that Yagoda… was infatuated with young Gorky’s beautiful wife.. ,.”

CHAPTER XIX – Days of Decision

1. The War Comes West

BY 1935, plans for the joint German-Japanese attack on the Soviet Union were well advanced: The Japanese armies in Manchuria were staging repeated “probing” raids and sorties across the Soviet eastern border. The German High Command was carrying on secret negotiations with fascist Polish military circles for an anti-Soviet military alliance. The Nazi Fifth Columns were being readied in the Baltic and Balkan countries, in Austria and Czechoslovakia. Reactionary British and French diplomats were eagerly promoting Hitler’s promised Drang nach Osten. . . .

On February 3, following discussions between the French Premier Pierre Laval and the British Foreign Secretary Sir John Simon, the French and British Governments announced their joint agreement to release Nazi Germany from certain of the disarmament provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.

On February 17 the London Observer commented: –

Why is Tokio diplomacy so busy at this moment in Warsaw and in Berlin?… Moscow supplies the answer… The relations between Germany, Poland and Japan become closer every day. In an emergency they would amount to an anti-Soviet alliance.

In the expectation that the arms were to be used against Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany’s rearmament program was aided in every possible way by anti-Soviet statesmen in Great Britain and France…

On March 1, after a plebiscite preceded by an intensive Nazi terror and propaganda campaign among the residents of the district, the Saar with its vital coal mines was handed over from France to Nazi Germany.

On March 16 the Government of the Third Reich formally repudiated the Treaty of Versailles and communicated to the French, British, Polish and Italian Ambassadors in Berlin a Nazi decree proclaiming “universal military service” in Germany.

On April 13 Berlin announced its intention of creating an air fleet of heavy bombers.

On June 18, eleven days after Tory Stanley Baldwin became British Prime Minister, an Anglo-German naval accord was announced. Nazi Germany was given the right to construct a new navy and “to possess a submarine tonnage equal to the total submarine tonnage possessed by the Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.” The agreement was reached following an exchange of letters between Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and the new British Foreign Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare.

On November 3 L’Echo de Paris reported a conference which had taken place between the Nazi banker, Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Montagu Norman, and the Governor of the Banque de France, M. Tannery. According to the French journal, Dr. Schacht declared at the conference: –

We have no intention to change our Western frontiers. Sooner or later Germany and Poland will share the Ukraine, but for the moment we shall be satisfied with making our strength felt over the Baltic provinces.

On November 11, the New York Herald Tribune observed: –

Premier Laval, who is also Foreign Minister, is a strong partisan of an agreement between the French Third Republic and the Nazi Third Reich, and is reported to be willing to scrap the Franco-Soviet pact, which has been signed but not ratified by the French Parliament for an agreement whereby the Hitler regime would guarantee France’s eastern frontier in exchange for complete freedom of action in the Memel region and in the Ukraine.

In face of the growing war threat, the Soviet Government repeatedly called for united action by all countries menaced by fascist aggression. Again and again, before the League of Nations and in the capitals of Europe, Soviet Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov urged collective security and alliances between the non-aggressor nations. On May 2, 1935, the Soviet Government signed a Treaty of Mutual Assistance with the Government of France, and on May 16 a similar treaty with the Government of Czechoslovakia.

“War must appear to all as the threatening danger of tomorrow,” Litvinov told the League of Nations. “The organization of peace, for which thus far very little has been done, must be set against the extremely active organization of war.”

In October 1935, with the diplomatic blessing of Pierre Laval and Sir Samuel Hoare, the Italian Fascist armies of Mussolini invaded Ethiopia…

The Second World War, which had started when Japan attacked Manchuria in 1931, was coming West.(1)

On Soviet soil the secret fascist vanguard had already launched a major offensive against the war potential of the Red Army. In alliance with German and Japanese agents, the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites had begun their carefully planned, systematic campaign against Soviet industry, transport and agriculture. The objective was the undermining of the Soviet defense system in preparation for the coming war.

The campaign of total sabotage was being carried on under the expert supervision of Pyatakov, the Trotskyite Vice-Commissar of Heavy Industry.

“Terror is a drastic method,” Pyatakov told a secret meeting of Rights and Trotskyites in Moscow, “but it is far from enough. It is necessary to undermine the achievements gained by the Soviet power, to undermine the prestige of Stalin’s leadership, and to disorganize economic life… Activities must be developed in the most energetic fashion. We must act with the utmost determination. We must act energetically and persistently, and stop at nothing. All means are useful and fair-such is Trotsky’s directive, which the Trotskyite Center subscribes to!”

By the fall of 1935, the operation of the sabotage units in strategic localities throughout the Soviet Union had been galvanized into an all-out effort. In the new heavy industries in the Urals, in the coal mines of the Donbas and Kuzbas, on the railroads, in the power plants and on construction jobs, the Trotskyite saboteurs under Pyatakov’s direction were striking simultaneous and powerful blows at the most vital branches of Soviet production. Similar wrecking activities, supervised by Bukharin and other leaders of the Rights, were under way on the collective farms, in the co-operatives, and in government trade, finance and commerce agencies. German and Japanese Intelligence agents were directing many phases of the sabotage campaign.

These were some of the sabotage operations carried out by the German and Japanese agents, Rights and Trotskyites, as later described by the saboteurs themselves: –

Ivan Knyazev, Trotskyite and Japanese agent, executive on the Urals railroad system:

With regard to developing diversive and wrecking activities on the railways and the organization of the wrecking of trains I carried out instructions in full, since in this matter the instructions of the Japanese military intelligence service fully coincided with the instructions I had received somewhat earlier from the Trotskyite organization… ,

On October 27… a train wreck took place at Shumikha… a troop train… this was the work of our organization… The train, travelling at high speed, about 40 or 50 kilometers an hour, sped off down the eighth track, on which a freight train of ore was standing. Twenty-nine Red Army men [were killed), and twenty-nine were also injured… From thirteen to fifteen wrecks were organized directly by us…

The Japanese intelligence service strongly stressed the necessity of using bacteriological means in time of war with the object of contaminating troop trains, canteens and army sanitary centres with highly virulent bacilli…

Leonid Serebryakov, Trotskyite, Assistant Chief of the Railroads Administration: –

We set ourselves a very concrete and definite task: to disrupt freight traffic, to reduce daily loadings by increasing the runs of empty cars, by refraining from increasing the very low running norms for cars and engines, and by refraining from making full use of the traction power and capacity of engines, and so forth.

… on Pyatakov’s proposal Livshitz [a Trotskyite and Japanese agent] came to see me at the Central Road Motor Transport Administration. He was the Chief of the Southern Railway… He informed me that on the Southern Railway he had an assistant, Zorin, who could develop this activity… Livshitz and I discussed the matter and came to the conclusion that in addition to the actions of the organizations in the center and in the provinces, the effect of which would be to cause confusion and chaos on the railways, it was also necessary to insure the possibility of blocking the most important railway junctions in the first days of mobilization by creating on them such jams as would lead to the dislocation of the transport system and reduce the capacity of the railway junctions.

Alexei Shestov, Trotskyite and Nazi agent, member of the Board of Eastern and Siberian Coal Trust: –

In the Prokopyevek Mines the chamber-and-pillar system was employed without filling in the worked-out cavity. As a result of this system we had over 50 per cent loss of coal instead of the usual 15-20 per cent. Secondly, as a result of this, we had about sixty underground fires in the Prokopyevek Mines up to the end of 1935.

…deepening of the shafts was begun at the wrong time, in particular in the Molotov Pit; the hundred-metre level of the “Koksovaya” Pit was deliberately left unworked from 1933 onwards, and the deepening of the “Meneikha” Pit was not begun at the right time… in the installation of the equipment and in the installation of the underground power station and of other machinery, disruptive work was performed on a large scale…

Stanislav Rataichak, Trotskyite and Nazi agent, chief of the Central Administration o f the Chemical Industry: –

In accordance with my instructions… three breakdowns were arranged, one diversive act at the Gorlovka Works and two other breakdowns – one at the Nevsky Works and the other at the Voskressensk Combined Chemical Works…

Yakov Drobnis, Trotskyite, Assistant Chief at the Kemerovo Works: –

Since the end of July 1934, I was put in charge of all the wrecking and diversive activities in the whole of the Kuzbas… I lived in Central Asia throughout 1933 and left in May 1934 because the Trotskyite center decided to transfer me to Western Siberia. Since Pyatakov was in a position to transfer me from one job in industry to another, this problem could be solved very easily…

One of the wrecking tasks in the plan was to diffuse funds on measures of secondary importance. Another was to delay construction work in such a way as to prevent the launching of important departments on the dates fixed by the government…

The district power plant was put into such a state that, if it were deemed necessary for wrecking purposes, and when the order was given, the mine could be flooded. In addition, coal was supplied that was technically unsuitable for fuel, and this led to explosions. This was done quite deliberately… a number of workers were seriously injured.

Mikhail Chernov, member of the Rights, agent of German Military Intelligence, Commissar of Agriculture of the U.S.S.R.: – 

The German intelligence service made a special point of the organization of wrecking activities in the sphere of horsebreeding in order… , not to provide horses for the Red Army. As regards seed, we included in our program muddling-up seed affairs, mixing up assorted seed and thus lowering the harvest yield in the country…

As regards stock breeding, the aim was to kill off pedigree breed-stock and to strive for high cattle mortality to prevent the development of fodder resources and especially to infect cattle artificially with various kinds of bacteria…

In order to cause heavy cattle mortality, in Eastern. Siberia, I instructed Ginsburg, Chief of the Veterinary Department, who belonged to the organization of the Rights… not to supply anti-anthrax serum to Eastern Siberia… when there was an outbreak there of anthrax in 1936 it turned out that no serum was available, with the result that I cannot say how many exactly, but at any rate over 25,000 horses perished.

Vasily Sharangovich, member of the Rights, Polish secret agent, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia: –

I engaged in wrecking activities chiefly in the sphere of agriculture. In 1932 we, and I personally, developed extensive wrecking work in this sphere. Firstly, by slowing down the pace of collectivization…

Furthermore we arranged for the undermining of the grain collection plans… , we took measures to spread plague among pigs, which resulted in a high pig mortality; this was done by inoculating pigs against plague in a wrecking fashion.

… In 1936 we caused a wide outbreak of anemia among horses in Byelorussia. This was done intentionally, because in Byelorussia horses are extremely important for defense purposes. We endeavored to undermine this powerful base in case it should be needed in connection with war.

As far as I can remember, 30,000 horses perished owing to this measure…

2. A Letter from Trotsky

At the end of 1935, with war looming ever closer, a long awaited letter from Trotsky was delivered by special courier to Karl Radek in Moscow. It came from Norway.(2) With great anticipation Radek unfolded and began to read the letter. On eight pages of fine English paper, Trotsky outlined the details of the secret agreement he was at last about to conclude with the Governments of Germany and Japan.

After a preamble stressing the “victory of German fascism” and the imminence of “international war,” the letter reached its main topic: –

There are two possible variants of our coming into power. The first variant is the possibility of our coming into power before a war, and the second variant, during a war…

It must be admitted that the question of power will become a practical issue for the Bloc only as a result of the defeat of the U.S.S.R. in war. For this the Bloc must make energetic preparations…

From now on, wrote Trotsky, “the diversive acts of the Trotskyites in the war industries” would have to be carried out under the direct “supervision of the German and Japanese High Commands.” The Trotskyites must undertake no “practical activity” without first having obtained the consent of their German and Japanese allies.

To secure the full backing of Germany and Japan, without which “it would be absurd to think we can come to power,” the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites must be prepared to make considerable concessions. Trotsky named them: –

Germany needs raw materials, foodstuffs and markets. We shall have to permit her to take part in the exploitation of ore, manganese, gold, oil, apatites, and to undertake to supply her for a definite period with foodstuffs and fats at less than world prices.

We shall have to yield the oil of Sakhalin to Japan and to guarantee to supply her with oil in case of a war with America. We shall also have to permit her to exploit gold-fields.

We shall have to agree to Germany’s demand not to oppose her seizure of the Danube countries and the Balkans, and riot to hinder Japan in her seizure of China… We shall inevitably have to make territorial concessions. We shall have to yield the Maritime Province and Amur region to Japan, and the Ukraine to Germany.

Trotsky’s letter then outlined the kind of Russian regime which would be established after the overthrow of the Soviet Government: –

It must be understood that without to a certain extent bringing the social structure of the U.S.S.R. in line with that of the capitalist states, the government of the bloc will be unable to maintain itself in power…

The admission of German and Japanese capital for the exploitation of the U.S.S.R. will create important capitalist interests on Soviet territory. Those strata in the villages which have not outlived the capitalist psychology and are dissatisfied with the collective farms will gravitate towards them. The Germans and the Japanese will demand that we relieve the atmosphere in the rural districts; we shall therefore have to make concessions and allow the dissolution of the collective farms or withdraw from the collective farms.

Politically, as well as territorially and economically, there would have to be drastic changes in the new Russia: –

There can be no talk of any kind of democracy. The working class has lived through eighteen years of revolution, and it has vast appetites; and this working class will have to be sent back partly to privately owned factories and to state owned factories which will have to compete with foreign capital under most difficult conditions. That means that the living standards of the working class will be drastically lowered. In the countryside the struggle of the poor and middleclass peasants against the kulaks will be renewed. And then, in order to hold power, we shall need a strong government, irrespective of what forms are employed to veil it.

Trotsky’s letter concluded: –

We have to accept everything, but if we remain alive and in power, then owing to the victory of these two countries (Germany and Japan) and as a result of their plunder and profit a conflict will arise between them and others, and this will lead to our new development, our “Revanche.”

Radek read Trotsky’s letter with mixed feelings. “After I read these directives,” he later said, “I thought them over at night… it was clear to me that although the directives contained all the elements which had formerly been present, yet these elements had now so matured that… what Trotsky proposed was without any limits… We ceased to be in any degree master of our own actions.”

The following morning Radek showed Trotsky’s letter to Pyatakov. “It is necessary to meet with Trotsky by one way or another,” said Pyatakov. He himself was about to leave the Soviet Union on official business, and would be in Berlin for a few days. Radek should send off an urgent message informing Trotsky of Pyatakov’s trip and asking Trotsky to contact him in Berlin as soon as possible.

3. A Flight to Oslo

Pyatakov reached Berlin on December 10, 1935. Radek’s message to Trotslcy had preceded him, and a courier was waiting to contact Pyatakov as soon as he arrived in the Nazi capital. The courier was Dmitri Bukhartsev, a Trotskyite who was the Izvestia correspondent in Berlin. Bukhartsev told Pyatakov that a man named Stirner was bringing word from Trotsky. Stirner, the courier explained, was “Trotsky’s man” in Berlin.(3)

Pyatakov went with Bukharstev to one of the lanes in the Tiergarten. A man was waiting for them. It was “Stirner.” He handed Pvatakov a note from Trotsky. It read: “Y. L. [Pyatakov’s initials], the bearer of this note can be fully trusted.”

In a manner as terse as the note he delivered, Stirner stated that Trotsky was very anxious to see Pyatakov and had instructed him to make the necessary arrangements. Was Pyatakov prepared to travel by airplane to Oslo, Norway?

Pyatakov fully understood the risk of exposure involved in such a trip. However, he had made up his mind to see Trotsky at all costs. He said he was willing to make the flight. Stirner told Pyatakov to be at the Tempelhof Airport the following morning.

When Pyatakov asked about a passport, Stirner replied, “Don’t worry. I will arrange the matter. I have connections in Berlin.”

At the appointed hour, next morning, Pyatakov went to the Tempelhof Airport. Stirner was waiting at the entrance. He indicated that Pyatakov was to follow him. As they walked towards the airfield, Stirner showed Pyatakov the passport which had been prepared for him. It was issued by the Government of Nazi Germany.

At the airfield, a plane was waiting, ready to take off…

That afternoon the plane settled down over a landing field near the city of Oslo in Norway. An automobile was waiting for Pyatakov and Stirner. They were driven in the car for half an hour, until they reached a country suburb in the environs of Oslo. The car stopped in front of a small house.

Inside the house, Trotsky was waiting to receive his old friend.

The years of embittered exile had changed the man whom Pyatakov regarded as his leader. Trotsky looked older than his fifty-odd years. His hair and beard were gray. He stooped. Behind his pince-nez his eyes glittered with an almost maniacal intensity.

Few words were wasted on greetings. At Trotsky’s orders, he and Pyatakov were left alone in the house. The conversation which followed lasted two hours.

Pyatakov began by making a report on the state of affairs inside Russia. Trotsky continually interrupted him with sharp, sarcastic comments.

“You can’t break away from Stalin’s navel cord!” he exclaimed. “You take Stalin’s construction for socialist construction!”

Trotsky berated Pyatakov and his other Russian followers for talking too much and accomplishing too little. “Of course,” said Trotsky angrily, “you over there are spending too much time discussing international problems; you would do better to devote yourselves to those affairs of yours which are going so badly! As for international affairs, I know more about these things than you do!”

Trotsky repeated his conviction that the collapse of Stalin’s state was inevitable. Fascism would not tolerate much longer the development of Soviet power.

The Trotskyites in Russia were faced with this choice: either they would “perish in the ruins of the Stalin state,” or they must immediately galvanize all their energies in an all-out effort to overthrow the Stalin regime. There must be no hesitation about accepting the guidance and assistance of the German and Japanese High Commands in this crucial struggle.

A military clash between the Soviet Union and the Fascist Powers was inevitable, Trotsky added, not at some remote time in the future, but soon – very soon. “The date of the outbreak of the war has already been fixed,” said Trotsky. “It will be in 1937.”

It was clear to Pyatakov that Trotsky had not invented this information. Trotsky now revealed to Pyatakov that for some time past he had been “conducting rather lengthy negotiations with the Vice-Chairman of the German National Socialist Party , Hess.”

As a result of these negotiations with Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Trotsky had entered into an agreement, “an absolutely definite agreement,” with the Government of the Third Reich. The Nazis were ready to help the Trotskyites to come to power in the Soviet Union.

“It goes without saying,” Trotsky sky told Pyatakov, “that such a favorable attitude is not due to any, particular love for the Trotskyites. It simply proceeds from the real interests of the fascists and from what we have promised to do for them if we come to power.”

Concretely, the agreement which Trotsky had entered into with the Nazis consisted of five points. In return for Germany’s assistance in bringing the Trotskyites to power in Russia, Trotsky had agreed: –

(1) to guarantee a generally favourable attitude towards the German government and the necessary collaboration with it in the most important questions of international character;

(2) to agree to territorial concessions [the Ukraine];

(3) to permit German industrialists, in the form of concessions (or some other forms), to exploit enterprises in the U.S.S.R. essential as complements to German economy (iron ore, manganese, oil, gold, timber, etc.);

(4) to create in the U.S.S.R. favourable conditions for the activities of German private enterprise;

(5) in time of war to develop extensive diversive activities in enterprises of the war industry and at the front. These diversive activities to be carried on under Trotsky’s instructions, agreed upon with the German General Staff.

Pyatakov, as Trotsky’s chief lieutenant in Russia, was concerned that this out-and-out deal with Nazism might be difficult to explain to the rank-and-file members of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.

“Program questions must not be put before the rank-and-file members of the Bloc in all their scope,” Trotsky impatiently declared. “It would only scare them.”

The organization as a whole was to know nothing about the detailed agreement which had been reached with the Fascist Powers. “It is neither possible nor expedient to make it public,” said Trotsky, “or even to communicate it to any considerable number of Trotskyites. Only a very small, restricted group of people can be informed about it at this time.”

Trotsky kept stressing the urgency of the time factor.

“It is a matter of a comparatively short period,” he insisted. “If we miss this opportunity, the danger will arise, on the one hand, of the complete liquidation of Trotskyism in the country, and, on the other hand, of the existence of that monstrosity, the Stalin state, for decades, supported by certain economic achievements, and particularly by the new, young cadres who have grown up and have been brought up to take this state for granted, to regard it as a socialist, Soviet state – they don’t think of any other state and they cannot conceive of any! Our task is to oppose ourselves to that state.”

“Look,” concluded Trotsky as the time for Pyatakov’s departure drew near, “there was a time when we Socialist Democrats all regarded the development of capitalism as a progressive, as a positive phenomenon… But we had different tasks, namely, to organize the struggle against capitalism, to rear its grave-diggers. And so now we should go into the service of the Stalin state, not however to help build that state, but to become its grave-diggers, therein lies our task!”

At the end of two hours, Pyatakov left Trotsky in the small house on the outskirts of Oslo and returned to Berlin as he had come, by privately chartered plane, and carrying a Nazi passport.

4. Zero Hour

The Second World War, which Trotsky predicted would strike Soviet Russia in 1937, had already reached Europe. Following Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, events had moved swiftly. In June 1936, Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland. In July, the Fascists struck in Spain with a Putsch of Spanish officers against the Republican Government. Under the pretext of “combating Bolshevism” and suppressing a “Communist revolution,” German and Italian troops landed in Spain to aid the officers’ revolt. The Spanish Fascist leader, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, marched on Madrid. “Four columns are marching on Madrid,” boasted the drunken Fascist General Quiepo de Llano. “A Fifth Column is waiting to greet us inside the city!” It was the first time the world heard the fateful phrase – “Fifth Column.”(4)

Adolf Hitler, addressing thousands of troops at the Nuremberg Nazi Party Congress on September 12, publicly proclaimed his intention of invading the Soviet Union.

“We are ready at any hour!” cried Hitler. “I cannot permit ruined states on my doorstep!… If I had the Ural Mountains with their incalculable store of treasures in raw materials, Siberia with its vast forests, and the Ukraine with its tremendous wheat fields, Germany and the National Socialist leadership would swim in plenty!”

On November 25, 1936, the Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and the Japanese Ambassador to Germany, M. Mushakoji, signed the Anti-Comintern Agreement in Berlin, pledging their combined forces to a joint attack against “World Bolshevism.”

Aware of the imminent war danger, the Soviet Government initiated a sudden counteroffensive against the enemy within its own borders. During the spring and summer of 1936, in a series of startling raids throughout the country, the Soviet authorities swooped down on Nazi spies, secret Trotskyite and Right organizers, terrorists and saboteurs. In Siberia a Nazi agent named Emil Stickling was arrested, and found to have been directing sabotage activities in the Kemerovo mines in collaboration with Alexei Shestov and other Trotskyites. In Leningrad, another Nazi agent, Valentine Olberg, was seized. Olberg was not only a Nazi agent, he was one of Trotsky’s special emissaries. He had contact with Fritz David, Nathan Lurye, Konon Berman-Yurin and other terrorists. One after another, the leaders of the first “layer” of the conspiracy were being tracked down.

A coded message which Ivan Smirnov had smuggled out of prison to his co-conspirators was intercepted by the Soviet authorities. The Trotskyite terrorists Ephraim Dreitzer and Sergei Mrachkovsky were arrested.

A mood of feverish anxiety gripped the Russian conspirators. Now everything depended on the attack from without. Yagoda’s efforts to hamstring the official investigation were becoming increasingly reckless. “It looks as if Yezhov is getting at the bottom of the Leningrad affair!” Yagoda furiously told his secretary, Bulanov.

One of Yagoda’s own men a NKVD agent named Borisov, was abruptly summoned to the special investigation headquarters at the Smolny Institute in Leningrad for questioning. Borisov had played a leading part in the prearrangements for the murder of Kirov. Yagoda acted in desperation. While driving to the Smolny Institute, Borisov was killed in an “automobile accident.”…

But the elimination of a single witness was not enough. The official investigation went on. Daily, new arrests were reported. Piece by piece the Soviet authorities were fitting together the intricate jigsaw of conspiracy, treason and murder. By August, almost all the leading members of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center were under arrest. The Soviet Government announced that sensational new evidence had been brought to light as the result of the special investigation into Kirov’s murder. Kamenev and Zinoviev were to stand trial again.

The trial began on August 19, 1936, in the October Hall of the House of Trade-Unions in Moscow, before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. Zinoviev and Kamenev, brought from prison where they were still serving their terms on previous convictions, faced the court along with fourteen of their former associates on charges of treason. The other accused included the one-time leaders of Trotsky’s Guard, Ivan Smirnov, Sergei Mrachkovsky and Ephraim Dreitzer; Zinoviev’s secretary, Grigori Evdokimov, and his aide, Ivan Bakayev; and five of Trotsky’s special terrorist emissaries, Fritz David, Nathan Lurye, Moissei Lurye, Konon Berman-Yurin and Valentine Olberg.

The trial – the first of the so-called “Moscow Trials” – exposed and smashed the Terrorist Center, the first layer of the conspiratorial apparatus. At the same time it established that the plot against the Soviet regime went much further and involved far more important forces than the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorists on trial.

As the trial proceeded, the public got its first glimpse of the intimate relationship that had developed between Leon Trotsky and the leaders of Nazi Germany. The examination by Soviet Prosecutor A. Y. Vyshinsky of Valentine Olberg, the German Trotskyite who had been sent into the Soviet Union by Trotsky himself, brought some startling facts to light: –

VYSHINSKY: What do you know about Friedmann?

OLBERG: Friedmann was a member of the Berlin Trotskyite organization who was also sent to the Soviet Union.

VYSHINSKY: Are you aware of the fact that Friedmann was connected with the German secret police?

OLBERG: I had heard about that.

VYSHINSKY: Connections between the German Trotskyites and the German police – was that systematic?

OLBERG: Yes, it was systematic and it was done with Trotsky’s consent.

VYSHINSKY: How do you know that it was done with Trotsky’s knowledge and consent?

OLBERG: One of the lines of connection was maintained by myself. My connection was established with the sanction of Trotsky.

VYSHINSKY: Your personal connection with whom? OLBERG. With the fascist secret police.

VYSHINSKY: So it can be said that you yourself admit connections with the Gestapo?

OLBERG: I do not deny this. In 1933 there began organized systematic connection between the German Trotskyites and the German fascist police.

Olberg described to the court how he had obtained the forged South American passport with which he had entered the Soviet Union. He had, he said, obtained it through “Tukalevskky,(5) an agent of the German secret police in Prague.” Olberg added that in getting this passport he had received some assistance from his brother, Paul Olberg.

“Did your brother have any connection with the Gestapo?” asked Vyshinsky.

“He was Tukalevsky’s agent.”

“An agent of the fascist police?”

“Yes,” said Olberg.

Trotsky’s emissary, Nathan Lurye, told the court how he had received instructions before leaving Germany that upon his arrival in the Soviet Union he should work with the German engineer-architect, Franz Weizz.

“Who is Franz Weitz?” asked Vyshinsky.

“Franz Weitz was a member of the National Socialist Party of Germany,” said Lurye. “He arrived in the U.S.S.R. on the instructions of Himmler who at that time was chief of the S.S. and subsequently became chief of the Gestapo.”

“Franz Weitz was his representative?”

“Franz Weitz arrived in the U.S.S.R. on the instructions of Himmler for the purpose of committing terroristic acts.”

But it was not until Kamenev testified, that the leaders of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites realized their situation was desperate. Kamenev betrayed the existence of the other “layers” of the conspiratorial apparatus.

“Knowing that we might be discovered,” Kamenev told the court, “we designated a small group to continue our terroristic activities. For this purpose we designated Sokolnikov. It seemed to us that on the side of the Trotskyites this role could be successfully performed by Serebryakov and Radek… In 1932, 1933 and 1934 I personally maintained relations with Tomsky and Bukharin and sounded their political sentiments. They sympathized with us. When I asked Tomsky about Rykov’s frame of mind, he replied: `Rykov thinks the same as you do.’ In reply to my question as to what Bukharin thought, he said: `Bukharin thinks the same as I do but is pursuing somewhat different tactics: he does not agree with the line of the Party, but is pursuing tactics of persistently enrooting himself in the Party and winning the personal confidence of the leadership.’ ‘

Some of the accused pleaded for mercy. Others seemed resigned to their fate. “The political importance and the past of each of us were not the same,” said Ephraim Dreitzer, a former leader of Trotsky’s bodyguard. “But having become assassins, we have all become equals here. I, at any rate, am one of those who have no right to expect or to ask for mercy.”

In his last words, the terrorist Fritz David cried out: “I curse Trotsky! I curse that man who ruined my life and pushed me into heinous crime!”

On the evening of August 23 the Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme Court handed down its verdict. Zinoviev, Kamenev, Smirnov, and the thirteen other members of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite-Terrorist Bloc were sentenced to be shot for their terrorist and treasonous activities.

A week later, Pyatakov, Radek, Sokolnikov and Serebryakov were arrested. On September 27, Henry Yagoda was removed from his post as Chairman of the NKVD. His place was taken by N. I. Yezhov, the head of the special investigatory committee of the Central Control Commission of the Bolshevik Party. The day before he was moved out of the NKVD offices, Yagoda made a last wild attempt to poison his successor, Yezhov. The attempt failed.

It was zero hour for the Russian conspirators. The Right leaders, Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, were expecting their own arrests daily. They demanded immediate action without waiting for war. The panic-stricken Right trade-union chief, Tomsky, proposed an immediate armed attack on the Kremlin. It was dismissed as too risky. The forces were not ready for such an open venture.

At a final meeting of the chief leaders of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites, just before Pyatakov and Radek went to prison, it was decided to prepare for an armed coup d’état. The organization of this coup, and direction of the entire conspiratorial apparatus, were placed in the hands of Nicolai Krestinsky, the Assistant Commissar of Foreign Affairs. Krestinsky had not exposed himself as the others had, was unlikely to be suspected, and had maintained close connections with Trotsky and the Germans. He would be able to carry on even if Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky were arrested.

As his deputy and second-in-command, Krestinsky selected Arkady Rosengoltz, who recently had returned to Moscow from Berlin where for many years he had headed the Soviet Foreign Trade Commission. A tall, fair, athletic-looking man, who had held important posts in the Soviet administration, Rosengoltz had kept his Trotskyite affiliations a careful secret. Only Trotsky and Krestinsky knew Rosengoltz’s role as a Trotskyite and as a paid agent of the German Military Intelligence since 1923…(6)

From this time on, direct control of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites was in the hands of two Trotskyites who were both German agents: Krestinsky and Rosengoltz. After a lengthy discussion, they both decided that the time had come for the Russian Fifth Column to play its last card.

The last card was the military Putsch. The man who had been chosen to lead the armed rising was Marshal Tukhachevsky, Assistant Defense Commissar of the U.S.S.R.


(1) Trotsky instructed his followers inside Russia to make every effort to undermine the attempts of the Soviet Government to achieve collective security. Early in 1935 Christian Rakovsky, the Trotskyite and Japanese agent who had formerly been the Soviet Ambassador to London and Paris, received in Moscow a letter from Trotsky emphasizing the necessity “of internationally isolating the Soviet Union.” In dealing with foreign countries, wrote Trotsky, the Russian conspirators must take into account the various political elements. In the case of the “Left elements abroad,” it was necessary “to play on their pacifist sentiments.” With the “Right elements abroad,” the problem was simpler: “Their sentiments against the Soviet Union are quite clear and definite,” declared Trotsky. “With them we can speak frankly.”

In May 1935, a French delegation visited Moscow to discuss the FrancoSoviet Pact. Accompanying the mission was Emil Bure, the editor of the influential right-wing Paris newspaper L’Ordre, with whom Rakovsky had been friendly when he was Ambassador to France. Rakovsky went to see Bure at the Hotel Metropole in Moscow. He told Bure that the FrancoSoviet Pact was fraught with danger and might easily lead to a “preventive war on the part of Germany.” He added that this was not only his opinion but that of a large number of high-placed diplomats and other officials in the Soviet Union.

To Rakovsky’s chagrin, Bure told him that he was unshakably opposed to any attempt to appease Nazi Germany. “France,” Bure told Rakovsky, “cannot remain isolated in the face of the growing militarization of Germany. The aggressor must be put in a strait-jacket; that is the only means to crush war.”

But the Bures, unfortunately, were not entirely in control of French foreign policy. The head of the French mission in Moscow was Pierre Laval…

2. In June 1935 the Popular Front Government of France expelled Leon Trotsky from French soil. Trotsky went to Norway, where he set up his third headquarters-in-exile in a remote, guarded mansion on the outskirts of Oslo. The Workers’ Party of Norway, a secessionist group from the Comintern, was a powerful political factor in Norway at the time and facilitated Trotsky’s entry. Trotsky’s own followers in Norway were conducting an intensive anti-Soviet propaganda campaign. On the extreme right in Norwegian politics at this time, the anti-Communist Nasjonal Samling (National Unity Party), headed by the ex-War Minister, Major Vidkun Quisling, was carrying on similar, violent anti-Soviet agitation.

Major Vidkun Quisling had once served as the Norwegian Military Attache in Leningrad. In 1922-1923, he was sent on “diplomatic” assignments in the Ukraine and the Crimea. He married a White Russian woman. In 1927, when the British Government broke off relations with Soviet Russia, Major Quisling, then secretary of the Norwegian Legation in Moscow, was placed in charge of British interests in Russia. For his services at that time, Quisling was subsequently made an Honorary Commander of the British Empire.

In 1930 the Soviet Government refused to permit Quisling to re-enter Soviet Russia on the grounds that he had been carrying on subversive activities on Soviet soil.

After an end had been put to his “diplomatic” activities in the Soviet Union, Quisling began organizing a pseudo-radical group in Norway, which soon became openly fascist. Before long, Quisling himself was a secret agent of the German Military Intelligence, and the leader of Norway’s Fifth Column, which included as one of its important elements the Trotskyites.

It, Norway, as in every other country where Trotskyite cells were organized, many of the rank-and-file Trotskyites had no knowledge of the secret links between the Trotskyite leadership and the Axis Intelligence Services. To the end, Trotsky managed to attract numbers of “world-revolutionists” who believed in his integrity. These individuals were very useful to Trotsky both as anti-Soviet propagandists and organizers and as apologists for the Trotskyite cause.

3. “Stirner” was merely another pseudonym for Trotsky’s “secretary,” the international spy Karl Reich, alias Johanson.

4. At the time of the Axis-supported Franco uprising in Spain, 1936-1938, Andreas Nin headed an ultra-leftist, pro-Trotsky Spanish organization called the Partido Obrero de Unifacion Marxista, or P.O.U.M. Officially, the P.O.U.M. was not affiliated with Trotsky’s Fourth International. Its ranks, however, were permeated with Trotskyites; and on major issues, such as its attitude toward the Soviet Union and the Popular Front, the P.O.U.M. strictly adhered to the policies of Leon Trotsky.

At the time of the Franco revolt, Trotsky’s friend Nin was Minister of Justice in Catalonia. While giving lip-service to the anti-fascist cause, Nin’s P.O.U.M. carried on endless propaganda and agitation against the Spanish Republican Government during the hostilities in Spain. At first it was believed that Nin’s oppositionist activities were of a purely “political” character, since P.O.U.M. members advanced “revolutionary” explanations for their opposition to the Spanish Government. But when the P.O.U.M. staged an abortive revolt in Barcelona behind the Loyalist lines in the crucial sunimer of 1937 and called for “resolute action to overthrow the Government,” it was discovered that Nin and the other P.O.U.M. leaders were actually fascist agents working with Franco and that they had been carrying on a systematic campaign of sabotage, espionage and terrorism against the Spanish Government.

On October 23, 1937, the Chief of the Barcelona Police, Lieutenant Colonel Burillo, made public the details of the P.O.U.M. conspiracy which had been uncovered in Catalonia. Secret documents seized by the Barcelona police established that P.O.U.M. members had been carrying on extensive espionage for the fascists; that they had interfered with the transport of supplies to the Spanish Republican Army; and that they had sabotaged military operations at the front. “The attempts against the lives of outstanding figures in the People’s Army were still under consideration,” Lieutenant Colonel Burillo went on to say in his report. “In addition, the organization was being continued for a planned attempt against the life of a Minister of the Republic…”

5. Not to be confused with General Tukhachevsky.

6. Rosengoltz had served as a Red Army commander during the war of intervention. After the war, he had been sent to Berlin as commercial agent at the Soviet Embassy. In 1923, Trotsky put him in touch with the German Military Intelligence. In return for money, which went to finance the illegal Trotskyite work, Rosengoltz supplied the Germans with secret data concerning the Soviet air force to which Trotsky, as War Commissar, then had access. Rosengoltz took no open part in the Trotskyite Opposition. In 1934, Bessonov brought him a message from Trotsky advising him that the time had come to act less cautiously and to begin “active wrecking work in the sphere of foreign trade.” Rosengoltz was Commissar of Foreign Trade at the Soviet Trade Commission in Berlin. For a short period, he was able to steer Soviet trade into channels beneficial to Nazi Germany and, later, to Japan. Early in 1936, Rosengoltz had been recalled to Moscow.

CHAPTER XX – The End of the Trail

1. Tukhachevsky

AGAIN, the phantom of the Corsican was haunting Russia. The new candidate for the role was the portly, moody Red Army Marshal, Mikhail Nicolayevich Tukhachevsky, the former Czarist officer and son of titled landowners, who had become one of the leaders of the Red Army.

As a young man, graduating from the exclusive Alexandrovsky Military Academy, Tukhachevsky predicted: “I’ll either be a general at thirty or commit suicide!” He fought as an officer in the Czar’s Army in the First World War. In 1915 he was taken prisoner by the Germans. A French officer, Lieutenant. Fervaque, who was a fellow prisoner with Tukhachevsky, later described the Russian officer as reckless and ambitious. His head was stuffed with Nietzschean philosophy. “I hate Vladimir the Saint who introduced Christianity in Russia, thus handing over Russia to Western civilization!” Tukhachevsky exclaimed. “We should have kept our crude paganism, our barbarism. But they will both come back; I am sure of it!” Speaking about revolution in Russia, Tukhachevsky said: “Many desire it. We are a slack people but deeply destructive. Should there be a revolution, only God knows where it will end. I think that a constitutional regime would mean the end of Russia. We need a despot!”

On the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution, Tukhachevsky escaped from German captivity and returned to Russia. He joined his fellow officers from the Czar’s Army who were organizing the White armies against the Bolsheviks. Then, abruptly, he changed sides. To one of his friends, the White Captain Dmitri Golum-Bek, Tukhachevsky confided his decision to desert the White cause. “I asked him what he was going to do,” Golum-Bek later recorded. “He said: `Frankly, I am going with the Bolsheviks. The White Army can’t do anything. We haven’t a leader.’ He paced around a few minutes and then he cried: `Don’t follow me if you don’t want to, but I think I am doing right. Russia is going to be different!”‘

In 1918, Tukhachevsky joined the Bolshevik Party. He soon found his place among the military adventurers who surrounded War Commissar Trotsky; but he was careful not to become too involved in Trotsky’s political intrigues. A trained and experienced army man, Tukhachevsky rose rapidly in the inexperienced Red Army ranks. He commanded the First and Fifth Armies on the Wrangel Front, participated in the successful offensive against Deniken and, together with Trotsky, led the unsuccessful counteroffensive against the invading Poles. In 1922, he became head of the Red Army Military Academy. He was one of the leading Russian officers to take part in the military negotiations with the German Weimar Republic which followed the Rapallo Treaty of that year.

In the years that followed, Tukhachevsky headed a small group of professional militarists and ex-Czarist officers in the Red Army General Staff who resented the leadership of the former Bolshevik guerillas, Marshal Budyenny and Marshal Voroshilov. Tukhachevsky’s group included the Red Army generals, Yakir, Kork, Uborevitch and Feldman, who had an almost slavish admiration for German militarism. Tukhachevsky’s closest associates were the Trotskyite officer, V. I. Putna, who was military attaché in Berlin, London and Tokyo, and General Jan B. Gamarnik, a personal friend of the Reichswehr Generals Seeckt and Hammerstein.

Together with Putna and Gamarnik, Tukhachevsky soon formed a small, influential pro-German clique within the Red Army General Staff. Tukhachevsky and his associates knew of Trotsky’s deal with the Reichswehr, but they considered it a “political” arrangement. It was to be balanced by a military alliance between Tukhachevsky’s Military Group and the German High Command. The coming to power of Hitler in no way altered the secret understanding between Tukhachevsky and the German military leaders. Hitler, like Trotsky, was a “politician.” The military men had their own ideas…

Ever since the organization of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites, Trotsky had regarded Tukhachevsky as the trump card of the whole conspiracy, to be played only at the ultimate, strategic moment. Trotsky maintained his relations with Tukhachevsky chiefly through Krestinsky and the Trotskyite military attaché, Puma. Later, Bukharin appointed Tomsky as his personal liaison with the Military Group. Both Trotsky and Bukharin were fully aware of Tukhachevsky’s contempt for “politicians” and “ideologists,” and they feared his military ambitions. Discussing with Tomsky the possibility of calling the Military Group into action, Bukharin said: –

“This is to be a military coup. By the very logic of things, the Military Group of the conspirators will have extraordinary influence… hence a peculiar Bonapartist danger may arise. And Bonapartists – I am thinking particularly of Tukhachevsky -will start out by making short shrift of their allies and so- called inspirers in the Napoleonic style. Tukhachevsky is a potential little Napoleon-and you know how Napoleon dealt with the so-called ideologists!”

Bukharin asked Tomsky: –

“How does Tukhachevsky visualize the mechanism of the coup?”

“That’s the business of the military organization,” Tomsky replied. He added that the moment the Nazis attacked Soviet Russia, the Military Group planned to “open the front to the Germans” – that is, to surrender to the German High Command. This plan had been worked out in detail and agreed upon by Tukhachevsky, Putna, Gamarnik and the Germans.

“In that case,” said Bukharin thoughtfully, “we might be able to get rid of the Bonapartist danger that alarms me.”

Tomsky did not understand. Bukharin went on to explain: Tukhachevsky would try to set up a military dictatorship; he might even try to get popular support by making scapegoats of the political leaders of the conspiracy. But, once in power, the politicians could turn the tables on the Military Group. Bukharin told Tomsky: “It might be necessary to try those guilty of the `defeat’ at the front. This will enable us to win over the masses by playing on patriotic slogans…”

Early in 1936, Tukhachevsky went to London as Soviet military representative at the state funeral of King George V of England. Before he left, he received the coveted title of Marshal of the Soviet Union. He was already convinced that the hour was at hand when the Soviet regime would be overthrown, and a new Russia in military alliance with Germany and Japan would strike for the domination of the world.

En route to London, Tukhachevsky stopped over briefly in Warsaw and Berlin, where he held conversations with Polish “colonels” and German generals. His mood was so confident that he scarcely made any attempt in public to conceal his admiration of the German militarists.

In Paris, at a formal dinner at the Soviet Embassy after his return from London, Tukhachevsky astounded European diplomats by openly, attacking the Soviet Government’s attempts to arrive at collective security with the Western democracies. Tukhachevsky, who was sitting at a table with Nicholas Titutlescu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rumania, told the Rumanian diplomat: –

“Monsieur le Ministre, you are wrong in linking your career and the fate of your country to countries that are old and `finished’ such as Great Britain and France. It is to the new Germany that we should turn. For a certain time, at least, Germany will be the country that will take the lead of the European continent. I am sure that Hitler will help to save us all.”

Tukhachevsky’s remarks were recorded by the Rumanian diplomat and Chief of the Press Service at the Rumanian Embassy in Paris, E. Schachanan Esseze, who also attended the banquet at the Soviet Embassy. Another of the guests, the famous French political journalist, Genevieve Tabouis, subsequently related in her book, They Call Me Cassandra: –

I was to meet Tukhachevsky for the last time on the day after the funeral of King George V. At a dinner at the Soviet Embassy, the Russian general had been very conversational with Politis, Titilescu, Herriot, Boncour… He had just returned from a trip to Germany, and was heaping glowing praise upon the Nazis. Seated at my right, he said over and over again, as he discussed an air pact between the great powers and Hitler’s country: “They are already invincible, Madame Tabouis!”

Why did he speak so trustfully? Was it because his head had been turned by the hearty reception he had found among German diplomats, who found it easy to talk to this man of the old Russian school? At any rate I was not the only one that evening who was alarmed at his display of enthusiasm. One of the guests, an important diplomat grumbled into my ear as we walked away from the Embassy: “Well, I hope all the Russians don’t feel that way.”

The sensational disclosures at the trial of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Bloc in August 1936, and the subsequent arrests of Pyatakov and Radek, gravely alarmed Tukhachevsky. He got in touch with Krestinsky and told him the plans of the conspirators would have to be drastically changed. Originally, the Military Group was not to go into action until the Soviet Union was attacked from outside. But international developments – the Franco-Soviet Pact, the unexpected defense of Madrid – were continually cropping up to postpone outside action. The conspirators inside Russia, said Tukhachevsky, must expedite matters by staging the coup d’état ahead of schedule. The Germans would immediately come to the aid of their Russian allies.

Krestinsky said he would get off a message to Trotsky immediately, informing him of the necessity of speeding up action.

Krestinsky’s message to Trotsky, which he sent off in October, read: –

“We think that, quite a large number of Trotskyites have been arrested, but nevertheless the main forces of the Bloc are not as yet affected. Action can be taken; but for this purpose it is essential for the center that foreign action should be hastened.”

By “foreign action,” Krestinsky meant the Nazi attack on Soviet Russia…

Shortly after the message was sent, Tukhachevsky took Krestinsky aside at the Extraordinary Fight Congress of Soviets in November 1936. The arrests were continuing, “Tukhachevsky said excitedly, and there seemed no reason to believe that they would stop on the lower levels of the conspiratorial apparatus. The Trotskyite military liaison, Putna, had already been arrested. Stalin clearly suspected the existence of an extensive plot and was prepared to take drastic measures. He already had enough evidence to convict Pyatakov and the others. The arrest of Putna and the removal of Yagoda from the Chairmanship of the NKVD meant that the Soviet authorities were getting at the roots of the plot. There was no telling where the trail might lead. The entire undertaking hung in the balance.

Tukhachevsky was for immediate action. The Bloc must reach a decision in this matter without further delay, and prepare all forces to back up the military coup…

Krestinsky discussed the matter with Rosengoltz. The two Trotskyite German agents agreed that Tukhachevsky was right. Another message was dispatched to Trotsky. In it, besides telling Trotsky of Tukhachevsky’s determination to go ahead without waiting for war, Krestinsky raised some important questions of political strategy. He wrote: –

We will have to conceal the true purposes of the coup. We will have to make a statement to the population, to the army, and to foreign states… firstly, it would be the proper thing in our statements to the population not to mention that our coup was designed for the overthrow of the existing Socialist order… we [should] pose in the guise of Soviet rebels; we would overthrow a bad Soviet government and reestablish a good Soviet government… In any case, we should not be too outspoken on this question.

Trotsky’s reply reached Krestinsky toward the end of December. The exiled leader agreed completely with Krestinsky. As a matter of fact, following Pyatakov’s arrest, Trotsky had independently reached the conclusion that the Military Group should be called into action without further delay. While Krestinsky’s letter to him was still en route, he had written Rosengoltz advocating immediate military action…

“After this reply was received,” Krestinsky later stated, “we began to make more direct preparations for the coup. Tukhachevsky was given a free hand, he was given carte blanche to get on with the job directly.”

2. The Trial of the Trotskyite Parallel Center

The Soviet Government was also moving into action. The revelations at the Zinoviev-Kamenev Trial had established beyond doubt that the conspiracy in the country went far beyond mere secret “left” opposition. The real centers of the conspiracy were not in Russia at all; they were in Berlin and Tokyo. As the investigation continued, the true shape and character of the Axis Fifth Column was becoming clearer to the Soviet Government.

On January 23, 1937, Pyatakov, Radek, Sokolnikov, Shestov, Muralov and twelve of their fellow conspirators, including key agents of the German and Japanese Intelligence Services, went on trial for treason in Moscow before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.

For months the leading members of the Trotskyite Center had denied the charges brought against them. But the evidence against them was complete and overwhelming. One by one they admitted they had directed sabotage and terrorist activities, and maintained connections, on Trotsky’s instructions, with the German and Japanese Governments. But, at the preliminary interrogation as at the trial, they still did not divulge the whole picture. They said nothing about the existence of the Military Group; they did not mention Krestinsky or Rosengoltz; they remained silent about the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites, the final and most powerful “layer” of the conspiracy, which, even as they were being cross-examined, was feverishly preparing to seize power.

In prison, Sokolnikov, the former Assistant Commissar in charge of Eastern Affairs, had revealed the political aspects of the conspiracy; the deal with Hess, the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R., the plan to set up a fascist dictatorship after the overthrow of the Soviet regime. In court, Sokolnikov testified: –

We considered that fascism was the most organized form of capitalism, that it would triumph and seize Europe and stifle us. It was therefore better to come to terms with it..All this was explained by the following argument: better make certain sacrifices, even very severe ones, than lose everything… we reasoned as politicians… we figured we had to take certain chances.

Pyatakov admitted that he was the leader of the Trotskyite Center. Speaking in a quiet, deliberate voice, choosing his words carefully, the former member of the Supreme National Economic Council testified to the established facts of the sabotage and terrorist activities which he had been directing up to the moment of his arrest. Standing in the dock, his long, thin, pallid face absolutely impassive, he looked, according to the American Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, “like a professor delivering a lecture.”

Vyshinsky: tried to get Pyatakov to reveal how the Trotskyites and the German and Japanese agents made themselves known to each other. Pyatakov parried the questions: –

VYSHINSKY: What gave the German agent Rataichak reasons for disclosing himself to you?

PYATAKOV: Two persons had spoken to me

VYSHINSKY: Did he disclose himself to you, or did you disclose yourself to him?

PYATAKOV: Disclosures may he mutual. VYSHINSKY. Did you disclose yourself first?

PYATAKOV: Who first, he or I – the hen or the egg – I don’t know.

As John Gunther later reported in Inside Europe: –

The impression held widely abroad that the defendants all told the same story, that they were abject and grovelling, that they behaved like sheep in the executioner’s pen, isn’t quite correct. They argued stubbornly with the prosecutor; in the main they told only what they were forced to tell…

As the trial proceeded, and the testimony of one defendant after another remorselessly exposed Pyatakov as a cold-blooded and calculating political assassin and traitor, a note of doubt and depression began to creep into his hitherto calm and balanced voice. Some of the facts in the possession of the authorities came as an obvious shock to him. Pyatakov’s attitude changed. He pleaded that, even before his arrest, he had begun to question Trotsky’s leadership. He said he did not approve of the deal with Hess. “We had got into a blind alley,” Pyatakov told the court. “I was seeking a way out…” In his last plea to the court, Pyatakov exclaimed: –

Yes, I was a Trotskyite for many years! I worked hand in hand with the Trotskyites… Do not think, Citizen Judges… that during these years spent in the suffocating underworld of Trotskyism, I did not see what was happening in the country! Do not think that I did not understand what was being done in industry. I tell you frankly: at times, when emerging from the Trotskyite underworld and engaging in my other practical work, I sometimes felt a kind of relief, and of course, humanly speaking, this duality was not only a matter of outward behavior, but there was also a duality within me… In a few hours you will pass your sentence… Do not deprive me of one thing, Citizen Judges. Do not deprive me of the right to feel that in your eyes, too, I have found strength in myself, albeit too late, to break with my criminal past!

But, to the last, not a word of the existence of the remaining “layer” of the conspiracy passed Pyatakov’s lips…

Nicolai Muralov, the one-time Commander of the Moscow Military Garrison and leading member of the old Trotsky Guard, who since 1932 had directed the Trotskyite cells in the Urals along with Shestov and German “technicians,” pleaded for mercy from the court, asking that his “frank testimony” be taken into consideration. A towering man, bearded and gray-haired, Muralov stood as if at attention while testifying. He declared that, after his arrest, and following, a protracted inner struggle, he had decided to “lay everything on the table.” His words, according to Walter Duranty and other observers, had a ring of real honesty as he stated from the dock: –

I refused counsel and I refused to speak in my defense because I am used to defending myself with good weapons and attacking with good weapons. I have no good weapons with which to defend myself… It would be unworthy of me to accuse anyone of having drawn me into the Trotskyite organization… I do not dare blame anyone for this. I myself am to blame. This is my guilt. This is my misfortune… For over a decade I was a faithful soldier of Trotsky…

Karl Radek, peering through his thick glasses at the crowded courtroom, was in turn humble, ingratiating, impertinent and arrogant under the cross-examination of the Prosecutor Vyshinsky. Like Pyatakov, but more fully, he admitted his treasonable activities. Radek also claimed that, before his arrest, and as soon as he received Trotsky’s letter outlining the deal with the Nazi and Japanese Governments, he had made up his mind to repudiate Trotsky and to expose the conspiracy. For weeks, he debated what to do.

VYSHINSKY: What did you decide?

RADEK: The first step to take would be to go to the Central Committee of the Party, to make a statement, to name all the persons. This I did not do. It was not I that went to the G.P.U., but the G.P.U. that came for me.

VYSHINSKY: An eloquent reply!

RADEK: A sad reply.

In his final plea, Radek presented himself as a man torn with doubts, perpetually vacillating between loyalty to the Soviet regime and to the Left Opposition, of which he had been a member since the earliest revolutionary days. He was convinced, he said, that the Soviet regime could never withstand the hostile pressure from without. “I dissented on the main question,” he told the court, “on the question of continuing the fight for the Five Year Plan.” Trotsky “seized on my profound perturbations.” Step by step, according to his own account, Radek was drawn into the inner circles of the conspiracy. Then came the connections with the foreign Intelligence Services and, finally, Trotsky’s negotiations with Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolph Hess. Trotsky, said Radek, “confronted us with the accomplished fact of his agreement…”

Explaining how he had finally come to plead guilty and to admit all the facts he knew about the conspiracy, Radek said: –

When I found myself in the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, the chief examining official… said to me: “You are not a baby. Here you have fifteen people testifying against you. You cannot get out of it, and as a sensible man you cannot think of doing so…”

For two and a half months I tormented the examining official. The question has been raised here whether we were tormented while under investigation. I must say that it was not I who was tormented, but I who tormented the examining officials and compelled them to perform a lot of useless work. For two and a half months I compelled the examining official, by interrogating me and by confronting me with the testimony of the other accused, to open up all the cards to me, so that I could see who had confessed, who had not confessed, and what each had confessed…

And one day the chief examining official came to me and said: “You are now the last. Why are you wasting time and temporizing? Why don’t you say what you have to say?” And I answered: “Yes, tomorrow I shall begin my testimony. “

The verdict was handed down on January 30, 1937. The accused were found guilty of treason – of being “an agency of the German and Japanese fascist forces for espionage, diversive and wrecking activities” and of plotting to assist “foreign aggressors to seize the territory of the U.S.S.R.”

The Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme Court sentenced Pyatakov, Muralov, Shestov, and ten others to be shot. Radek, Sokolnikov and two minor agents were sentenced to long prison terms.

In his summing-up speech on January 28, 1937, the State Prosecutor Vyshinsky declared: –

By their espionage work, the people who under the direction of Trotsky and Pyatakov established connections with the German and Japanese Intelligence services, strove to achieve results which would have very gravely affected the interests, not only of our state, but also the interests of a number of states which, with us, desire peace, and which, with us, are fighting for peace… We are keenly interested that the government of every country which desires peace, and is fighting for peace, should take the most determined measures, to put a stop to every attempt at criminal, espionage, diversive, terrorist activities organized by the enemies of peace, by the enemies of democracy, by the dark fascist forces which are preparing for war, which are preparing to wreck the cause of peace, and consequently, the cause of the whole of advanced, the whole of progressive humanity.

Vyshinsky’s words received little publicity outside of Soviet Russia; but they were heard and remembered by certain diplomats and journalists.

The American Ambassador in Moscow, Joseph E. Davies, was profoundly impressed by the trial. He attended it daily and, assisted by an interpreter, carefully followed the proceedings. A former corporation lawyer, Ambassador Davies stated that the Soviet Prosecutor Vyshinsky, who was being currently described by anti-Soviet propagandists as a “brutal Inquisitor,” impressed him as being “much like Homer Cummings, calm, dispassionate, intellectual and able and wise. He conducted the treason trial in a manner that won my respect and admiration as a lawyer.”

On February 17, 1937, Ambassador Davies reported in a confidential dispatch to Secretary of State Cordell Hull that almost all the foreign diplomats in Moscow shared his opinion of the justice of the verdict. Ambassador Davies Wrote: –

I talked to many, if not all, of the members of the Diplomatic Corps here and, with possibly one exception, they are all of the opinion that the proceedings established clearly the existence of a political plot and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

But these facts were not made public. Powerful forces conspired to hide the truth about the Fifth Column in Soviet Russia. On March 11, 1937, Ambassador Davies recorded in his Moscow diary: –

Another diplomat, Minister -, made a most illuminating statement to me yesterday. In discussing the trial, he said that the defendants were undoubtedly guilty; that all of us who attended the trial had practically agreed upon that; that the outside world, from the press reports, however, seemed to think that the trial was a put-up job (facade, as he called it); that while he knew it was not, it was probably just as well that the outside world should think so.(1)

3. Action in May

The conspiracy was still far from being smashed. Like Pyatakov, Radek also withheld important information from the Soviet authorities despite the seeming fullness of his testimony. But on the second day of the trial, Radek had made a dangerous slip. His glib tongue betrayed him. Parrying one of Vyshinsky’s searching questions, he mentioned the name of Tukhachevsky. “Vitaly Putna,” said Radek, “came to see me with some request from Tukhachevsky.” He went on rapidly and did not repeat Tukhachevsky’s name.

Next day, Vyshinsky read aloud Radek’s testimony of the previous session: “I want to know in what connection you mention Tukhachevsky’s name?” he asked Radek.

There was a brief pause. Then Radek’s answer came smoothly, without hesitation. Tukhachevsky, he explained, required “some material on government business” which Radek had at the Izvestia offices. The military commander had sent Putna to get it. That was all. “Of course,” Radek added, “Tukhachevsky had no idea of my role… I know Tukhachevsky’s attitude to the Party and the Government to be that of an absolutely devoted man!”

No more was said about Tukhachevsky at the trial. But the remaining conspirators were convinced that any further delay of the final coup would be suicidal.

Krestinsky, Rosengoltz, Tukhachevsky and Gamarnik held a series of hurried secret conferences. Tukhachevsky began assigning officers in the Military Group to special “commands,” each of which would have specific tasks to carry out at the moment of the attack.

By the end of March 1937, the preparations for the military coup were in their final stages. At a meeting with Krestinsky and Rosengoltz, in the latter’s Moscow apartment, Tukhachevsky announced that the Military Group would be ready for action within six weeks. The date for action could be set for the early part of May, at any rate before May 15. There were “a number of variants” for the actual means of seizing power under discussion among the Military Group, he said.

One of these plans, the one on which Tukhachevsky “counted most,” Rosengoltz later stated, was “for a group of military men, his adherents, gathering in his apartment on some pretext or other, making their way into the Kremlin, seizing the Kremlin telephone exchange, and killing the leaders of the Party and the Government.” Simultaneously, according to this plan, Gamarnik and his units would “seize the building of the People’s Commissariat of internal Affairs.”

Other “variants” were discussed; but this plan, Krestinsky and Rosengoltz agreed, seemed the boldest and therefore the most likely to succeed…

The meeting at Rosengoltz’s apartment concluded on an optimistic note. The plan of the coup, as outlined by Tukhachevsky, held high promise of success..In spite of the loss of Pyatakov and others, it seemed that the day for which the conspirators had long waited and prepared was at hand.

April passed swiftly with the hectic last-minute preparations for the coup.

Krestinsky began drawing up lengthy lists “of people in Moscow to be arrested and removed from their posts at the out-break of the coup, and lists of people who could be appointed to these vacancies.” Gunmen under Gamarnik’s command were assigned to kill Molotov and Voroshilov. Rosengoltz, in his capacity of Foreign Trade Commissar, talked of getting an appointment with Stalin on the eve of the coup and murdering the Soviet leader in his Kremlin headquarters…

It was the second week in May 1937.

Then, swiftly and devastatingly, the Soviet Government struck. On the eleventh of May, Marshal Tukhachevsky was demoted from his post as Assistant Commissar of War and assigned to a minor command in the Volga district. General Gamarnik was removed from his post as Assistant War Commissar. Generals Yakir and Uborevitch, associated in the plot with Tukhachevsky and Gamarnik, were also demoted. Two other Generals, Kork and Eideman, were arrested and charged with having secret relations with Nazi Germany.

“I began to get ready for my arrest,” Krestinsky later stated. “I talked matters over with Rosengoltz. Rosengoltz did not expect to come to grief, and undertook to maintain connections with Trotsky… A few days later I was arrested.”

An official communiqué disclosed that Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky, who had been under close surveillance and investigation, were now charged with treason. Bukharin and Rykov had been taken into custody. Tomsky, evading arrest, committed suicide. On May 31, General Gamarnik followed Tomsky’s example and shot himself. It was reported that Tukhachevsky and a number of other high-ranking army officers had been arrested by the NKVD. A short time later, Rosengoltz was arrested. The nationwide roundup of suspected fifth columnists was continuing.

At eleven o’clock on the morning of June 11, 1937, Marshal (?) Tukhachevsky and seven other Red Army generals faced a special Military Tribunal of the Soviet Supreme Court. Because of the confidential military character of the testimony to be heard, the trial was held behind closed doors. It was a military court-martial. The accused were charged with conspiring with enemy powers against the Soviet Union. Standing in the courtroom with Tukhachevsky -facing Marshals Voroshilov, Budyenny, Shoposhnikov and other leaders of the Red Army-were these seven generals: –

General V. I. Putna, former military attaché at London, Tokyo and Berlin
General I. E. Yakir, former Commander of the Leningrad Military Garrison
General I. P. Uborevitch, former Commander of the Red Army in Byelorussia
General R. P. Eideman, former head of the Osoaviakhim (voluntary military defense organization)
General A. I., Kork, former head of the Frunze Military Academy

General B. M. Feldman, former Chief of the Personnel Section of the General Staff
General V. M. Primakov, former Commander of the Kharkov Military Garrison

An official communiqué stated: –

Investigation established the participation of the defendants as well as General Jan Gamarnik, in anti-State connections with leading military circles of one of the foreign countries which is carrying on an unfriendly policy toward the U.S.S.R.

The accused were in the service of the Military Intelligence of this country.

The defendants systematically supplied secret information about the position of the Red Army to military circles of this country.

They carried on wrecking activities for weakening the Red Army to prepare for the defeat of the Red Army in case of attack on the Soviet Union…

On June 12, the Military Tribunal announced its verdict. The accused were found guilty as charged and sentenced to be shot as traitors by a Red Army firing squad. Within twenty-four hours, the sentence was carried out.

Once again, wild anti-Soviet rumors and propaganda swept through the rest of the world. The entire Red Army was said to be seething with revolt against the Soviet Government; Voroshilov was “marching on Moscow” at the head of an anti-Stalin army; “mass shootings” were going on throughout Soviet Russia; from now on, the Red Army, having lost its “best generals,” was “no longer a serious factor in the international situation.”

Many honest observers were profoundly disturbed by the events in Soviet Russia, The character and techniques of the Fifth Column were still generally unknown. On July 4, 1937, Joseph E. Davies, the American Ambassador in Moscow, had an interview with the Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov. He told Litvinov frankly that the reaction in the United States and Europe to the execution of the generals and the Trotskyite trials was bad.

“In my opinion,” the American Ambassador informed the Soviet Foreign Minister, “it has shaken the confidence of France and England in the strength of the U.S.S.R. vis-a-vis Hitler.”

Litvinov was equally frank. He told Ambassador Davies that the Soviet Government had to “make sure” through these trials and executions that there was no treason left which would cooperate with Berlin or Tokyo at the outbreak of the inevitable war.

“Some day,” said Litvinov, “the world will understand what we have done to protect our government from menacing treason… We are doing the whole world a service in protecting ourselves against the menace of Hitler and Nazi world domination, and thereby preserving the Soviet Union strong as a bulwark against the Nazi threat.”

On July 28, 1937, having conducted personal investigations into the actual situation inside Soviet Russia, Ambassador Davies sent “Dispatch Number 457, Strictly Confidential,” to Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The Ambassador reviewed the recent events and dismissed the wild rumors of mass discontent and imminent collapse of the Soviet Government. “There were no indications (as per newspaper stories) of Cossacks camped near the Kremlin or moving about in the Red Square,” he wrote. Ambassador Davies summed up his analysis of the Tukhachevsky case as follows: –

Barring assassination, or a foreign war, the position of this government and the present regime looks impregnable for the present, and probably for some time to come. The danger of the Corsican for the present has been wiped.out.

4. Finale

The last of the three famous Moscow Trials opened on March 2, 1938, in the House of Trade Unions, before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. The proceedings, including morning, afternoon and evening sessions, and in camera sessions at which testimony involving military secrets was heard, lasted seven days.

The accused numbered twenty-one. They included the former OGPU chief, Henry Pagoda, and his secretary, Pavel Bulanov; the Right leaders, Nicolai Bukharin and Alexei Rykov; the Trotskyite leaders and German agents, Nicolai Krestinsky and Arkady Rosengoltz; the Trotskyite and Japanese agent, Christian Rakovsky; the Right leaders and German agents, Mikhail Chernov and Grigori Grinko; the Polish agent, Vasily Sharangovich; and eleven other conspirators, members of the Bloc, saboteurs, terrorists and foreign agents, including the Trotskyite liaison man, Sergei Bessonov, and the physician murderers, Doctors Levin, Pletnev and Kazakov.

The American correspondent, Walter Duranty, who attended the trial, wrote in his book The Kremlin and the People:-

It was indeed the “Trial to end all Trials” because at this time the issues were clear, the Prosecution had marshaled its facts and learned to recognize enemies, at home and abroad. Earlier doubts and hesitations were now dispelled, because one case after another, especially, I believe, the case of the “Generals,” had gradually filled in the picture which was so hazy and incomplete at the time of Kirov’s murder…

The Soviet Government had painstakingly prepared its case. Months of preliminary investigation, collation of evidence and testimony from previous trials, confrontation of witnesses and accused, and thorough cross-examination of the arrested conspirators, had gone into the framing of the Indictment. The Soviet Government charged: –

(1) that in 1932-33, on the instructions of intelligence services of foreign states hostile to the U.S.S.R., a conspiratorial group named the “bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” was formed by the accused in the present case with the object of espionage on behalf of foreign states, wrecking, diversionist and terrorist activities, undermining the military power of the U.S.S.R., provoking a military attack by these states on the U.S.S.R., working for the defeat of the U.S.S.R., dismembering the U.S.S.R…

(2) that the “bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” entered into relations with certain foreign states with the purpose of receiving armed assistance from them for the accomplishment of their criminal designs;

(3) that the “block of Rights and Trotskyites” systematically engaged in espionage activities on behalf of these states, supplying foreign intelligence services with highly important state secret information;

(4) that the “bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” systematically performed wrecking and diversionist acts in various branches of Socialist construction (industry, agriculture, railways, in the sphere of finance, municipal development, etc..);

(5) that the “bloc of Rights and Trotskyites organized a number of terrorist acts against leaders of the C.P.S.U. [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] and the Soviet Government and perpetrated terrorist acts against S. M. Kirov, V. R. Menzhinsky, V. V. Kuibyshev and A. M.Gorky.

The trial of the Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites made public for the first time in history the detailed workings of an Axis Fifth Column. All the techniques of the Axis method of secret conquest – the propaganda, the espionage, the terror, the treason in high places, the machinations of Quislings, the tactics of a secret army striking from within -the whole story of the Fifth Column strategy by which the Nazis were already undermining Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Belgium, France and other nations of Europe and America, were fully exposed. “The Bukharins and Rykovs, Yagodas and Bulanovs, Krestinskys and Rosengoltzes.. , declared the Soviet Prosecutor, Vyshinsky, in his summing-up address on March 11, 1938, “are the very same as the Fifth Column.”

Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, who attended the proceedings, found the trial “terrific” in legal, human and political drama. He wrote to his daughter on March 8: –

All the fundamental weaknesses and vices of human nature – personal ambitions at their worst – are shown up in the proceedings. They disclose the outlines of a plot which came very near to being successful in bringing about the overthrow of this government.

Some of the accused, pleading for their lives, tried to wriggle out of the full responsibility for their crimes, to shift the blame on others, to pose as sincere, misguided politicians. Others, without apparent emotion or expectation of escaping the death sentence, related the grim details of the “political” murders they had committed, and the espionage and sabotage operations they had carried on under the direction of the German and Japanese Military Intelligence Services.

In his final plea to the court, Bukharin, who had described himself in court as the “ideologist” of the conspiracy, gave a vivid psychological picture of the inner tensions and doubts which, after their arrest, had begun to afflict many of the one-time radicals who had turned traitors and, together with Trotsky, conspired with Nazi Germany and Japan against the Soviet Union. Bukharin said: —

I already said when giving my main testimony during the trial, that it was not the naked logic of the struggle that drove us, the counter-revolutionary conspirators, into this stinking underground life, which has been exposed at this trial in all its starkness. This naked logic of the struggle was accompanied by a degeneration of ideas, a degeneration of psychology, a degeneration of ourselves, a degeneration of people. There are well-known historical examples of such degeneration. One need only mention Briand, Mussolini and others. And we too degenerated…

I shall now speak of myself, of the reasons for my repentance. Of course it must be admitted that incriminating evidence plays a very important part. For three months I refused to say anything. Then I began to testify. Why? Because while in prison I made a revaluation of my entire past. For when you ask yourself: “If you must die, what are you dying for? – an absolutely black vacuity suddenly rises before you with startling vividness. There was nothing to die for, if one wanted to die unrepented… And when you ask yourself: “Very well, suppose you do not die; suppose by some miracle you remain alive, again what for? Isolated from everybody, an enemy of the people, in an inhuman position, completely isolated from everything that constitutes the essence of life…” And at once the same reply arises. And at such moments, Citizen Judges, everything personal, all the personal incrustation, all the rancour, pride, and a number of other things, fall away, disappear…

I am perhaps speaking for the last time in my life…I may infer a priori that Trotsky and my other allies in crime, as well as the Second International… will endeavor to defend us, and particularly myself. I reject this defence… I await the verdict.

The verdict was announced on the morning of March 13, 1938. All of the accused were found guilty. Three of them, Pletnev, Bessonov and Rakovsky, were sentenced to terms of imprisonment. The others were sentenced to be shot.

Three years later, in the summer of 1941, following the Nazi invasion of the U.S.S.R., Joseph E. Davies, former American Ambassador to the Soviet Union, wrote: –

There was no so-called “internal aggression” in Russia co operating with the German High Command. Hitler’s march into Prague in 1939 was accompanied by the active military support of Henlein’s organizations in Czechoslovakia. The same thing was true of his invasion of Norway. There were no Sudeten Henleins, no Slovakian Tisos, no Belgian De Grelles, no Norwegian Quislings in the Russian picture…

The story had been told in the so-called treason or purge trials of 1937 and 1938 which I attended and listened to. In re examining the record of these casks and also what I had written at the time… I found that practically every device of German Fifth Columnist activity, as we now know it, was disclosed and laid bare by the confessions and testimony elicited at these trials of self-confessed “Quislings” in Russia…

All of these trials, purges, and liquidations, which seemed so violent at the time and shocked the world, are now quite clearly a part of a vigorous and determined effort of the Stalin government to protect itself from not only revolution from within but from attack from without. They went to work thoroughly to clean up and clean out all treasonable elements within the country. All doubts were resolved in favor of the government.

There were no Fifth Columnists in Russia in 1941 – they had shot them. The purge had cleansed the country and rid it of treason.

The Axis Fifth Column in Soviet Russia had been smashed.


(1) Trotsky’s followers and admirers in Europe and America poured out an endless stream of statements, pamphlets, leaflets and articles describing the Moscow trials as “Stalin’s vengeance on Trotsky” and the product of “Stalin’s Oriental vindictiveness.” The Trotskyites and their allies had access to many prominent publications. In the United States, their statements and articles appeared in Foreign Affairs Quarterly, Reader’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, American Mercury, New York Times and other well-known and widely read newspapers and periodicals. Among those friends, followers or admirers of Leon Trotsky whose interpretations of the trials were prominently featured in the American press and radio were: Max Eastman, Trotsky’s former American representative and official translator; Alexander Barmine, a Soviet renegade who at one time had been in the Soviet Foreign Office; Albert Goldman, Trotsky’s lawyer who was convicted by a Federal court in 1941 of taking part in a seditious conspiracy against the U.S. armed forces; “General” Krivitsky, a Russian adventurer and Dies witness who posed as a former key figure in the OGPU and subsequently committed suicide leaving a note explaining his act as atonement for his “great sins”; Isaac Don Levine, a veteran anti-Soviet propagandist and feature writer for the Hearst press; and William Henry Chamberlin, also a Hearst feature writer, whose views about the trials appeared under the title “The Russian Purge of Blood” in the Tokyo propaganda organ Contemporary Japan.

The prominent American Trotskyite James Burnham, subsequently author of the widely promoted The Managerial Revolution, represented the Moscow Trials as an insidious attempt on Stalin’s part to enlist the aid of France, Great Britain and the United States in a “holy war” against the Axis, and to bring about the international persecution of “all those who. stand for the policies of revolutionary defeatism [i.e., the Trotskyites].” On April 15, 1937, in an introduction to a Trotskyite pamphlet on the Pyarakov-Radek trial, Burnham wrote. “Yes: the Trials are an integral and an outstanding part of the preparations of Stalinism for the coming war. Stalinism aims to enlist the masses of France, Great Britain and the United States in the armies of their own imperialist governments, in a holy war against the attack which Stalin expects to be launched against the Soviet Union by Germany and Japan. Through the Trials, operating on a world-wide scale, Stalinism thus attempts to eliminate every possible center of resistance to this social-patriotic betrayal”

CHAPTER XXI – Murder in Mexico

THE chief defendant at all of the three Moscow Trials was a man five thousand miles away.

In December 1936, following the Zinoviev-Kamenev Trial and the arrests of Pyatakov, Radek and other leading members of the Trotskyite Center, Trotsky was forced to leave Norway. He crossed the Atlantic, and reached Mexico on January 13, 1937. Here, after a brief stay at the home of the wealthy Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, Trotsky set up a new headquarters in a villa in Coyoacan, a suburb of Mexico City. From Coyoacan, during the following months, Trotsky looked on helplessly while piece by piece the intricate and powerful Fifth Column in Russia fell apart under the hammer blows of the Soviet Government… .

On January 26, 1937, Trotsky gave a signed statement to the Hearst press in the United States on the trial of Pyatakov and Radek. “Inside the Party, Stalin has put himself above all criticism, and above the state,” said Trotsky, commenting on the testimony at the trial. “It is impossible to displace him except by assassination.”

An American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky, engineered by Trotsky’s followers in the United States, but nominally headed by anti-Soviet Socialists, journalists and educators, was established in New York City. The Committee originally included a number of prominent liberals. One of them, Mauritz Hallgren, author and associate editor of the Baltimore Sun, withdrew from the Committee as soon as its real purpose as an anti-Soviet propaganda agency became clear to him. On January 27, 1937, Hallgren made public a statement to the Committee which read in part: –

I am . . . convinced, as I must be under the circumstances, that the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky has, perhaps unwittingly, become an instrument of the Trotskyites for political intervention against the Soviet Union. . . . You will, therefore, withdraw my name as a member of the committee.

The Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky undertook an intensive propaganda campaign picturing Trotsky as the martyred “hero of the Russian Revolution” and the Moscow Trials as “frame-ups by Stalin.” One of the Committee’s first acts was to set up a “Preliminary Commission of Inquiry” to “inquire into the charges made against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow trials of August, 1936, and January, 1937. The members of the Commission were the aging philosopher and educator, John Dewey; the author, Carleton Beals; the former Socialist member of the German Reichstag, Otto Ruehle; the former American radical and anti-Soviet journalist, Benjamin Stolberg; and the fervently pro-Trotsky journalist, Suzanne La Follette.

With much fanfare and publicity the Commission of Inquiry began holding hearings in Coyoacan, Mexico, on April 10. The only witnesses were Leon Trotsky and one of ‘ his secretaries, Jan Frankel, who had first become a member of Trotsky’s personal bodyguard in Prinkipo in 1930. Acting as legal counsel for Trotsky was his American attorney, Albert Goldman.(1)

The hearings lasted for seven days. Trotsky’s “testimony,” which was widely publicized in the American and European press, consisted chiefly of violent denunciations of Stalin and the Soviet Government, and of extravagant self-praise of his own role in the Russian Revolution. The detailed evidence presented against Trotsky at the Moscow Trials was, for the most part, completely ignored by the Commission of Inquiry. On April 17 Carleton Beals resigned from the Commission. Beals issued a public statement which read in part: –

… The hushed adoration of the other members of the committee for Mr. Trotsky throughout the hearings has defeated all spirit of honest investigation. . . . The very first day I was told my questions were improper. The final cross-examination was put in a mold that prevented any search for the truth. I was taken to task for quizzing Trotsky about his archives…. The cross-examination consisted of allowing Trotsky to spout propaganda charges with eloquence and wild denunciations, with only rare efforts to make him prove his assertions. . . . The commission may pass its bad check on the public if it desires, but I will not lend my name to the possibility of further childishness similar to that already committed.

Under the auspices of the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky, a campaign was started to bring Trotsky into the United States. Books, articles and statements by Trotsky were widely circulated throughout the United States, while the truth about the Moscow Trials remained locked in the State Department files or in the minds of correspondents in Moscow who believed, as Walter Duranty later wrote, in the “extreme reluctance of American readers to hear anything but ill of Russia.”(2)

In Mexico, as in Turkey, France, Norway and everywhere else he had lived, Trotsky rapidly gathered around himself a coterie of disciples, adventurers and armed guards. Again, he lived in a fantastic atmosphere of intrigue.

The villa at Coyoacan where Trotsky made his Mexican head-quarters was a virtual fortress. A wall twenty feet high surrounded it. In towers at the four corners sentinels armed with tommy guns stood watch day and night. In addition to the Mexican police unit specially detailed to duty outside the villa, Trotsky’s armed bodyguards kept his headquarters under unceasing patrol. All visitors had to identify themselves, going through examinations as formidable as those at frontier posts. Their passes had to be signed and countersigned. After gaining admittance through the gates in the high wall, they were frisked for concealed weapons on entering the villa itself.

Inside, the atmosphere was one of tense activity. A considerable staff was at work taking instructions and carrying out assignments from the leader. Special secretaries were preparing anti-Soviet propaganda, Trotsky’s proclamations, articles, books and secret communications in Russian, German, French, Spanish and English. As at Prinkipo, Paris and Oslo, many of Trotsky’s “secretaries” had guns on their hips, and the same fantastic mood of intrigue and mystery surrounded the anti-Soviet conspirator.

Mail was heavy, pouring into the Mexican headquarters from all parts of the world. Not infrequently the mail required chemical treatment, the actual messages being written in invisible ink between innocuous visible lines. There was continuous telegraphic and cable correspondence with Europe, Asia and the United States. An endless stream of journalists, celebrities, politicians, mysterious incognito visitors, came to interview or confer with the “revolutionary” leader of the anti-Soviet movement. There were frequent delegations of foreign Trotskyites – French Trotskyites, American Trotskyites, Indian Trotskyites, Chinese Trotskyites, agents of the Spanish P.O.U.M.

Trotsky received his visitors with the air of a ruling despot. The American journalist Betty Kirk, who interviewed Trotsky in Mexico and had him photographed for Life magazine, described his histrionic and dictatorial manner: –

Trotsky looked at his watch and autocratically said he would give us exactly eight minutes. As he commanded his Russian secretary to sit for the picture of him dictating, he shrilled at her slowness. He commanded Bernard Wolfe, his North American secretary, to sit also, and while Wolfe was crossing the room, Trotsky stood beating on the edge of the table with his pencil, exclaiming, “Quick, don’t waste time!”

From the fortified Coyoacan villa, Trotsky directed his world-wide anti-Soviet organization, the Fourth International.

Throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America, intimate ties existed between the Fourth International and the Axis Fifth Column network: –

In Czechoslovakia: Trotskyites were working in collaboration with the Nazi agent Konrad Henlein and his Sudeten Deutsche Partei (German Sudeten Party). Sergei Bessonov, the Trotskyite courier who had been a counselor at the Soviet Embassy in Berlin, testified when he was on trial in 1938 that in the summer of 1935 he had established connections in Prague with Konrad Henlein. Bessonov stated that he personally had acted as an intermediary between Henlein’s group and Leon Trotsky.

In France: Jacques Doriot, Nazi agent and founder of the fascist Popular Party, was a renegade Communist and Trotskyite. Doriot worked closely, as did other Nazi agents and French fascists, with the French section of the Trotskyite Fourth International.

In Spain: Trotskyites permeated the ranks of the P.O.U.M., the Fifth Column organization which was aiding Franco’s Fascist uprising. The head of the P.O.U.M. was Andreas Nin, Trotsky’s old friend and ally.

In China: Trotskyites were operating under the direct supervision of the Japanese Military Intelligence. Their work was highly regarded by leading Japanese Intelligence officers. The chief of the Japanese espionage service in Peiping stated in 1937: “We should support the group of Trotskyites and promote their success, so that their activities in various parts of China may benefit and advantage the empire, for these Chinese are destructive to the unity of the country. They work with remarkable finesse and skill.”

In Japan: Trotskyites were called the “brain trust of the secret service.” They instructed Japanese secret agents at special schools on the techniques of penetrating the Communist Party in Soviet Russia and of combating anti-fascist activities in China and Japan.

In Sweden: Nils Hyg, one of the leading Trotskyites, had received a financial subsidy from the pro-Nazi financier and swindler, Ivar Kreuger. The fact. of Kreuger’s subsidization of the Trotskyite movement were made public after Kreuger’s suicide, when the auditors found among his papers receipts from all sorts of political adventurers, including Adolf Hitler.

Throughout the world, the Trotskyites had become the instruments by which the Axis intelligence services sought to penetrate the liberal, radical and labor movements for their own ends.(3)

The final debacle of the Russian Fifth Column at the Moscow trail of the Bloc of the Rights and Trotskyites was a stunning blow to Trotsky. A note of desperation and hysteria began to dominate his writings. His propaganda against the Soviet Union grew increasingly reckless, contradictory and extravagant. He talked incessantly about his own “historical rightness.” His attacks against Josef Stalin lost all semblance of reason. He wrote articles asserting that the Soviet leader derived sadistic pleasure from “blowing smoke” in the faces of infants. More and more, his consuming personal hatred of Stalin became the dominating force in Trotsky’s life. He set his secretaries to work on a massive, vituperative 1000-page Life o f Stalin.(4)

In 1939, Trotsky was in contact with the Congressional Committee headed by Representative Martin Dies of Texas. The Committee, set up to investigate un-American activities, had become a forum for anti-Soviet propaganda. Trotsky was approached by agents of the Dies Committee and invited to testify as an “expert witness” on the menace of Moscow. Trotsky was quoted in the New York Times of December 8, 1939, as stating he considered it his political duty to testify for the Dies Committee. Plans were discussed for Trotsky’s coming to the United States. The project, however, fell through… .

In September 1939, a European Trotskyite agent, traveling under the name of Frank Jacson, arrived in the United States on the French liner Ile de France(5). Jacson had been recruited into the Trotskyite movement by an American Trotskyite, Sylvia Ageloff, while he was a student at the Sorborne in Paris. In 1939 he was contacted in Paris by a representative of the secret “Bureau of the Fourth International” and told he was to go to Mexico to serve as one of Trotsky’s “secretaries.” He was given a passport which had originally belonged to a Canadian citizen, Tony Babich, a member of the Spanish Republican Army, who had been killed by the Fascists in Spain. The Trotskyites had obtained Babich’s passport, removed his photograph and inserted Jacson’s in its place.

Jacson was met on his arrival in New York City by Sylvia Ageloff and other Trotskyites, and taken to Coyoacan, where he went to work for Trotsky. Subsequently Jacson informed the Mexican police: –

Trotsky was going to send me to Russia with the object of organizing a new state of things in the U.S.S.R. He told me I must go to Shanghai, on the China clipper, where I would meet other agents in some ships, and together we would cross Manchukuo and arrive in Russia. Our mission was to bring demoralization to the Red Army, commit different acts of sabotage in armament plants and other factories.

Jacson never went on his terroristic mission to the Soviet Union. Late in the afternoon of August 20, 1940, in the heavily fortified villa at Coyoacan, Jacson murdered his leader, Leon Trotsky, by smashing his head in with an Alpine pickax.

Arrested by the Mexican police, Jacson said he had wanted to marry Sylvia Ageloff, and that Trotsky had forbidden the marriage. A violent quarrel, involving the girl, broke out between the two men. “For her sake,” said Jacson, “I decided to sacrifice myself entirely.”

In further statements, Jacson declared: –

.. in place of finding myself face to face with a political chief who was directing the struggle for the liberation of the working class, I found myself before a man who desired nothing more than to satisfy his needs and desires of vengeance and of hate and who did not utilize the workers’ struggle for anything more than a means of hiding his own paltriness and despicable calculations.

… in connection with this house, which he said very well had been converted into a fortress, I asked myself very often, from where had come the money for such work. . . . Perhaps the consul of a great foreign nation who often visited him could answer this question for us… .

It was Trotsky who destroyed my nature, my future and all my affections. He converted me into a man without a name, without country, into an instrument of Trotsky. I was in a blind alley. . . . Trotsky crushed me in his hands as if I had been paper.

The death of Leon Trotsky left only one living candidate for the Napoleonic role in Russia: Adolf Hitler.


1. On December 1, 1941, Albert Goldman was convicted in a Federal Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on charges of having conspired to under mine the morale of the United States Army and Navy. (See footnote, page 317.)

2 Trotsky offered various “explanations” for the admissions made at the trials by his former intimate friends, chief lieutenants and allies. At first, he had explained the trial of Zinoviev and Kamenev by declaring that the accused had been promised their lives by the Soviet Government on condition they made false accusations against him. “That is the minimum that the G.P.U. could not renounce,” Trotsky had written, “it will give its victims a chance for their lives on condition it obtains this minimum.” After Zinoviev and Kamenev and their accomplices in the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center were shot, Trotsky declared they had been double-crossed. But this explanation became hopelessly inadequate when Pyatakov, Radek and the other accused at the second Moscow Trial also pleaded guilty and made even more damaging admissions. Now Trotsky asserted the testimony of the accused was the product of fiendish torture and mysterious, potent “drugs.” He wrote: “The G.P.U. trials have a thoroughly inquisitorial character: that is the simple secret of the confessions! … Perhaps in this world there are many heroes who are capable of bearing all kinds of tortures, physical or moral, which are inflicted on themselves, their wives, their children. I do not know….”

In one article Trotsky would describe the defendants at the trials as men of “noble character,” ardent and sincere “Old Bolsheviks” who had taken the path of opposition because of Stalin’s “betrayal of the revolution,” and who accordingly had been liquidated by Stalin. In another article, Trotsky would violently denounce Pyatakov, Radek, Bukharin and the others as “despicable characters,” men of “weak will,” and “puppets of Stalin.”

Finally, in answer to the question as to why, if they were not guilty, veteran revolutionaries should make such admissions and why not one of the accused had taken advantage of the open court to proclaim his innocence, Trotsky declared at the Hearings in Mexico in 1937: “In the nature of the case, I am not obliged to answer these questions!”

3. Even after Trotsky’s death, the Fourth International continued to carry on its Fifth Column activities.

In Great Britain, in April 1944, Scotland Yard and police officials raided the Trotskyite headquarters in London, Glasgow, Wallsend and Nottingham, after discovering that Trotskyites were fomenting strikes throughout the country in an attempt to disrupt the British war effort.

In the United States, on December 1, 1941, eighteen leading American Trotskyites were found guilty in a Federal District Court in Minneapolis of conspiring to undermine the loyalty and discipline of American soldiers and sailors.

Convicted along with Trotsky’s lawyer, Albert Goldman, were James P. Cannon, national secretary of the Socialist Workers’ Party (the name under which the Trotsky movement operated in the United States); Felix Morrow, editor of the Trotskyite newspaper, the Militant; Jake Cooper, one of Trotsky’s former bodyguards in Mexico; and fourteen other leading members of the American Trotskyite movement. They received prison sentences ranging from a year and a day to sixteen months.

Grant Dunne, one of the chief Trotskyites in the American labor movement, who had been named in the Federal indictment, committed suicide three weeks before the trial began.

In March 1943, the Trotskyite organ, the Militant, was barred from the U.S. mails on the grounds that the publication was seeking “to embarrass and defeat the government in its effort to prosecute the war to a successful termination.” After an investigation of the Militant, the Department of Justice issued a statement which read in ‘part: “Since December 7, 1941, this publication has openly discouraged participation in the war by the masses of the people. . . . The lines of this publication also include derision of democracy . . and other material . . . appearing to be calculated to engender opposition to the war effort, as well as to interfere with the morale of the armed forces.”

The American foreign correspondent, Paul Ghali of the Chicago Daily News, reported from Switzerland on September 28, 1944, that Heinrich Himmler, chief of the Gestapo, was making use of the European Trotskyites as part of the planned Nazi underground for postwar sabotage and intrigue. Ghali reported that fascist youth organizations were being trained in Trotskyite “Marxism,” supplied with false papers and arms and left behind Allied lines with orders to infiltrate the Communist Parties in the liberated areas. In France, Ghali revealed, members of Joseph Darnand’s fascist Militia were being armed by the Nazis for terrorism and postwar Fifth Column activities. “This scum of the French population,” Ghali’s report added, “is being now trained for Bolshevik activity in the tradition of Trotsky’s International under the personal orders of Heinrich Himmler. Their work is to sabotage allied communication lines and assassinate De Gaullist French politicians. They are being instructed to tell their fellow-countrymen that the presentday Soviet represents only a bourgeois deformation of Lenin’s original principles and that it is high time to return to sound Bolshevik ideology. This formation of groups of red terrorists is Himmler’s most recent policy, aimed at creating a fourth international, amply contaminated by Nazi germs. It is aimed against both British and Americans and Russians, particularly the Russians.”

4. Trotsky’s friends in the United States made arrangements to have this book published by a New York publishing house with a reputation for conservatism and integrity. Although the book was set up in print, the New York publishers decided at the last minute not to distribute the book; and the few copies that had been sent out were withdrawn from circulation. Sections of the book had previously been published in article form by Trotsky. The last article to be published before his death appeared on August 1940, in Liberty magazine; the article was entitled, “Did Stalin Poison Lenin?”

5. Frank Jacson’s real name was Jacques Mornard van den Dresche. Among his other aliases were Leon Jacome and Leon Haikys.


The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia (by Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers) PART II

The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia

by Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers

Book Two: Secrets of the Cordon Sanitaire

CHAPTER VIII – The White Crusade

1. The Ferment of the Aftermath

THE first round of the war against Soviet Russia had ended in something very like a draw. The Soviet Government was in undisputed possession of most of its own territories; but it was ostracized by the other nations, bound in by a cordon sanitaire of hostile puppet states, and cut off from normal political and commercial intercourse with the rest of the world. Officially, the Soviet one sixth of the earth did not exist – it was “not recognized.”

At home, the Soviet Government was confronted with an economic wilderness of smashed factories, flooded mines, ruined agriculture, wrecked transport, disease, famine, and almost universal illiteracy. To the bankrupt heritage of the feudal Czarist regime had been added the debris of seven years of ceaseless war, revolution, counterrevolution and foreign invasion.

The world outside the Soviet borders was still searching for peace, and not finding it. The English statesman, Bonar Law, relating the conditions of the world four years after the signing of the Versailles Peace, told the House of Commons that no less than twenty-three wars were still being waged in different parts of the world. Japan had occupied regions of China and brutally suppressed the Korean independence movement; British troops were putting down popular rebellions in Ireland, Afghanistan, Egypt and India; the French were engaged in open warfare with the Druse tribes in Syria, who, to French chagrin, were armed with machine guns from the British factories of Metro-Vickers; the German General Staff, operating behind the facade of the Weimar Republic, was conspiring to wipe out democratic German elements and to resurrect Imperialist Germany.

Every country in Europe seethed with feverish plots and counter-plots of fascists, nationalists, militarists and monarchists, all promoting their own ends under the general mask of “Anti-Bolshevism.”

A secret memorandum, drafted in those early postwar years by the British Foreign Office, described the state of Europe in these words: –

Europe today is divided into three main elements, namely, the victors, the vanquished, and Russia. The feeling of uncertainty which is sapping the health of Western Europe is caused to no small extent by the disappearance of Russia as a power, accountable in the European concert. The most menacing of our uncertainties.

All our late enemies continue, full of resentment at what they have lost; all our late Allies are fearful of losing what they have won. One half of Europe is dangerously angry, the other half is dangerously afraid. Fear begets provocation, armaments, secret alliances, ill-treatment of minorities. These in turn beget a greater hatred, and stimulate a desire for revenge, whereby fear is intensified and its consequences are enhanced. The vicious circle is thus established.

Although Germany is at present quite incapable of undertaking aggressive action, it is certain that with great military chemical potentialities she will sooner or later again become a powerful military factor. There are but few Germans who seriously hope to exert this strength, when reacquired, against the British Empire.

While the British Foreign Office was complacently contemplating the rearmament of Germany and devoting its attention to Russia as the “most menacing of our uncertainties,” across the Atlantic, amid the hysteria and confusion of the post-Wilsonian era, the United States was dreaming of “glorious isolation.” The great American illusion of the time was summed up in the phrase “a return to normalcy.” According to Walter Lippmann, then writing for the New York World, “normalcy” consisted of the following beliefs: –

That the fate of America is in no important way connected with the fate of Europe.

That Europe should stew in its own juice. . . .

That we can sell to Europe, without buying from Europe. . . . and that if Europe doesn’t like she can lump it, but she had better not.

Walter Lippmann concluded: –

Out of the fears and in the midst of this disorder a kind of hysteria has been generated. It has evoked armies, crazy tariffs, wildcat diplomacy, every variety of morbid nationalism Fascisti and Ku-Kluxers. . . .

In spite of the unrest, war weariness and economic anarchy still prevailing in Europe, new plans for the military invasion of Soviet Russia continued to be drawn up and assiduously studied by the General Staffs of Poland, Finland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, France, England, and Germany.

The frantic anti-Soviet propaganda went on.

Four years after the great war that was to end all wars, all the elements existed for the making of a second world war to be launched against world democracy under the slogan of “anti-Bolshevism.”

2. White Russian Exodus

With the debacle of the White armies of Kolchak, Yudenitch, Denikin, Wrangel and Semyonov, the immense archaic structure of Czarism had undergone its final collapse, scattering far and wide the turbid elements of savagery, barbarism and reaction which it had so long sheltered. The ruthless adventurers, the decadent aristocrats, the professional terrorists, the bandit soldiery, the dreaded secret police and all the other feudal and antidemocratic forces that had constituted the White Counterrevolution now spilled out of Russia like a muddy, turbulent stream. Westward, eastward and southward, through Europe and the Far East, into North and South America, it flowed, bringing with it the sadism of the White Guard generals, the pogromist doctrines of the Black Hundreds, the fierce contempt of Czarism for democracy, the dark hatreds, prejudices and neuroses of old Imperial Russia.

The Protocols of Zion, the anti-Semitic forgeries by which the Ochrana had incited massacres of the Jews and the bible by which the Black Hundreds explained all the ills of the world in terms of an “international Jewish plot,” were now circulated publicly in London and New York, Paris and Buenos Aires, Shanghai and Madrid.

Wherever the White émigrés went, they fertilized the soil for the World Counterrevolution – Fascism.

By 1923 there were half a million White Russians living in Germany. More than 400,000 had migrated to France, and 90,000 to Poland. Other tens of thousands had settled in the Baltic and Balkan States, in China and Japan, in Canada, the United States and South America. Three thousand White Russian officers and their families had settled in New York City alone.

The total number of Russian émigré was estimated at between one and a half and two million. (1)

Under the supervision of a Russian Military Union, which had its headquarters in Paris, armed units of White Russians were established throughout Europe, the Far East, and America. They openly announced they were preparing for a new invasion of Soviet Russia.

The French Government founded a naval training school for White Russians at the North African port of Bizerte, where thirty ships from the Czarist fleet had been dispatched with crews of 6000 officers and men. The Yugoslavian Government established special academies for the training of former officers of the Czar’s Army and their sons. Large detachments from Baron Wrangel’s Army were transferred intact into the Balkans. Eighteen thousand Cossacks and cavalrymen were sent into Yugoslavia. Seventeen thousand White Russian troops went to Bulgaria. Thousands more were stationed in Greece and Hungary. White Guard Russians took over entire branches of the secret police apparatus in the anti-Soviet Baltic and Balkan States, moved into key government posts and assumed control of many of the espionage agencies.

With the assistance of Marshal Pilsudski, the Russian terrorist Boris Savinkov organized a White Army of 30,000 men in Poland. Ataman Semyonov, after being driven from Siberia, fled with the remnants of his armies into Japanese territory. His troops were provided with new uniforms and equipment by Tokyo, and were reorganized into a special White Russian Army under the supervision of the Japanese High Command.

Baron Wrangel, General Denikin and the pogromist Simon Petlura settled in Paris, where they became immediately involved in diverse anti-Soviet plots. Generals Krasnov and the Hetman Skoropadsky, who had collaborated with the Kaiser’s army in the Ukraine, went to live in Berlin, and were taken under the wing of the German Military Intelligence.(2)

In 1920 a small group of immensely wealthy Russian émigrés, all of whom had maintained huge investments in France and other foreign countries, came together in Paris and founded an organization which was destined to play a major role in future conspiracies against Soviet Russia. The organization, which was given the name of the Torgprom, or Russian Trade, Financial and Industrial Committee, consisted of former Czarist bankers, industrialists and businessmen. Among its members were G. N. Nobel, who had held a controlling interest in Russia’s Baku oil fields; Stepan Lianozov, the Russian “Rockefeller”; Vladimir Riabushinsky, a member of the famous family of Czarist merchants; N. C. Denisov, whose immense fortune had been amassed in the steel industry; and other Russian economic royalists whose names were famous in industrial and financial circles throughout the world.

Associated with these men in the Torgprom were British, French and German interests which had not abandoned hopes of retrieving their lost Russian investments or gaining new concessions as a result of the overthrow of the Soviet regime.

“The Torgprom”, stated Denisov, the chairman of the organization, “has made it its aim to fight the Bolsheviks on the economic front in every manner and form.” Torgprom members were interested, as Nobel phrased it, “in the early resurrection of the fatherland and in the possibility of soon being able to work in the fatherland.”

The Torgprom’s anti-Soviet operations were not limited to the economic front. An official statement issued by the Torgprom announced: –

The Trade and Industrial Committee will continue its unremitting struggle against the Soviet Government, will continue to enlighten the public opinion of cultured countries as to the true significance of the events taking place in Russia and to prepare for the future revolt in the name of freedom and truth.

3. A Gentleman from Reval

In June 1921, a group of former Czarist officers, industrialists and aristocrats called an International Anti-Soviet Conference at the Reichenhalle in Bavaria. The conference, which was attended by representatives from anti-Soviet organizations throughout Europe, drew up plans for a world-wide campaign of agitation against Soviet Russia.

A “Supreme Monarchist Council” was elected by the Conference. Its function was to work for “the restoration of the monarchy, headed by the lawful sovereign of the Romanov house, in accordance with the fundamental laws of the Russian Empire.”

The infant National Socialist Party of Germany sent a delegate to the Conference. His name was Alfred Rosenberg. . . .

A slender, pale-faced young man with thin lips, dark hair, and a weary, brooding expression, Alfred Rosenberg had begun frequenting the beer halls of Munich in the summer of 1919. He could usually be found at the Augustinerbrau or at the Franziskanerbrau, where he sat alone for hours on end at one of the tables in a corner. Occasionally companions joined him and then, although he greeted them with little warmth, his manner would brighten, and his dark eyes would come to life and gleam in his chalky face as he started talking in a low, passionate voice. He spoke Russian and German with equal fluency.

Rosenberg was the son of a Baltic landowner who had owned a large estate near the Czarist port of Reval. His father claimed descent from the Teutonic Knights who had invaded the Baltic States in the Middle Ages; and young Rosenberg proudly regarded himself as a German. Before the Revolution in Russia, he had studied architecture at the Polytechnikum in Moscow. He had fled from Soviet territory when the Bolsheviks seized power and joined the ranks of the White Guard terrorists fighting under General Count Rüdiger von der Goltz in the Baltic area. In 1919 Rosenberg had turned up in Munich, his mind teeming with the anti-democratic and anti-Semitic doctrines of the Czarist Black Hundreds.

A small group of White Guard émigré and dispossessed Baltic barons began gathering regularly in Munich to hear Rosenberg’s intense, venomous tirades against the Communists and the Jews. His audience usually included Prince Avalov-Bermondt, Rasputin’s former friend, who had been General von der Goltz’s most brutal White Guard commander in the Baltic area; Barons Schneuber-Richter and Arno von Schickedanz, two decadent and ruthless Baltic aristocrats; and Ivan-Poltavetz-Ostranitza, a Ukrainian pogromist, who had been Minister of Communications in the Ukrainian government of the Kaiser’s puppet, Hetman Paul Skoropadsky. These men shared Rosenberg’s Black Hundred views on the decadence of democracy and the international conspiracy of the Jews.

“At bottom every Jew is a Bolshevik!” was the constant theme of Rosenberg’s tirades.

Out of Alfred Rosenberg’s dark tortured mind, his pathological hatred for the Jews and frenzied enmity toward the Soviets, there was gradually evolving a world philosophy of counterrevolution, compounded of the fanatical prejudices of Czarist Russia and the imperialistic ambitions of Germany. The salvation of the world from “decadent Jewish democracy and Bolshevism,” Rosenberg wrote in The Myth of the Twentieth Century, was to begin “in Germany” with the creation of a new German state. “It is the duty of the founder of the new State,” he added, “to form an association of men on the lines of the Teutonic Order.”

A race of German supermen was to carry out the task of a world conquest: “The meaning of world history has radiated from the north, borne by a blue-eyed blond race which in several waves determined the spiritual face of the world.”

The idea of a holy crusade against Soviet Russia dominated all of Rosenberg’s writings. He longed for the apocalyptic day when the mighty armies of the new “Teutonic Order” would pour across the Russian frontiers and smash the hateful Bolsheviks. “From west to east is the direction,” he declared, “from the Rhine to the Weichsel, ‘from west to east’ it must resound, from Moscow to Tomsk.”

Germany was passing through its period of bitter postwar crisis, of mass unemployment, of unprecedented inflation and widespread hunger. Behind the democratic facade of the Weimar Republic, which had been established in collusion with the German High Command after the bloody suppression of the German workers’ and soldiers’ soviets, a cabal of Prussian militarists, Junkers and industrial magnates were furtively planning the rebirth and expansion of Imperial Germany. Unknown to the rest of the world, Germany’s future rearmament program was being carefully mapped out by hundreds of engineers, draftsmen and special technicians, working under the supervision of the German High Command, in a secret research and planning laboratory constructed by the firm of Borsig(3) in a forest outside Berlin.

Supposedly, the German Military Intelligence, Section IIIB, had been disbanded at the conclusion of the war. Actually, it had been reorganized with lavish funds supplied by Krupp, Hugenherg and Thyssen and was busily functioning under the supervision of its old anti-Semitic chief, Colonel Walther Nicolai.

The plans for Germany’s new war were being elaborately and diligently prepared. . . .

Among the chief financial contributors to the secret campaign for rejuvenating German Imperialism was a suave, energetic industrialist whose name was Arnold Rechberg. A former personal adjutant of the Crown Prince and a close friend of the members of the old Imperial High Command, Rechberg was associated with the great German potash trust. He was one of the chief promoters of the secret German nationalist and anti-Semitic leagues. It was this avocation that drew his attention to Alfred Rosenberg.

Rechberg arranged to meet Rosenberg. Taking an immediate liking to the counterrevolutionary zealot from Reval, Rechberg introduced him to another of his proteges, a thirty-year-old Austrian rabble-rouser and Reichswehr spy named Adolf Hitler.

Rechberg was already providing funds to buy the uniforms and to meet various other expenses of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party. Now Rechberg and his wealthy friends purchased an obscure newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter, and turned it over to the Nazi movement. The publication became the official organ of the Nazi Party. As its editor, Hitler appointed Alfred Rosenberg. . . .

On New Year’s Day, 1921, ten days after the Völkischer Beobachter had become the property of the Nazis, the paper outlined the basic foreign policy of Hitler’s Party: –

And when the time comes and the storm is brewing over the eastern marches of Germany, it will be a case of collecting a hundred thousand men who are prepared to sacrifice their lives there. . . . Those who are determined to dare all must be prepared for the attitude of the Western Jews . . . who will raise woeful voices when the Eastern Jews are attacked.

. . . What is certain is that the Russian army will be driven back across its frontiers after a second Tannenberg. That is a purely German affair and the real beginning of our reconstruction.

The editorial was written by Alfred Rosenberg.

Out of the merger of feudal Czarism and the reborn twentieth century German Imperialism, Nazism was taking form. . . .

4. The Hoffmann Plan

Alfred Rosenberg was to supply the political ideology of the German Nazi Party. Another of Rechberg’s friends, General Max Hoffmann, was to provide the military strategy.

General Max Hoffmann had spent much of his youth in Russia as an attaché at the Court of the Czar. He had come to speak Russian more fluently than German. In 1905, as a thirty-five-year-old captain newly appointed to General von Schlieffen’s staff, he had served as German liaison officer with the First Japanese Army in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Hoffmann never forgot what he saw on the Manchurian plains – a seemingly limitless front, and a compact, perfectly trained attacking force cutting “like a knife through butter” into a far larger defending army that had huge reserves, but was cumbersome and ill-led.

At the start of the First World War, Hoffmann was appointed Chief of Operations of the Eighth German Army stationed in East Prussia to meet the anticipated Russian blow. The strategy which brought about the Czarist debacle at Tannenberg was later credited by military authorities not to Hindenburg or Ludendorff, but to Hoffmann. After Tannenberg, Hoffmann became the commander of the German forces on the Eastern Front. He witnessed the collapse of the Imperial Russian Army. At Brest-Litovsk, he dictated Germany’s peace terms to the Soviet delegation.

In two wars, Hoffmann had seen the Russian Army in action, and each time he had witnessed its crushing defeat. The Red Army, in Hoffmann’s opinion, was only the old Russian Army “decomposed into a rabble.”

In the early spring of 1919, General Max Hoffmann had presented himself at the Paris Peace Conference with his ready-made Plan for a march on Moscow to be headed by the German Army. From Hoffmann’s viewpoint his Plan had a double advantage: it would not only “save Europe from Bolshevism”; it would at the same time save the German Imperial Army and prevent its dissolution. A modified forth of Hoffmann’s Plan had been endorsed by Marshal Foch.

On November 22, 1919, General Hoffmann declared in an interview with the London Daily Telegraph: “During the past two years I have gradually come to the conclusion that Bolshevism is the greatest danger that has threatened Europe for centuries. . . .” Hoffmann’s memoirs, The War o f Lost Opportunities, bewailed the world’s failure to march on Moscow according to the original conception of his Plan.

Following a visit to General Hoffmann in Berlin in 1923, the British Ambassador Lord D’Abernon recorded in his diplomatic diary: –

All his opinions are governed by his general conception that nothing can go right in the world until the civilized Powers of the West come together and hang the Soviet Government.

…Asked if he believed in the possibility of any unity between France, Germany and England to attack Russia, he replied: “It is such a necessity, it must come!”

In the postwar years, after the failure of armed intervention against Soviet Russia, Hoffmann brought out a new version of his Plan, and began circulating it, in the form of a confidential Memorandum among the General Staffs of Europe. The Memorandum immediately aroused keen interest in Europe’s growing pro-fascist circles. Marshal Foch and his Chief of Staff, Pétain, both of whom were close personal friends of Hoffmann, expressed their warm approval of the revised Plan. Among the other personalities who gave the Plan their endorsement were Franz yon Papen, General Baron Karl yon Mannerheim, Admiral Horthy and the British Director of Naval Intelligence, Admiral Sir Barry Domvile.

The Hoffmann Plan, in its later versions, gained the backing of a large and powerful section of the German High Command, although it clearly represented a radical departure from the traditional Bismarckian school of German military and political strategy’ The new Hoffmann Plan projected a German alliance with France, Italy, England and Poland, based on a common cause against Soviet Russia. Strategically, in the words of a prescient European commentator, Ernst Henri, in his book, Hitler Over Russia, the plan called for

concentration of new armies on the Vistula and the Dvina on the model of Napoleon; lightning march, under German command, on the retreating Bolshevik hordes; occupation of Leningrad and Moscow in the course of a few weeks; final clean-up of the country down to the Urals – and so the salvation of an exhausted civilization through the conquest of half a continent.

The whole of Europe, under German leadership, was to be mobilized and hurled against the Soviet Union.


(1) Not all the refugees were counterrevolutionaries. Thousands of confused and uprooted people, terrified by an elemental upheaval they could not comprehend, had joined the mass exodus. Moving from one country to another, they strove desperately to earn a living in a strange new world. Some became taxicab drivers, waiters, maids, nightclub entertainers, cooks, guides. Many, facing starvation in the cities of western Europe, became beggars. The brothels of Harbin, Shanghai and Peking teemed with White Russian refugees.

(2) The subsequent careers of many of the generals who led the foreign armies of intervention against Soviet Russia are of considerable interest. The Czech generals, Sirovy and Gayda, returned to Prague where the former became Commander-in-Chief of the Czech Army and the latter Chief of Staff. In 1926 General Gayda participated in an abortive fascist coup d’etat and subsequently was involved in other fascist conspiracies. General Sirovy played the role of the key Czech military Quisling in 1938. The British General Knox returned to England to become a Tory member of Parliament, a violent anti-Soviet agitator and a founder of the Friends of Nationalist Spain, an agency which spread Spanish fascist propaganda in England on behalf of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Foch, Petain, Weygand, Mannerheim, Tanaka, Hoffmann and other interventionist generals became leaders in anti-Soviet and fascist movements during the postwar period.

(3) For Borsig’s subsidization of subsequent fifth column operations in the Soviet Union, see page 223.

(4) At first General Hans von Seeckt, commander of the German Reichswehr, opposed the Hoffmann Plan. Seeckt dreamed of a war of revenge against the West, in which he hoped to be able to use Russian raw materials and manpower. He believed he could come to terms with the opposition elements in the Red Army and Soviet Government. Later, Seeckt gave his backing to the Hoffmann Plan and became a Nazi.

CHAPTER lX The Strange Career of a Terrorist

1. The Return of Sidney Reilly

BERLIN, December 1922. A German naval officer and a British Intelligence officer were chatting in the crowded lounge of the famous Hotel Adlon with a young, pretty, fashionably dressed woman. She was a London musical comedy star, Pepita Bobadilla, otherwise known as Mrs. Chambers, widow of the successful British dramatist, Haddon Chambers. The subject of espionage came up. The Englishman began talking about the extraordinary exploits in Soviet Russia of a British Intelligence agent to whom he referred as Mr. C. The German was familiar with Mr. C.’s reputation. They regaled one another with anecdotes of his fabulous adventures. Finally, unable to restrain her curiosity any longer, Mrs. Chambers asked, “Who is this Mr. C.?”

“Who is he not?” replied the Englishman. “I tell you, Mrs. Chambers, this Mr. C. is a man of mystery. He is the most mysterious man in Europe. And incidentally I should say he has a bigger price on his head than any man breathing. The Bolsheviks would give a province for him dead or alive. . . . He’s a man that lives on danger. He has been our eyes and ears in Russia on many an occasion, and, between ourselves, he alone is responsible for Bolshevism not being a bigger danger to Western civilization than it is at present.”

Mrs. Chambers was eager to hear more about the mysterious Mr. C. Her companion smiled. “I saw him this afternoon,” the Englishman said. “He’s staying here in the Adlon Hotel. . . .”

That same evening Mrs. Chambers had her first glimpse of Mr. C. He was, she later wrote, “a well-groomed and well tailored figure” with “a lean, rather sombre face” and “an expression, which might almost have been sardonic, the expression of a man, who not once, but many times had laughed in the face of death.” Mrs. Chambers fell in love with him at first sight.

They were introduced. Mr. C. talked to Mrs. Chambers that evening “of the state of Europe, of Russia, of the Cheka,” above all, of the “menace of Bolshevism.” He told Mrs. Chambers his real name: Captain Sidney George Reilly. . . .

Following the debacle of his 1918 conspiracy against the Soviets. Sidney Reilly had been sent back to Russia by the British Secretary of War, Winston Churchill, to help organize the espionage service of General Denikin. Reilly also acted as liaison between Denikin and his various European anti-Soviet allies. During 1919 and 1920, the British spy had worked diligently in Paris, Warsaw and Prague, organizing anti-Soviet armies and espionage-sabotage agencies. Later, he served as a semiofficial agent for some of the Czarist émigré millionaires, including his old friend and employer, Count Tchubersky. One of the more ambitious projects Reilly helped launch during this period was the Torgprom, the cartel of the Czarist émigré industrialists and their Anglo-French and German partners.

As a result of his financial operations, Reilly had amassed a considerable personal fortune and held directorships in a number of firms formerly associated with Russian big business. He had developed important international contacts, and counted among his personal friends Winston Churchill, General Max Hoffmann and the Finnish Chief of Staff Wallenius.

The British spy’s fanatical hatred of Soviet Russia had not diminished. The annihilation of Bolshevism was now the dominating motive of his life. His passionate interest in Napoleon, the would-be conqueror of Russia, had led him to become one of the world’s most enthusiastic collectors of Napoleonana. The value of his collection ran into the tens of thousands of dollars. The personality of the Corsican dictator fascinated him.

“A Corsican lieutenant of artillery trod out the embers of the French Revolution,” said Sidney Reilly. “Surely a British espionage agent with so many factors on his side, could make himself master of Moscow?”

On May 18, 1923, Mrs. Chambers was married to Captain Sidney Reilly at the Registry Office in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, in London. Captain George Hill, Reilly’s old accomplice from Moscow days, acted as witness.

Mrs. Chambers was soon participating in the fantastic intrigues of her husband’s life. She later wrote: –

Gradually I was initiated into those strange proceedings which were going on behind the scenes of European politics. I learned how beneath the surface of every capital in Europe was simmering the conspiracy of the exiles against the present tyrants of their country. In Berlin, in Paris, in Prague, in London itself, small groups of exiles were plotting, planning, conspiring. Helsingfors [Helsinki] was absolutely seething with counter-revolution, which had been financed and abetted by several of the governments of Europe. In this whole movement Sidney was intensely interested and was devoting much time and money to the cause.

One day a mysterious visitor presented himself at Sidney Reilly’s London apartment. He first introduced himself as “Mr. Warner.” He had a great black beard which almost concealed his entire face, prominent cheekbones and cold, steely-blue eyes. He was a huge man, and his long loose arms hung almost to his knees. He produced his credentials. They included a British passport, a voucher, written and signed in Paris by the Social Revolutionary leader, Boris Savinkov, and a letter of introduction by a prominent British statesman.

“I shall be in London about a week,” the visitor told Reilly, “conferring with your Foreign Office.”

“Mr. Warner” then revealed his identity. His real name was Drebkov, and he had been the leader of one of the “Fives” groups in Reilly’s anti-Soviet conspiratorial apparatus in Russia in 1918. He now was head of a White Russian underground organization In Moscow.

“That was a fine organization you had in Russia, Captain Reilly,” said Drebkov. “We picked up the strands again! We have got it working again. All your old agents are there. You remember Balkov? He’s with us. . . . Some day or outer we overthrow the Redskins, and the good tittles begin again. But you know what we Russians are. We scheme and scheme and scheme, and build wonderful plot after wonderful plot, and quarrel among ourselves over irrelevant details, and golden opportunity after golden opportunity slips by, and nothing is done. Pall!” Drebkov came to the point of his visit. “We want a man in Russia, Captain Reilly,” he said, “a man who can command and get things done, whose commands there is no disputing, a man who will be master, a dictator, if you like, as Mussolini is in Italy, a man who will compose the feuds which disunite our friends there with an iron hand and will weld us into the weapon that will smite the present tyrants of Russia to the heart!”

“What about Savinkov?” asked Sidney Reilly. “He is in Paris, the very man for you, a really great man, a great personality, a born leader and organizer!”

Mrs. Reilly, recording the interview in her memoirs, wrote: –

I could read in Sidney’s tone how great was the sacrifice he was making in handing over this business to Savinlcov, the Russian leader, whom he admired so wholeheartedly.

2.”A Business Like Any Other! “

Boris Savinlcov, who by 1924 was being seriously considered in the inner policy-staking circles at Downing Street and the Quai d’Orsay as the future Dictator of Russia, was in many ways one of the most remarkable men to emerge from the chaos of the collapse of Old Russia. A slight, pallid, baldish, soft-spoken man, who was usually impeccably dressed in a frock coat and patent-leather boots, Savinlcov looked more like “the manager of a bank,” as Somerset Maugham once said, than the famous terrorist and ruthless counterrevolutionary he really was. His talents were many and diverse. Winston Churchill, to whom Savinkov was first introduced by Sidney Reilly, later described the Russian terrorist in his book Great Contemporaries as displaying “the wisdom of a statesman, the qualities of a commander, the courage of a hero, and the endurance of a martyr.” Savinkov’s whole life, adds Churchill, “had been spent in conspiracy.”

As a young titan in Czarist Russia, Savinkov had been a leading Member of the Social Revolutionary Party. Together with four other leaders he headed the Party’s Battle Organization, a special terrorist committee responsible for arranging the assassination of Czarist officials. The Grand Duke Sergei, uncle of the Czar, and the Minister of the Interior, V. K. Plehve, were among the Czarist officials killed by the Battle Organization in the early 1900’s.(1)

After the failure of the first attempt to overthrow Czarism in 1905, Boris Savinkov became somewhat disillusioned with the life of a revolutionary. He began to devote himself to literature. He wrote a sensational autobiographical novel, The Pale Horse, in which lie described his role in the assassinations of Plehvc and the Grand Duke Sergei. He related how, disguised as a British agent, he sat in a little house on a Russian side street, with a forged British passport in his pocket and “3 kilograms of dynamite under the table,” waiting day after day for the Grand Duke’s carriage to pass down the street.

Years later, during the First World War, when the British novelist, Somerset Maughan was sent into Russia by the British Secret Service to establish contact with Savinkov, (2) he asked the Russian terrorist if it had not taken great courage to carry out these assassinations. Savinkov replied: –

“Not at all, believe me. It is a business, like any other. One gets accustomed to it.”

In June 1917, Boris Savinkov, professional assassin and novelist, was appointed by Kerensky, on the advice of his Allied advisers, to the post of Political Commissar of the 7th Army on the Galician Front. The troops of this army group were mutinying against the Provisional Government, and it was thought Savinkov’s strong-arm methods were needed to cope with the situation. Savinkov quelled the disturbance. On one occasion, he was reported to have shot with his own hands the delegates from a Bolshevik Soldiers’ Council. . . .

At Savinkov’s insistence Kerensky made General Kornilov Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armies. Savinkov himself was appointed Assistant Minister of War. He was already acting as a secret agent of the French Government and was plotting to overthrow the Kerensky regime and establish a military dictatorship under Kornilov.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, Savinkov led an anti-Soviet uprising at Yaroslav secretly financed by the French and timed to coincide with Sidney Reilly’s attempted coup d’etat in Moscow. Savinkov’s forces were smashed by the Red Army, and he barely escaped with his life. Fleeing the country, he became one of the diplomatic representatives of the White Russians in Europe. As winston Churchill wrote about Savinkov in Great Contempo-raries: “Responsible for all the relations with the Allies and with not the less important Baltic and Border states which formed at that time the `Sanitary Cordon’ of the west, the ex-Nihilist displayed every capacity whether for command or for intrigue.”

In 1920, Savinkov moved to Poland. With the aid of his good friend Marshal Pilsudski, he collected some 30,000 officers and men, armed them and began training them in preparation for another assault against Soviet Russia.

Subsequently, Savinkov moved his headquarters to Prague. There, working closely with the Czech fascist General Gayda, Savinkov created an organization known as the Green Guards, composed largely of former Czarist officers and counterrevolutionary terrorists. The Green Guards launched a series of raids across the Soviet borders, robbing, pillaging, burning farms, massacring workers and peasants, and murdering the local Soviet officials. In this activity Savinkov had the close co-operation of various European secret service agencies.

One of Savinkov’s aides, a Social Revolutionary terrorist named Fomitchov, set up a branch of Savinkov’s conspiratorial and terrorist apparatus in Vilna, the former Lithuanian capital, which had been seized by the Poles in 1920. Fomitchov’s group, with the aid of the Polish Intelligence, began forming secret cells on Soviet territory to carry on espionage work and to assist terrorist groups sent in from Poland, equipped with arms, money and forged documents by the Polish authorities.

Later, in a letter to Izvestia on September 17, 1924, Fomitchov gave this description of the operations carried on by his group: –

When these spies and detachments returned after the murders which they had been sent to perpetrate, I was the intermediary between them and the Polish authorities, for it was I who handed over to the latter the stolen documents and espionage material. This is how the detachments of Sergei Pavlovsky, Trubnikov, Monitch, Daniel, Ivanov and other smaller detachments, as well as single spies and terrorists were sent to Soviet Russia. Among other things, I remember how Colonel Svezhevsky was sent to Russia in 1922 with the injunction to kill Lenin. . . .

Savinkov’s ruthless methods, magnetic personality and unusual organizational talents held tremendous appeal for those White Russian émigrés and anti-Soviet European statesmen who still dreamed of overthrowing the Soviet Government. Occasionally, however, these persons felt a mild embarrassment because of Savinkov’s record. In Paris, in 1919, when Winston Churchill was negotiating with the former Czarist Prime Minister Sazonov, the question of Savinkov came up. Churchill later described the incident in his book Great Contemporaries.

“How do you get on with Savinkov?” asked Churchill.

The Czar’s former chief Minister made a deprecating gesture with his hands. “He is an assassin! I am astonished to be working with him! But what is one to do? He is a man most competent, full of resource and resolution. No one is so good!”

3. Sunday at Chequers

In 1922 famine was raging in the devastated regions of Russia, and it seemed that the imminent collapse of the Soviet Government was inevitable. European statesmen, White Russian émigrés and political oppositionists inside Soviet Russia were busily drawing up secret pacts and organizing new Russian cabinets ready to assume office at a moment’s notice. Intensive discussions were going on regarding a potential Russian dictator. Captain Sidney Reilly brought Savinkov to Winston Churchill.

Churchill had long been intrigued with the personality of this “literary assassin,” as he called him. Agreeing with Reilly that Savinkov was a man “to be entrusted with the command of great undertakings,” Churchill decided to introduce him to the British Prime Minister, Lloyd George. A confidential conference was arranged to take place at Chequers, the country retreat of British Prime Ministers in office.

Churchill and Savinkov motored out to Chequers together. “It was a Sunday,” relates Churchill in Great Contemporaries. “The Prime Minister was entertaining several leading Free Church divines, and was himself surrounded by a band of Welsh singers who had travelled from their native principality to do him choral honors. For several hours they sang Welsh hymns in the most beautiful manner. Afterwards we had our talk.”

But Lloyd George was not inclined to be stampeded into having the British Government sponsor Boris Savinkov. In Lloyd George’s opinion, the “worst was over” in Russia. The Bolshevik experiment – socialist control of the country’s industries – would, of course, fail. The Bolshevik leaders, “confronted with the responsibilities of actual government,” would give up their Communist theories or, “like Robespierre and St. Just [sic],” would quarrel among themselves and fall from power.

As for the “world Communist menace,” about which Churchill and the British Intelligence Service seemed to be so agitated, it simply did not exist, said Lloyd George. . . .

“Mr. Prime Minister,” Boris Savinkov observed in his grave, formal manner, when Lloyd George had finished, “you will permit me the honor of observing that after the fall of the Roman Empire there ensued the Dark Ages!”

4. Moscow Trial, 1924

The death of Lenin on January 21, 1924, gave rise to fervent new hopes in Reilly’s mind. His agents in Russia reported that the opposition elements within the country were greatly intensifying their efforts to come to power. Within the Bolshevik Party itself, acute differences were manifesting themselves, and there seemed to be the possibility of exploiting a real split. From Reilly’s point of view, it was a highly strategic moment to strike.

Reilly had made up his mind that his old plans for the restoration of Czarism were outdated. Russia had moved away from Czarism. Reilly believed that a dictatorship would have to be set up based on the richer peasants (kulaks) and various army and political forces hostile to the Soviet Government. He was convinced that Boris Savinkov was the ideal man to introduce into Russia the sort of regime which Mussolini headed in Italy. The British spy traveled from one European capital to another. trying to persuade the Intelligence Services and General Staffs to support Savinkov’s cause.

One of the most important personalities to be drawn into the anti-Soviet campaign at this time was Sir Henri Wilhelm August Deterding, Dutch-born Knight of the British Empire and head of the great British international oil trust, Royal Dutch Shell. Deterding was destined to become the world’s foremost financial backer and big-business spokesman, of the anti-Bolshevik cause.

Through Reilly’s efforts, the British oil king became interested in the Torgprom, the organization of the Czarist émigré millionaires. >From Lianozov and Mantashev in Paris, and other Torgprom members in Europe, Deterding shrewdly bought up the paper rights to some of the most important oil fields in Soviet Russia. Early in 1924, having failed to gain control of Soviet oil by diplomatic pressure, the British oil king declared himself to be the “owner” of Russian oil and denounced the Soviet regime as unlawful and outside the pale of civilization. With all the immense resources of his wealth, influence and innumerable secret agents, Sir Henri Deterding declared war on Soviet Russia with the frank intention of gaining possession of the rich oil wells of the Soviet Caucasus.

Deterding’s intervention placed a new emphasis on Sidney Reilly’s campaign. The British spy promptly drew up a concrete plan of attack on Soviet Russia and submitted it to interested members of the European General Staffs. The plan, a variant of the Hoffmann Plan, involved both political and military action.

Politically, Reilly’s plan envisaged a counterrevolution in Russia started by the secret opposition elements in conjunction with Savinkov’s terrorists. As soon as the counterrevolution was successfully under way, the military phase would begin. London and Paris would formally denounce the Soviet Government and recognize Boris Savinkov as the dictator of Russia. The White Armies stationed in Yugoslavia and Rumania would cross the Soviet border. Poland would march on Kiev. Finland would blockade Leningrad. Simultaneously, there would be an armed revolt in the Caucasus led by followers of the Georgian Menshevik, Noi Jordania. (3) The Caucasus would be severed from the rest of Russia, established as an “independent” Trans-Caucasian Federation under Anglo-French auspices, and the oil wells and pipelines returned to their former owners and foreign partners.

Reilly’s plan won the approval and endorsement of the anti-Bolshevik leaders of the French, Polish, Finnish and Rumanian General Staffs. The British Foreign Office was definitely interested in the scheme to sever the Caucasus from Russia. The Italian Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, summoned Boris Savinkov to Rome for a special conference. Mussolini wanted to meet the “Russian dictator.” He offered to provide Savinkov’s agents with Italian passports to facilitate their traveling in and out of Russia while preparing for the attack. In addition, Il Duce agreed to instruct his Fascist legations and his secret police, the OVRA, to render Savinkov every possible assistance. . . .

In Reilly’s words, “A great counterrevolutionary plot was nearing completion.”

On August 10, 1924, after a long final discussion with Reilly, Boris Savinkov, equipped with an Italian passport, left for Russia. He was accompanied by a few trusted aides and lieutenants of his Green Guards. Once he had crossed the Soviet border, he was to make the last-minute preparations for the general uprising. Every precaution had been taken to insure that Savinkov’s identity would not be disclosed, or his safety endangered. The moment he reached Soviet territory, he was to be met by representatives of the White underground movement who had obtained positions as Soviet officials in the border towns. Savinkov was to send a message by secret courier to Reilly as soon as he arrived.

Days passed, and no word came from Savinkov. In Paris, Reilly waited with growing impatience and anxiety, unable to make a move until the courier arrived. A week elapsed. Two weeks. . . .

On August 28, the planned uprising in the Caucasus broke out. At dawn, an armed detachment of Noi Jordania’s men attacked the still sleeping town of Tschiatury in Georgia, murdered the local Soviet officials and took possession of the town. Acts of terror, killings and bombings occurred throughout the Caucasus. Attempts were made to seize the oil fields. . . .

The next day Reilly found out what had happened to Boris Savinkov. On August 29, 1924, the Soviet newspaper, Izvestia, announced that “the former terrorist and counter-revolutionary Boris Savinkov” had been arrested by the Soviet authorities “after he had attempted to make a secret entry across the Soviet border.”

Savinkov and his aides had crossed the border from Poland. They had been met on Soviet soil by a group of men whom they believed to be co-conspirators and conducted to a house in Minsk. No sooner had they arrived than an armed Soviet officer had appeared and announced that the house was surrounded. Savinkov and his companions had fallen into a trap.

The uprising in the Caucasus encountered an equally unlucky fate. The mountaineers, on whom the counterrevolutionaries had counted as allies, rose to the defense of the Soviet regime. Together with the oil workers, they held the railroads, pipelines and oil fields until the regular Soviet troops arrived. Fighting went on sporadically for a few weeks; but it was clear from the start that the Soviet authorities had the situation in hand. The New York Times reported on September 13, 1924, that the Caucasian uprising was “being financed and directed from Paris” by “powerful financiers” and “former proprietors of the Baku oil wells.” A few days later the remnants of Jordania’s counterrevolutionary army were rounded up and captured by the Soviet troops.

The arrest of Savinkov and the collapse of the Caucasian uprising were a bitter enough disappointment for Sidney Reilly and his friends; but the public trial of Savinkov, which took place shortly afterwards in Moscow, proved to be the most severe blow of all. To the horror and amazement of the many prominent personalities who had been implicated in his plotting, Boris Savinkov proceeded to relate the details of the whole conspiracy. He calmly informed the Soviet court that he had known all along he was walking into a trap when he crossed the Soviet border. “You have done a good job in getting me into your net,” Savinkov had told the Soviet officer who arrested him. “As a matter of fact, I suspected a trap. But I decided to come to Russia anyway. I’ll tell you why . . . I have decided to quit my struggle against you!”

Savinkov said that his eyes had finally been opened to the futility and evil of the anti-Soviet movement. He pictured himself before the court as an honest but misguided Russian patriot who had been gradually disillusioned in the character and aims of his associates.

“With horror,” he declared, “I became more and more convinced that they thought not of the fatherland, not of the people, but only of their own class interests!”

Back in 1918, Savinkov told the court, the French Ambassador Noulens had financed his secret terrorist organization in Russia. Noulens had ordered Savinkov to begin the revolt at Yaroslav early in July 1918, and had promised effective support in the form of the landing of French troops. The revolt had taken place as arranged, but the support had not been forthcoming.

“From where did you derive your money at this time and what was the amount.”‘ asked the president of the court.

“I remember at the time I was in the greatest desperation,” Savinkov said, “as I did not know from whence we could obtain money, when without any solicitation we were approached by certain Czechs, who handed me a sum of over 200,000 Kerensky roubles. This money saved our organization at the time. . . . they declared as follows: they desired this money should be employed for terrorist fighting purposes. They knew – I did not conceal the fact – that I recognized terror as a means of struggle, they knew and gave us money emphasizing that it should be used chiefly for terrorist purposes.”

In later years, Savinkov continued, it became clear to him as a Russian patriot that the anti-Soviet elements abroad were not interested in supporting his movement for its own sake but only for the sake of obtaining Russian oil wells and other mineral riches. “They spoke to me very much and very persistently,” said Savinkov of his British advisers, “as to it being desirable to set up an independent South-Eastern Federation consisting of Northern and Trans-Caucasia. Thev said this Federation would only be the beginning, as Azerbaidjan and Georgia would be joined to it later. Here one smelt the odor of petroleum.”

Savinkov described his dealings with Winston Churchill.

“Churchill once showed me the map of South Russia, in which the positions of Denikin’s and your army were indicated with little flags. I still remember how shocked I was when I went to turn and he, pointing to the Denikin flags, said suddenly: `This here is my army!’ I did not reply but stood as if rooted to the spot. I was going to leave the room, but then I thought if I made a scandal here and shut the door on myself, our soldiers in Russia would be left without boots.”

“For what reason did the English and French supply you with these boots, shells, machine-guns, and so forth?” asked the president of the court.

“Officially, they had very noble aims,” replied Savinkov. “We were faithful allies, you were traitors, et cetera. In the background there was the following: as a minimum, well, petroleum is a very desirable thing. As a maximum: let the Russians squabble among themselves, the fewer there are left living the better. Russia will be all the weaker.”

Savinkov’s sensational testimony lasted two days. He told of his whole career as a conspirator. He named the well-known statesmen and financiers in England, France and other European countries who had given him assistance. He said he had unwittingly become their tool. “I lived, as it were, in a glass cage. I saw nothing else but my own conspiracy. . . . I did not know the people. I loved them. I was prepared to lay down my life for them. But their interests – their actual desires.- could I have any knowledge of them?”

In 1923, he had begun to have an inkling of “the great “world importance” of the Bolshevik Revolution. He began to yearn to return to Russia “to see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears.”

“I thought perhaps what I read in the foreign press is all lies,” said Savinkov. “I thought it cannot be that people whom nobody can overcome have done nothing for the Russian people.”

The Soviet court sentenced Boris Savinkov to death as a traitor to his country, but because of the completeness and candor of his testimony, the sentence was commuted to ten years’ imprisonment.(4)

As soon as the news of Savinkov’s arrest, and the even greater bombshell of his recantation, reached Paris, Sidney Reilly had hurried back to London to confer with his superiors. On September 8, 1924, a lengthy and extraordinary statement by Reilly appeared in the Morning Post, the organ of British Tory antiBolshevism. Reilly declared that Savinkov’s public trial in Moscow had actually never taken place. He stated categorically that Savinkov had really been shot while crossing the Soviet frontier, and that the trial was a colossal fraud: –

Savinkov was killed while attempting to cross the Russian frontier, and a mock trial, with one of their own agents as chief actor, was staged by the Cheka in Moscow behind closed doors.(5)

Reilly vigorously, defended Savinkov’s staunchness as an anti-Soviet conspirator: –

I claim the privilege of having been one of his most intimate friends and devoted followers, and on me devolves the sacred duty of vindicating his honor. . . . I was one of the very few who knew of his intention to penetrate into Soviet Russia. . . . I have spent every day with Savinkov up to the day of his departure for the Soviet frontier. I have been in his fullest confidence, and his plans have been elaborated conjointly with me.

Reilly’s statement concluded with an appeal to the editor of the Morning Post: –

Sir, I appeal to you, whose organ has always been the professed champion of anti-Bolshevism and anti-Communism, to help me vindicate the name and honour of Boris Savinkov!

At the same time, Reilly dispatched a private, carefully worded letter to Winston Churchill: –

Dear Mr. Churchill,

The disaster which has overtaken Boris Savinkov has undoubtedly produced the most painful impression upon you. Neither I nor any of his intimate friends and co-workers have so far been able to obtain any reliable news about his fate. Our conviction is that he had fallen a victim to the vilest and most daring intrigue the Cheka has ever attempted. Our opinion is expressed in the letter which I am today sending to the Morning Post. Knowing your invariably kind interest I take the liberty of enclosing a copy for your information.

I am, dear Mr. Churchill,
Yours very faithfully,

The unquestionable authenticity of the trial, however, was soon established, and Reilly was compelled to send another letter to the Morning Post. It read: –

The detailed and in many instances stenographic Press reports of Savinkov’s trial, supported by the testimony of reliable and impartial eye-witnesses, have established Savinkov’s treachery beyond all possibility of doubt. He has not only betrayed his friends, his organization, and his cause, but he has deliberately and completely gone over to his former enemies. He has connived with his captors to deal the heaviest possible blow at the anti-Bolshevik movement, and to provide them with an outstanding political triumph both for internal and external use. By his act Savinkov has erased forever his name from the scroll of honour of the anti-Communist movement.

His former friends and followers grieve over his terrible and inglorious downfall, but those amongst them who under no circumstances will practise with the enemies of mankind are undismayed. The moral ‘suicide’ of their former leader is for them an added incentive to close their ranks and to “carry on.”

Yours etc.,

Shortly afterwards, Reilly received a discreet note from Winston Churchill: –

15th September, 1924

Dear Mr. Reilly:
I am very interested in your letter. The event has turned out as I myself expected at the very first. I do not think you should judge Savinkov too harshly. He was placed in a terrible position; and only those who have sustained successfully such an ordeal have a full right to pronounce censure. At any rate I shall wait to hear the end of the story before changing my view about Savinkov.

Yours very truly,
W. S. Churchill

The publication of Savinkov’s confession and testimony was deeply embarrassing to those in England who had supported his cause. In the midst of the scandal, Reiliy was hastily packed off to the United States. Churchill temporarily retired to his country residence in Kent. The British Foreign Office maintained a discreet silence.

A sensational epilogue was yet to come.

Towards the end of October’ 1924, a few days before the British General Elections, banner headlines in Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail abruptly announced that Scotland Yard had uncovered a sinister Soviet plot against Britain. As documentary proof of the plot, the Daily Mail published the notorious “Zinoviev Letter” purporting to be instructions sent by Grigori Zinoviev, the Russian Comintern leader, to the British Communists on how to combat the Tories in the coming election.

This was the Tory reply to Savinkov’s confession; and it had its effect The Tories won the elections on a violently anti-. Bolshevik platform.

Several years later, Sir Wyndham Childs of Scotland Yard stated that there had never really been any letter by Zinoviev. The document was a forgery, and various foreign agents had been involved in its preparation. It had originally emanated from the Berlin office of Colonel Walther Nicolai, former head of the Imperial German Military Intelligence, who was now working closely with the Nazi Party. Under Nicolai’s supervision, a Baltic White Guard named Baron Uexkuell, who was later to head a Nazi press service, had established in the German capital a special bureau for forging anti-Soviet documents and arranging for these forgeries to receive the widest possible distribution and the most effective publicity.

The actual introduction of the forged Zinoviev Letter to the British Foreign Office and subsequently to the Daily Mail was said to have been accomplished by George Bell, a mysterious international agent. Bell was on the payroll of the Anglo-Dutch oil magnate, Sir Henri Deterding.


(1) The real leader of the Battle Organization was Icvno Aseff, one of the most extraordinary agents provocateurs in history. A spy in the employ of the Czarist secret police, Aseff –while periodically betraying revolutionaries and terrorists – actually drew up the plans for the assassination of the Grand Duke Sergei, Plelive, and other Czarist officials. His sole interest was money; he helped arrange these killings because he knew that such accomplishments would enable him to demand a larger expense account from the Social Revolutionary Party. Naturally, he kept the Czarist secret police unaware of the part he was playing in these assassinations.

Another Social Revolutionary leader who worked closely with Savinlcov and Aseff was Victor Chernov. Like Savinkov, Chernov later became very active in anti-Soviet work. he came to the United States in 1940, and, at the time of writing, is still in this country, where he specializes in spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. See page 348 for further detail on Chernov’s current activities.

(2) In the preface to his book, Ashenden or The British Agent, Somerset Maugham describes his chief assignment in Russia as follows: “In 1917 I went to Russia. I was sent to prevent the Bolshevik revolution and to keep Russia in the war.” Maugham adds: “The reader will know that my efforts did not meet with success.”

(3) In 1918, Noi Jordania had headed a German puppet regime in the Caucasus. In 1919, the British drove out the Germans, and Jordania became head of a British-controlled Transcaucasian Federation. In 1924, his headquarters were in Paris. The French Government had placed at his disposal a subsidy of 4,000,000 francs.

(4) Savinkov was treated with remarkable consideration by the Soviet authorities while he was in prison. He was allowed special privileges, given all the books he desired, and granted facilities for writing. But he pined for liberty. On May 7, 1925, he wrote a long appeal to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the Cheka. “Either shoot me or give me a chance to work,” said Savinkov. “I was against you; now I am for you. I cannot endure the half and half existence of being neither for nor against you, merely sitting in prison and becoming one of its it inhabitants.” He pleaded for pardon and offered to do anything the Government would require of him. His plea was rejected. Soon after, Savinkov committed suicide by throwing himself from a four-story window in the prison.

(5) This was the first of many extravagant “explanations” given by enemies of the Soviet Union during the years following the Revolution in an attempt to discredit the admissions made by foreign conspirators and Russian traitors in Soviet courts of law. These “explanations” reached their peak during the so-called Moscow Trials (1936-1938). See Book III.

CHAPTER X – To the Finnish Frontier

1. Anti-Bolshevism on Broadway

A Welcoming delegation of White Russians was at the dock to greet the Nieuw Amsterdam, the ship which brought Captain Sidney Reilly and his wife to America in the fall of 1924. There were flowers, champagne, and ardent speeches hailing the “hero of the anti-Bolshevik crusade.”

Reilly was soon at home in the United States. An American financial loan to Soviet Russia was being widely discussed. A number of prominent American businessmen were for it; and the Soviet Government, eager to win America’s friendship, and desperately in need of capital and machinery to reorganize its wrecked economy, was willing to make concessions to get it.

“The prospects were bright of the Soviet being able to float its loan,” Mrs. Reilly later recorded. “Sidney was determined that it should not. A great part of his work in America was to be aimed at frustrating that loan.”

Reilly immediately flung himself into the struggle against the proposed loan. He opened a private office on lower Broadway which rapidly became the headquarters of the anti-Soviet and White Russian conspirators in the United States. Vast quantities of anti-Soviet propaganda were soon emanating from Reilly’s office and being mailed throughout the United States to influential editors, columnists, educators, politicians and businessmen. Reilly undertook a cross-country lecture tour to inform the public of the “menace of Bolshevism and its threat to civilization and world trade.” He held a number of “confidential talks” with small, select groups of Wall Street men and wealthy industrialists in a number of American cities.

“Both by public lectures and by articles in the press,” wrote Mrs. Reilly, “Sidney fought against the Bolshevik loan. And it is needless to state how by revelation after revelation, by discovery after discovery he won a complete victory, and the Soviet loan never materialized.”(1)

Sabotaging the loan to Russia was not Reilly’s chief anti-Soviet activity in the United States. His main undertaking was to create on American soil a branch of the International Anti-Bolshevik League, which would lend powerful support to the diverse antiSoviet conspiracies which he was promoting in Europe and Russia. Branches of Reilly’s League were already operating in Berlin, London, Paris and Rome, as well as throughout the cordon sanitaire Baltic and Balkan States. In the Far East a branch of the League, financed by Japan, had been set up in Harbin, Manchuria, under the leadership of the notorious Cossack terrorist, Atarnan Semyonov. In the United States no organized apparatus of such a nature existed. There was, however, excellent material from which to create one. . . .

Reilly’s White Russian friends had soon introduced him to their most influential and wealthy American contacts, who might be willing to contribute large sums to help finance his anti-Soviet movement.

“As regards money, the market for this kind of undertaking is here and only here,” Reilly wrote that year in a confidential letter to one of his agents in Europe, “but to obtain money one must come here with a very definite and very plausible scheme, and with very substantial proof that the minority interest is able within a reasonable time to undertake and to carry out a reorganization of the business.”

The “minority interest” to which Reilly referred in his code language was the anti-Soviet movement in Russia. The “reorganization of the business” meant the overthrow of the Soviet Government. Reilly added: –

With such premises, it would be possible to approach here in the first instance the largest automobile manufacturer, who could be interested in the patents provided proof (not merely talk) was given him that the patents will work. Once his interest is gained the question of money can be considered solved.

According to Mrs. Reilly’s memoirs, her husband was speaking of Henry Ford.

2. Agent B1

The leader of the anti-Soviet White émigré movement in the United States was a former Czarist officer, Lieutenant Boris Brasol, an ex-agent of the Ochrana who had once served as the Prosecuting Attorney for the St. Petersburg Supreme Court. He had come to the United States in 1916 as the Russian representative to the Inter-Allied Conference in New York City, and he had afterwards remained in America as a special Czarist agent.

A small, pallid, nervous, effeminate man, with a slanting forehead, prominent nose, and dark brooding eyes, Brasol was famed as a violent and prolific anti-Semitic propagandist. In 1913, he had played a leading role in the notorious Beilis case, in which the Czarist secret police had attempted to prove that Jews practised ritual murder and had killed a young Christian boy in Kiev for his blood.(2)

Following the Revolution, Brasol had formed the first White Russian conspiratorial organization in the United States. It was called the Union of Czarist Army and Navy officers and was composed largely of former members of the Black Hundreds who had emigrated to America. In 1918, Brasol’s group was in close touch with the State Department and supplied it with much of the spurious data and misinformation on which the State Department based its opinion of the authenticity of the fraudulent “Sisson Documents.” (3) Claiming to be an expert on Russian affairs, Brasol managed to secure a position with the United States Secret Service. As U. S. agent “B1,” one of Brasol’s first acts was to have Natalie De Bogory, the daughter of a former Czarist general, make an English translation of The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion, the infamous anti-Semitic forgery which had been used in Imperial Russia by the Czarist secret police to provoke widespread pogroms against the Jews, and which the Czarist émigré, Alfred Rosenberg, was currently circulating in Munich. Brasol introduced the translated Protocols into the U. S. Secret Service files as an authentic document which would “explain the Russian Revolution.”

To rally support for the White Russians and convince Americans that the Bolshevik Revolution was part of an “international Jewish conspiracy,” Brasol began circulating the Protocols of Zion throughout the United States. He supplemented the Czarist forgeries with anti-Semitic writings of his own. Early in 1921, a book by Brasol, entitled The World at the Crossroads, was published in Boston. The book asserted that the Russian Revolution had been instigated, financed and led by Jews. The overthrow of the Czar and subsequent international developments, wrote Brasol, were part of a “sinister movement in which the Jews of the world and Mr. Wilson have become partners.”

By July 1, 1921, Brasol was able to boast in a letter written to another White émigré in the United States, Major General Count V. Cherep-Spirodovich: –

Within the last year I have written three books which have done more harm to the Jews than ten pogroms would have done them.

Cherep-Spirodovich was an outstanding anti-Semitic propagandist in his own right. Moreover, he was receiving financial support from a famous American industrialist. The name of the industrialist was Henry Ford.

Boris Brasol also was in close touch with Ford Motor Company agents, and copies of the Protocols were submitted to the auto magnate. . . (4)

3. Black Hundreds at Detroit

A strange and sinister alliance had taken place in the United States between the feudal-minded Czarist émigrés and the famous American industrialist who had developed the most modern methods of production in the world. . . .

The end of the war found Henry Ford a bitter and disillusioned man. The quixotic project of the Peace Ship, which Ford had sent to Europe during the war, had turned out to be an absurd fiasco; and the automobile manufacturer had been widely ridiculed as a result. He was, moreover, deeply resentful of the fact that he had experienced considerable difficulty in securing a loan from Wall Street for the contemplated expansion of his business. As uneducated as he was technically talented, Ford lent a ready ear to the White Russians when they came to him and told him that the Jews were really to blame for his problems. In proof of their contention, they produced The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion. After carefully examining the Protocols, Ford reached the conclusion that they offered the explanation for all his troubles. He decided to give the anti-Semitic forgeries nation-wide circulation by reprinting them in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent.

One result was that anti-Semitic Russian aristocrats, White Guard terrorists, Black Hundred pogromists and former agents of the Czarist Secret Police, who had emigrated to the United States after the Revolution, put in an appearance at the Ford Motor Plant in Detroit. They convinced Henry Ford that the United States Government itself was menaced by a revolutionary “Jewish plot” and that liberal American groups and individuals were really, “Jewish fronts.” Under their expert supervision and nourished and given respectability by Ford’s position and wealth, a huge, complex and secret organization was formed to spy upon liberal Americans, to promote reactionary and anti-Soviet protects, to collect anti-Semitic gossip and to spread Jew-baiting propaganda in the United States.

The headquarters of this organization were at the Ford Motor Company. Its members had special code numbers. Ford’s private secretary, F. G. Liebold, was 121X. W. J. Cameron, the editor of the Dearborn Independent, was 122X. Natalie De Bogory, who as Boris Brasol’s assistant had translated the Protocols into English, was 29H.

Ford’s organization penetrated every phase of American life. Its agents were active on leading newspapers, in famous universities, in well-known corporations, and even in agencies of the United States Government. Dr. Harris Houghton, a former member of the United States Military Intelligence, headed the so-called Ford Detective Service, a special division of the conspiratorial apparatus. Dr. Houghton’s code number was 103A. The chief function of the Detective Service was to secure confidential data on prominent American liberals for anti-Soviet and anti-Semitic propaganda purposes. Among those investigated and blacklisted by the Detective Service were Woodrow Wilson, Colonel Raymond Robins, Reverend John Haynes Holmes, Helen Keller, Justices Hughes and Brandeis. According to the secret reports of the Detective Service these individuals and scores more like them were being used in the “Jewish plot” to subvert the American Government.

The findings of the Detective Service were publicized in Ford’s Dearborn independent, which at the same time was serializing the Protocols of Zion. Here is a typical comment regarding Woodrow Wilson: –

Mr. Wilson, while President, was as very close to the Jews. His administration, as everyone knows, was predominantly Jewish. As a Presbyterian elder, Mr. Wilson had occasional lapses into the Christian mode of thought during his public utterances, and was always checked up tight by his Jewish censors.

A story on William Howard Taft in the Dearborn Independent concluded with this paragraph: –

That is the story of William Howard Taft’s efforts to withstand the Jews, and how they broke him. It is probably worth knowing in view of the fact that he has become one of those “Gentile fronts” which the Jews use for their own defense.

Special agents of Ford’s organization were dispatched overseas and traveled thousands of miles to collect new slanders and forgeries against the Jews. One of these agents, a White Russian named Rodionoff, sailed for Japan to obtain special antiSemitic propaganda material from the White Russian colony there. Before departing from the United States, Rodionoff wired Charles W. Smith, a leading member of the Ford organization: –

My conditions are following: During six months I will furnish you exclusively with material agreed upon. You to advance monthly fifteen hundred American dollars payable in Yokohama specie bank. You to pay for material already furnished.


Describing the situation which had developed at the Ford Motor Company, Norman Hapgood, a famous American newspaperman, later Minister to Denmark, wrote: –

In the atmosphere in which Ford’s detectives worked, there was talk of actual pogroms to come to this country. Indeed, within Ford’s circle, there grew up the exact symptoms that existed in Russia in the days of the Black Hundreds. . . . Politically, it meant that history was repeating itself. As Brasol was the chief in this country of the expatriate Russians trying to put the Romanovs back on the throne, it meant that Ford’s persecution had, with the logic of events, joined with the crusade, centuries old, that the despots of Europe had stirred up repeatedly, in order to inflame, for their own purpose, the ignorant religious passions of the dark masses.

Like Henri Deterding in England and Fritz Thyssen in Germany, the American automobile king, Henry Ford, had identified himself with world anti-Bolshevism and with the rapidly developing phenomenon of fascism. According to the February 8, 1923, edition of the New York Times, Vice-President Auer of the Bavarian Diet publicly stated: –

The Bavarian Diet has long had information that the Hitler movement was partly financed by an American anti-Semitic chief, who is Henry Ford. Mr. Ford’s interest in the Bavarian anti-Jewish movement began a year ago when one of Mr. Ford’s agents came in contact with Dietrich Eichart, the notorious Pan-German. . . . The agent returned to America and immediately Mr. Ford’s money began coming to Munich.

Herr Hitler openly boasts of Mr. Ford’s support and praises Mr. Ford not as a great individualist but as a great anti-Semite.

In the small, unimpressive office on Cornelius Street in Munich which was Adolf Hitler’s headquarters, a single framed photograph hung on the wall. The picture was of Henry Ford.

4.The Last of Sidney Reilly

Soon after his arrival in the United States, Sidney Reilly had begun working in intimate collaboration with agents of Ford’s anti-Semitic and anti-Soviet apparatus. With their assistance he compiled “a complete list of those who were secretly working for the Bolshevik cause in America.” (5)

Through Reilly’s efforts, contact was established between the anti-Semitic and anti-democratic movement in the United States and the branches of the International Anti-Bolshevik League in Europe and Asia. As early as the spring of 1925, the basic framework for an international fascist propaganda and espionage center operating under the mask of “anti-Bolshevism” had thus been created. . . .

Meanwhile, Reilly maintained close touch with his agents in Europe. Mail reached him regularly from Reval, Helsinki, Rome, Berlin and other centers of anti-Soviet intrigue. Much of this mail, addressed to Reilly at his Broadway office, was written in cipher or in invisible ink on the back of innocuous-seeming business letters.

The communications contained detailed reports on every new development in the European anti-Soviet movement. The every debacle had temporarily demoralized wide sections of the movement. The Green Guards had broken up into disconnected small bands of professional terrorists and bandits. Jealousies and mutual suspicions were contributing their share to disorganizing the other anti-Soviet groups. It seemed that the great Counterrevolution would have to be postponed for some time.

“Sidney rightly saw,” records Mrs. Reilly, “that the counterrevolution must start in Russia, and that all his work from the outside would only result in creating a passive foreign hostility to the Soviet. He was approached several times on behalf of organizations in Moscow, as he had been approached by Drebkov in London, but he proceeded warily. . . .”

Early that spring, Reilly received a letter postmarked Reval, Estonia, which greatly excited him. The letter, written in code, came from an old friend, Commander E., who had served with Reilly in the British Intelligence Service during the World War, and who was now attached to the British Consular Service in one of the Baltic countries. The letter, which was dated January 24, 1925, began: –

Dear Sidney:

There may call on you in Paris from me two persons named Krashnoshtanov, a man and wife. They will say they have a communication from California and hand you a note consisting of a verse from Omar Khayam [sic] which you will remember. If you wish to go further into their business you must ask them to remain. If the business is of no interest you will say “”Thank you very much, Good Day.”

In the code used by Commnder E. and Reilly, “Krashnoshtanov” meant an anti-Soviet agent named Shultz and his wife; “California” meant the Soviet Union; and the “verse from Omar Khayam” meant a special message in secret code. Commander E.’s letter continued: –

Now as to their business. They are representatives of a concern which will in all probability have a big influence in the future on the European and American markets. They do not anticipate that their business will fully develop for two years, but circumstances may arise which will give them the desired impetus in the near future. It is a very big business and one which it does not do to talk about. . . .

Commander E. went on to say that “a German group” was very much interested in participating in the “deal,” and that a “French group” and an “English group” were becoming actively involved.

Referring once more to the “concern,” which he indicated was operating in Russia, Commander E. wrote: –

They refuse at present to disclose to anyone the name of the man at the back of this enterprise. I can tell you this much – that some of the chief persons are members of the opposition groups. You can therefore fully understand the necessity for secrecy. . . . I am introducing this scheme to you thinking it might perhaps replace the other big scheme you were working on but which fell through in such a disastrous manner.

Sidney Reilly and his wife left New York on August 6, 1925. They arrived in Paris the following month, and Reilly immediately proceeded to contact the Shultzes about whom Commander E. had written. They outlined the situation inside Russia, where, since Lenin’s death, the opposition movement associated with Leon Trotsky had been organized into an extensive underground apparatus which aimed at overthrowing the Stalin regime.

Reilly was soon convinced of the major importance of the new developments. He was eager to make personal contact as soon as possible with the leaders of the anti-Stalin faction in Russia. Messages were exchanged through secret agents. It was finally arranged that Reilly should meet an important representative of the movement on the Soviet frontier. Reilly left for Helsinki to see the Chief of Staff of the Finnish Army, one of his close personal friends and a member of his Anti-Bolshevik League, who was to make the necessary arrangements to get Reilly across the Soviet border.

Shortly afterwards, Reilly wrote to his wife, who had remained in Paris, “There is really something entirely new, powerful and worthwhile going on in Russia.”

A week later, on September 25, 1925, Reillv dispatched a hastynote to his wife from Viborg, Finland, saying: –

It is absolutely necessary that I should go for three days to Petrograd and Moscow. I am leaving tonight and will be back here on Tuesday morning. I want you to know that I would not have undertaken this trip unless it was absolutely essential, and if I was not convinced that there is practically no risk attached to it. I am writing this letter only for the most improbable case of a mishap befalling me. Should this happen, then you must not take any steps; they will help little but may finally lead to giving the alarm to the Bolshies and to disclosing my identity. If any chance I should be arrested in Russia, it could only be on some minor insignificant charge and my new friends are powerful enough to obtain my liberation.

That was the last letter to be written by Captain Sidney Reilly of the British Secret Intelligence Service. . . .

After several weeks elapsed, and Mrs. Rcilly still had no word from her husband, she got in touch with Marie Shultz, Reilly’s confederate in Paris. Mrs. Reilly later recorded the interview in her memoirs.

“When your husband arrived here,” Mrs. Shultz told Mrs. Reilly, “I explained to him the exact state of affairs as far as our organization was concerned. On our side we have some of the principal Bolshevik officials in Moscow, who are anxious to bring the present regime to an end, if only their safety can be guaranteed.”

Captain Reilly, continued Mrs. Shultz, had been inclined to be skeptical at first. He said that foreign aid for a new venture against Soviet Russia could be enlisted only if the conspiratorial group inside the country had some real strength.

“I assured him,” said Mrs. Shultz, “that our organization in Russia was powerful, influential and well-knit.”

Mrs. Shultz went on to relate how a meeting between Reilly and representatives of the Russian conspiratorial apparatus had been arranged to take place at Viborg, Finland. “Captain Reilly was much impressed by them,” said Mrs. Shultz, “particularly by their leader, a very highly placed Bolshevik official, who beneath the cover of his of officer is one of the most ardent enemies of the present regime.”

The following day, accompanied by Finnish patrol guards who had been especially assigned to the task, Reilly and the Russian conspirators set out for the frontier. “For my part,” Mrs. Shultz related, “I went as far as the frontier to wish them Godspeed.” They remained at a Finnish blockhouse beside a river until nightfall. “For a long time we waited while the Finns listened anxiously for the Red patrol, but everything was quiet. At last one of the Finns lowered himself cautiously into the water and half swam, half waded across. Your husband followed. . . :’

That was the last Mrs. Shultz saw of Captain Reilly.

When Mrs. Shultz had concluded her story, she handed Mrs. Reilly a clipping from the Russian newspaper, Izvestia. It read: –

The night of September 28-29, four contrabandists tried to pass the Finnish frontier with the result that two were killed, one, a Finnish soldier, taken prisoner and the fourth so badly wounded that he died. . . .

The facts, as they later came out were these; Reilly had successfully crossed the Soviet border and interviewed certain members of the Russian anti-Stalin opposition. He was on his way back and was nearing the Finnish border when he and his body guards were suddenly accosted by a unit of the Soviet Border Guards. Reilly and the others tried to escape. The Border Guards opened fire. A bullet hit Reilly in the forehead, killing him instantly.

Not until several days later did the Soviet authorities identify the “contrabandist” they had killed. When they had done so, they formally announced the death of Captain Sidney George Reilly of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

The London Times carried a two-line obituary: “Sidney George Reilly killed September 28 by G.P.U. troops at the village of Allekul, Russia.”


(1) Sidney Reilly could not claim complete credit for the victory over Soviet Russia. There were others in the United States who were no less eager and fought no less energetically to prevent the loan. Among them was Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, whose animosity against the Bolsheviks was unabating. “The question of trade with Russia,” Hoover informed Maxim Litvinov on March 31, 1921, “is far more a political one than an economic one so long as Russia is under the control of the Bolsheviki.”

(2) “I was the second greatest preliminary investigator in Russia,” Brasol told a journalist who interviewed him after he had arrived in the United States. “I studied detections of crime all over Europe, under orders from the government. In Switzerland, Germany, France and England I had made myself expert in criminal detection.”

The American newspaperman asked Brasol if he believed that Jews commit ritual murder.

“Why shouldn’t I?” answered Brasol.

Later the American journalist described his own feelings during the interview. “I shuddered,” he said, “as I sat face to face with this Russian Black Hundred disciple and heard him, in this twentieth century, tell coldly of the medieval cruelty of the Czar’s henchmen.”

(3) The so-called Sisson Documents, allegedly proving that Lenin and other Soviet leaders were in the pay of the German High Command, were published and distributed in the United States by the State Department after the Bolshevik Revolution. The documents, originally offered for sale by White Russians, had been rejected by the British Secret Service as crude forgeries. Edgar Sisson, a State Department official, purchased the documents and brought them to Washington, D. C. Subsequently the fraudulency of the documents was conclusively established.

(4) For details on Brasol’s subsequent and current activities in the United States, see page 344.

(5) This list, which included the names of every prominent American who had said anything favorable about Soviet Russia, was to serve as a useful model for American fascists and Nazi agents in future years. The anti-Semitic propagandist, Elizabeth Dilling, later drew heavily upon this and similar lists in compiling her notorious Red Network. George Sylvester Viereck, Colonel Emerson, Oscar Pfäus and other Nazi agents or fifth columnists in the United States made similar use of this data in their propaganda work.

CHAPTER XI – Overture with War Drums

A VIOLENT storm was brewing beneath the seeming calm of the middle nineteen-twenties. Enormous colonial and semi-colonial areas of the earth stirred with new hopes of freedom by the example of the Russian Revolution, were awakening to nationhood and threatening to upset the whole topheavy structure of colonial imperialism. . . .

The storm broke in the spring of 1926. Revolution flared in China where a united front of Kuomintang and Communist forces overthrew the corrupt Peking dictatorship, the puppet regime of Western imperialism, and established a Free China.

The event was heralded by an outburst of horrified and desperate anti-Soviet propaganda throughout Asia and the Western World. The Chinese Revolution, representing the upsurge of hundreds of millions of oppressed peoples against foreign and domestic oppression, was violently attacked as the direct outcome of a “Moscow plot.”

The Emperor of Japan promptly expressed his willingness to serve as a “bulwark against Bolshevism” in Asia. Encouraged by the Western powers, Japan prepared to intervene in China to put down the Revolution. The Japanese Prime Minister, ‘General Tanaka, submitted to the Emperor his famous secret Memorial outlining the ultimate aims of Japanese imperialism: –

In order to conquer the world, we must first conquer China; all the other Asiatic countries of the South Seas will then fear us and capitulate before us. The world will then understand that Eastern Asia is ours. . . . With all the resources of China at our disposal; we shall pass forward to the conquest of India, the Archipelago, Asia Minor, Central Asia and even Europe. But the first step must be the seizure of control over Manchuria and Mongolia. . . . Sooner or later we shall have to fight against Soviet Russia. . . . If we wish in the future to gain control over China, we must first crush the United States. (1)

In March 1927, the Chinese war lord and notorious Japanese puppet, Chang Tso-lin, staged a raid on the Soviet Embassy in Pelting, and announced he had discovered evidence of a Bolshevik plot against China. It was the signal for the launching of the Chinese counterrevolution. Encouraged by Japanese and Anglo-French offers of subsidies, arms and recognition, the Kuomintang forces under Chiang Kai-she’, suddenly broke the united front and attacked their revolutionary allies. A massacre followed. Thousands of Chinese workers, students and peasants suspected of liberal or Communist sympathies were seized in Changhai, Peking and elsewhere and shot or imprisoned in concentration camps and tortured to death. Civil war swept China.

But the Chinese Revolution had unleashed the latent freedom movements throughout Asia. Indonesia, Indo-China, Burma and India were seething. Seriously alarmed, the imperialists looked to Japan to protect them from “Bolshevism.” At the same time, in Europe, the General Staffs again dragged out of their pigeonholes the old plans for the anti-Bolshevik crusade and the general assault on Moscow.

At the international diplomatic conference at Locarno, throughout 1925-1926, the Anglo-French diplomats had been feverishly negotiating with Germany for joint action against Soviet Russia.

The British Tory spokesman, the Right Honorable W. C. A. Orinsby-Gore, in a speech at Manchester on October 23, 1924, had put the issue at Locarno in clear and unmistakable terms: –

The solidarity of Christian civilization is necessary to stein the most sinister force that has arisen not only in our lifetime, but previously in European history.

The struggle at Locarno as I see it is this: Is Germany to regard her future as bound up with the fate of the great Western powers, or is she going to work with Russia for the destruction of Western civilization? The significance of Locarno is tremendous. It means that, so far as the present Government of Germany is concerned, it is detached from Russia and is throwing in its lot with the Western party.

In France, Raymond Poincaré, the French Premier, publicly advocated a combined military offensive of the European powers, including Germany, against Soviet Russia.

In Berlin, the German imperialist and anti-democratic press announced that the hour had come to smash Bolshevism. After a series of conferences with Reichswehr generals and industrialists close to the Nazi Party, General Max Hoffmann hastened to London to submit his famous Plan to the British Foreign Office and to a select group of Tory members of Parliament and military men.

On the morning of January 5, 1926, the London Morning Post published an extraordinary letter signed by Sir Henri Deterding. In this letter, Deterding proclaimed that plans were afoot to start a new war of intervention against Soviet Russia. Deterding declared:

. . . before many months, Russia will come back to civilization, but under a better government than the Czarist one. . . . Bolshevism in Russia will be over before this year is; and, as soon as it is, Russia can draw on all the world’s credit and open her frontiers to all willing to work. Money and credit will then flow into Russia, and, what is better still, labor.

A well-known French journalist of the Right, Jacques Bainville, commented in Paris: “If the President of the Royal Dutch has given a date for the end of the Soviet regime, it is because he has reason for doing so. . . .”

On March 3, 1927, Viscount Grey told the British House of Lords: “The Soviet Government is not in the ordinary sense a national government at all. It is, not a Russian Government in the sense that the French Government is French or the German Government German.”

On May 27, 1927, British police and secret service agents raided the offices of Arcos, the Soviet trading organization in London. They arrested the employees and searched the premises, breaking into files and strongboxes and even drilling holes in the floors, ceilings and walls in search of “secret archives.” No documents of an incriminating nature were found; but the Morning Post, the Daily Mail and other anti-Soviet papers published wild stories of “evidence” of Soviet plots against Britain allegedly uncovered by the Arcos raid.

The British Tory Government broke off diplomatic and trade relations with the Soviet Union.

That same summer, raids were made on Soviet Consulates and other official agencies in Berlin and Paris. In June, the Soviet Ambassador to Poland, V. I. Voikov, was assassinated in Warsaw. Bombs were hurled into a Bolshevik Party meeting in Leningrad. .(2)

Marshal Foch, in an interview with the London Sunday Referee on August 21, 1927, clearly indicated the direction in which all this violence was heading.

“In February 1919, in the early days of Leninism,” stated Foch, “I declared to the Ambassadors’ Conference meeting in Paris that, if the states surrounding Russia were supplied with munitions and the sinews of war, I would undertake to stamp out the Bolshevik menace once and for all. I was over-ruled on the grounds of war-weariness, but the sequel soon showed I was right.”

To Arnold Rechberg, one of the leading promoters of the Nazi movement in Germany, Marshal Foch sent a letter, saying: –

I am not foolish enough to believe that one can leave a handful of criminal tyrants to rule over more than half the continent and over vast Asiatic territories. But nothing can be done so long as France and Germany are not united. I beg you to convey my greetings to General Hoffmann, the great protagonist of the anti-Bolshevist military alliance.

The stage was set for war.


(1) The Tanaka Memorial, later to be known as Japan’s Mein Kampf, was written in 1927 and first came to light in 1929 after it was bought from a Japanese agent by Chang Hsueh-liang, the Young Marshal of Manchuria. The China Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations published the documet in the United States and exposed it to the world.

(2) Simultaneously, Trotsky’s opposition movement inside Soviet Russia, was preparing to overthrow the Soviet Government. An attempted Trotskvite Putsch took place on November 7, 1927. A number of Trotsky’s followers were arrested and Trotsky himself was exiled. See page 205.

CHAPTER XII – Millionaires and Saboteurs

1. A Meeting in Paris

ONE afternoon, in the late fall of 1928, a few immensely wealthy Russian émigrés gathered with great secrecy in a private dining room at a restaurant on the Grand Boulevard in Paris. Every precaution had been taken to prevent outsiders from learning of the affair. The meeting had been called by the leaders of the Torgprom, the international cartel of former Czarist millionaires. The names of the men who were assembled had been legendary in old Russia: G. N. Nobel; N. C. Denisov; Vladimir Riabushinsky and other figures of equal renown.

These émigré millionaires had come together to confer surreptitiously with two distinguished visitors from Soviet Russia. Professor Leonid Ramzin, one of the visitors, was an outstanding Russian scientist, Director of the Moscow Thermo-Technical Institute, and a member of the Soviet Supreme Economic Council. The other visitor, Victor Laritchev, was Chairman of the Fuel Section of the State Planning Commission of the U.S.S.R.

Professor Ramzin and Victor Laritchev were supposedly in Paris on official Soviet business. The real purpose of their visit to the French capital, however, was to report to the Torgprom leaders on the activities of a secret espionage-sabotage organization they headed in the Soviet Union.

The organization headed by Ramzin and Laritchev was called the Industrial Party. Composed mainly of elements of the old Russian technical intelligentsia who had comprised a small privileged class under the Czar, the Industrial Party claimed approximately two thousand secret members. Most of them held important Soviet technical posts. Financed and directed by the Torgprom, these Industrial Party members were carrying on wrecking and spying activities in Soviet industry.

Professor Ramzin was the first to speak at the meeting in the Paris restaurant. He told his audience that everything possible was being done to interfere with the vast and ambitious Five Year Plan, which Stalin had just launched in an intensive effort to industrialize Soviet Russia’s one sixth of the earth. Industrial Party members, said Ramzin, were active in all branches of Soviet industry and were putting into practice carefully systematized and scientific techniques of sabotage.

“One of our methods,” the Professor explained to his listeners, “is the method of minimum standards, that is, the greatest retarding of the economic development of the country and the holding back of the pace of industrylization. Secondly, there is the method of creating a disproportion between the individual branches of national economy and also between individual sections of one and the same branch. And finally-, there is the method of `freezing capital,’ that is, the investment of capital either in absolutely unnecessary construction or in that which might have been postponed, not being essential at the moment.”

Professor Ramzin expressed particular gratification over the results that had been obtained by the “freezing capital” method. “This method has meant cutting down the rate of industrialization,” he said. “Without doubt it has lowered the general level of the economic life of the country, thus creating discontent among large masses of the population.”

On the other hand, Professor Ramzin pointed out, there had been less promising developments. A group of Industrial party members who had been carrying on work in the Shakhty Mines had recently been arrested by the OGPU. Several others who had been operating in the transport and oil industries had also been apprehended. Moreover, since Leon Trotsky had been sent into exile and his Trotskvite Opposition movement had been broken up, a great deal of the former inner political strife and dissension had died down, thus malting the operations of the Industrial Party that much more difficult.

“We need more support from you,” Professor Ramzin said in conclusion. “But more than anything else we need armed intervention if the Bolsheviks are to be overthrown.”

N. C. Denisov, the Chairman of the Torgprom, took the floor. A respectful hush fell over the small group as he began to speak. “As you know,” Denisov said, “we have been conferring with Monsieur Poincare and also with Monsieur Briand. For some time Monsieur Poincare has expressed his complete sympathy with the idea of organizing armed intervention against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and at one of our recent conferences with him, as you may recall, Monsieur Poincare stated that the question had already been turned over to the French General Staff to be worked out. It is now my privilege to convey to you additional information of the utmost importance.”

Denisov paused dramatically, while his audience waited with tense expectancy.

“I bring you the news that the French General Staff has formed a special commission, headed by Colonel Joinville, to organize the attack against the Soviet Union!” (1)

Immediately there was a hubbub of excited comment. Everyone in the smoke-filled room began talking at once. It was several minutes before Denisov could continue with his report on the activities of the Torgprom. . . .

2. Plan of Attack

The date set for the military attack on the Soviet Union was the late summer of 1929 or, at the latest, the summer of 1930. The chief military- forces were to be provided by Poland, Rumania and Finland. The French General Staff would furnish military instructors and possibly the use of the French Air Force. Germany was to supply technicians and volunteer regiments. The British would lend their navy. The plan of attack was an adaptation of the Hoffmann Plan.

The first move was to be made by Rumania after the provocation of some frontier incident in Bessarabia. Then Poland was to come along with the Baltic border states. Wrangel’s White Army, said to number 100,000 men, would move through Rumania to the southern army of intervention. The British fleet would support operations in the Black Sea and in the Gulf of Finland. A force of Krasnov’s Cossacks, who had been quartered in the Balkans since 1921, would be landed on the Black Sea shore in the Novorossisk region; they would move on the Don, fomenting uprisings among the Don Cossacks and striking into the Ukraine. The purpose of this blow would be to cut off communications between the Donets coal fields and Moscow, thus effecting a crisis in the Soviet supply of metal and fuel. Moscow and Leningrad were to be simultaneously attacked, while the southern army was to move through the western districts of the Ukraine, with its flank on the right bank of the Dnieper.

All attacks were to be carried out without declaration of war, with startling suddenness. Under such pressure, it was thought, the Red Army would swiftly collapse and the downfall of the Soviet regime would be a matter of days.

At a conference arranged by the Torgprom leaders, Colonel Joinville, on behalf of the French General Staff, asked Professor Rainzin what possibilities there were of obtaining active military assistance from the opposition elements within the Soviet Union at the time of the attack from outside. Ramzin replied that the opposition elements, although scattered and underground since the expulsion of Leon Trotsky, were still sufficiently numerous to play a role.

Colonel Joinville recommended that the Industrial Party and its allies should establish a special “military branch.” He gave Ramzin the name of several French secret agents in Moscow who could aid in the setting up of this sort of organization. . . .

From Paris, still ostensibly on official Soviet business, Professor Ramzin traveled to London to meet representatives of Sir Henri Deterding’s Royal Dutch Shell and of Metro-Vickers, the giant British munitions trust dominated by the sinister Sir Basil Zarahoff who had once controlled large interests in Czarist Russia. The Russian professor was informed that, while France was playing the leading part in this plan for intervention against Soviet Russia, Britain was ready to do her share. The British interests Would give financial support, continue to exercise diplomatic pressure for the isolation of the Soviets, and lend the use of the British Navy at the time of the attack. . . .

Back in Moscow, Professor Ramzin reported to his associates in the conspiracy on the results of his trip abroad. It was agreed that the Industrial Party would devote itself to accomplishing two tasks: to bring about the most critical situation possible in industry and agriculture so as to arouse mass discontent and weaken the Soviet regime; and to develop an apparatus for giving direct aid to the attacking armies by means of acts of sabotage and terrorism behind the Soviet lines.

Money from the Torgprom, relayed by French agents in Moscow, poured in to finance the sabotage activities in various phases of industry. The Metal Industry was allotted 500,000 rubles; the Fuel, Oil and Peat Industry, 300,000 rubles; the Textile Industry, 200,000; the Electrical Industry, 100,000. Periodically, at the request of French, British or German agents, members of the Industrial Party and their allies prepared special espionage reports on Soviet aviation production, construction of air fields, developments in the munitions and chemical industries, and conditions on the railroads.

As the time of the invasion drew near, expectation ran high among the émigré Czarist millionaires. One of the Torgprom leaders, Vladimir Riabushinsky, published on July 7, 1930, an astonishing article entitled “A Necessary War” in the White Russian Paris newspaper, Vzoroshdenie.

” The coming struggle against the Third International, to seeure the liberation of Russia, will, beyond a doubt, be assigned by history to the group of most just and most serviceable of all wars,” declared Riabushinsky. Earlier attempts at intervention in Russia, he added, had failed or had been abandoned on the grounds that they were too costly to carry out: “Back in 1920, and up to 1925, specialists were prepared to carry out this operation in the space of six months with an army of 1,000,000 men. The expenditure was calculated to run to 100,000,000 (British) pounds.”

But now, said the émigré Czarist millionaire, the investment involved in smashing the Soviet regime would be considerably less because of the internal political and economic difficulties in Soviet Russia: –

Probably 500,000 men and three to four months would be sufficient to finish off this work in the rough. The final crushing of Communist bands would, of course, occupy a little more time, but that is rather in the nature of police work than of military operations.

Riabushinsky then proceeded to enumerate the many “business” benefits that would result from the invasion of Russia. A thriving Russian economy controlled by men like himself, he asserted, would result in “the annual influx into the European economic system of such wealth, in the form of a demand for various types of goods,” that the result might well be “the wiping out of the five-million strong arms’ of unemployed of Austria, Germany and Great Britain.”

The anti-Soviet crusade was, of course, “a grand and sacred undertaking and the moral duty of humanity.” But forgetting all of that, and looking at it from “the plain,. unvarnished, soulless and purely business point of view,” Riabushinsky pointed out: –

. . . we can safely make the assertion that there is not an enterprise in the world which would he more justified from the business standpoint, or more profitable, than that of effecting the emancipation of Russia.

By spending one billion rubles mankind will receive a return of not less than five billions, i.e., five hundred per cent per annum, with the prospect of a further increase in the rate of profit every year by another hundred or two hundred per cent.

Where could you do better business?

3. A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

A glimpse into some of the fantastic anti-democratic and anti-Soviet plots that were being hatched in those years in the underworld of European big business and diplomacy was accidentally revealed in Germany in the late nineteen-twenties. . . .

German police detectives, in the course of a routine investigation in the city of Frankfort, had stumbled by chance on a mass of counterfeit Soviet banknotes (chervonetz) which were lying in a warehouse, packed in huge bundles and awaiting shipment to Soviet Russia.

The trial that ensued, known as the Chervonetz Trial, became an international sensation. Before the trial was over, the names of a number of the most prominent personages in Europe had been brought into the court proceedings. Among these personages were Sir Henri Deterding and his mysterious agent, Georg Bell; the Czarist oil magnate, Nobel; the Bavarian pro-Nazi industrialist, Willi Schmidt; and the celebrated General Max Hoffmann, who died shortly before the trial ended.

The defendants at the trial, charged with counterfeiting the Soviet banknotes, were Bell, Schmidt and two Georgian antiSoviet conspirators formerly associated with Noi Jordania: Karumidze and Sadathierashvili. As the trial progressed, it emerged that the aim of the defendants was to flood the Soviet Caucasus with the forged banknotes so as to create political tension and disorder in the Soviet Union.

“Economic factors,” remarked the judge trying the case, “such a; oil wells and minerals, seem to play a dominant part in the scheme.”

It soon became clear that the counterfeiting plot was only a small phase of a gigantic conspiracy. The pro-Nazi industrialist, Willi Schmidt, testified that he was primarily interested in “suppressing Communism in Germany,” but he believed it would first be necessary to overthrow the Soviet regime in Russia. He admitted he had paid the expenses of General Hoffmann when the latter had gone to London in 1926 to submit to the British Foreign Office a copy of his Plan for a French-German-British alliance against Russia. Schmidt told the court that he had “the greatest confidence in General Hoffmann, both because of his personal character and because of his alleged association with big oil interests in England.”

The Georgian conspirator, Karumidze, identified “the big oil interests” as those of Sir Henri Deterding, who was the chief financial backer of the plot.

Further testimony established that powerful financial and political groups in Germany, France and Britain had worked out an elaborate scheme to sever the Caucasus from the Soviet Union as a preliminary move in precipitating a general war against Russia. Syndicates had been formed for the “economic exploitation of the liberated territories.” Germany was to supply troops, technicians and arms. The Anglo-French groups were to exert financial and diplomatic pressure on Rumania and Poland to ensure their participation in the crusade. . . .

A document “that might endanger the safety of the German state if it were made public” was read to the court in camera. It was said to involve the German High Command.

The trial was becoming dangerous. “Although the [German] Foreign Office and the British Embassy, declare that nothing will be kept from the public,” reported the New York Times on November 23, 1927, “it is an open secret that the police have orders to hush up the whole affair.”

The Chervonetz Trial came to an abrupt and extraordinary conclusion. The German court argued that since the banknotes had never been circulated, having been seized by the police before they were distributed, no forgery in the strict sense of the term had been committed. While “counterfeiting of Soviet currency was definitely proved,” declared the court, the forgers and their associates “were, however, actuated by unselfish political motives and entitled to an acquittal.” The accused conspirators left the courtroom as free men.

References to the. sensational case vanished from the newspapers after one public statement by Sir Henri Deterding: –

It is true that I knew General Hoffmann. I admired him as a soldier and leader of men. And unhappily now he is dead, and cannot defend himself. But I will defend him. . . . General Hoffmann was an implacable enemy of Bolshevism. He worked for years on a scheme to unite the great powers to fight the Russian menace. . . . That he was keen for a fight with Moscow is known to every student of post-war politics. It is a great shame that he is dead, for he would have had a complete answer to his traducers. . . .

4.World’s End

The projected attack on the Soviet Union was postponed from 1929 to the summer of 1930. The reason given for the postponement in White Russian circles was “French unpreparedness”; but it was generally known that disagreements as to “spheres of influence in the liberated territories” had broken out between the various groups. The British and the French groups quarreled over control of the Caucasus and the Donets coal fields; both opposed German claims to the Ukraine. Nevertheless, Sir Henri Deterding, the real leader of the movement, remained optimistic that these differences could be resolved and confidently predicted the beginning of the war by the summer of 1930.

On June 15, 1930, replying to a letter he had received from a White Russian, who thanked him for money received, Deterding wrote: –

If you really desire to express your gratitude, I would ask you to do the following: Endeavor in the new Russia, which will rearise within a few months, to be one of the best sons of your fatherland.

The following month Sir Henri Deterding was the main speaker at a meeting celebrating the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Russian École Normale in Paris, a military academy for the sons of White Russian officers and aristocrats. The function was attended by Czarist émigré princes and princesses, bishops, generals, admirals and lesser officers. Side by side with them stood high-ranking members of the French Army, dressed in full parade uniform.

Deterding began his speech by telling those assembled that there was no need to thank him for the assistance he was giving their work, since he was only fulfilling his duty to Western civilization. Addressing himself to a group of young uniformed White Russians in the audience, he said: –

You must rely upon yourselves. You must remember that all your work and activities will take place on your native Russian soil. The hope of the early liberation of Russia – now suffering a national calamity – is growing and becoming stronger every day. The hour of emancipation of your great fatherland is at hand.

The entire audience, the French officers no less enthusiastically than the White Russians, applauded Sir Henri’s next statement: –

The liberation of Russia will take place much sooner than we all think. It may even be the matter of a few months!

In the midst of these war preparations came an unexpected and catastrophic interruption: the World Crisis.

On December 18, 1930, Benito Mussolini summed up the effects of this unprecedented event on Europe: –

The situation in Italy was satisfactory until the fall of 1929, when the American market crash exploded suddenly like a bomb. For us poor European provincials it was a great surprise. We remained astonished, like the world at the announcement of the death of Napoleon. . . . Suddenly the beautiful scene collapsed and we had a series of bad days. Stocks lost thirty, forty and fifty per cent of their value. The crisis grew deeper. . . From that day we also were again pushed into the high seas, and from that day navigation has become extremely difficult for us.

Unemployment, hunger mass demoralization and destitution were the inevitable accompaniments of the economic crash which, beginning in Wall Street, soon – wept like a hurricane across Europe and Asia, involving all the nations which were to have composed the Holy Alliance against Bolshevism.

Great banks and. industrial concerns were crashing almost daily; Small investors were ruined; the workers were turned out in the streets. While the millions starved, wheat rotted in the crammed silos; surplus corn was plowed back into the earth, coffee was used for stoking furnaces; fish were thrown back into the sea. The world could no longer pay for the commodities it had produced in overabundance. An entire system of economic distribution had broken down.

Early in 1931, Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England, wrote to M Moret Governor of the Banque de France: “Unless drastic measures are taken to save it, the capitalist system throughout the civilized world will be wrecked within a Year.

A world had tumbled in ruins and amidst the appalling wreckage, whole nations of baffled human beings wandered like lost souls. . . .

In the Far East, Japan saw her opportunity. The first phase of the Tanaka Memorial went into operation.

On the night of September 18, 1931, Japanese military forces invaded Manchuria. The Chinese Kuomintang armies, still fighting a civil war against the Chinese Communists, were taken by surprise and offered little resistance. Japan swept through Mancuria “to save China from Bolshevism.” . . .

The Second World War had begun – not quite as it had been planned.


(1) This same Colonel Joinville had formerly commanded the French army of intervention in Siberia in 1918. At the time of the Torgprom meeting in Paris, the French General Staff included these members: Marshal Foch, who had advocated armed intervention against Russia ever since 1919; Marshal Petain whose anti-Soviet sentiments were equaled only by his fear of and contempt for democracy; General Weygand, who had led the Polish forces against the Red Army in 1920 and had remained ever since a tireless participant in anti-Soviet and anti-democratic plots. Foch died in 1929; his personal adjutant, René L’Hôpital, subsequently became President of the notorious Comite Franco-Allemand founded at the end of 1935 by the Nazi agent, Otto Abetz, to spread Nazi and anti-Soviet Propaganda in France.

CHAPTER XIII – Three Trials

1. The Trial of the Industrial Party

The only country unaffected by the World Crisis was the one-sixth of the earthwhich had been deliberately excluded from world affairs since 1917, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

While the rest of mankind writhed in the grip of the crisis, the Soviet Union was embarking on the most grandiose economic and industrial expansion in all history. Stalin’s first Five-Year Plan was galvanizing Old Russia into unprecedented feats of creative labor. Whole cities were rising out of the barren steppes; new mines, mills and factories were springing up. Millions of peasants were transforming themselves overnight into trained workers, engineers, scientists, doctors, architects and educators. In a few years the progress of a thousand was achieved, and moujiks whose ancestors from time immemorial had bent their ragged backs over their primitive scythes, mattocks and wooden plows now harvested the fructified soil with tractors and combines, and combated the crop pests with chemicals sprayed from airplanes. And amidst this gigantic national and revolutionary effort, a Soviet generation which had never known the degradation of Czarist tyranny was rising to manhood. . . .

At the same time, the Soviet Government struck hard at its enemies within. A series of three trials exposed and smashed the Torgprom intrigue which represented the last major effort of Anglo-French imperialism and Czarist counterrevolution in Russia.

On October 28, 1930, Professor Ramzin, along with many other leaders and members of the Industrial Party, were rounded up and arrested. Raids by OGPU agents occurred simultaneously throughout the Soviet Union, and underground members of the Social Revolutionary, Menshevik and White Guard movements were taken into custody along with a number of Polish, French and Rumanian secret service agents.

The trial of the Industrial Party leaders took place before the Soviet Supreme Court in Moscow and lasted from November 25 to December 7, 1930. The eight defendants, including Professor Ramzin and Victor Laritchev, were charged with aiding foreign conspiracies against the Soviet Union; with carrying on espionage and sabotage activities; and with plotting to overthrow the Soviet Government. Confronted with the evidence which Soviet Intelligence agents had gathered against them, one by one the accused broke down and admitted their guilt. Their testimony not only gave full details of their espionage-sabotage operations, but also implicated Sir Henri Deterding, Colonel Joinville, Leslie Urquhart, Raymond Poincare and other eminent European soldiers, statesmen and businessmen who had backed the Industrial Party and the Torgprom.

Five of the defendants, including Professor Ramzin and Victor Laritclicv, were sentenced to the supreme penalty – to be shot as traitors to their country. The other three defendants, technicians who had operated under orders, were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.(1)

2. The Trial of the Mensheviks

Shortly after the debacle of the Industrial Party, the Soviet authorities struck again. On March 1, 1931, fourteen leaders of an extensive sabotage ring, made up of former Mensheviks, were placed on trial before the Soviet Supreme Court in Moscow.(2)

The defendants at the Menshevik Trial included a number of highly placed officials in vital Soviet administrative and technical agencies. In the early days of the Soviet regime these Mensheviks had pretended to renounce their hostility toward the Bolsheviks. Co-operating with the Industrial Party and other secret anti-Soviet elements, they had maneuvered their way into key government posts. One of the Menshevik conspirators, Groman, had secured a high position in the Soviet industrial planning bureau (Gosplan), and had tried to sabotage phases of the first Five-Year Plan by drawing up incorrect estimates and lowering production goals in vital industries.

Between 1928 and 1930 the “All-Union Bureau,” which was the Central Committee of the secret Menshevik organization, received a total of approximately 500,000 rubles from foreign sources. The largest contributor was the Torgproln, but other anti-Soviet groups also made sizable donations to the conspirators and maintained close contact with them. The Mensheviks were strongly supported by the Second International – the labor organization controlled by the anti-Soviet Social Democrats and Socialists.

According to the defendants, their chief liaison with the foreign anti-Soviet circles had been the former Russian Menshevik leader Raphael Abromovitch, who had fled to Germany after the Revolution. One of the ringleaders of the conspiracy, Vassili Sher, testified: –

In the year 1928, Abromovitch came from abroad. We members of the “All-Union Bureau” were previously informed of his journey . . .

Abromovitch pointed out the necessity of concentrating the main weight of the work on the groups of responsible Soviet employees. He also pointed out that these groups must be united and begin a more decisive tempo of disorganizing activity.

Another of the Menshevik conspirators, Lazar Salkind, told the court: –

. . . Abromovitch drew the conclusion that it was necessary to begin with active sabotage methods in the various branches of the Soviet economic system, to disorganize the Soviet economic policy, in the eyes of the working class and the peasant masses. The second basis of the struggle against the Soviet power was military intervention, declared Abromovitch.(3)

On March 9, 1931, the Soviet Supreme Court handed down its decision. The Menshevik defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to ten years.

3. The Trial of the Vickers Engineers

Around 9:30 P.M on the night of March 11, 1933, the Soviet Government struck its final blow at the remnants of the Torgprom conspiracy. OGPU agents in Moscow arrested six British engineers and ten Russians, all employees of the Moscow Office of the British electrical-engineering concern of Metropolitan-Vickers. The British subjects and their Russian associates were charged with having carried on espionage and sabotage in the Soviet Union on behalf of the British Intelligence Service.

The chief Vickers representative in Moscow had been a man named Captain C. S. Richards. He had hurriedly left for England just before the arrests. Richards had been a British agent in Russia since 1917 when, as captain of an Intelligence Servicedetachment, he took part in the anti-Soviet intrigues which preceded the Allied occupation of Archangel. Under Richards’s direction, the Moscow Office of Metro-Vickers had subsequently become the center of British secret service operations in Russia.

Among the British “technicians” arrested by the Soviet authorities in Moscow was one of Captain Richards’s former associates in the Archangel expedition, Allan Monkhouse, who served as Richards’s second-in-command.

Monkhouse, while pleading not guilty to the current charges, admitted that he had formerly been associated with Richards. He testified: –

Mr. Richards I met in 1917 in Moscow and later on in Archangel, where he, as I confirm, occupied the position of captain of the Intelligence Service. It is known to me that Mr. Richards was in Moscow in April or May 1918. I do not know for what he came to Moscow but I know from what he told me that he secretly crossed the frontier to Finland at that time. In 1923 he was appointed a director of the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Export Company. In the same year he went to Moscow for negotiations about supplying of equipment.

Monkhouse had been sent back to Russia in 1924 to work under Richards in the Vickers Moscow Office.

Leslie Charles Thornton, another of the arrested Vickers employees, who had been sent to Moscow as Vickers Chief Engineer, was the son of a wealthy Czarist textile manufacturer and a Russian subject by births He had become a British subject after the Revolution and an agent of the British Intelligence Service. Two days after his arrest, Thornton wrote and signed a deposition which stated: –

All our spying operations on U.S.S.R. territory are directed by the British Intelligence Service, through their agent, C. S. Richards, who occupies the position of Managing Director of the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Export Company, Ltd.

Spying operations on U.S.S.R. territory were directed by myself and Monkhouse, representatives of the above-mentioned British firm, who are contractors, by official agreements, to the Soviet Government, for the supply of turbines and electrical equipment and the furnishing of technical aid agreement. On the instructions of C. S. Richards given to me this end, British personnel were gradually drawn into the spying organization after their arrival on U.S.S.R. territory and instructed as to the information required.

The Vickers “engineer” William MacDonald also admitted the charges and stated: –

The leader of the reconnaissance work in the U.S.S.R. disguised under the shield of Metropolitan-Vickers was Mr. Thornton, who worked in Moscow as chief erecting engineer. The head of the representation was Mr. Monkhouse who also took part in this illegal work of Mr. Thornton. The assistant of Mr. Thornton for travelling purposes and his associate in the espionage work was engineer Cushny, officer of the British army, now an engineer of the firm Metropolitan-Vickers. This is the main group of reconnaissance workers which did the espionage work in the U.S.S.R.

The arrest of these Vickers “engineers” was the occasion for an immediate storm of anti-Soviet protest in Britain. Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, without waiting to hear the charges and evidence in the case, categorically, declared that the British subjects who had been arrested were absolutely innocent. Tory members of Parliament once again demanded severance of all commercial and diplomatic relations with Moscow. The British Ambassador to Soviet Russia, Sir Esmond Ovey, a friend of Sir Henri Deterding, stormed into the Soviet Foreign Office in Moscow and told Maxim Litvinov that the prisoners must be immediately released without trial in order to avoid “grave consequences to our mutual relations.”

When the trial finally opened on April 12, in the Blue Hall of the old Nobles’ Club in Moscow, the London Times of that day spoke of “a packed court, subservient to their persecutors.” The Observer on April 16 described the trial as “an ordeal conducted in the name of justice, but hearing no resemblance to any judicial proceedings that civilization knows.” The Daily Express on April 14 described the Soviet Prosecutor Vyshinsky: “The carroty-haired, red-faced Russian spat insults . . . pounded the table.” The Evening Standard that same week described the Soviet Defense Counsel Braude as “the sort of Jew one might meet any evening in Shaftesbury Avenue.”

The British public was given to understand that no genuine trial of the accused was taking place, and that the British engineers were being subjected to the most frightful tortures to exact from them admissions of their guilt. The Daily Express on March 20 had exclaimed: “Our countrymen are undergoing the horrors of a Russian prison!” The Times on April 17 declared: “Great anxiety is felt as to what is happening to Mr. MacDonald in prison between the sittings of the court. Those long acquainted with Chekist methods think his life is in danger.” Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail, which within a few months was to become the semiofficial organ of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Fascist Party, told its readers of a strange “Tibetan drug” which was being used by the OGPU to sap the will power of their “victims.”

All the British subjects, however, subsequently revealed that they had been treated with great politeness and consideration by the Soviet authorities. None of them had been subjected to any form of coercion, third-degree methods or force. Allan Monkhouse, who, in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, blandly continued to deny that he had any knowledge of what his colleagues were doing, declared of his OGPU examiners in a statement in the London Dispatch on March 15: –

They were extraordinarily nice to me and exceedingly reasonable in their questioning. My examiners seemed first-rate men who knew their job. The OGPU prison is the last word in efficiency, entirely clean, orderly and well organized. This is the first time that I have ever been arrested, but I have visited English prisons and can attest that the OGPU quarters are much superior. . . . OGPU officials . . . showed every concern for my comfort.

Nevertheless, the British Government, under Tory pressure, imposed an embargo on all imports from Soviet Russia. Trade between the two countries was stopped. . . .

On April 15, after a private interview with British representatives in Moscow, Leslie Thornton abruptly retracted his signed admission of guilt. In court he admitted that the facts he had written down were substantially, correct; but the word “spy,” he claimed, was inaccurate. Trying to explain why he had used the word in the first place, Thornton said that he had been “excited” at the time. Under public questioning in court by the Soviet Prosecutor Vyshinsky, he admitted that he had made the admissions of his “own free will,” “without any pressure or coercion,” and in his own words: –

Vyshinsky. Nothing was distorted?

Thornton. No, you did not change anything.

Vyshinsky. But perhaps [Assistant Prosecutor] Roginsky did?

Thornton. No.

Vyshinsky. Perhaps the OGPU distorted it? THORNTON. No, I signed it with my own hand. VYSHINSKY. And with your head? When you were writing did you consider and think?

Thornton. (Does not reply.)

Vyshinsky. And whose head is thinking for you now? THORNTON. At present I feel different.

William MacDonald, after a private interview with British representatives in Moscow, also suddenly retracted his original statements. Then, confronted with the evidence accumulated by the Soviet authorities, MacDonald again changed his mind and returned to his original plea of guilty. His last words to the court were: “I have admitted my guilt and have nothing more to add.”

On April 18, the Soviet Supreme Court handed down its verdict. With one exception all the Russian accomplices were found guilty and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to ten years. The British subject, Albert Gregory, was acquitted on the grounds that the evidence against him was insufficient. The other five British engineers were found guilty. Monkhouse, Nordwall and Cushny were ordered to be deported from the Soviet Union. Leslie Thornton and William MacDonald were sentenced respectively to two and three years’ imprisonment.

The sentences were light and the case was hastily concluded. The Soviet Government had accomplished its aim of smashing the remnants of the Torgprom conspiracy and the center of British Intelligence operations in Russia. A mutual compromise was effected between the Soviet and British Governments. Trade was resumed and the British defendants, including Thornton and MacDonald, were shipped back to England. . . .

A far more dangerous phenomenon than British Tory hostility to Soviet Russia had arisen on the international political horizon.

Adolf Hitler had seized supreme power in Germany.

1. Two days after the completion of the trial, Professor Rainzin and the four other defendants who had been sentenced to death petitioned the Soviet Supreme Court for a reprieve. The court granted the petition and commuted the sentences of death to sentences of ten years’ imprisonment on the grounds that Ramzin and his colleagues had been the tools of the real conspirators who were outside the Soviet Union. In the years following the trial, Professor Ramzin, who was granted every opportunity by the Soviet authorities for new scientific work, became completely won over to the Soviet way of life and began making valuable contributions to the industrial program of the U.S.S.R. On July 7, 1943, Professor Ramzin was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Joseph Stalin Prize of $30,000 for the invention of a simplified turbo-generator, said to be better than any other in the world. Under a decree issued by the Kremlin, the turbo-generator bears the inventor’s name.

2. The Mensheviks were a faction within the Russian Social Democratic Party, which was the original Russian Marxist organization. At the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party, held in London in 1903, the organization split into two rival groups. Subsequently, these two groups formed themselves into separate parties. Lenin’s group were called Bolsheviks (from bolshinstvo, meaning majority); Lenin’s opponents were called Mensheviks (from menshintsvo, meaning minority). The Bolsheviks, at Lenin’s suggestion, later took the name of Communists, and the official title of the Bolshevik Party became: Communist Party of Russia (Bolsheviks). The Mensheviks corresponded to the European Social Democrats and Socialists, with whom they formed personal and organizational affiliations.

3. The Second international denounced the trial of the Mensheviks as “political persecution” by Stalin’s “bureaucratic dictatorship.” Abromovitch issued a statement denying that he had traveled to the Soviet Union and participated in secret conferences there. He admitted, however that “there has been an illegally active organization of our Party there, whose representatives or individual members are in communication by letter and from the point of view of organization with our foreign delegation in Berlin.”

Abromovitch later came to the United States. For his current activities in America, see page 348.

CHAPTER XIV – Death of an Era

THE propaganda myth of the “menace of Bolshevism” had put Nazism in power. Under the pretext of saving Germany from Communism, Adolf Hitler had risen from an obscure Austrian corporal and Reichswehr spy to become Chancellor of the German Reich. On the night of February 27, 1933, Hitler rose even higher by means of a supreme act of provocation: the burning of the German Reichstag. The fire, set by the Nazis themselves, was proclaimed by Hitler to be the signal for a Communist uprising against the Government of Germany. With this excuse, the Nazis declared a state of emergency, imprisoned or murdered leading anti-fascists, and smashed the trade-unions. Out of the charred ruins of the Reichstag, Hitler emerged as Der Fuehrer of the “Third Reich.

The Third Reich replaced the White Counterrevolution of Czarism as the world’s bulwark of reaction and anti-democracy. Nazism was the apotheosis of the Counterrevolution, equipped with the tremendous industrial and military resources of resurgent German Imperialism. Its political creed was a resurrection of the dark hatreds and fanatical prejudices of Czarism. Its Storm Troops were the old Black Hundreds reborn and raised to the status of a regular military apparatus. Mass pogroms and extermination of whole peoples were part of the official program of the Government of the Third Reich. The Protocols of Zion provided the Nazi ideology. The Nazi leaders themselves were the spiritual offspring of the Baron Wrangels and Ungerns of the White Terror in Russia.

The fifteen years of the false peace and the secret war against world democracy and progress under the slogan of “anti-Bolshevism” had borne their inevitable fruit. The flames that burned the Reichstag were soon to spread and multiply until they menaced the entire globe. . . .

“We start anew where we terminated six centuries ago,” wrote Hitler in Mein Kampf. “We reverse the eternal Germanic emigration to the South and West of Europe and look Eastwards. In this way we bring to an end the colonial and trade policies of the pre-War times and pass over to the territorial policy of the future. If we speak of new soil we can but think first of Russia and her subject border states.”

The lure of “anti-Bolshevism” drew as by a powerful magnet the forces of world reaction and imperialism to the support of Adolf Hitler.

The same statesmen and militarists who had formerly supported every White intrigue and conspiracy against Soviet Russia now emerged as the chief apologists and promoters of Nazism. In France, the anti-Bolshevik circle which had surrounded Marshal Foch and his former aides, Petain and Weygand, ignored the menace of Nazism to their own country in their eagerness to ally themselves with this new and most powerful of all anti-Bolshevik movements. Mannerheim of Finland, Horthy of Hungary, Sirovy of Czechoslovakia, and all the other European puppets of the secret anti-Soviet war were converted overnight into the vanguard of Nazi aggression to the east.

In May 1933, only a few months after Hitler took power in Germany, Alfred Rosenberg went to England to confer with Sir Henri Deterding. The Nazi “philosopher” was a guest at the oil magnate’s country estate at Buckhurst Park near Windsor Castle. Already there was a powerful and growing pro-Nazi group among the British Tory advocates of the anti-Bolshevik crusade.

On November 28, 1933, Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail sounded the theme that was soon to dominate British foreign policy: –

The sturdy young Nazis of Germany are Europe’s guardians against the Communist danger. . . . Germany must have elbow room. . . . The diversion of Germany’s reserves of energies and organizing ability into Bolshevik Russia would help to restore the Russian people to a civilized existence, and perhaps turn the tide of world trade once more towards prosperity.

Under Nazi leadership, all the scattered forces of world antiBolshevism, anti-democracy and White Counterrevolution were to be mobilized into a single international force for the smashing of European democracy, invasion of Soviet Russia and, eventually, for attempted domination of the world.

But there were farsighted statesmen in the Western democracies who refused to accept Hitler’s anti-Bolshevism as an extenuation of all Nazi crimes and conspiracies. In Britain and the United States, there were two outstanding leaders who saw from the beginning that with the triumph of Nazism in Germany an era of world history had come to an end. The fifteen-year-old secret war against Soviet Russia had reared a Frankenstein in the heart of Europe, a militarized monster, that threatened the peace and security of all free nations.

As Hitler’s Storm Troops marched through the streets of Germany, swinging their clubs and singing, “Today Germany is Ours, Tomorrow the whole World!” an eloquent English voice spoke out on a note of warning and prophetic alarm. Unexpectedly, it was the voice of Winston Churchill, the former leader of Tory anri-Bolshevism.

In December 1933, Churchill dramatically broke with his Tory colleagues and denounced Nazism as a menace to the British Empire. In direct reply to Lord Rothermere’s statement that “the sturdy young Nazis of Germanv are Europe’s guardians against the Communist danger,” Churchill said: –

All these bands of sturdy Teutonic youths marching the streets and roads of Germany . . . are looking for weapons, and, when they have the weapons, believe me they will then ask for the return of lost territories and lost colonies, and when that demand is made it cannot fail to shake and possibly shatter to their foundations every one of the countries.

Churchill called for an agreement with France and even the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. He was denounced as a traitor and warmonger by the men who had formerly hailed him as a hero of the anti-Bolshevik cause. . . .

Across the Atlantic another man saw that an era of world history had ended. The recently elected President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, abruptly reversed the anti-Soviet policy which his predecessor, President Herbert Hoover, had pursued. On November 16, 1933, full diplomatic relations were established between the United States and the Soviet Union. On that same day President Roosevelt sent a letter to Maxim Litvinov which stated: –

I trust that the relations now established between our peoples may forever remain normal and friendly, and that our nations henceforth may co-operate for their mutual benefit and for the preservation of the peace of the world.

Within a year Nazi Germany had withdrawn from the League of Nations. Its place in the collective council of the nations was taken by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The new era had begun. It was to be an era of the most fantastic and enormous treasons in history; an era of secret diplomacy carried on by terror, murder, conspiracy, coup d’etat, fraud and deceit unparalleled in the past.

It was to culminate in the Second World War.


The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia (by Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers) PART I

The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia
(by Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers)

None of the incidents or dialogue in The Great Conspiracy has been invented by the authors. The material has been drawn from various documentary sources which are indicated in the text or listed in the Bibliographical Notes.

Book One: Revolution and Counterrevolution

Chapter I – The Rise of the Soviet Power

1. Mission to Petrograd

IN the midsummer of the fateful year of 1917, as the Russian revolutionary volcano seethed and rumbled, an American named Major Raymond Robins arrived in Petrograd(1) on a secret mission of the utmost importance. Officially, he traveled as Assistant Chief of the American Red Cross Division. Unofficially, he was in the service of the Intelligence Division of the United States Army. His secret mission was to help keep Russia in the war against Germany.

The situation on the Eastern Front was desperate. The ill-led, wretchedly equipped Russian Army had been cut to pieces by the Germans. Shaken by the impact of the war, and rotted from within, the feudal Czarist regime had tottered and fallen. In March, Czar Nicholas II had been forced to abdicate and a Provisional Government had been established. The revolutionary cry of Peace, Bread and Land! swept across the countryside, summing up all the immediate longings and ancient aspirations of the war-weary, famished and dispossessed Russian millions.


 Britain, France and the United States – feared the collapse of the Russian Army was at hand. At any moment, a million German troops might be suddenly released from the Eastern Front and hurled against the tired Allied forces in the west 

Russia’s allies – Britain, France and the United States – feared the collapse of the Russian Army was at hand. At any moment, a million German troops might be suddenly released from the Eastern Front and hurled against the tired Allied forces in the west. Equally alarming was the prospect of Ukrainian wheat, Donets coal, Caucasian oil, and all the other limitless resources of the Russian land falling into the rapacious maw of Imperial Germany.

The Allies were striving desperately to keep Russia in the war — at least until American reinforcements reached the Western Front Major Robins was one of numerous diplomats, military men and special Intelligence officers who were being hurriedly dispatched to Petrograd to do what they could to keep Russia fighting. . . .

Forty-three years old, a man of boundless energy, extraordinary eloquence and great personal magnetism, with jet-black hair and striking aquiline features, Raymond Robins was a distinguished public figure in the United States. He had given up a successful business career in Chicago to devote himself to philanthropy and social work. In politics, he was a “Roosevelt man.” He had played a leading part in the famous “Bull Moose” campaign of 1912, when his hero, Theodore Roosevelt, had tried to get to the White House without the aid of big money or political machines. Robins was a militant liberal, a tireless and colorful crusader for every cause challenging reaction.


“What? Raymond Robins? That uplifter? That Roosevelt-shouter? What’s he doing on this mission?” exclaimed Colonel William Boyce Thompson 

“What? Raymond Robins? That uplifter? That Roosevelt-shouter? What’s he doing on this mission?” exclaimed Colonel William Boyce Thompson, head of the American Red Cross in Russia, when he heard Robins had been appointed as his chief assistant. Colonel Thompson was a Republican and a standpatter. He had a considerable personal stake in Russian affairs – in Russian manganese and copper mines. But Colonel Thompson was also a realistic and clear-headed observer of facts. He had already privately decided that nothing could be achieved by the conservative approach which U. S. State Department officials were adopting toward the turbulent Russian scene.

David Francis, the American Ambassador in Russia that year, was an elderly, opinionated, poker-playing St. Louis banker and former Governor of Missouri. He cut an odd figure in the hectic atmosphere of war-torn, revolutionary Petrograd with his silver hair, his old-fashioned high stiff collars and his black cutaway coat.

“Old Francis,” a British diplomat remarked, “doesn’t know a Social Revolutionary from a potato!”

But what Ambassador Francis lacked in knowledge of Russian politics he made up for in the strength of his convictions. These he derived mostly from the lurid gossip of the Czarist generals and millionaires who flocked around the American Embassy in Petrograd. Francis was positive that the whole Russian upheaval was the result of a German plot and that all the Russian revolutionaries were foreign agents. At any rate, he thought the whole thing would soon blow over.

On April 21, 1917, Ambassador Francis had confidentially telegraphed the United States Secretary of State, Robert Lansing: –


But the Russian Revolution, far from subsiding after the overthrow of the Czar, -was only just beginning. The Russian Army was breaking up, and nobody in Russia seemed capable of stopping it. Alexander Kerenskv, the ambitious Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, toured the Eastern Front staking eloquent speeches to the troops, assuring them that “victory, democracy and peace” were just around the corner. Unimpressed, the starved, rebellious Russian soldiers continued to desert by the tens of thousands. In ragged, filthy uniforms, they streamed endlessly through the countryside, across the rain-soaked fields and along the rutted roads, into the villages, towns and cities.(2)

In the rear, the homecoming Russian soldiers encountered the revolutionary workers and peasants. Everywhere soldiers, workers and peasants, were spontaneously forming their own revolutionary committees, or “Soviets” as they called them, and electing deputies to voice their demand for Peace, Bread and Land! at government headquarters in Petrograd. . . .

When Major Raymond Robins reached Petrograd, hungry, desperate masses of people were spread like a great dark tide over the land. The capital swarmed with soldier delegations, straight from the muddy front-line trenches, demanding an end to the war. Bread riots were occurring almost daily. Lenin’s Bolshevik Party-the organization of the Russian Communists, which had been declared illegal and driven underground by Kerensky – was rapidly growing in power and prestige.


 Raymond Robins refused to accept the opinions of Ambassador Francis and his Czarist friends as the truth about Russia.

Raymond Robins refused to accept the opinions of Ambassador Francis and his Czarist friends as the truth about Russia. He wasted little time in the Petrograd salons, but went “into the field,” as he put it, to view the Russian scene with his own eyes. Robins believed passionately in what he called “the outdoor mind: that thing that is common in America among successful businessmen; a mind that does not take chatter; that constantly reaches out for facts.” He traveled about the country, inspecting factories, trade-union halls, army barracks and even the lice-infested trenches on the Eastern Front. To find out what was happening in Russia, Robins went among the Russian people.

All Russia that year was like a vast, turbulent debating society. After centuries of enforced silence, the people had at last found their tongues. Meetings were being held everywhere. Everyone had his say. Government officials, pro-Allied propagandists, Bolsheviks, Anarchists, Social Revolutionaries, Mensheviks; all were talking at the same time. The Bolsheviks were the most popular speakers. Soldiers, workers and peasants constantly repeated what they said.

“Show me what I am fighting for,” demanded a Russian soldier at one of these hectic mass meetings. “Is it Constantinople or is it free Russia? Is it democracy or is it the capitalist plunderers? If you can prove to me that I am defending the Revolution, then I’ll go out and fight without capital punishment to force me. When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to the workers, and the power to the Soviets, then we’ll know we have something to fight for, and we’ll fight for it.”

Robins was in his element in this argumentative atmosphere. At home in the United States, a familiar platform figure, he had often debated with American Marxists: why not with Russian Bolsheviks? Frequently, Robins asked permission to reply to one of the Bolshevik speakers. In crowded factories and trenches, the broad-shouldered, dark-eyed American would get up and talk. Through his own interpreter, Robins told the Russian audiences about American democracy and the menace of Prussian militarism. Invariably, tumultuous applause greeted his words.


 Everywhere, Robins saw the same evidence of the confusion and helplessness of the Kerensky Government, contrasted with the organization and determination of the revolutionary Soviets.

At the same time, Robins was not neglecting his Red Cross duties. His job was to get food to the starving cities. Down the Volga, Robins found immense stores of grain rotting in the storehouses. The grain could not be moved because there was no transport. Under the hopelessly inefficient Czarist regime, all transport had gone to pieces, and Kerensky had done nothing to remedy the situation. Robins proposed getting a fleet of barges down the Volga to ship the grain. Kerensky’s officials told him it could not be done. A peasant came up to Robins and introduced himself. He was the chairman of the local peasants’ Soviet. He told Robins that barges would be made available. Next morning the grain began to move upriver towards Moscow and Petrograd.

Everywhere, Robins saw the same evidence of the confusion and helplessness of the Kerensky Government, contrasted with the organization and determination of the revolutionary Soviets. When a chairman of a Soviet said a thing would be done, it was done. . . .

The first time Robins came to a Russian village and asked to see the local government official, the peasants had smiled at him. “Better see the chairman of the Soviet,” they told him.

“What is this Soviet?” said Robins.

“The workers’, soldiers’ and peasants’ deputies.”

“But that’s some sort of revolutionary organization,” Robins protested. “I want the civil organization – the regular civil power.”

The peasants laughed. “Oh, that! That doesn’t amount to anything. You had better see the chairman of the Soviet!”

Back in. Petrograd, after his tour of inspection, Robins made his preliminary report to Colonel Thompson. Kerensky’s Provisional Government, said Robins, was a “sort of paper-and-consent affair superimposed on top, supported by the bayonets in Petrograd and Moscow and some other places.” The real government of the country was being exercised by the Soviets. But Kerensky stood for the continuation of the war against Germany, and for that reason Robins believed he should be maintained in power. If the Allies were interested in preventing Russia from slipping into complete chaos, and so under German domination, they must use all their influence to make Kerensky recognize the Soviets and come to terms with them. The United States Government must be made fully aware of the facts before it was too late.

Robins proposed a bold undertaking: the immediate launching of a gigantic, high-pressure propaganda campaign to convince the Russian people that Germany constituted the real menace to their Revolution.

To Robins’s surprise, Colonel Thompson expressed unequivocal agreement with both his report and his proposal. He told Robins he would cable Washington outlining the propaganda scheme and asking for authority and funds to carry it out. Meanwhile, since time was precious, Robins was to go ahead and get started.

“But where’s the money coming from?” asked Robins.

“I’ll stake a million of my own money,” said Colonel Thompson.

Robins was to be free to draw up to that amount from the Colonel’s own bank in Petrograd. . . .

The main thing, said Colonel Thompson, was to keep the Russian Army on the Eastern Front and Germany out of Russia.

At the same time, the Colonel was well aware of the risks that might be involved in intervening so actively and personally in Russian affairs.

“Do you know what this means, Robins?” he said.

“I think it means the only chance to save this situation, Colonel,” Robins replied.

“No, I mean do you know what it means to you?” “What does it mean?”

“It means that if we fail, you get shot.”

Robins shrugged. “Better men, younger men, are getting shot every day on the Western Front.” He added after a pause, “Colonel, if I get shot, you’ll get hung.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re damned right,” said Colonel Thompson.'(3)

2. Counterrevolution

As the chill, damp autumn winds swept in from the Baltic Sea and low, rain-filled clouds hung ominously over the city, events in Petrograd were rushing towards their historic climax.

Pale and nervous, wearing his habitual closely buttoned plain brown uniform, his eyes protruding and his right arm bent at the elbow in Napoleonic style, Alexander Kerensky, Premier of the Provisional Government, paced up and down in his room in the Winter Palace.

“What do they expect of me?” he shouted at Raymond Robins. “Half the time I’m forced to talk Western European liberalism to satisfy the Allies and the rest of the time I have to talk Russian Slavic socialism to keep myself alive!”

Kerensky had reason to be perturbed. Behind his back his chief supporters, the Russian millionaires and his Anglo-French allies, were already conspiring to remove him from power.

The Russian millionaires were openly threatening that, if Britain and France refused to take action to stop the Revolution, they would call in the Germans.

“Revolution is a sickness,” Stepan Georgevitch Lianozov, the “Russian Rockefeller,” told the American correspondent, John Reed. “Sooner or later the foreign powers must intervene here, as one would intervene to cure a sick child, and teach it how to walk.”

Another Russian millionaire, Riabushinsky, declared that the only solution was “. . . for the gaunt hand of famine, of destitution of the people, to seize the false friends of the people, the democratic Soviets and Committees by the throat!”


 The British and French Governments decided to back General Kornilov.

Sir Samuel Hoare, the chief of the British diplomatic Intelligence Service in Russia, had talked with these Russian millionaires and had then returned to London to report that military dictatorship was the best answer to the Russian problem. According to Hoare, the most suitable candidates for the post of dictator in Russia were Admiral Kolchak – who, Hoare said, was the nearest thing to an “English gentleman” he had found in Russia – and General Lavr Kornilov, the sinewy, black-goateed Cossack Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army.

The British and French Governments decided to back General Kornilov. He was to be the strong man who would at once keep Russia in the war, suppress the Revolution and protect Anglo-French financial stakes in Russia.

When Raymond Robins learned of this decision, he felt the Allies had made a grave mistake. They didn’t understand the temper of the Russian people. They were simply playing into the hands of the Bolsheviks who had prophesied from the beginning that Kerensky’s regime would turn out to be a mask behind which the counterrevolution was being secretly prepared. Major General Alfred Knox, the British Military Attaché and the chief of the British Military Mission in Petrograd, brusquely told Robins to keep his mouth shut.

The attempted Putsch took place on the morning of September 8, 1917. It began with a proclamation issued by Kornilov as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, who called for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the establishment of “discipline and order.” Thousands of pamphlets, entitled Kornilov, the Russian Hero, suddenly appeared on the streets of Moscow and Petrograd. Years later Kerensky in his book The Catastrophe revealed that “these pamphlets were printed at the expense of the British Military Mission and had been brought to Moscow from the British Embassy in Petrograd in the railway carriage of General Knox, British military attaché.” Kornilov ordered twenty thousand troops to march on Petrograd. French and British officers in Russian uniforms marched with Kornilov’s troops.

Kerensky was aghast at the betrayal. He was still being hailed in London and Paris as a “great democrat” and “the hero of the Russian masses.” Yet here in Russia the Allied representatives were trying to overthrow him! Kerensky wondered helplessly what to do, and did nothing.

The Bolshevik-controlled Petrograd Soviet, on its own initiative, ordered an immediate mobilization. Armed workers were joined by revolutionary sailors from the Baltic fleet and soldiers from the front. Barricades and barbed-wire entanglements sprang up in the city’s streets. Artillery pieces and machine guns were rushed into position. Red Guards -workers in caps and leather jackets, armed with rifles and hand grenades – patrolled the muddy, cobbled thoroughfares.

Within four days Kornilov’s army disintegrated. The General himself was arrested by the Soldiers’ Committee which had been secretly formed within his own army. Some forty generals of the old regime, who were involved in Kornilov’s. conspiracy, were rounded up the first afternoon in Petrograd’s Astoria Hotel where they were waiting for the news of Kornilov’s success. Kerensky’s vice-Minister of War, Boris Savinkov, was forced from office by popular clamor for having participated in the conspiracy. The Provisional Government wobbled. . . .

The Putsch had resulted in the very thing it was designed to prevent: a triumph for the Bolsheviks and a demonstration of Soviet strength.

The Soviets and not Kerensky held the real power in Petrograd.

“The rise of the Soviets,” said Raymond Robins, “did the job without any force . . . this was the power that defeated Kornilov.”

Ambassador Francis, on the other hand, telegraphed the U. S. State Department:


3. Revolution

Events were now moving with lightning speed. Still underground, Lenin had given a new slogan to the revolution: All Power to the Soviets! Down with the Provisional Government!

On October 7, Colonel Thompson anxiously telegraphed Washington: –


On November 3, a secret conference of the Allied military leaders in Russia was held at Colonel Thompson’s office. What was to be done to stop the Bolsheviks? General Niessel, head of the French Military Mission, angrily denounced the Provisional Government for its ineffectuality and called the Russian soldiers “yellow dogs.” At this point a Russian general strode from the room, his face red with anger.

General Knox upbraided the Americans for not getting behind Kornilov.

“I am not interested in stabilizing Kerensky and his government,” Knox shouted at Robins. “It is incompetent and inefficient and worthless. You ought to have been with Kornilov!”

“Well, General,” Robins replied, “you were with Kornilov.”

The British General flushed. “The only thing in Russia today is a military dictatorship,” he said. “These people have got to have a whip hand over them!”

“General,” said Robins, “you may get a dictatorship of a very different character.”

“You mean this Trotsky-Lenin-Bolshevik stuff -this soap-box stuff ?

“Yes, that is what I mean.”

“Robins,” said General Knox, “you are not a military man; you do not know anything about military affairs. Military men know what to do with that kind of stuff. We stand them up and shoot them.”

“Yes, if you catch them you do,” Robins replied. “I admit, General, I do not know anything about military affairs, but I do know something about folk; I have been working with them all my life. I have been out in Russia, and I think you are facing a folk situation.”

On November 7, 1917, four days after this conference in Colonel Thompson’s office, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia.


“Robins,” said General Knox, “you are not a military man; you do not know anything about military affairs. Military men know what to do with that kind of stuff. We stand them up and shoot them.”

The world-shaking Bolshevik Revolution came strangely, at first almost imperceptibly. It was the most peaceful revolution in history. Small bands of soldiers and sailors marched casually about the capital. There were a few, sporadic, scattered shots. Men and women gathered in the chilly streets, arguing, gesticulating, reading the latest appeals and proclamations. The usual contradictory rumors were bruited about. Streetcars rumbled up and down the Nevskv. Housewives wandered in and out of the shops. Petrograd’s conservative newspapers which came out that day as usual did not even report that a revolution had taken place.

With scarcely any opposition, the Bolsheviks occupied the Telephone Exchange, the Telegraph Office, the State Bank and the Ministries. The Winter Palace, site of Kerensky’s Provisional Government, was surrounded and besieged.

Kerensky himself fled that afternoon in a fast car borrowed from the American Embassy and flying the American flag. As he was leaving, he sent hasty word to Ambassador Francis that he would be coming back with troops from the front and “liquidate the situation in five days.”

At 6 P.M. Ambassador Francis telegraphed Secretary of State Lansing: –


Toward the middle of that raw damp night, trucks lumbered through the muddy streets, slowing down by the periodic street bonfires where sentinels stood. From out of the trucks white bundles were flung. They contained this proclamation: –


The Provisional Government is deposed. The State Power has passed into the hands of the organ of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, the Military Revolutionary Committee, which stands at the head of the Petrograd proletariat and garrison.

The cause for which the people were fighting: of immediate proposal of a democratic peace, abolition of landlord property-rights over the land, labor control of production, creation of a Soviet Government – that cause is securely achieved.


Military Revolutionary Committee

Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies

Hundreds of Red Guards and soldiers had gathered in a dark mass around the brilliantly lit Winter Palace, the last stronghold of the members of the already nonexistent Provisional Government. Suddenly, the mass moved forward, poured across the courtyard, and swarmed over the barricades, into the Winter Palace. Kerensky’s former Ministers were arrested in the large, elaborately decorated chamber where they had been sitting all day around a long table. The table was littered with crumpled sheets of paper, the remnants of never-finished proclamations. One of them read: “The Provisional Government appeals to all classes to support the Provisional Government. . . .”

At 10:45 on the night of November 7, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies held its opening session in the ballroom of the Smolny Institute, which had formerly been a fashionable academy for daughters of the Czarist aristocracy. The huge, smoke-filled ballroom, with its marble columns, white chandeliers and inlaid floor, now housed the elected representatives of Russian soldiers and workers. Dirty, unshaven, weary, the Soviet deputies – soldiers with the mud of the trenches still on their uniforms, workers in their caps and black crumpled suits, sailors in their striped sweaters and small, round, beribboned hats – listened tensely as the members of the Central Executive Committee arose one after another to speak from the tribune.

The Congress lasted two days. A vast roar and tumult broke out on the evening of the second day as a short, stocky man in a baggy unpressed suit stood up on the platform, his bald head gleaming, a sheaf of papers in his hand . . .

The uproar lasted several minutes. Then, bending slightly forward, the speaker said: “We shall now proceed to construct the Socialist order!”

The speaker was Lenin.

The Congress went on to form the first Soviet Government – the Council of People’s Commissars, headed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

4. Nonrecognition

The morning after the Soviet Government was formed, Ambassador Francis dispatched a note to his friend, Maddin Summers, the American Consul General in Moscow.

“It is reported,” Ambassador Francis wrote Summers, “that the Petrograd Council of Workmen and Soldiers has named a Cabinet with Lenin as Premier, Trotsky as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Madame or Mlle. Kollontai as Minister of Education. Disgusting! – but I hope that such effort will be made as the more ridiculous the situation the sooner the remedy.”

To Washington, the Ambassador cabled his opinion that the life of the new Soviet regime would be a matter of days. He urged the State Department not to recognize the Russian Government until the Bolsheviks had been overthrown and their place taken by “patriotic Russians.”. . .

That same morning, Raymond Robins entered the office of Colonel Thompson at American Red Cross headquarters in Petrograd.

“Chief,” said Robins, “we’ve got to move fast! This idea that Kerensky is going to build up an army somewhere, that the Cossacks are coming up from the Don and the White Guards coming down from Finland, is all bunk! They’ll never get here. There are too many peasants with rifles in between! No, this group that’s running the show at the Smolny is going to run it for quite a while longer!”

Robins wanted permission from his chief to go out to the Smolny right away and have an interview with Lenin. “These folks are kindly, worthy people in the main,” said Robins, referring to the Bolsheviks. “Some of us have been in politics and dealt with American political bosses, and if there is anyone more corrupt or worse in Smolny than some of our crooks, then they are some crooked, that’s all!”



Military Revolutionary Committee

Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ 

By way of reply, Colonel Thompson showed Robins orders he had just received from Washington. He was to return at once for consultation. Personally, he agreed with Robins that the Bolsheviks represented the masses of the Russian people, and when he got back to America, he would try to convince the State Department of this. Meanwhile, Robins, promoted to the rank of Colonel, was to take over as Chief of the American Red Cross Mission in Russia. Colonel Thompson shook hands with his former assistant and wished him good luck. . . .

Robins wasted no time. He drove out to the Smolny and asked to see Lenin.

“I was for Kerensky,” said Robins frankly, “but I know a corpse when I see one and I regard the -Provisional Government as dead. I want to know whether the American Red Cross can serve the Russian people without injury to our national interests. I am against your domestic program, but it is none of my business what happens in domestic Russia. If Kornilov, or the Czar, or anyone else had the power I would be talking to him!”

Lenin took an immediate liking to the dynamic, outspoken American. He tried to explain to Robins the character of the new regime.

“They say I am a dictator,” Lenin declared. “I am for the moment. I am a dictator because I have behind me the will of the mass of the peasants and workers. The moment I cease to do their will, they will take the power from me, and I would be as helpless as the Czar.”

As for the economic aspects of Soviet rule, Lenin went on: “We are going to challenge the world with a producers’ republic. We are not putting in the Soviet anybody who simply owns stock, and simply has ownership. We are putting in the producers. The Donets coal basin will be represented by producers of coal; the railroad by producers of transportation; the postal system by producers of that communication, and so on.”

Lenin described to Robins another essential phase of the Bolshevik program: the solution of the “national question.” Under the Czar, the multiple national groups in Russia had been ruthlessly suppressed and converted into subject peoples. All of this, said Lenin, would have to change. Anti-Semitism and other such primitive prejudices exploited by Czarism to pit one group against another would have to be wiped out. Every nationality and national minority in Russia would have to be completely emancipated, given equal rights and regional and cultural autonomy. Lenin told Robins that the man who was to cope with this complex and all-important problem was the leading Bolshevik authority on the national question, Josef Stalin.(4)

Robins asked Lenin what were the chances of Russia remaining in the war against Germany?

Lenin answered with complete candor. Russia was already out of the war. Russia could not oppose Germany until a new army – a Red Army -had been formed. That would take time. The whole rotten structure of Russian industry and transport would have to be reorganized from top to bottom.

The Soviet Government, Lenin went on to say, wanted recognition and friendship from the United States. He was aware of the official prejudice against his regime. He offered Robins a practical minimum program of co-operation. In return for American technical aid, the Soviet Government would undertake to evacuate all war supplies from the Eastern Front, where they could not otherwise be prevented from falling into German hands.

Robins informed General William Judson, the American Military Attaché and chief of the American Military Mission in Russia, of Lenin’s proposal; and General Judson went to the Smolny to work out the details of the agreement. Judson had an additional request to make: the hundreds of thousands of German war prisoners in Russian hands were not to be repatriated until after the war. Lenin agreed.

General Judson promptly informed Ambassador Francis that it would be in the interest of the United States to recognize the Soviet Government.

“The Soviet is the de facto government, and relations with it should be established,” said General Judson.

But the American Ambassador had other ideas and had already conveyed them to Washington.

A few days later, a telegram arrived from Secretary of State Lansing advising Ambassador Francis that American representatives were to “withhold all direct communications with the Bolshevik Government.” The wire added pointedly: “So advise Judson.”

A second telegram, dispatched soon after, recalled General Judson to the United States.

Robins thought of handing in his resignation in protest against the State Department’s policy. To his surprise, Ambassador Francis asked him to remain at his post and maintain his contacts at Smolny.

“I think it’s unwise for you to sever your relations abruptly and absolutely – that is, I mean, to cease your visits up there,” Ambassador Francis told Robins. “Furthermore, I want to know what they are doing, and I will stand between you and the fire.”

Robins did not know it, but Ambassador Francis needed all the information he could get about the Soviet Government for special reasons of his own.

5. Secret Diplomacy

On December 2, 1917, Ambassador Francis sent Washington his first confidential report on the activities of General Alexei Kaledin, Ataman of the Don Cossacks. Francis described the General as “Kaledin, commander-in-chief of the Cossacks, numbering 200,000.” General Kaledin had organized a White counterrevolutionary army among the Cossacks in southern Russia, proclaimed “the independence of the Don,” and was preparing to march on Moscow to overthrow the Soviet Government. Secret groups of Czarist officers in Petrograd and Moscow were acting as anti-Soviet spies for Kaledin and were maintaining contact with Ambassador Francis.

At Francis’s request, a more detailed report of the strength of General Kaledin was sent to the State Department a few days later by Maddin Summers, the American Consul General in Moscow. Summers, who had married the daughter of a wealthy Czarist nobleman, was even more violently prejudiced against the Soviet regime than the Ambassador himself. According to Summers’s report to the State Department, Kaledin had already rallied to his person all the “loyal” and “honest” elements in southern Russia.

Secretary of State Lansing telegraphed the American Embassy in London recommending a secret loan to finance Kaledin’s cause. This loan, said the Secretary, was to be made through the agency of either the British or the French Government.

“I need not impress on you,” added Secretary Lansing, “the necessity of acting expeditiously and impressing those with whom you talk of the importance of it not being known that the United States is considering showing sympathy for the Kaledin movement, much less of providing financial assistance.”

Ambassador Francis was advised to use great discretion in his dealings with Kaledin’s agents in Petrograd, so as not to arouse the suspicions of the Bolsheviks.


 Secretary of State Lansing telegraphed the American Embassy in London recommending a secret loan to finance Kaledin’s cause. This loan, said the Secretary, was to be made through the agency of either the British or the French Government.

Despite the elaborate precautions, the plot was discovered by the Soviet Government, which was keenly alert to the possibility of Allied intervention in Russia. In mid-December, the Soviet press denounced the American Ambassador for secretly plotting with Kaledin. Francis blandly denied any knowledge of the Cossack chief. . . .

“I am making a statement to press,” Francis telegraphed Secretary Lansing on December 22, “which shall forward en clair denying all connection or knowledge of Kaledin movement stating your instructions are definite and emphatic not to interfere in internal affairs stating I had observed same scrupulously.”

Isolated by Allied hostility, and too weak to face the massive German war machine alone, the Soviet Government had to protect itself as best it could. The most immediate menace was Germany.

To save the new Russia, and to gain time in which to effect essential reorganization and create a Red Army, Lenin proposed to sign an immediate peace on the Eastern Front.

“We will have to conclude peace anyway,” Lenin told his followers, after reviewing at length the appalling conditions in Russia’s transport, industry and army. “We need to grow strong, and for this time is necessary. . . . If the Germans begin to advance, we will be forced to sign any kind of a peace, only then the peace will be worse.”

On Lenin’s insistence, a Soviet peace delegation hastily left for Brest-Litovsk, headquarters of the German Eastern Army, to learn Germany’s peace terms.

On December 23, 1917, the day after the first session of the preliminary Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference, representatives of Great Britain and France met in Paris and secretly concluded an agreement to dismember Soviet Russia. The agreement was entitled L’Accord Franfais-Anglais du 23 Decembre,1917, definissant les zones d’action francaises et anglaises. According to its terms, England was to receive a “zone of influence” in Russia, giving her the oil of the Caucasus and control of the Baltic provinces; France a “zone” giving her the iron and coal of the Donets Basin and control of the Crimea.

This secret Anglo-French treaty inevitably shaped the policy, these two nations were to pursue towards Russia throughout the next several years.


1. Petrograd was the capital of Czarist Russia. The city, named after Peter the Great, was originally called St. Petersburg. It was changed to the more Russian form of Petrograd at the outbreak of the First World War. After the Bolshevik revolution, Moscow became the new capita; and in 1924, after Lenin’s death, the name of the former capital was changed to Leningrad.

2. For three years the Russian soldiers had fought with great bravery and skill against overwhelming odds. In the early months of the war, at the peak of the German aggression, the Russians had invaded East Prussia, thus drawing off two German army corps and a cavalry division, and giving Joffre the chance to close the breach at the Marne and save Paris. In its rear, the Russian Arrny had to contend with treason and inefficiency. The Minister of War, Sukhoumlinov, was a traitor, in German pay. The Czar’s court swarmed with German agents and notorious Germanophiles headed by the Czarina and her adviser, the sinister priest, Rasputin. The Russian troops were wretchedly equipped. By 1917, the Russian Army had suffered more fatal casualties than Great Britain, France and Italy combined. The losses totaled 2,762,064 killed, 4,950,000 wounded, 2,500,000 missing.

3. This dialogue between Major Robins and Colonel Thompson, as all other dialogue throughout the book is quoted directly from documentary sources which are listed in the Bibliographical Notes

4. “I first knew of Stalin,” Colonel Raymond Robins wrote the authors of this book in November 1943, “when Lenin talked to me of his plans for a Federated Socialist Soviet Republic…. He spoke of his and Stalin’s plans to unite for the common co-operation all the diverse groups in Soviet Russia, and told me that Stalin had just been elected Commissar for Nationalities. . Perhaps Stalin’s greatest historic achievement for the unity and power of the Soviet People was his matchless work as Commissar of Nationalities. His policies have largely wiped out racial, religious, national and class animosities, and given to diverse Soviet groups a unity and harmony to fight and die in defense of Leningrad, Stalingrad and the Russian Land.” In the last sentence, of course, Colonel Robins is referring to the historic part played by the Soviet people in turning back and smashing the Nazi invaders during the Second World War.

Chapter II – Point Counter Point

  1. British Agent

    AROUND midnight on the freezing night of January 18, 1918, a handsome young Scot wrapped in furs groped his way by the light of a lantern across a partly shattered bridge between Finland and Russia. Civil war was raging in Finland, and rail traffic over the bridge had been interrupted. The Red Finnish Government had provided the voting Scot with an escort to take him and his luggage across to the Soviet side, where a train waited to take him to Petrograd. The traveler was R. H. Bruce Lockhart, special agent of the British War Cabinet.

    A. product of the exclusive English “public school” system, Bruce Lockhart had entered the diplomatic service at the age of twenty-four. He was both handsome and intelligent, and in a short time he had made a name for himself as one of the most talented and promising young men in the British Foreign Office. At thirty, he was British Vice-Consul in Moscow. He spoke Russian fluently and was equally familiar with Russian politics and intrigue. He had been recalled to London just six weeks before the Bolshevik Revolution.

    Now he was being sent back to Russia at the personal request of Prime Minister Lloyd George, who had been deeply impressed by what he had learned about Russia from the homeward bound Colonel Thompson. Robins’s former chief had fiercely denounced the Allies’ refusal to recognize the Soviet regime. Following Colonel Thompson’s conversation with Lloyd George, Lockhart had been chosen to go to Russia to establish some sort of working relations – short of actual recognition – with the Soviet regime.

    But the handsome young Scot was also an agent of the British diplomatic Intelligence Service. His unofficial assignment was to exploit for British ends the opposition movement which had already arisen within the Soviet Government. . . .

    The opposition to Lenin was headed by the ambitious Soviet Foreign Commissar, Leon Trotsky, who considered himself Lenin’s inevitable successor. For fourteen years, Trotsky had fiercely opposed the Bolsheviks; then, in August, 1917, a few months before the Bolshevik Revolution, he had joined Lenin’s Party and risen to power with it. Within the Bolshevik Party, Trotsky was organizing a Left Opposition to Lenin.

    When Lockhart reached Petrograd at the beginning of 1918, Foreign Commissar Trotsky was at Brest-Litovsk, as head of the Soviet peace delegation.

    Trotsky had been sent to Brest-Litovsk with categorical instructions from Lenin to sign peace. Instead of following Lenin’s instructions, Trotsky was issuing inflammatory appeals to the European proletariat to rise and overthrow their governments. The Soviet Government, he declared, would on no account make peace with capitalist regimes. “Neither peace nor war!” Trotsky cried. He told the Germans that the Russian Army could fight no more, would continue to demobilize but would not make peace.

    Lenin angrily denounced Trotsky’s behavior at Brest-Litovsk and Trotsky’s proposals- “discontinuance of the war, refusal to sign peace, and the demobilization of the army” – as “lunacy or worse.”

    The British Foreign Office, as Lockhart later revealed in his memoirs, British Agent, was extremely interested in these “distensions between Lenin and Trotsky – dissensions from which our Government hoped much.” (1)

    As a result of Trotsky’s behavior, the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk fell through. The German High Command had not wanted to deal with the Bolsheviks in the first place. Trotsky, according to Lenin, played into the German hands and “actually helped the German imperialists.” In the midst of one of Trotsky’s speeches at Brest-Litovsk, the German General Max Hoffmann put his boot on the conference table, and told the Soviet delegates to go home.

    Trotsky came back to Petrograd and dismissed Lenin’s remonstrances with the exclamation: “The Germans will not dare to advance!”

    Ten days after the breaking off of the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, the German High Command launched a major offensive along the entire Eastern Front from the Baltic to the Black Sea. In the south, the German hordes swarmed through the flat Ukraine. In the center, the offensive surged through Poland towards Moscow. In the north, Narva fell and Petrograd was menaced. Everywhere along the front the remnants of the old Russian Army cracked and fell to pieces.

    Disaster loomed over the new Russia.

    Pouring from the cities, hastily mobilized by their Bolshevik leaders, the armed workers and Red Guards formed regiments to halt the German advance. The first units of the new Red Army went into action. At Pskov, on February 23, the Germans were stopped.(2) Temporarily, Petrograd was saved.

    A second Soviet peace delegation, this time without Trotsky, hastened to Brest-Litovsk.

    As the price of peace, Germany now demanded domination of the Ukraine, Finland, Poland, the Caucasus and enormous indemnities of Russian gold, wheat, oil, coal and minerals.

    A wave of indignation against the “German imperialist brigands” swept across Soviet Russia when these peace terms were announced. The German High Command, declared Lenin, hoped by this “robbers’ peace” to dismember Soviet Russia and smash the Soviet regime.

    In Bruce Lockhart’s opinion, the only sensible thing for the Allies to do in this situation was to support Russia against Germany. The Soviet Government was making no attempt to conceal its reluctance to ratify the Brest-Litovsk Peace. As Lockhart saw it, the question the Bolsheviks were asking was: What would the Allies do? Would they recognize the Soviet Government and come to its aid, or would they let the Germans force their “robbers’ peace” on Russia?

    At first, Lockhart was inclined to believe that British interests in Russia dictated a deal with Trotsky against Lenin. Trotsky and his followers were now attacking Lenin on the grounds that his peace policy had led to a “betrayal of the Revolution.” Trotsky was trying to form what Lockhart called a “holy war” bloc within the Bolshevik Party designed to gain Allied backing and force Lenin from power.

    Lockhart, as he tells in his British Agent, had established personal contact with Trotsky as soon as the Foreign Commissar returned from Brest-Litovsk. Trotsky granted him a two-hour interview at his private office at Smolny. That same night, Lockhart recorded in his diary his personal impressions of Trotsky: “He strikes me as a man who would willingly die fighting for Russia provided there was a big enough audience to see him do it.”

    The British agent and the Soviet Foreign Commissar were soon on intimate terms. Lockhart addressed Trotsky familiarly as “Lev Davidovich,” and dreamed, as he later said, of “pulling off a big coup with Trotsky.” But Lockhart reluctantly came to the conclusion that Trotsky simply did not have the power to replace Lenin. As Lockhart puts it in British Agent: –

    Trotsky was a great organizer and a man of immense physical courage. But, morally, he was as incapable of standing against Lenin as a flea would be against an elephant. In the Council of Commissars there was not a man who did not consider himself the equal of Trotsky. There was not a Commissar who did not regard Lenin as a demi-god, whose decisions were to be accepted without question.

    If anything were to be done in Russia, it would have to be done through Lenin. This conclusion, Lockhart found, was shared by Raymond Robins.

    “I personally have always had a question mark over Trotsky – a question as to what he will do – a question as to where he will be found at certain tittles and places, because of his extreme ego, and the arrogance, if you please, of the ego,” said Robins.

    Lockhart had met Robins shortly after his arrival in Petrograd. He was immediately impressed by the American’s forthright approach to the Russian problem. Robins had no sympathy with the various Allied arguments against recognition. He poured scorn on the absurd theory, fostered by Czarist agents, that the Bolsheviks wanted a German victory. With great eloquence, he described to Lockhart the appalling conditions in old Russia and the marvelous upsurge of the oppressed millions under Bolshevik leadership.

    To complete the picture, Robins took Lockhart out to Smolny to see the new regime in action. As they drove back to Petrograd through the softly falling snow, Robins bitterly declared that the Allied Embassies, with their secret conspiracies against the Soviet Government, were only “playing the German game in Russia.”

    The Soviet Government had come to stay and the sooner the Allies recognized the fact the better.

    Robins frankly added that Lockhart would get a very different story from other Allied representatives and secret service agents in Russia, and these persons would produce all sorts of documentary evidence to back up their claims. “There are more forged papers of one kind or another in Russia than ever before in human history!” said Robins. There were even documents to prove that Robins himself was a Bolshevik, and, at the same time, secretly interested in getting Russian commercial concessions for Wall Street.

    The two men soon became close, almost inseparable friends. They began taking breakfast together each morning and consulting each other regarding the plan of action for the day. Their common aim was to induce their respective governments to recognize Soviet Russia and so prevent a German victory on the Eastern Front.(3)

    2. Zero Hour

    The situation confronting the Soviet Government in the early spring of 1918 was this: Germany was preparing to overthrow the Soviet Government by force if the Russians refused to ratify the Brest-Litovsk Peace; Britain and France were secretly backing counterrevolutionary forces which were assembling in Archangel, Murmansk and on the Don; the Japanese, with Allied approval, were planning to seize Vladivostok and to invade Siberia. . . .

    In an interview with Lockhart, Lenin told the British agent that the Soviet Government was to be transferred to Moscow in fear of a German attack at Petrograd. The Bolsheviks were going to fight, if necessary, even if they had to withdraw to the Volga and the Urals. But they would fight on their own conditions. They were “not to be made a cat’s-paw for the Allies.” If the Allies understood this, Lenin told Lockhart, there was an excellent opportunity for co-operation. Soviet Russia was desperately in need of aid to resist the, Germans.

    “At the same time,” said Lenin grimly, “I am quite convinced that your Government will never see things in this light. It is a reactionary Government. It will co-operate with the Russian reactionaries.”

    Lockhart cabled the substance of this interview to the British Foreign Office. A few days later he received a coded message from London. Hastily, he decoded and read it. The message conveyed the view of a “military expert” that all that was needed in Russia was “a small but resolute nucleus of British officers” to give leadership to the “loyal Russians” Who would soon put an end to Bolshevism.

    Ambassador Francis, on February 23, had written in a letter to his son: –

    My plan is to stay in Russia as long as I can. If a separate peace is concluded, as I believe it will be, there will be no danger of my being captured by the Germans. Such a separate peace, however, will be a severe blow to the Allies, and if any section of Russia refuses to recognize the authority of the Bolshevik Government to conclude such a peace, I shall endeavor to locate in that section and encourage the rebellion.

    After writing this letter, Ambassador Francis had joined the French Ambassador Noulens and other Allied diplomats in the small town of Vologda, located between Moscow and Archangel.

    It was clear that the Allied Governments had already decided not to co-operate in any way with the Soviet regime.

    Robins discussed the crisis with Trotsky, who, having publicly admitted his “error” in opposing Lenin at Brest-Litovsk, was now trying to re-establish himself in Lenin’s eyes.

    “Do you want to prevent the Brest treaty from being ratified?” Trotsky asked Robins.

    “Of course!” Robins replied. “But Lenin is for it, and, frankly, Commissioner, Lenin is running this show!”

    “You are mistaken,” said Trotsky. “Lenin realizes that the threat of the German advance is so great that if he can get cooperation and support from the Allies he will refuse the Brest peace, retire if necessary from both Moscow and Petrograd to Ekaterinburg, re-establish the front in the Urals, and fight with Allied support against the Germans.”

    At Robins’s urgent request, Lenin agreed to draw up a formal note to the United States Government. He had little hope of a favorable response; but he was willing to make the attempt.

    The note was duly handed to Robins for transmission to the United States Government. It read in part: –

    In case (a) the All-Russian Congress of the Soviets will refuse to ratify the peace treaty with Germany or (b) if the German Government, breaking the peace treaty will renew the offensive in order to continue the robbers’ raid . . .

    (1) Can the Soviet Government rely on the support of the United States of North America, Great Britain, and France in its struggle against Germany?

    (2) What kind of support could be furnished in the nearest future, and on what conditions – Military equipment, transportation supplies, living necessities?

    (3) What kind of support could be furnished particularly and especially by the United States? . . .

    The All-Russian Soviet Congress was to meet on March 12 to discuss ratification of the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty.

    Lenin agreed, at Robins’s request, to postpone the convening of the All-Russian Congress until March 14, giving Robins and Lockhart two extra days in which to persuade their governments to act.

    On March 5, 1918, Lockhart dispatched a final, imploring telegram to the British Foreign Office pleading for recognition of the Soviet Government: “If ever the Allies had a chance in Russia since the Revolution, the Germans have given it to them by the exorbitant peace terms they have imposed on the Russians … If His Majesty’s Government does not wish to see Germany paramount in Russia, then I would most earnestly implore you not to neglect this opportunity.”

    There was no reply from London, only a letter from Lockhart’s wife urging him to be cautious and warning him that the word was being spread in the Foreign Office that he had become a “Red.”.. .

    On March 14, the All Russian Soviet Congress convened in Moscow. For two days and nights the delegates debated the question of ratifying the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Trotsky’s opposition was out in full force, trying to make political capital out of the unpopular Peace Treaty; but Trotsky himself, as Robins put it, was “sulking in Petrograd and refused to come.”

    An hour before midnight on the second night of the Congress Lenin beckoned to Robins, who was sitting on the step below the platform.

    “What have you heard from your government?


    “What has Lckhart heard?”


    Lenin shrugged. “I am now going to the platform,” he told Robins. “I am going to speak for the ratification of the treaty. It will be ratified.

    Lenin spoke for an hour. He made no attempt to picture the peace as anything but a catastrophe for Russia. With patient logic, he pointed out the necessity for the Soviet Government, isolated and menaced from every side, to gain a “breathing space” at any cost.

    The Brest-Litovsk Treaty was ratified.

    A statement issued by the Congress declared: –

    Under present conditions, the Soviet Government of the Russian Republic, being left to its own forces, is unable to withstand the armed onrush of German Imperialism, and is compelled, for the sake of saving revolutionary Russia, to accept the conditions put before it.

    3. Mission’s End

    Ambassador Francis telegraphed the State Department on May 2, 1918: “Robins and probably Lockhart also have favored recognition of Soviet government but you and all Allies have always opposed recognition and I have consistently refused to recommend it, nor do I feel that I have erred therein.”

    A few weeks later Robins received a telegram from Secretary of State Lansing: “Under all circumstances consider desirable that you come home for consultation.”

    As he traveled across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad to pick up a ship at Vladivostok, Robins received three messages from the State Department. Each of them carried the same instruction: he was to make no public statement of any kind.

    Back in Washington, D.C., Robins submitted a report to Secretary Lansing, vigorously condemning the idea of any Allied intervention against Soviet Russia. Robins attached to his report a detailed written program for the development of Russian-American commercial relations. Lenin had personally handed Robins this program just before he left Moscow. It was to be given to President Wilson.

    Lenin’s program never reached Wilson.

    Robins himself tried to see the President, but in vain. He was blocked at every turn. He tried to get his message into the newspapers. The press either ignored or distorted what he had to say….

    Robins was forced to defend himself before a Senate Committee investigating “Bolshevism” and “German Propaganda.”

    “If I told the truth and did not lie and slander folks, did not say that they are German agents and thieves and murderers, criminals utterly, then I am a Bolshevist!” Robins declared. “But I had the best window or outlook of any Allied representative in Russia and I was trying to keep my feet on the ground. I would like to tell the truth about men and about movements, without passion and without resentment, even though I differed from them. . . . I am perfectly willing that the Russian people should have the kind of government they want, whether it suits me, or whether it is in accord with my principles or not. . . . I think that to know what has actually happened in Russia is of the very first moment, and for us and for our country to deal with it honestly and fairly, rather than in passion or on a statement that is not true . . . I would never expect to stamp out ideas with bayonets. . . .. The only answer for the desire for a better human iife is a better human life.”

    But Robins’s honest voice was drowned in the rising tide of misinformation and prejudice.

    By the summer of 1918, although the United States was at war with Germany and not with Russia, the New York Times was already describing the Bolsheviks as “our most malignant enemies,” and as “ravening beasts of prey.” The Soviet leaders were being universally denounced in the American press as “paid agents” of the Germans. “Butchers,” “assassins and madmen,” “blood-intoxicated criminals,” and “human scum” were some of the typical terms by which American newspapers referred to Lenin and his associates. In Congress, they were called “those damnable beasts.”. . .

    Ambassador Francis remained in Russia until July 1918. Periodically, he issued proclamations and statements calling upon the Russian people to overthrow the Soviet Government. Just before Francis set sail for the United States, he received from Chicherin, the new Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs, a telegram extending greetings to the American people. Francis later related what he did with Chicherin’s message. “This telegram was evidently meant for consumption by American pacifists,” the ex-Ambassador wrote in his book, Russia from the American Embassy, “and fearing it would be given to the American people by the Department of State, I failed to transmit it.”

    Bruce Lockhart stayed on in Russia. “I ought to have resigned and come home,” he said later. Instead, he remained at his post as a British agent.

    “Almost before I had realized it,” Lockhart later confessed in British Agent, “I had now identified myself with a movement which, whatever its original object, was to be directed, not against Germany, but against the de facto government of Russia.”

    1 At Brest-Litovsk, Trotsky, as a “world revolutionist,” objected to signing peace with Germany, even though he admitted that the Russian Army could no longer fight, on the grounds that such a peace would represent a betrayal of the international revolution. On these grounds Trotsky refused to abide by Lenin’s peace instructions. Later, Trotsky claimed that he had acted from mistaken judgment. At a Bolshevik Party meeting on October 3, 1918, after the Germans had attacked Soviet Russia and very nearly seized Petrograd and smashed the Soviet regime, Trotsky declared: “I deem it my duty to say, in this authoritative assembly, that at the hour when many of us, including myself, were doubtful as to whether it was admissible for us to sign the Brest-Litovsk peace, only Comrade Lenin maintained stubbornly, with amazing foresight and against our opposition, that we had to go through with it…. And now we must admit that we were wrong.”

    Trotsky’s behavior at Brest-Litovsk was not an isolated event. While Trotsky was agitating at Brest-Litovsk, his chief personal lieutenant in Moscow, Nicolai Krestinsky, publicly attacked Lenin and spoke of waging “revolutionary war against German imperialism, the Russian bourgeoisie and part of the proletariat headed by Lenin.” Trotsky’s associate in this opposition movement, Bukharin, sponsored a resolution which was passed at a special congress of the so-called Left Communist group in Moscow and which stated: “In the interests of the international revolution, we consider it expedient to consent to the loss of the Soviet power, which has now become purely formal.” In 1923, Bukharin revealed that behind the scenes during the Brest-Litovsk crisis a plan was actually afoot among the oppositionists to split the Bolshevik Party, overthrow Lenin and establish a new Russian Government.

    2. The date February 23, 1918, when the Russians stopped the Germans at Pskov, is celebrated as the birthday of the Red Army.

    3. Lockhart and Robins found a valuable ally in the French officer, Captain Jean Sadoul, a former successful lawyer and Socialist deputy in Paris. Captain Sadoul served as unofficial liaison between France and the Soviet Government. He had reached exactly the same conclusions as Robins and Lockhart. His outspoken criticism of the Allied attitude towards Russia had aroused the fierce enmity of the French Ambassador Noulens, who spread the word that Sadoul, Robins and Lockhart had all turned “Bolshevik.” Noulens, a bitter reactionary who derived his political opinions from the French “200 families” and the bondholders of the Paris banks, hated the Soviet regime. He took away Sadoul’s right to communicate directly with the French Government and even intercepted Sadoul’s personal letters and messages.

    To prevent Robins from influencing the American Ambassador, David Francis, records Bruce Lockhart in British Agent, Ambassador Noulens started a whispering campaign against Robins. Noulens had one of his secretaries pointedly ask in Francis’s present- , “Who is the American Ambassador in Russia-Francis or Robins?” Such maneuvers met with some success. Ambassador Francis began to mistrust Robins and to fear that Robins was trying to take his place. He even suspected Robins of having informed the Bolsheviks of his secret dealings with R II Kaledin.

Chapter III – Master Spy

1. Enter M. Massino

REVOLUTIONARY Petrograd, besieged by foreign enemies without and menaced within by counterrevolutionary plots, was a terrible city in 1918. There was little food, no heat, no transport. Ragged men and women shivered in endless breadlines on the bleak, unswept streets. The long gray nights were punctuated with the sounds of gunfire. Gangster bands, defying the Soviet regime, roamed the city, robbing and terrorizing the population.(1) Detachments of armed workers marched from building to building, searching for the hidden stores of the food speculators, rounding up looters and terrorists.

The Soviet Government had not yet established complete control. Remnants of Czarist luxury contrasted weirdly with the mass destitution. Anti-Soviet newspapers continued to appear, daily predicting the imminent fall of the Soviet regime. Expensive restaurants and hotels were still open, and catering to throngs of fashionably dressed men and women. At night, the cabarets were packed. There were drinking and dancing, and, at the crowded tables, Czarist officers, ballet dancers, famous Black Market speculators and their mistresses whispered excited rumors: The Germans are marching on Moscow! – Trotsky has arrested Lenin! – Lenin has gone insane! Wild hopes and lies flowed as freely as the vodka. Intrigue thrived. . . .

A certain M. Massino had shown up in Petrograd that spring. He described himself as “a Turkish and Oriental merchant.” He was a pale, long-faced, somber-looking man in his early forties, with a high, sloping forehead, restless dark eyes and sensual lips. He walked with an erect, almost military carriage, and with a rapid, curiously silent step. He seemed to be wealthy. Women found him attractive. Amid the uneasy atmosphere of the temporary Soviet capital, M. Massino went about his business with a peculiar aplomb.

At evenings, M. Massino was a frequent visitor to the small, smoky Balkov Cafe, a favorite haunt of anti-Soviet elements in Petrograd. The proprietor, Serge Balkov, greeted him deferentially. In a private room at the back of the cafe, M. Massino met mysterious men and women who spoke to him in low tones. Some of them addressed him in Russian, others in French or English. M. Massino was familiar with many languages. . . .

The young Soviet Government was struggling to bring order out of chaos. Its colossal organizational tasks were still further complicated by the ever-present, deadly menace of the counterrevolution. “The bourgeoisie, the landlords and all the wealthy classes are making desperate efforts to undermine the revolution,” wrote Lenin. A special Soviet counter-sabotage and counterespionage organization was set up, at Lenin’s recommendation, to deal with domestic and foreign enemies. It was called the Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counterrevolution and Sabotage. Its Russian initials spelled the word: Cheka(2) . .

In the summer of 1918, when the Soviet Government, fearing German attack, moved to Moscow, M. Massino followed it. But in Moscow the appearance of the suave, wealthy Levantine merchant oddly changed. He wore a leather jacket and the peaked cap of a worker. He visited the Kremlin. Stopped at the gates by one of the young Communist Lettish Guards, who formed the elite corps guarding the Soviet Government, the erstwhile M. Massino produced an official Soviet document. It identified him as Sidney Georgevitch Relinsky, an agent of the Criminal Division of the Petrograd Cheka.

“Pass Comrade Relinsky!” said the Lettish guard.

In another part of Moscow, in the luxurious apartment of the popular ballet dancer Dagmara K., M. Massino, alias Comrade Relinsky of the Cheka, was known as Monsieur Constantine, an agent of the British Secret Service.

At the British Embassy, Bruce Lockhart knew his real identity: “Sidney Reilly, the mystery man of the British Secret Service and known . . . as the master spy of Britain.”

2. Sidney Reilly

Of all the adventurers who emerged from the political underworld of Czarist Russia during the First World War to lead the great crusade against Bolshevism none was more colorful and extraordinary than Captain Sidney George Reilly of the British Secret Service. “A man cast in the Napoleonic mold!” exclaimed Bruce Lockhart, whom Reilly was to involve in one of the most dangerous and fantastic undertakings in European history.

Just how Reilly first came to the British Secret Service remains one of the many mysteries surounding that very mysterious and powerful espionage apparatus. Sidney Reilly was born in Czarist Russia. The son of an Irish sea captain and a Russian woman, he grew up in the Black Sea port of Odessa. Prior to the First World War, he was employed by the great Czarist naval armaments concern of Mandrochovitch and Count Tchubersky in St. Petersburg. Even then, his work was of a highly confidential character. He served as liaison between the Russian firm and certain German industrial and financial interests, including the famous Hamburg shipyards of Bluhm and Voss. Just before the outbreak of the First World War, valuable information concerning the German submarine and shipbuilding program began regularly reaching the British Admiralty in London. The source of this information was Sidney Reilly.

In 1914, Reilly showed up in Japan as the “confidential representative” of the Banque Russo-Asiatique. From Japan he traveled to the United States, where he conferred with American bankers and munition manufacturers. Already, in the files of the British Secret Service, Sidney Reilly was listed under the code name, I Esti, and was known as a secret agent of great daring and resourcefulness.

A fluent linguist, with a command of seven languages, Reilly was soon summoned from the United States for important work in Europe. In 1916, he crossed the Swiss frontier into Germany. Posing as a German naval officer, he penetrated the German Admiralty. He secured and delivered back to London a copy of the official German Naval Intelligence Code. It was probably the greatest secret service coup of the First World War….

Early in 1918, Captain Reilly was transferred to Russia as Director of British Secret Intelligence operations in that country. His many personal friends, wide business connections and intimate knowledge of the inner circles of the Russian counterrevolution, made him an ideal man for the job. But the Russian assignment also had a deep personal significance for Reilly. He was consumed by a bitter hatred for the Bolsheviks and, indeed, for the entire Russian Revolution. He frankly stated his counterrevolutionary aims: –

“The Germans are human beings. We can afford to be even beaten by them. Here in Moscow there is growing to maturity the arch-enemy of the human race. If civilization does not move first and crush the monster, while yet there is time, the monster will finally overwhelm civilization.”

In his reports to the British Secret Service headquarters in London, Reilly repeatedly advocated an immediate peace with Germany and an alliance with the Kaiser against the Bolshevik menace.

“At any price,” he declared, “this foul obscenity which has been born in Russia must be crushed out of existence. Peace with Germany: Yes, peace with Germany, peace with anybody! There is only one enemy. Mankind must unite in a holy alliance against this midnight terror!”

On his arrival in Russia, Reilly immediately plunged into anti-Soviet conspiracy.

His avowed aim was to overthrow the Soviet Government.(3)

3. Money and Murder

The numerically strongest anti-Bolshevik political party in Russia in 1918 was the Social Revolutionary Party, which advocated a form of agrarian socialism. Led by Boris Savinkov, Kerensky’s one-time war minister who had taken part in the abortive Kornilov Putsch, the militant Social Revolutionaries had become the pivot of anti-Bolshevik sentiment. Their extremist methods and propaganda had attracted considerable support for them among the many anarchistic elements which generations of Czarist oppression had bred in Russia. The Social Revolutionaries had long practised terrorism as a weapon against the Czar. Now they prepared to turn the same weapon against the Bolsheviks.

The Social Revolutionaries were receiving financial aid from the French Intelligence Service. With funds personally handed to him by the French Ambassador Noulens, Boris Savinkov had re-established the old Social Revolutionary terrorist center in Moscow under the title of League for the Regeneration of Russia. Its aim was to plan the assassination of Lenin and other Soviet leaders. On Sidney Reilly’s recommendation, the British Secret Service also began supplying Savinkov with money for the training and arming of his terrorists.

But Reilly, an ardent pro-Czarist, did not trust the Social Revolutionaries when it came to forming a new Russian Government to replace the Soviet regime. Apart from Savinkov, whom he regarded as completely reliable, Reilly felt that the leftist Social Revolutionaries represented a dangerously radical force. Some of them were known to be linked with the oppositionist Bolsheviks who followed Trotsky. Reilly was prepared to use these people for his own purposes, but he was determined to stamp out radicalism in Russia. He wanted a military dictatorship as the first step to the restoration of Czarism. Accordingly, while he continued to finance and encourage the Social Revolutionary terrorists and other radical anti-Soviet groups, the British spy was at the same time carefully building a conspiratorial apparatus of his own. Reilly himself later revealed in his memoirs how it functioned: –

It was essential that my Russian organization should not know too much, and that no part of it should be in a position to betray another. The scheme was accordingly arranged on the “Fives” system, and each participant knew another four persons only. I myself, who was at the summit of the pyramid knew them all, not personally, but by name and address only, and very useful was I to find the knowledge afterwards. .Thus, if anything were betrayed, everybody would not be discovered, and the discovery would be localized.

Linking up with the Union of Czarist Officers, with remnants of the old Czarist secret police, the sinister Ochrana, with Savinkov’s terrorists, and with similar counterrevolutionary elements, Reilly’s apparatus soon mushroomed throughout Moscow and Petrograd. A number of Reilly’s former friends and acquaintances from Czarist days joined him and proved of great value. These friends included Count Tchubersky, the naval armaments magnate who had once employed Reilly as a liaison with the German shipyards; the Czarist General Yudenitch; the Petrograd cafe proprietor, Serge Balkov; the ballet dancer, Dagmara, at whose apartment Reilly set up his Moscow headquarters; Grammatikov, a wealthy lawyer and former undercover agent of the Ochrana, who now became Reilly’s chief contact with the Social Revolutionary Party; and Veneslav Orlovsky, another former Ochrana agent, who had contrived to become a Cheka official in Petrograd, and from whom Reilly obtained the forged Cheka passport under the name of Sidney Georgevitch Relinsky, which enabled him to travel freely anywhere in Soviet Russia.

These and other agents, who even penetrated into the Kremlin and Red Army General Staff, kept Reilly fully informed of every measure of the Soviet Government. The British spy was able to boast that sealed Red Army orders “were being read in London before they were opened in Moscow.”

Large sums of money to finance Reilly’s operations, amounting to several millions of rubles, were hidden in the Moscow apartment of the ballet dancer, Dagmara. In raising these funds, Reilly drew on the resources of the British Embassy. The money was collected by Bruce Lockhart and conveyed to Reilly by Captain Hicks of the British Secret Service. Lockhart, whom Reilly involved in this business, subsequently revealed in his British Agent how the money was collected: –

There were numerous Russians with hidden stores of roubles. They were only too glad to hand them over in exchange for a promissory note on London. To avoid all suspicion, we collected the roubles through an English firm in Moscow. They dealt with the Russians, fixed the rate of exchange, and have the promissory note. In each transaction we furnished the English firm with an official guarantee that it was good for the amount in London. The roubles were brought to the American Consulate-General, and were handed over to Hicks, who conveyed them to their destined quarters.

Finally, overlooking no detail, the British spy even drew up a detailed plan for the government that was to take power as soon as the Soviet Government was overthrown. Reilly’s personal friends were to play an important part in the new regime: –

All arrangements had been made for a provisional government. My great friend and ally Grammatikov was to become Minister of the Interior, having under his direction all affairs of police and finance. Tchubersky, an old friend and business associate of mine, who had become head of one of the greatest mercantle houses in Russia, was to become Minister of Communications. Yudenitch, Tchubersky and Grammatikov would constitute a provisional government to suppress the anarchy which would almost inevitably follow from such a revolution.

The first blows of the anti-Soviet campaign were struck by Savinkov’s terrorists.

On June 21, 1918, as he was leaving a workers’ meeting at the Obuchov factory in Petrograd, the Soviet Commissar for Press Affairs, Volodarsky, was assassinated by a Social Revolutionary terrorist. This was followed within two weeks by the assassination of the German Ambassador Mirbach in Moscow on July 6. The aim of the Social Revolutionaries was to strike terror in the Bolshevik ranks and simultaneously to precipitate a German attack which they believed would spell the doom of Bolshevism.(4)

On the day on which the German Ambassador was murdered, the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets was in session in the Opera House in Moscow. Allied observers sat in the gilded boxes listening to the speeches of the Soviet delegates. There was an air of tension about the proceedings. Bruce Lockhart, sitting in a box with a number of other Allied agents and diplomats, knew that something eventful had occurred when Sidney Reilly entered. The British spy looked pale and agitated. In hurried whispers he told Lockhart what had happened.

The shot that killed Mirbach was to have been a signal for a general Social Revolutionary rising, backed by dissident Bolshevik elements, throughout the country. Social Revolutionary gunmen were to have raided the Opera House and arrested the Soviet delegates. But something had gone wrong. The Opera House was now surrounded by Red Army soldiers. There was firing in the streets, but it was clear that the Soviet Government had the situation in hand.

As Reilly spoke, he was examining his pockets for compromising documents. He found one, tore it into shreds and swallowed the pieces. A French secret agent, sitting beside Lockhart, proceeded to do the same thing.

A few hours later, a speaker rose on the stage of the Opera House and announced that an anti-Soviet Putsch, designed to overthrow the Soviet Government by force of arms, had been swiftly put down by the Red Army and the Cheka. There had been no public support for the putschists whatsoever. Scores of Social Revolutionary terrorists, armed with bombs, rifles and machine guns, had been rounded up and arrested. Many of them had been killed. Their leaders were either dead, in hiding or in flight.

The Allied representatives in the Opera House were told they could now safely return to their respective embassies. The streets were safe.

Later the news came that an uprising at Yaroslav, timed to coincide with the Moscow Putsch, had also been put down by the Red Army. The Social Revolutionary leader, Boris Savinkov, who had personally led the Yaroslav uprising, had narrowly escaped capture by the Soviet troops.

Reilly was bitterly angry and disappointed. The Social Revolutionaries had acted with characteristic impatience and stupidity! Nevertheless, he declared, there was nothing wrong with their basic idea of starting a coup at a moment when most of the Soviet leaders were assembled in one place attending some congress or convention. The thought of seizing all the chief Bolsheviks at one swoop appealed to Reilly’s Napoleonic imagination. . . .

He began seriously to plan to accomplish this.

4. The Lettish Plot

During the climactic month of August 1918, the secret plans for Allied intervention in Russia flared into the open. On August 2, British troops disembarked at Archangel with the proclaimed purpose of preventing “war supplies from falling into the hands of the Gem mans.” On August 4 the British seized the oil center of Baku in the Caucasus. A few days later, British and French contingents landed at Vladivostok. They were followed on August 12 by a Japanese division, and on August 15 and 16 by two American regiments recently transferred from the Philippines.

Large sections of Siberia were already in the hands of antiSoviet forces. In the Ukraine, the Czarist General Krasnov, supported by the Germans, was waging a bloody anti-Soviet campaign. At Kiev, the German puppet Hetman Skoropadsky had initiated wholesale massacres of Jews and Communists.

From north, south, east and west, the enemies of the new Russia were preparing to converge on Moscow.

The few remaining Allied representatives in Moscow began to make preparations for their departure. They did not inform the Soviet Government that they were doing so. As Bruce Lockhart later wrote in British Agent: “It was an extraordinary situation. There had been no declaration of war, yet fighting was proceeding on a front stretching from the Dvina to the Caucasus.” And Lockhart added: “I had several discussions with Reilly, who had decided to remain on in Moscow after our departure.”

On August 15, the day the Americans landed at Vladivostok, Bruce Lockhart received an important visitor. The scene was later described by Lockhart in his memoirs. He was lunching in his apartment, near the British Embassy, when the bell rang and his servant announced that “two Lettish gentlemen” wished to see him. One was a short, sallow-faced youth called Smidhen. The other, a tall, powerfully built man with clear-cut features and hard, steely eyes, introduced himself as “Colonel” Berzin, the commander of the Lettish Kremlin Guard.

The visitors brought Lockhart a letter from Captain Cromie, the British Naval Attaché in Petrograd, who was extremely active in anti-Soviet conspiracy. “Always on my guard against agents-provocateurs,” records Lockhart, “I scrutinized the letter carefully. It was unmistakably from Cromie.” Lockhart asked his visitors what they wanted.

Colonel Berzin, who had introduced himself as the commander of the Kremlin Guard, informed Lockhart that, while the Letts had supported the Bolshevik Revolution, they had no intention of fighting the British forces under General Poole which had recently landed at Archangel. They were prepared to talk terms with the British agent.

Before giving an answer, Lockhart talked the matter over with the French Consul General, M. Grenard, who as Lockhart records, advised him to negotiate with Colonel Berzin, but “to avoid compromising our own position in any way.” The next day, Lockhart again saw Colonel Berzin and gave him a paper saying, “Please admit bearer, who has an important communication for General Poole, through the English lines.” Lockhart then put Colonel Berzin in touch with Sidney Reilly. . . .

“Two days later,” records Lockhart, “Reilly reported that his negotiations were proceeding smoothly and the Letts had no intention of being involved in the collapse of the Bolsheviks. He out forward a suggestion that after our departure he might be able, with Lettish help, to stage a counter-revolution in Moscow.”

Towards the end of August, 1918, a small group of Allied representatives gathered for a confidential conference in a room at the American Consulate General in Moscow. They chose the American Consulate General because all other ‘foreign centers were under close Soviet supervision. In spite of the American landings in Siberia, the Soviet Government still maintained a friendly attitude toward the United States. Throughout Moscow, placards presenting Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points were prominently displayed. An editorial in Izvestia had stated that “only the Americans know how to treat the Bolsheviks decently.” The legacy of Raymond Robins’s mission was not altogether spent.

The gathering at the American Consulate General was presided over by the French Consul Grenard. The British were represented by Reilly and by Captain George Hill, a British Intelligence officer who had been delegated to work with Reilly. A number of other Allied diplomatic and secret service agents were present, including the French newspaperman Rene Marchand, the Moscow correspondent of the Paris Figaro.

Sidney Reilly had called the meeting, according to his own account in his memoirs, to report on the progress of his anti-Soviet operations. He informed the Allied representatives that he had “bought Colonel Berzin, the commander of the Kremlin Guard.” The Colonel’s price had been “two million roubles.” An advance of 500,000 rubles in Russian currency had been paid to Colonel Berzin by Reilly; the remainder of the sum was to be paid in English pounds when Colonel Berzin had rendered certain services and had escaped to the British lines in Archangel.

“Our organization is now immensely strong,” declared Reilly. “The Letts are on our side, and the people will be with us the moment the first blow is struck!”

Reilly then announced that a special meeting of the Bolshevik Central Committee was to be held at the Moscow Grand Theater on August 28. It would bring together in the same building all the key leaders of the Soviet state. Reilly’s plot was bold but simple. . . .

In the course of their regular duty, the Lettish Guards would be stationed at all the entrances and exits of the theater during the Bolshevik meeting. Colonel Berzin would choose for the occasion men “absolutely faithful and devoted to our cause.” At a given signal, Berzin’s guards would close the doors and cover all the people in the theater with their rifles. Then a “special detachment” consisting of Reilly himself and his “inner circle of conspirators” would leap on the stage and arrest the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party!

Lenin and the other Soviet leaders would be shot. Before their execution, however, they would be publicly paraded through the streets of Moscow “so that everyone should be aware that the tyrants of Russia were prisoners!”

With Lenin and his associates out of the way, the Soviet regime would collapse like a house of cards. There were “60,000 officers” in Moscow, said Reilly, “who were ready to mobilize immediately the signal was given,” and form an army to strike within the city while the Allied forces attacked from without. The man to head this secret anti-Soviet army was the “wellknown Czarist officer, General Yudenitch.” A second army under “General” Savinkov would assemble in north Russia and “what remained of the Bolsheviks would be crushed between an upper and nether millstone.”

This was Reilly’s plot. It had the backing of both the British and the French Intelligence Services. The British were in close touch with General Y udenitch and were preparing to supply him with arms and equipment. The French were backing Savinkov.

The Allied representatives gathered at the American Consulate General were told what they could do to help the conspiracy by espionage, propaganda and by arranging for the blowing-up of vital railroad bridges around Moscow and Petrograd in order to cut off the Soviet Government from any aid which the Red Army might try to bring from other sections of the country. . . .

As the day of the armed coup drew near, Reilly, was meeting regularly with Colonel Berzin, carefully working out every last detail of the plot and making preparations for all possible exigencies. They were drawing up the final plans when they learned that the meeting of the Bolshevik Central Committee had been postponed from August 28 until September 6. “I don’t mind that,” Reilly told Berzin. “It gives me more time to make my final arrangements.” Reilly decided to go to Petrograd to make a last-minute check-up on the apparatus in that city.

A few nights later, traveling by train on the forged passport which identified him as Sidney Georgevitch Relinsky, agent of the Cheka, Reilly left Moscow for Petrograd.

5. Exit Sidney Reilly

In Petrograd, Reilly went straight to the British Embassy to report to Captain Cromie, the British Naval Attaché. Reilly quickly outlined the situation in Moscow, and explained the plan for the uprising. “Moscow is in our hands!” he said. Cromie was delighted. Reilly promised to write out a full report for secret dispatch to London.

The following morning Reilly began getting in touch with the leaders of his Petrograd apparatus. At noon he telephoned the former Ochrana agent, Grammatikov.

Grammatikov’s voice sounded hoarse and unnatural. “Who is it?” he asked.

“It’s I, Relinsky,” said Reilly.

“Who?” asked Grammatikov.

Reilly repeated his pseudonym.

“I have somebody with me who has brought bad news,” Grammatikov said abruptly. “The doctors have operated too early. The patient’s condition is serious. Come at once if you wish to see me.”

Reilly hurried to Grammatikov’s house. He found Grammatikov feverishly emptying his desk drawers and burning papers in the fire grate.

“The fools have struck too early!” Grammatikov exclaimed as soon as Reilly entered the room. “Uritsky is dead, assassinated in his office this morning at eleven o’clock!”

As he spoke, Grammatikov went on tearing up papers and burning the pieces. “It is a terrible risk our staying here. I am, of course, already under suspicion. If anything is discovered before anything else it will be your name and mine.”

Calling Captain Cromie at the British Embassy, Reilly learned he already knew about the assassination. Uritsky, the head of the Petrograd Cheka, had been shot by a Social Revolutionary terrorist. Everything, however, was in order at Cromie’s end. Guardedly, Reilly suggested they meet at the “usual rendezvous.” Cromie understood. The “usual rendezvous” was the Balkov Cafe.

Reilly spent the intervening time destroying various incriminating and unnecessary documents, and carefully, hiding his codes and other papers. . . .

Cromie did not show up at the cafe. Reilly decided to risk a visit to the British Embassy. As he left, he whispered a warning to Balkov. “Something may, have gone wrong. Be prepared to leave Petrograd and slip across the frontier into Finland. . . .”

In the Vlademirovsky Prospect, Reilly saw men and women running. They, dove into doorways and side streets. There was the roar of powerful engines. A car shot by, crammed with Red Army men, then another, and another.

Reilly, quickened his pace. He was almost running when he rounded the corner onto the street where the British Embassy was situated. He stopped abruptly,. In front of the Embassy lay several bodies. They were dead Soviet police officials. Four cars were drawn up opposite the Embassy, and across the street was a double cordon of Red Army men. The Embassy door had been battered off its hinges.

“Well, Comrade Relinsky, have you come to see our carnival?”

Reilly spun around to see a young grinning Red Army soldier whom he had met several times in his guise of Comrade Relinskv of the Cheka. “Tell me, comrade, what has happened?” Reilly asked hastily.

“The Cheka were looking for someone called Sidney Reilly,” replied the soldier.

Later Reilly learned what had happened. Following the murder of Uritsky, the Soviet authorities in Petrograd had sent Cheka agents to close up the British Embassy. Upstairs, the members of the Embassy staff, under the direction of Captain Cromie, were burning incriminating papers. Captain Cromie dashed downstairs and bolted the door in the faces of the Soviet secret police. They broke down the door, and the desperate British agent met them on the stairs with a Browning automatic in each hand. Cromie shot and killed a commissar and several other officials. The Cheka agents returned his fire. Captain Cromie had fallen, with a bullet through his head. . . .

Reilly spent the rest of that night at the home of a Social Revolutionary terrorist named Serge Dornoski. In the morning he sent Dornoski out to reconnoiter and learn all he could. Dornoski returned with a copy of the official Communist newspaper, Pravda. “The streets will run with blood,” he said. “Somebody has had a shot at Lenin in Moscow. Missed him unfortunately!” He handed Reilly the paper. A flaring headline told of the attempt on Lenin’s life.

On the previous evening, as Lenin was leaving the Michelson factory, where he had been speaking at a meeting, a Social Revolutionary terrorist named Fanya Kaplan had fired two shots point-blank at the Soviet leader. The bullets had been notched and poisoned. One of them had penetrated Lenin’s lung above the heart. The other had entered his neck close to the main artery. Lenin had not been killed, but his life was said to be hanging in the balance.

The gun which Fanya Kaplan had used on Lenin had been given to her by Reilly’s accomplice, Boris Savinkov. Subsequently, Savinkov disclosed this fact in his Memoirs of a Terrorist.

With a small automatic pistol strapped under his arm for use in an emergency, Reilly left immediately by train for Moscow. En route the next day, he bought a newspaper at the junction of Klin. The news was the worst possible. There was a detailed account of Reilly’s whole conspiracy, including the plan to shoot Lenin and the other Soviet leaders, to seize Moscow and Petrograd, and to set up a military dictatorship under Savinkov and Yudenitch.

Reilly read on with growing dismay. Rene Marchand, the French journalist who had been present at the meeting at the American Consulate General, had informed the Bolsheviks of everything that had transpired there.

But the final blow was yet to come.

Colonel Berzin, the commander of the Lettish Guard, had named Captain Sidney Reilly as the British agent who had tried to bribe him with an offer of two million rubles to join in a plot to murder the Soviet leaders. The Soviet press also published the letter which Bruce Lockhart had given Berzin to pass him through the British lines at Archangel.

Lockhart had been arrested in Moscow by the Cheka. Other Allied officials and agents were being rounded up and taken into custody.

All over Moscow, Reilly’s description was pasted up. His various aliases – Massino, Constantine, Relinsky – were published, together with the proclamation of his outlawry. The hunt was on.

In spite of the obvious danger, Reiliy proceeded to Moscow. He located the ballet dancer, Dagmara, at the house of a woman named Vera Petrovna, an accomplice of Lenin’s would-be assassin, Fanya Kaplan.

Dagmara told Reilly that her apartment had been raided several days before by the Cheka. She had managed to conceal two million rubles which she had in thousand-ruble notes, part of Reilly’s conspiratorial money. The Cheka agents had not arrested her; she did not know why. Perhaps they believed she would lead them to Sidney Reilly.

But with Dagmara’s two million rubles at his disposal Reilly was no easy game. Now disguised as a Greek merchant, now an ex-Czarist officer, now a Soviet official, now a rank-and-file Communist worker, he kept on the move, eluding the Cheka.

One day he met his former Moscow aide, Captain George Hill of the British Secret Service, who thus far had also managed to escape the Bolshevik net. The two agents checked lists of names and addresses. Reilly discovered that a sizable portion of his anti-Soviet apparatus was still intact. He felt there was still hope.

But unlike Reilly, Captain Hill thought the game was up. He had heard that an exchange of prisoners was being arranged between the Soviet and British Governments. The Russians were to free Lockhart and others in exchange for the safe passage home of various Soviet representatives, including Maxim Litvinov, whom the British authorities had arrested in England.

“I’m going to give myself up,” said Captain Hill, He advised Reilly to do likewise.

Reilly would not admit defeat. “I’ll get back without permission of the Redskins,” he told Captain Hill. He wagered his accomplice that they would meet in London in the Savoy Hotel two months later.(5)

Railly remained in Russia for several weeks longer, gathering espionage material and advising and encouraging the anti-Soviet elements who were still carrying on. Then, after a series of hairbreath escapes, he made his way by means of a forged German passport to Bergen, Norway. From here, he sailed for England. . . .

Back in London, Captain Reilly reported to his superiors in the British Secret Service. He was full of regrets for lost opportunities. “If Rene Marchand had not been a traitor . . . if Berzin had not shown n the white feather . . , if the Expeditionary Force had advanced quickly on the Vologda… if I Could have combined with Savinkov ..’

But of one thing Reilly was sure. The fact that England was still at war with Germany was a mistake. There must be an immediate cessation of hostilities on the Western Front and a coalition against Bolshevism. Cried Captain Sidney George Reilly: –

“Peace, peace on any terms – and then a united front against the true enemies of mankind!”


1. By firsthand investigation, Raymond Robins and Bruce Lockhart jointly established that many of these anti-Soviet gangster heads, some of whom called themselves Anarchists, were actually financed by the German Military Intelligence to provoke disorders and riots as a pretext for German intervention in Russia.

2. In 1922, the Cheka was abolished and its place taken by the OGPU (the initials of the Russian title meaning United State Political Administration). In 1934, the CGPU was replaced by the NKVD, the Department of Public Security under the Soviet Commissariat of Internal Affairs.

3. In this chapter, and elsewhere in The Great Conspiracy, the authors are making use of the picturesque story of Captain Sidney Reilly as a symbol of the activities of the western anti-Soviet coalition headed at this period by British Toryism and French reaction. While the opinions and actions ascribed to Reilly are his own, it is quite clear that Reilly himself was not in a position to originate policies, but was at this time and later merely the most resolute and audacious instrument of the anti-Soviet conspiracy directed from outside Russia.

4. The assassin of Mirbach was a Social Revolutionary terrorist named Blumkin. He gained admission to the German Embassy by posing as an officer of the Cheka come to warn Mirbach of a plot against his life. The German Ambassador asked Blumkin how the assassins were planning to act. “Like this!” cried Blumkin. He whipped out a pistol and shot the Ambassador. Blumkin escaped by leaping through the window, and was taken away in a waiting car. Some time later the assassin Blumkin became the personal bodyguard of Leon Trotsky. See page 193.

5. Following his return to England. Captain George Hill was assigned by the British Secret Service in 1919 to work as a liaison officer with the White Russian armies of General Anton Denikin during the war of intervention against Soviet Russia. Later, Captain Hill went to Work as a special agent for Sir Henri Deterding, the famous European oil magnate whose obsession was to destroy Soviet Russia and who helped finance Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. The British Government subsequently used George Hill on important “diplomatic” assignments in eastern Europe. In 1932 a book by Hill, describing some of his adventures as a spy in Soviet Russia, was published in London. Its title was Go Spy the Land, Being the Adventures of I.K.8 of the British Secret Service.

In the spring of 1945 the Churchill Government selected George Hill, who by then had risen to the position of Brigadier in the British Army, to go as a special envoy into Poland. Brigadier Hill, it was explained, was to serve as a British observer in Poland and was to report back to London on the then troubled Polish situation. The Warsaw Provisional Government, however, would not permit Brigadier Hill to enter Poland.

CHAPTER IV – Siberian Adventure

1. Aide Mémoire

ON August 2, 1918, the day British troops landed at Archangel, Major General William S. Graves of the United States Army, commander of the 8th Division at Camp Fremont, Palo Alto, California, received an urgent coded message from the War Department in Washington, D.C. The first sentence, when decoded, read: –

You will not tell any member of your staff or anybody else of the contents of this message.

The message then instructed General Graves to “take the first and the fastest train out of San Francisco and proceed to Kansas City, go to the Baltimore Hotel, and ask for the Secretary of War.”

No reason was offered to explain why the General was being summoned with such dispatch to Kansas City, and no indication of how long he would be away from his post.

General Graves, a veteran, hard-bitten soldier, was not given to asking questions which obviously were not wanted. He stuffed a few belongings into a small traveling bag. Two hours later, he was aboard the Sante Fe express speeding east from San Francisco.

When the General arrived in Kansas City he found Newton D. Baker, the Secretary of War, waiting for him at the station. The Secretary of War was in a hurry. He had to catch a train in a few minutes, he explained. Hastily, he told General Graves why he had summoned him to this mysterious meeting. The War Department had “selected” Graves to take command of an expedition of American troops which was to leave immediately for Siberia.

Secretary Baker then handed General Graves a sealed envelope, and said: “This contains the policy of the United States in Russia which you are to follow. Watch your step; you will be walking on eggs loaded with dynamite. God bless you and good-by!”

That night, alone in his hotel room in Kansas City, General Graves opened the sealed envelope. He drew out a seven-page memorandum entitled Aide Mémoire. The memorandum was without signature, but at the conclusion there appeared the words: “Department of State, Washington, D.C., July 17, 1918.”

The Aide Mémoire began with a series of broad generalizations about “the whole heart of the American people” being “in the winning of the war.” It was necessary, stated the document, that the United States “co-operate ungrudgingly” in every possible way with its allies against Germany. The Aide Memoire then reached its main subject: –

It is the clear and fixed judgment of the Government of the United States, arrived at after repeated and very searching considerations of the whole situation in Russia, that military intervention there would add to the present sad confusion in Russia rather than cure it, injure her rather than help her, and that it would be of no advantage in the prosecution of our main design, to win the war against Germany. It cannot, therefore, take part in such intervention or sanction it in principle.

This was a clear and precise statement of policy with which General Graves heartily agreed. Why then was he acing scat to command American troops on Russian territory? Puzzled, the General read on: –

Military action is admissible in Russia, as the Government of the United States sees the circumstances, only to help the Czecho-Slovaks consolidate their forces and get into successful co-operation with their Slavic kinsmen. . . .

Czechoslovaks? In Russia?

“I went to bed,” General Graves wrote later, describing the incident in his book, American Siberian Adventure, “but I could not sleep and I kept wondering what other nations were doing and why I was not given some information about what was going on in Siberia.”

Had General Graves known the answers to the questions that were keeping him awake he would have been far more perturbed that summer night in Kansas City.

2. Intrigue at Vladivostok

Under the feudal rule of the Czar, the vast and fabulouslv rich region of Siberia had remained almost entirely undeveloped. Much of the immense area stretching from the borders of Europe to the Pacific and from the Arctic to Afghanistan was completely uninhabited. Across this wild uncharted land ran the single-track Trans-Siberian Railroad, the only link between the east and the west. Whoever controlled this railroad and the territory for a few miles on either ‘side of it controlled Asiatic Russia, a sub-continent of immeasurable strategic importance and wealth.

In the midsummer of 1918, as Raymond Robins traveled eastward along the Trans-Siberian Railroad, he had seen sidetracked trainloads of Czechoslovakian soldiers. Former unwilling members of the Austro-Hungarian Army, these Czechs had deserted in large numbers to the Russian lines before the Revolution. The Imperial Russian High Command had formed them into a Czech Army fighting side by side with the Russians against the Austro-German forces. After the downfall of Kerensky, the Soviet Government had agreed, at the request of the Allies, to transport the Czech troops across Russia to Vladivostok. They were to sail from this port, circle the globe and join the Allied forces on the Western Front. More than 50,000 of these Czech soldiers were strung out along the 5000-mile stretch of railroad from Kazan to Vladivostok.

The Czech soldiers believed that they were going to fight in Europe for the independence of Czechoslovakia; but their leaders, the reactionary Czech Generals Gayda and Sirovy, had other plans. In connivance with certain Allied statesmen, these generals were planning to use the Czech troops to overthrow the Soviet Government. . . .

According to the agreement reached between the Allies and the Soviet Government, the Czechs were to surrender their arms to the Soviet authorities during their passage through Soviet territory. But on June 4, 1918, Ambassador David R. Francis had privately informed his son in a letter that he was “planning to prevent if possible” the disarming of the Czech soldiers. The American Ambassador added: –

I have no instructions or authority from Washington to encourage these men to disobey the orders of the Soviet Government, except an expression of sympathy sent out by the Department of State. I have taken chances before, however.

Acting under orders from Generals Gayda and Sirovy, the Czechs refused to surrender their military equipment to the Soviet authorities. Simultaneous outbreaks occurred all along the Trans-Siberian line. The well-trained and amply equipped Czech troops seized a number of towns where they were stationed, overthrew the local Soviets and established anti-Soviet administrations.

During the first week in July, with the aid of Russian counterrevolutionaries, General Gayda staged a coup in Vladivostok and set up an anti-Soviet regime in that city. The streets were placarded with a proclamation signed by Admiral Knight of the United States Navy, Vice-Admiral Kato of the Japanese Navy, Colonel Pons of the French Mission, and Captain Badiura of the Czechoslovak Army, who had become commandant of the occupied city. The proclamation informed the populace that the intervention of the Allied Powers was being undertaken “in a spirit of friendship and sympathy for the Russian people.”

On July 22, 1918, five days after the U. S. State Department drew up its Aide Mémoire on the need for sending American troops to Siberia to aid in the disembarkation of the Czech troops, DeWitt Clinton Poole,(1) the American Consul in Moscow, sent the American Consul at Omsk a cipher telegram which read: –

You may inform the Czecho-Slovak leaders confidentially that pending further notice the Allies will be glad, from a political point of view, to have them hold their present position. On the other hand they should not be hampered in meeting the military exigency of the situation. It is desirable first of all, that they should secure control of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and second, if this is assumed at the same time possible, retain control over the territory which they now dominate. Inform the French representatives that the French Consul General joins in these instructions.

The pretext given by the Allied Powers for invading Siberia in the summer of 1918 was that they were coming to save the Czechs from unprovoked attacks by Red Army troops and by German war prisoners armed by the Bolsheviks. Throughout that spring and summer, British, French and American newspapers were filled with sensational reports that the Bolsheviks were arming “tens of thousands of German and Austrian prisoners in Siberia” to fight against the Czechs. ‘The New York Times reported that in the city of Tomsk alone, 60,000 Germans had been supplied by the Reds with military equipment.

Captain Hicks of the British Intelligence Service, Captain Webster of the American Red Cross Mission, and Major Drysdale, the American Military Attaché at Peking, traveled to Siberia, with permission from the Soviet authorities, to investigate the charges. After weeks of careful investigation, the three men reached the same conclusion: there were no armed German and Austrian prisoners in Siberia. The charges, the three officers declared, were pure fabrication propaganda deliberately designed to involve the Allies in intervention against Soviet Russia.(2)

On August 3, 1918, British troops landed at Vladivostok.

“We are coming,” the British Government informed the Russian people on August 8, “to help you save yourselves from dismemberment and destruction at the hands of Germany. . . . We wish to solemnly assure you that we shall not retain one foot of your territory. The destinies of Russia are in the hands of the Russian people. It is for them, and them alone, to decide their forms of Government, and to find a solution for their social problems.”

On August 16, the first American detachments landed.

“Military action is admissible in Russia now,” declared Washington, “only to render such protection and help as is possible to the Czechoslovaks against the armed Austrian and German prisoners who are attacking them, and to steady any efforts at self-government or self-defense in which the Russians themselves may be willing to accept assistance.”

The Japanese landed fresh forces that same month.

“In adopting this course,” announced Tokyo, “the Japanese Government remains constant in their desire to promote relations of enduring friendship, and they affirm their policy of respecting the territorial integrity of Russia and of abstaining from all interference with her national politics.”

The Japanese soldiers in Siberia were thoughtfully provided by the Japanese High Command with little Russian dictionaries in which the word “Bolshevik,” defined as Barsuk (badger or wild beast), was followed by the notation: “To be exterminated.”

3. Terror in the East

On September 1, 1918, General Graves arrived in Vladivostok to take over command of the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia. “I landed in Siberia,” he later wrote in American Siberian Adventure, “without any preconceived ideas as to what should or should not be done. I had no prejudice against any Russian faction and anticipated I would be able to work harmoniously and in a co-operative spirit with all the Allies.”

General Graves’s instructions, as set forth in the Aide Mémoire, were to protect the Trans-Siberian Railway, to help the Czech forces disembark from Vladivostok, and to refrain from interfering in domestic Russian affairs.

He had scarcely established his headquarters when he was visited by the Czech leader, General Gayda, who proceeded to put Graves straight on the Russian situation. The Russians, said Gayda, could not be ruled “by kindness or persuasion, but only by the whip and the bayonet.” In order to save the country from utter chaos, it was necessary to wipe out Bolshevism and put a military dictator in power. Gayda said he knew just the man for the position: Admiral Alexander Vassilievitch Kolchak, an exCzarist naval commander who had come from Japan to organize an anti-Soviet army and who had already rallied considerable forces in Siberia. Meanwhile, General Graves must help the Czechs and the other anti-Soviet armies to fight the Bolsheviks.

Gayda then presented General Graves with a plan for an immediate march to the Volga and an assault on Moscow from the east. This plan, Gayda revealed, had been approved by his French and British advisers and by representatives of the U. S. State Department.

General Graves repeated the orders he had received from his Government and said he intended to stand by them. He told Gayda that as long as he was in command, no American soldiers would be used against the Bolsheviks or would interfere in any other way with internal affairs in Russia. . . .

Gayda left in a fury. A short time after, General Graves received another important visitor. This time it was General Knox, the former supporter of Kornilov and now the commander of the British forces in Siberia.

“You’re getting a reputation of being a friend of the poor,” Knox warned General Graves. “Don’t you know they’re only swine?”

General Graves had what Raymond Robins called “the outdoor mind.” He was a man who believed in finding out things for himself. He decided to secure firsthand information about the actual state of affairs in Siberia. His intelligence officers were soon traveling about the countryside and bringing back extensive and detailed reports of their observations. Before long Graves had reached the conclusion that: –

The word -‘Bolshevik,” as used in Siberia, covered most of the Russian people and to use troops to fight Bolsheviks or to arm, equip, feed, clothe or pay White Russians to fight them was utterly inconsistent with “non-interference with the internal affairs of Russia.”

By the autumn of 1918, there were already more than 7000 English troops in northern Siberia. Another 7000 British and French officers, technicians and soldiers were with Admiral Kolchak, helping him train and equip his White Russian, anti-Soviet army. Aiding the British and French were 1500 Italians. There were approximately 8000 American soldiers under General Graves’s command. By far the largest force in Siberia was that of the Japanese, who had high ambitions of taking Siberia over entirely for themselves: the Japanese soldiers numbered over 70,000. . . .

In November, Admiral Kolchak, with the aid of his British and French supporters, established himself as dictator of Siberia. The Admiral, an excitable little man, who was described by one of his colleagues as a “sick child . . . certainly a neurasthenic . . . always under another’s influence,” set up headquarters at Omsk and gave himself the title of “Supreme Ruler of Russia.” Announcing that Kolchak was the “Russian Washington,” the former Czarist Minister Sazonov promptly became Kolchak’s official representative in Paris. Paeans of praise for the Admiral sounded in London and Paris. Sir Samuel Hoare repeated his opinion that Kolchak was “a gentleman.” Winston Churchill described Kolchak as “honest,” “incorruptible,” “intelligent” and “patriotic.” The New York Times saw in him “a strong and an honest man” with “a stable and approximately representative government.”

The Kolchak regime was generously supplied by the Allies, especially by Britain, with munitions, weapons of war and funds. “We dispatched to Siberia,” General Knox proudly reported, “hundreds of thousands of rifles, hundreds of millions of cartridges, hundreds of thousands of uniforms and cartridge belts, etc. Every bullet fired against the Bolsheviks by the Russian soldiers in the course of that year was manufactured in Great Britain, by British workers, out of British raw material, and shipped to Vladivostok in British bottoms.”

A popular Russian ditty of the time went: –

Uniforms British,

Epaulettes from France,

Japanese tobacco,

Kolchak leads the dance!

General Graves did not share the Allied enthusiasm for the rule of Admiral Kolchak. Every day his intelligence officers brought him new reports of the reign of terror which Kolchak had instituted. There were 100,000 men in the Admiral’s army, and thousands more were being recruited on penalty of being shot. Prisons and concentration camps were filled to overflowing. Hundreds of Russians, who had had the temerity to oppose the new dictator, dangled from telegraph poles and trees along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Many more reposed in common graves which they had been forced to dig themselves before Kolchak’s executioners had mowed them down with machine-gun fire. Rape, murder and pillage were the rule of the day.

One of Kolchak’s top aides, a former Czarist officer named General Rozanoff, issued the following instructions to his troops: –

1. In occupying the villages which have been occupied before by bandits [Soviet partisans] insist upon getting the leaders of the movement, and where you cannot get the leaders, but have sufficient evidence as to the presence of such leaders, then shoot one out of every ten of the people.

2. If, when the troops go through a town, and the population will not inform the troops, after having a chance to do so, of the presence of the enemy, a monetary contribution should be demanded from all, unsparingly.

3. The villages where the population meet our troops with arms should be burned down and all the full grown male population should be shot; property, homes, carts, etc. should be taken for the use of the Army.

Describing the officer who issued these orders, General Knox told General Graves: “Rozanoff is a bully fellow!”

Along with Kolchak’s troops, terrorist bands, financed by the Japanese, were ravaging the countryside. Their chief leaders were Ataman Gregori Semyonov and Kalmikoff.

Colonel Morrow, the commander of the American troops in the Trans-Baikal sector, reported that in one village occupied by Semyonov’s troops, every man, woman and child was murdered. The majority of the occupants, related the Colonel, were shot down “like rabbits” as they fled from their homes. Men were burned alive.

“Semenov [Semyonov] and Kalmikoff soldiers,” according to General Graves, “under the protection of Japanese troops, were roaming the country like wild animals, killing and robbing the people. . . . If questions were asked about these brutal murders, the reply was that the people murdered were the Bolsheviks and this explanation, apparently, satisfied the world.”

General Graves openly expressed his abhorrence of the atrocities which were being carried out by the anti-Soviet forces in Siberia. His attitude aroused much hostility among the White Russian, British, French and Japanese leaders.

Morriss, the American Ambassador to Japan, who was visiting in Siberia, told General Graves that the State Department had wired him that American policy in Siberia necessitated support of Kolchak. “Now, General,” said Morriss, “you will have to support Kolchak.”

Graves replied that he had received no word from the War Department directing him to support Kolchak.

“The State Department is running this, not the War Department,” said Morriss.

“The State Department,” answered Graves, “is not running me.”

Agents of Kolchak launched a propaganda campaign to undermine Graves’s reputation and bring about his recall from Siberia. Lies and rumors were widely circulated describing how the General had gone “Bolshevik,” and how his troops were aiding the “Communists.” Much of the propaganda was anti-Semitic. A typical piece stated: –

The United States soldiers are infected with Bolshevism. Most of them are Jews from the East Side of New York who constantly agitate for mutinies.

Colonel John Ward, a British M.P. who was acting as Kolchak’s political adviser, publicly declared that when he visited the headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force he found that “Out of sixty liaison officers and translators, over fifty were Russian Jews!”

Certain of General Graves’s own countrymen helped spread the same propaganda. “The American Consul at Vladivostok,” revealed General Graves, “was cabling to the State Department each day, without comment, the libelous, false, and scurrilous article:, appearing in the Vladivostok press about the American troops. These articles, and the criticism of the American troops in the United States, were built around the charge of being bolshevistic. This charge could not have been based on any act of the American troops . . . but the charge was the same that was lodged against every one in Siberia who did not support Kolchak, by Kolchak adherents, which included Consul General Harris.”

When the campaign of slander was at its height, a special messenger came to General Graves’s headquarters from General Ivanoff-Rinoff, the commander of all Kolchak’s forces in eastern Siberia. The messenger told General Graves that if he would contribute $20,000 a month to Kolchak’s army, General Ivanoff-Rinoff would arrange for the propaganda against Graves and his troops to come to an end. . . .

This General Ivanoff-Rinoff was one of Kolchak’s most savage and sadistic commanders. His soldiers in eastern Siberia slaughtered the entire male populations of villages suspected of having harbored “Bolsheviks.” They made a common practice of raping women and whipping them with ramrods. They murdered old men, women and children.

One young American officer, who had been sent to investigate the atrocities committed by Ivanoff-Rinoff, was so shaken by what he saw that after he had finished making his report to Graves, he exclaimed, “General, for God’s sake never send me on another expedition like this! I came within an ace of pulling off my uniform, joining these poor people, and helping them as best I could!”

When General Ivanoff-Rinoff was menaced by a popular uprising, Sir Charles Eliot, the British High Commissioner, hurried to General Graves to express alarm over the safety of Kolchak’s commander.

“As far as I’m concerned,” General Graves grimly told Sir Charles, “the people could bring Ivanoff-Rinoff opposite American headquarters and hang him to that telephone pole until he was dead-and not an American would turn his hand!”

In the midst of this ever-spreading civil war and intervention in Siberia and throughout Soviet Russia, startling events occurred in Europe. On November 9, 1918, German sailors mutinied at Kiel, killed their officers and hoisted the Red flag. Mass peace demonstrations swept Germany. On the Western Front, Allied and German soldiers fraternized in no-man’s land. The German High Command sued for an armistice. Kaiser Wilhelm II fled to Holland, surrendering his imperial sword at the frontier to a surprised young Dutch border guard. On November 11, the Armistice was signed. . . .

The First World War was over.


1. DeWitt Clinton Poole later became Chief of the State Department’s Russian Affairs Division.

2. The findings of Captain Hicks, Captain Webster and Major Drysdale were kept from the British and American publics. Captain Hicks received a curt order to return to London, and then was assigned to work with Captain Sidney Reilly. The U. S. State Department shelved the reports of Captain Webster and Major Drysdale.

CHAPTER V – Peace and War

1. Peace in the West

The First World War had ended abruptly. As the German officer, Captain Ernst Roehm, said: “Peace broke out.” Soviets were set up in Berlin; Hamburg and throughout Bavaria. Workers demonstrated for peace and democracy in the streets of Paris, London and Rome. Revolution gripped Hungary. The Balkans were seething with peasant discontent. After the terrible four years’ war, passionate vows were on all men’s lips: No more [Var! Nie Wieder Krieg! Jamais plus de guerre! Never Again!

“The whole of Europe is filled with the spirit of revolution,” David Lloyd George was to tell the Paris Peace Conference in his confidential Memorandum of March 1919. “There is a deep sense not only of discontent, but of anger and revolt, amongst the workmen against pre-war conditions. The whole existing order in its political, social and economic aspects is questioned by the masses of the population from one end of Europe to the other.”

Two names summed up the aspirations of the masses and the fears of the few: Lenin and Wilson. In the East, Lenin’s revolution had swept away Czarism and opened a new era to the oppressed millions of the old Russian Imperial domains. In the West, Woodrow Wilson’s dryly phrased Fourteen Points had stirred up a ferment of democratic hope and expectancy.

When the President of the United States stepped onto the blood-soaked soil of Europe in December 1918, happy crowds rushed to kiss his hands and to fling flowers at his feet. The President of the New World was greeted by the people of the Old World as “King of Humanity” – “Savior” – “Prince of Peace.” They believed that the tall, thin professor from Princeton was the Messiah come to herald a new great age.

Ten million men had died in battle; twenty million were crippled and maimed; thirteen million civilians were dead of famine and plague; millions more wandered destitute and homeless amid the smoking ruins of Europe. But now at last the war was over, and the world listened to words of peace.

“My conception of the League of Nations is just this – that it shall operate as the organized moral force of men throughout the world,” said Woodrow Wilson.(1)

Early in January, 1919, the Big Four – Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau and Vittorio Orlando — sat down in a conference room at the Quai D’Orsay in Paris to talk about world peace.

But one sixth of the earth was not represented at the Peace Conference.

Even as the peacemakers talked, tens of thousands of Allied soldiers were waging a bloody, undeclared war against Soviet Russia. Side by side with the counterrevolutionary White Armies led by Kolchak and Denikin, the Allied troops were fighting the young Red Army on an immense battlefront that stretched from the bleak arctic regions to the Black Sea, and from the Ukrainian wheatfields to the mountains and steppes of Siberia.

A violent and fantastic campaign of anti-Soviet propaganda was sweeping Europe and America in the spring of 1919. The London Daily Telegraph reported a “reign of terror” in Odessa accompanied by a “free love week.” The New York Sun headlined: “U. S. Wounded Mutilated by Reds with Axes.” The New York Times reported: “Russia Under Reds a Gigantic Bedlam . . . Escaped Victims say. maniacs Stalk Raving through the streets of Moscow . . . Fight Dogs for Carrion.” The entire world press, Allied and German alike, published fraudulent “authentic documents” showing that in Russia “young women and girls of the bourgeois classes” were being “commandeered and delivered to the barracks . . . for the needs of artillery regiments!”

Factual reports on the true conditions in Russia, whether they came from journalists, secret agents, diplomats or even generals like Judson and Graves, were suppressed or ignored. Anyone who dared to question the anti-Soviet campaign was automatically denounced as a “Bolshevik.”

Scarcely two months after the Armistice, the Allied leaders seemed already to have forgotten the purpose for which the great conflict was fought. The “menace of Bolshevism” swept aside every other consideration. It dominated the Paris Peace Conference.

Marshal Foch, the French Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, appeared before a secret session of the Peace Conference to demand a quick settlement with Germany, so that the Allies could hurl their combined resources against Soviet Russia. The French Marshal pleaded the case of France’s mortal enemy, Germany.

“The present difficult situation of the German Government is well known,” said Foch. “At Mannheim, Carlsruhe, Baden and Dusselderf, the Soviet movement is rapidly extending. At the present moment Germany will therefore accept any terms the Allies might demand. The German Government only asks peace. That is the only thing that will satisfy the people and enable the Government to master the situation.”

To put down the German revolution, the German High Command was to be permitted to retain an army of 100,000 officers and men, as well as the so-called “Black Reichswehr” composed of the most highly trained and indoctrinated soldiers in Germany. In addition, the German High Command was allowed to subsidize underground nationalist leagues and terrorist societies to kill, torture and intimidate the insurgent German democrats. All of this was done in the name, of “saving Germany from Bolshevism.” . . .(2)

General Max Hoffmann, former Commander of the German Armies on the Eastern Front and the “hero” of Brest-Litovsk, approached his recent enemy, Marshal Foch, with a Plan whereby the German Army was to march on Moscow and annihilate Bolshevisin “at its source.” Foch approved the Plan, but proposed that the French Army, instead of the German, should spearhead the attack. Foch wanted to mobilize the whole of eastern Europe against Soviet Russia.

“In Russia at the present moment Bolshevism and complete anarchy reign,” Foch told the Paris Peace Conference. “My plan would be to settle all the important outstanding questions on the Western side in order to enable the Allies to use the resources thus made available for the solution of the Eastern question. . . . Polish troops would be quite able to face the Russians, provided the former are strengthened by the supply of modern appliances and engines of war. Great numbers are required, which could be obtained by mobilizing the Finns, Poles, Czechs, Rumanians and Greeks, as well as the Russian pro-Ally elements still available. . . . If this is done, 1919 will see the end of Bolshevism!”

Woodrow Wilson wanted a fair deal for Russia. The President of the United States recognized the absurdity of talking about world peace when one sixth of the earth was excluded from the conversations. Wilson urged the Peace Conference to invite Soviet delegates to come and sit down with the Allies in an attempt to reach a peaceful understanding. Again and again, Wilson returned to this idea, striving to banish the specter of Bolshevism from the minds of the peacemakers.

“There is throughout the world a feeling of revolt against the large vested interests which influence the world both in the economic and political spheres,” Wilson warned the Council of Ten at one of the secret peace meetings in Paris. “The way to cure this domination is, in my opinion, constant discussion and a slow process of reform; but the world at large has grown impatient of delay. There are men in the United States of the finest temper, if not delay. the finest judgment, who are in sympathy with Bolshevism because it appears to them to offer that regime of opportunity to the individual which they desire to bring about.”

But Woodrow Wilson was surrounded by men determined at all costs to preserve the status quo. Bound by their secret imperialist treaties and commercial pacts, these men schemed to outwit sabotage and frustrate Wilson at every step. There were tense moments when Wilson rebelled and threatened to take his cause over the heads of the politicians and militarists to the people.

In Rome, Wilson had planned to make a sensational speech from the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia overlooking the great square where, only two years later, Benito Mussolini was to harangue his Blackshirts. The Italian monarchists, fearing the effects of Wilson’s words on the people of Rome, prevented the crowd from gathering in the square and broke up the demonstration on the grounds that it was inspired by “Bolsheviks.” The same thing happened in Paris, where Wilson waited at his hotel window all morning to make a promised speech to the Paris workers. He did not know that French police and soldiers had been called out to stop the workers from reaching his hotel. . . .

Wherever Wilson went in Europe he was surrounded by secret agents and propagandists; behind his back, endless intrigue went on.

Each of the Allied powers had organized its own espionage apparatus for use at the Peace Conference. At 4 Place de la Concorde in Paris the U. S. Military Intelligence established a special Code Room, where highly trained c officers and carefully selected clerks worked day and night interrupting and deciphering the secret messages of the other powers. This Code Room was under the charge of Major Herbert O. Yardley, who later revealed, in his book The American Black Chamber, how eyewitness reports of American agents in Europe describing the true state of affairs were deliberately withheld from President Wilson, into whose ears lurid and fantastic anti-Bolshevik propaganda was ceaselessly dinned.

Frequently, Major Yardley intercepted and decoded secret messages concerning plots to sabotage Wilson’s policies. On one occasion he decoded a message of an even more startling and sinister character. Major Yardley disclosed: –

. . . the reader may well appreciate the shock I received as I deciphered a telegram which reported an Entente plot to assassinate President Wilson either by administering a slow poison or by giving him the influenza in ice. Our informant, in whom we had the greatest confidence, begged the authorities for God’s sake to warn the President. I have no way of knowing whether this plot had any truth in fact, and if it had, whether it succeeded. But there are these undeniable facts: President Wilson’s first sign of illness occurred while he was in Paris, and he was soon to die a lingering death.

2. At the Peace Conference

At the early sessions of the Paris Peace Conference, President Wilson found an unexpected ally in his attempt to win fair play for Russia. The Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Lloyd George, came to Wilson’s support with a series of stinging attacks on the anti-Soviet plans of Foch and the French Premier Clemenceau.

“The Germans,” declared Lloyd George, “at the time when they needed every available man to reinforce their attack on the Western Front were forced to keep about a million men to garrison a few provinces of Russia which was a mere fringe of the whole country. And, moreover, at that time Bolshevism was weak and disorganized. Now it is strong and has a formidable army. Is any one of the Western Allies prepared to send a million men into Russia? If I proposed to send a thousand additional British troops to Russia for that purpose, the army would mutiny! The same applies to U. S. troops in Siberia; also to Canadians and French as well. The mere idea of crushing Bolshevism by a military force is pure madness. Even admitting it is done, who is to occupy Russia?”

Unlike Wilson, the British Prime Minister was not motivated by idealistic considerations. He feared revolution in Europe and Asia; and, as an old politician, the Welsh “Fox” was keenly sensitive to the popular mood in Britain which was overwhelmingly against further intervention in Russia. There was an even more cogent reason for opposing the plans of Marshal Foch. Sir Henry Wilson, the British Chief of Staff, in a recent secret report to the War Cabinet had stated that the only policy for Britain was “to get our troops out of Europe and Russia and concentrate all our strength in our coming storm centers, England, Ireland, Egypt, India.” Lloyd George feared that Foch and Clemenceau would try to establish French hegemony in Russia while Britain was preoccupied elsewhere.

And so the astute British Prime Minister, believing he could eventually get what he wanted by simply leaving Russia alone for a while, supported the President of the United States in demanding fair play for the Bolsheviks. At secret sessions of the Paris Peace Conference, Lloyd George minced no words.

“The peasants accepted Bolshevism for the same reason that peasants accepted it in the French Revolution, namely, that it gave them land,” Lloyd George declared. “The Bolsheviks are the de facto Government. We formerly recognized the Czar’s Government, although at the time we knew it to be absolutely rotten. Our reason was that it was the de facto Government . . . but we refuse to recognize the Bolsheviks! To say that we ourselves should pick the representatives of a great people is contrary to every principle for which we have fought.”

President Wilson said he did not see how anyone could controvert what Lloyd George had said. He proposed to call a special conference on the Island of Prinkipo, or some other place “convenient of approach,” to explore the possibilities of peace in Russia. In the interests of impartiality, delegates of both the Soviet Government and the White anti-Soviet groups should be invited to attend. . . .

The French “Tiger,” Georges Clemenceau, spokesman for the French holders of Czarist bonds and the General Staff, rose to reply on behalf of the advocates of intervention. Clemenceau knew that Lloyd George’s subtle policy would not be supported in British ruling circles, where the militarists and the Intelligence Service were already committed to an anti-Soviet war. At the same time, Clemenceau felt it was necessary, for Wilson’s benefit, to break down Lloyd George’s arguments by a strong statement of the menace of Bolshevism.

“In principle,” began Clemenceau, “I do not favor conversations with the Bolsheviks, not because they are criminals, but because we would be raising them to our level by saying that they are worthy of entering into conversation with us.” The British Prime Minister and the President of the United States, if the French Premier might be permitted to say so, were adopting too academic and doctrinaire an attitude to the question of Bolshevism. “The Bolshevik danger is very great at the present moment,” Clemenceau declared. “Bolshevism is spreading. It has invaded the Baltic Provinces and Poland, and this very morning we have received very bad news regarding its spread to Budapest and Vienna. Italy, also, is in danger. The danger is probably greater there than in France. If Bolshevism, after spreading in Germany, were to traverse Austria and Hungary and to reach Italy, Europe would be faced with a very great danger. Therefore, something must be done against Bolshevism!”

Clemenceau did not rely on his own eloquence alone. He asked permission to introduce “expert witnesses” on the subject of Bolshevism. The first of them was Ambassador Noulens, the onetime friend of Ambassador Francis at Petrograd and the ringleader of the anti-Soviet intriguers in the diplomatic corps. Noulens was introduced to Wilson and Lloyd George.

“I will confine myself to statements of facts,” said Ambassador Noulens, and immediately plunged into an amazing recital of “Bolshevik atrocities.”

“Not only men, but women have been shot,” said Noulens. “There have been atrocities, drowning’, the cutting off of noses and tongues, mutilations, burials alive, mock shootings, rape and pillage everywhere.”

Noulens repeated the feverish gossip of the anti-Soviet diplomatic corps and the Czarist émigrés: “A company of professional torturers is being maintained at the Fortress of Peter and Paul. . The Bolshevik Army is more a rabble than an army!”

.”Then there is the case of Captain Cromie, the British Naval Attaché,” Noulens continued, “who was killed in defense of the British Embassy, and whose body was exposed for three days in the window of the Embassy!” Terror, mass murder, degeneracy, corruption, complete contempt for the Allies – these were the distinguishing features of the Soviet regime. . . .

“Finally,” said Ambassador Noulens, “I wish to point out that the Bolshevik Government is definitely imperialist. It means to conquer the world, and to make peace with no Government!”

But for all Noulens’s efforts, the President of the United States was not greatly impressed. Only a few days before, a special American agent, W. H. Buckler, at Wilson’s request, had held a confidential talk with Maxim Litvinov of the Soviet Government. In a report dated January 18, 1919, Buckler informed President Wilson: –

Litvinov stated that the Soviet Government was anxious for permanent peace. . . . They detest the military preparations and costly campaigns which are now being forced upon Russia after four years of exhausting war, and wish to ascertain whether the United States and the Allies have a desire for peace.

If such is the case, peace can easily be negotiated, for, according to Litvinov, the Soviet Government are prepared to compromise on all points, including protection to existing foreign enterprises, the granting of new concessions in Russia, and the Russian foreign debt. . . . The Soviet Government’s conciliatory attitude is unquestionable.

. . . In so far as the League of Nations can prevent war without encouraging reaction, it can count on the support of the Soviet Government.

Buckler added that there were certain elements within the Bolshevik ranks who were strongly opposed to the Soviet Government’s peace policy. These opposition elements, stated Buckler, “hope for more active Allied intervention,” and, he warned, “the continuation of such intervention plays into the hands of these extremists.”

Woodrow Wilson’s peace plan, backed by Lloyd George, seemed about to go through in spite of Clemenceau and Foch. Wilson drew up a note outlining the terms of his proposal and sent it to the Soviet Government and to the various White Russian groups. The Soviet Government promptly accepted Wilson’s plan, and prepared to send delegates to Prinkipo. But, as Winston Churchill later put it, “the moment was not propitious” for peace in Russia. The majority of the Allied leaders were convinced that the Soviet regime would soon be overthrown. On the secret advice of their Allied supporters, the White groups refused to meet with the Soviet delegates at Prinkipo.

The atmosphere at the Peace Conference changed. Lloyd George, realizing he was getting nowhere, abruptly returned to London. In his place, Winston Churchill, the youthful British Secretary of War and Aviation, hurried to Paris to state the case for the anti-Bolshevik extremists.(3)

It was February 14, 1919, the day before Wilson was to go back to America to face the isolationist Congressional bloc, beaded by Senator Lodge, which had undermined his every effort to create a system of world co-operation and security. Wilson knew he had failed in Europe, and feared he might fail in the United States. He was disillusioned, tired and profoundly discouraged.

Winston Churchill was introduced to President Wilson by the British Foreign Secretary A. J. Balfour who announced that the British Secretary of War had come over to Paris to explain the present views of the British Cabinet on the question of Russia. Churchill immediately plunged into an attack on Wilson’s Prinkipo peace plan.

“There was a Cabinet meeting in London yesterday,” said Churchill, “at which great anxiety was manifested concerning the Russian situation, particularly in respect of the Prinkipo meeting. . . . If only the Bolsheviks are to attend the conference, it is thought that little good will come of the meeting. The military aspect of the case must be considered. Great Britain has soldiers in Russia who are being killed in action.”

Wilson answered Churchill: “Since Mr. Churchill has come over from London specially to anticipate my departure, I feel I should express what my personal thoughts on the subject are. Among the many uncertainties connected with Russia, I have a very clear opinion about two points. The first is that the troops of the Allied and Associated Powers are doing no sort of good in Russia. They do not know for whom or for what they are fighting. They are not assisting any promising effort to establish order throughout Russia. They are assisting local movements, like, for instance, that of the Cossacks, who cannot be induced to move outside of their own sphere. My conclusion, therefore, is that the Allied and Associated Powers ought to withdraw their troops from all parts of Russian territory.”

“The second point,” Wilson wearily continued, “relates to Prinkipo. . . . What we are seeking is not a rapprochement with the Bolsheviks, but clear information. The reports received from Russia from various official and unofficial sources are so conflicting that it is impossible to form a coherent picture of the state of the country. Some light on the situation may be obtained by meeting the Russian representatives.”

When the American President had finished speaking, Churchill replied: –

“Complete withdrawal of all Allied troops is a logical and clear policy, but its consequence would be the destruction of all non-Bolshevik armies in Russia. These number at the present time about 500,000 men and though their quality is not of the best, their numbers are nevertheless increasing. Such a policy would be equivalent to pulling out the linch-pin from the whole machine. There would be no further armed resistance to the Bolsheviks in Russia, and an interminable vista of violence and misery would be all that remained for the whole of Russia.”

“But in some areas these forces and supplies would certainly be assisting reactionaries,” objected Wilson. “Consequently, if the Allies are asked what they are supporting in Russia, they will be compelled to reply that they do not know!”

Churchill listened politely. “I would like to know,” he said, “whether the Council would approve of arming the anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia should the Prinkipo Conference prove a failure?”

Dispirited, ill, deserted by Lloyd George, Wilson realized that he was isolated among a company of men determined to have their own way.

“I have explained to the Council how I would act if I were alone,” said the President of the United States. “I will, however, cast in my lot with the rest.”

Wilson returned to the United States to fight his tragic, losing battle with American reaction.(4) Secretary of State Lansing took his place at the Paris Conference, and the tone of the discussions underwent a notable change. The Allied representatives no longer felt the need of concealing what was in their minds.

Clemenceau dryly recommended that the Peace Conference “get out of its troubles as discreetly and simply as possible.” The Prinkipo question should be dropped entirely, and no further mention made of it. “The Allies got into this Prinkipo business,” said Clemenceau, “and now they have got to get out of it!”

The British Foreign Secretary Balfour amplified Clemenceau’s comments. “It is necessary,” he declared, “to take steps to put the Bolsheviks in the wrong, not only before public opinion, but before those who hold the view that Bolshevism is democracy gone astray with large elements of good in it.”

Whereupon the Conference settled down to a prolonged discussion of the most effective means of aiding the White Russian armies against the Soviet Government.

Churchill, who had replaced Lloyd George at the conference table, proposed the immediate establishment of a Supreme Allied Council for Russian Affairs, with political, economic and military sections. The military section was “to get to work at once” on drawing up the details of a broad program of armed intervention.

3. Golovin’s Mission

With Churchill as the acknowledged but unofficial Commander-in-Chief of the Allied anti-Soviet armies, the scene shifted to London where, during that spring and summer, special White Russian emissaries streamed into the British Government offices at Whitehall. They came, as representatives of Admiral Kolchak, General Denikin, and other White Russian leaders, to make the final arrangements for an all-out drive against the Soviets. Their highly secretive negotiations were conducted for the most part with. Winston Churchill and Sir Samuel Hoare. Churchill, as Secretary of War, undertook to equip the White Russian armies with materiel from Great Britain’s accumulation of surplus war supplies. Hoare supervised the complex diplomatic intrigues.

Among the White Russian representatives were such “democratic Russians” as the famous Social-Revolutionary terrorist, Boris Savinkov; the Czarist Prince Lvov; and Sergei Sazonov, the former Czarist Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had been acting as both Denikin’s and Kolchak’s representative in Paris. On May 27, 1919, the London Times reported: –

M. Sazonov met a number of members of Parliament at the House of Commons last night. Sir Samuel Hoare presided . . . M. Sazonov took a favorable view of the prospects of an early overthrow of the Bolshevik regime, and said that recognition of Admiral Kolchak’s Government would do much to hasten this event. He expressed the deep gratitude of Russians not only for the material support which had been afforded them by Great Britain, but for the services of the British Navy in saving a large number of refugees.

The “Official Representative of the White Russian Armies” at the British War Office was Lieutenant General Golovin. He had arrived early that spring carrying a personal note of introduction to Winston Churchill. Shortly after Golovin reached London, he conferred with Sir Samuel Hoare. Among the subjects they discussed was the question of the Caucasus and, in particular, its great oil deposits at Grosni and Baku.

On May 5, accompanied by Hoare, Golovin paid his first visit to the British War Office. On Hoare’s advice, the Russian officer wore his full-dress uniform. He was received with great cordiality by the British officers, who listened absorbedly as he outlined the progress of the various White Russian campaigns.

That same day, at half-past five in the afternoon, Golovin saw Churchill. The Secretary of War spoke angrily of the opposition of the British liberals and workingmen to military aid to the White anti-Soviet armies. Churchill expressed the hope that, in spite of this obstacle, he would be able to send an additional 10,000 “volunteers” for the northern campaign. Reinforcements, he knew, were badly needed in this area because of the serious demoralization that had set in among the British and American troops.

Churchill also stressed his eagerness to assist General Denikin as much as possible. At any event, Denikin could expect 2500 “volunteers” for service as military instructors and technical experts. As for immediate material help, Churchill told Golovin that £24,000,000 (approximately $100,000,000) would be allocated to the various anti-Soviet fronts, and there would be adequate equipment and arms to outfit 100,000 Yudenitch troops for the march on Petrograd. Arrangements would be made for 500 Czarist officers who were prisoners of war in Germany to be transferred to Archangel at British expense. . . .

“The result of the interview exceeded all my expectations,” Golovin stated in the report he submitted to his superiors when he returned to Russia. “Churchill is not only a sympathizer but an energetic and active friend. The greatest possible aid is assured us. Now we have to show the English that we are ready to turn words into deeds.” (5)


1. In his opening address to the Paris Peace Conference, Woodrow Wilson also said: “There is, moreover, a voice calling for these definitions of principle and of purpose which is, it seems to me, more thrilling and more compelling than any of the many moving voices with which the troubled air of the world is filled. It is the voice of the Russian people.”

2. The reason for the failure of the Allied Armies to march to Berlin in 1918 and permanently disarm German militarism was Allied fear of Bolshevism, skillfully exploited by German politicians. The Allied Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Foch, revealed in his postwar memoirs that from the outset of the peace negotiations the German spokesmen repeatedly invoked “the threatened Bolshevist invasion of Germany” as a means of securing favorable peace terms for Germany. General Wilson of the British General Staff recorded in his War Diary on November 9, 1918, two days before the Armistice was signed: “Cabinet meeting tonight from 6:30-8. Lloyd George read two telegrams from the Tiger (Clemenceau) in which he described Foch’s interviews with the Germans: the Tiger is afraid that Germany may collapse and that Bolshevism may gain control. Lloyd George asked me if I wanted that to happen or if I did not’ prefer an armistice. Without hesitation I replied: “Armistice.” The whole cabinet agreed with me. For us the real danger is no longer the Germans but Bolshevism.” In a moment of claritv, Clemenceau himself warned the Paris Peace Conference that “anti-Bolshevism” was a device being utilized by the German General Staff to confuse the Allies and to save German militarism. “The Germans are using Bolshevism,” said Clemenceau in 1919, “as a bogey with which to frighten the Allies.” Nevertheless, under the influence of Foch, Petain, Weygand and others, the Tiger forgot his own warning and succumbed to the anti-Bolshevik hysteria which soon paralyzed all clear thought and democratic action by the Allied peacemakers.

3. At that time, and for many years to come, Winston Churchill was the leading spokesman for British Tory anti-Sovietism. Churchill feared the spread of Russian revolutionary ideas through the eastern regions of the British Empire.

Rene Kraus, in his biography Winston Churchill, writes: “The Big Five in Paris had decided to support the White Russian counterrevolution. Churchill was entrusted with the execution of an action he was not responsible for. But there is no denying that once the decision was made he was all on fire to carry it out…. In association with the Chief of Staff, Sir Henry Wilson, he worked out a program to equip and arm the various White Armies from surplus war stores, and to help them with expert officers and instructors.”

After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, Churchill recognized that Nazism constituted the real menace to British interests in Europe and throughout the world. Without hesitation, Churchill reversed his stand on Soviet Russia and began calling for an alliance between Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union to halt the march of Nazi aggression. In 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Russia, Churchill’s voice was the first to address the world with the declaration that Russia’s fight was the fight of all free peoples and would receive Britain’s support. At the conclusion of the Seccnd World War, Churchill, while on the one hand supporting the British-Soviet alliance, on the other hand again raised the cry of the “menace of Bolshevism” to Europe.

4. Woodrow Wilson made one last effort to win fair play for Russia. On his own initiative he sent William C. Bullitt, then a young State Department official attached to the American Peace Delegation in Paris, to Moscow to contact Lenin and ask the Soviet leader if he really desired peace. Bullirt was accompanied on his mission by the great American newspaperman, Lincoln Steffens, who returned with his eight-word report on Soviet Russia: “I have seen the future it works!” Bullitt himself brought back Lenin’s peace terms both for the Allies and for the White groups. Lenin was more than willing to make peace, but his proposals, as Winston Churchill was finally to reveal in his work The World Crisis: The Aftermath, were “treated with disdain” and “Bullitt himself was not without some difficulty disowned by those who had sent him.” Bullitt’s explanation, as he stated to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in September 1919, of why Lenin’s peace terms were ignored: “Kolchak made a 100-mile advance, and immediately the entire press of Vu is was roaring and screaming on the subject, announcing that Kolchak would be in Moscow within two weeks; and therefore everyone in Paris, including, I regret to say, members of the American commission, began to grew very lukewarm about peace in Russia, because they thought Kolchak would arrive in Moscow and wipe out the Soviet Government.”

For Bullitt’s subsequent career as an antagonist of the Soviet Union, see pages 374ff.

5. This report, subsequently captured by the Red Army in the secret archives of the Murmansk White Government, was published in the Daily Herald in London a short time after, causing considerable embarrassment to anti-Soviet circles in England.

CHAPTER VI – The War of Intervention

1. Prelude

By the summer of 1919, without declaration of war, the armed forces of fourteen states had invaded the territory of Soviet Russia. The countries involved were: –

Great Britain










United States




Fighting side by side with the anti-Soviet invaders were the counterrevolutionary White armies(1) led by former Czarist generals striving to restore the feudal aristocracy which the Russian people had overthrown.

The strategy of the attackers was ambitious. The armies of the White generals, moving in conjunction with the interventionist troops, were to converge on Moscow from the north, south, east and west.

In the north and northwest, at Archangel, Murmansk and in the Baltic States, the forces of the British stood poised alongside the White Russian troops of General Nicholas Yudentich.

In the south, at bases in the Caucasus and along the Black Sea, were the White armies of General Anton Denikin, amply supplied and reinforced by the French.

In the east, Admiral Alexander Kolchak’s forces, operating under British military advisors, were encamped along the Ural Mountains.

In the west, under the leadership of French officers, were General Pilsudski’s newly organized Polish armies.

Allied statesmen advanced various reasons for the presence of their troops in Russia. When their soldiers first landed in Murmansk and Archangel in the spring and summer of 1918, the Allied Governments declared the troops had come to prevent supplies from falling into the hands of the Germans. Later they explained their troops were in Siberia to help the Czechoslovakian forces withdraw from Russia. Another reason given for the presence of Allied detachments was that they were helping the Russians to “restore order” in their troubled land.

Repeatedly. Allied statesmen denied any intention of armed intervention against the Soviets, or of interfering with Russia’s internal affairs. “We do not propose to interfere with the internal arrangements of Russia,” declared Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, in August 1918. “She must manage her own affairs.”

The ironic and invariably blunt Winston Churchill, who himself supervised the Allied campaign against Soviet Russia, later wrote in his book, The World Crisis: the Aftermath:

Were they [the Allies] at war with Russia? Certainly not; but they shot Soviet Russians at sight. They stood as invaders on Russian soil. They armed the enemies of the Soviet Government. They blockaded the ports and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed its downfall. But war – shocking! Interference – shame! It was, they repeated, a matter of indifference to them how Russians settled their own affairs. They were impartial – bang!

The young Soviet Government struggled for its life in the face of desperate odds. The country had been laid waste and exhausted by the World War. Millions were destitute and starving. The factories were empty, the land unplowed, transport at a standstill. It seemed impossible that such a country could survive the fierce onslaught of an enemy with large, well equipped armies, vast financial reserves, ample food and other supplies.

Besieged on all sides by foreign invaders, imperiled by endless conspiracies at home, the Red Army retreated slowly across the countryside, fighting grimly as it went. The territory controlled by Moscow dwindled to one sixteenth of Russia’s total area. It was a Soviet island in an anti-Soviet sea.

2. Northern Campaign

In the early summer of 1918 special agents of the British Secret Service had arrived in Archangel. Their orders were to prepare an armed uprising against the local Soviet administration in that highly strategic port. Working under the supervision of Captain George Ermolaevich Chaplin, an ex-Czarist officer who had been given a commission in the British Army, and aided by counterrevolutionary White Russian conspirators, the British Intelligence agents made the necessary preparations for the rebellion.

The revolt broke out on August 2. The following day Major General Frederick C. Poole, the British Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces in North Russia, occupied Archangel with a landing force supported by British and French warships. Simultaneously, Serbian and White Russian troops led by Colonel Thornhill of the British Secret Service began an overland march from Onega to cut the Archangel-Vologda line and attack the retreating Bolsheviks from the rear.

Having overthrown the Archangel Soviet, General Poole organized a puppet government called the Supreme Administration of Northern Russia and headed by the elderly politician, Nikolai Tchaikovsky.

Before long, however, even this anti-Soviet administration seemed too liberal to suit the taste of General Poole and his Czarist allies. They decided to dispense with the formality of a government and to set up a military dictatorship.

By September 6, General Poole and his White Russian allies had carried out their plan. On that day Ambassador David R. Francis, who was visiting Archangel, was invited to review a battalion of American troops. As the last ranks of the soldiers marched by, General Poole turned to the American Ambassador and casually remarked, “There was a revolution here last night.”

“The hell you say!” exclaimed Ambassador Francis. “Who pulled it off?”

“Chaplin,” said General Poole, pointing to the Czarist naval officer, who had engineered the original coup against the Archangel Soviet.

Francis beckoned to Captain Chaplin to come over.

“Chaplin, who pulled off this revolution last night.” asked the American Ambassador.

“I did,” Chaplin laconically replied.

The coup d’état had taken place on the previous evening. Captain Chaplin and some British officers, in the dead of night, had kidnapped President Tchaikovsky and the other members of the Supreme Administration of the Northern Region and spirited them away by boat to a lonely monastery on a near-by island. There Captain Chaplin had left the Russian politicians under armed guard.

Such high-handed measures were a little too crude even for Ambassador Francis, who, moreover, had been kept completely unaware of the plot. Francis told General Poole that the American Government would not stand for the coup d’état.

Within twenty-four hours the puppet Ministers were brought back to Archangel and their “Supreme Administration” reestablished. Francis cabled the U. S. State Department that, as a result of his efforts, democracy had been restored.

By the early part of 1919 the British forces in Archangel and Murmansk numbered 18,400. Fighting side by side with them were 5100 Americans, 1800 Frenchmen, 1200 Italians, 1000 Serbs and approximately 20,000 White Russians.

Describing Archangel during this period, Captain John Cudahy(2) of the American Expeditionary Force later wrote in his book, Archangel: The American War with Russia, that “everyone was an officer.” There were, Cudahy records, countless Czarist officers “weighed down with their glittering, ponderous medals”; Cossack officers with their high gray hats, gaudy tunics and rattling sabers; English officers from Eton and Harrow; French soldiers with their magnificent peaked caps and shining boots; Serbian, Italian and French officers. . . .

“And, of course,” noted Cudahy, “there were large numbers of batmen to shine the boots and burnish the spurs and keep all in fine order, and other batmen to look after the appointments of the officers’ club, and serve the whiskey and soda.”

The gentlemanly manner in which these officers lived contrasted sharply with the way in which they fought.

“We used gas shells on the Bolsheviki,” Ralph Albertson, a Y.M.C.A. official who was in North Russia in 1919, wrote in his book, Fighting Without a War. “We fixed all the booby traps we could think of when we evacuated villages. Once we shot more than thirty prisoners. . . . And when we caught the Commissar of Borok, a sergeant tells me he left his body in the street, stripped, with sixteen bayonet wounds. We surprised Borok, and the Commissar, a civilian, did not have time to arm himself. . . . I have heard an officer tell his men repeatedly to take no prisoners, to kill them even if they came in unarmed. . . . I saw a disarmed Bolshevik prisoner, who was making no trouble of any kind, shot down in cold blood. . . . Night after night the firing squad took out its batches of victims.”

The rank-and-file Allied soldiers had no heart for the anti-Soviet campaign. They wondered why they should be fighting in Russia when the war was supposedly over. It was difficult for the Allied Commands to give an explanation. “At first this was not thought necessary,” Cudahy recorded. “Then the High Command, remembering the importance of morale . . . issued proclamations that puzzled and confused the soldier more than if a course of silence had been followed.”

One of the proclamations from British General Headquarters in northern Russia, which was read to British and American troops, opened with these words:

There seems to be among the troops a very indistinct idea of what we are fighting for here in Northern Russia. This can be explained in a few words. We are up against Bolshevism, which means anarchy pure and simple. Look at Russia at the present moment. The power is in the hands of a few men, mostly Jews. . . .

The temper of the troops became increasingly strained. Quarrels between the British, French and White Russian soldiers grew more and more frequent. Mutinies began to break out. When the American 339th Infantry refused to obey orders, Colonel Stewart, who was in command, assembled his men and read them the Articles of War specifying death as the penalty for mutiny. After a moment of impressive silence, the Colonel asked if there were any questions. A voice from the ranks spoke up:

“Sir, what are we here for, and what are the intentions of the United States Government?”

The Colonel could not answer the question. . . .

The British Chief of Staff, Sir Henry Wilson, made this report, in the official British Blue Book, regarding the situation in northern Russia in the summer of 1919:

On 7th July a determined mutiny took place in the 3rd Company of the 1st 13n. [Battalion] Slavo-British Legion and the Machine-Gun Company of the 4th Northern Rifle Regiment, who were in reserve on the right bank of the Dvina. Three British officers and four Russian officers were murdered, and two British officers and two Russian officers were wounded.

On July 22 news was received that the Russian regiment in the Onega district had mutinied, and had handed over the whole Onega front to the Bolsheviks.

In the United States there was a rising popular demand that American soldiers be withdrawn from Russia. The incessant stream of propaganda against the “Bolsheviks” failed to still the voices of wives and parents who could not understand why, with the war over, their husbands and sons should be waging a lonely, indecisive and mysterious campaign in the wilds of Siberia and in the grim, bitter cold of Murmansk and Archangel. Throughout the summer and fall of 1919, delegations from all parts of the United States traveled to Washington to see their representatives and demand that American soldiers in Russia be brought home. Their demand was echoed in Congress.

On September 5, 1919, Senator Borah arose in the Senate and declared:

Mr. President, we are not at war with Russia; Congress has not declared war against the Russian government or the Russian people. The people of the United States do not desire to be at war with Russia. . . . Yet, while we are not at war with Russia, while Congress has not declared war, we are carrying on war with the Russian people. We have an army in Russia; we are furnishing munitions and supplies to other armed forces in that country, and we are just as thoroughly engaged in conflict as though constitutional authority had been invoked, a declaration of war had been made, and the nation had been called to arms for that purpose. . . . There is neither legal nor moral justification for sacrificing these lives. It is in violation of the plain principles of free government.

The people of England and France shared the American people’s disapproval of the war against Soviet Russia. Nevertheless, the undeclared war against Russia went on.

3. Northwestern Campaign

The Armistice of November 1918 between the Allied and Central Powers contained in Article 12 a little-publicized clause stipulating that German troops should remain as long as the Allies considered it expedient in whatever Russian territory they then occupied. It was understood these troops were to be used against the Bolsheviks. In the Baltic provinces, however, the Kaiser’s army swiftly disintegrated. The war-weary and mutinous German soldiers deserted in droves.

Faced with a rapidly growing Soviet movement in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the British High Command decided to concentrate its support upon White Guard bands operating in the Baltic area. The man selected to head these bands and weld them into a single military unit was General Count Radiger von tier Goltz of the German High Command.

General von tier Goltz had led a German expeditionary corps against the Finnish Republic in the spring of 1918, shortly after that country had acquired its independence as a result of the Russian Revolution. Von tier Goltz had undertaken the Finnish campaign at the express request of Baron Karl Gustav von Mannerheim, a Swedish aristocrat and former officer in the Czar’s Imperial Horse Guard, who headed the White forces in Finland.(3)

As commander of the White Guard Army in the Baltic area, von tier Goltz now launched a campaign of terror to stamp out the Soviet movement in Latvia and Lithuania. His troops pillaged large sections of the land and carried out wholesale executions of civilians. The Latvian and Lithuanian people had little military equipment or organization with which to resist this savage onslaught. Before long, von tier Goltz was virtual dictator of the two nations.

The American Relief Administration under the direction of Herbert Hoover placed large food supplies at the disposal of the German General von tier Goltz. These supplies were withheld from the starving Baltic peoples until their territory had been occupied by von tier Goltz’s White troops. The food was then distributed under the General’s supervision.

The Allies were soon confronted with something of a dilemma. With their aid, von tier Goltz dominated the Baltic area; but he was still a German general, and consequently there was the danger that, through his influence, Germany would seek to control the Baltic States.

In June 1919, the British decided to replace von tier Goltz with a general more directly under their control.

Sidney Reilly’s friend, the fifty-eight-year-old ex-Czarist General Nicholas Yudenitch, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the reorganized White forces. The British agreed to furnish the necessary military supplies to General Yudenitch for a march on Petrograd. The first shipment of supplies pledged was complete equipment for 10,000 men, 15,000,000 cartridges, 3000 automatic rifles, and a number of tanks and airplanes.(4)

Representatives of Herbert Hoover’s American Relief Administration promised to make food available to areas occupied by General Yudenitch’s troops. Major It. R. Powers, Chief of the Estonian Section of the Baltic Mission of the American Relief Administration, began making a careful survey to estimate the amount of food necessary to guarantee the seizure of Petrograd by General Yudenitch’s White Russian Army. On June 15, 1919, the Relief Administration’s first shipment arrived, when the U. S. Lake Charlottesville anchored in the harbor at Reval, carrying 2400 tons of flour and towing a barge containing 147 tons of bacon.

Under Yudenitch’s command an all-out offensive was launched against Petrograd. By the third week in October 1919, Yudenitch’s cavalry was in the suburbs of the city. The Allied Governments were convinced that the fall of Petrograd was only a matter of days, perhaps hours. The headlines of the New York Times pictured the victory as won:




But at the very gates of Petrograd Yudenitch was stopped. Massing its forces, the revolutionary city struck back. Yudenitch’s forces reeled before the fierce onslaught.

On February 29, 1920, the New York Times reported: “Yudenitch Quits Army; Starts for Paris with His Fortune of 100,000,000 Marks.”

Fleeing southward from Estonia in a car flying a British flag, Yudenitch left behind him the total wreckage of his once proud army. Scattered bands of his soldiers wandered across the snow-blanketed countryside, (lying by the thousands of starvation, disease and exposure. . . .

4. Southern Campaign

While the forces of Yudenitch drove on Petrograd in the north, the attack from the south was being led by General Anton Denikin, a distinguished-looking, forty-five-year-old former Czarist officer with a grizzled beard and gray mustaches. General Denikin subsequently described his White Army as having “one sacred innermost thought, one vivid hope and desire . . . that of saving Russia.” But among the Russian people, Denikin’s army in southern Russia was better known for its sadistic methods of warfare.

From the beginning of the Russian Revolution, the Ukraine with its rich wheatlands and the Don Region with its immense coal and iron deposits had been the scene of savage conflict. Following the establishment of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in December 1917, the Ukrainian anti-Soviet leader, General Simon Petlura, had urged the German High Command to send troops into the Ukraine and help him overthrow the Soviet regime. The Germans, with hungry eyes on the Ukraine’s vast food resources, needed no second invitation.

Under the command of Field Marshal Hermann von Eichhorn, German troops swept into the Ukraine. Von Eichhorn himself had a considerable personal interest in the campaign: his wife was the Countess Durnovo, a wealthy Russian noblewoman who had been one of the largest landowners in the Ukraine. The Soviet forces were driven from Kiev and Kharkov, and a puppet “Independent Ukraine,” controlled by the German Army of Occupation, was formed with General Petlura at its head. Declaring his aim to be the establishment of “National Socialism,” Petlura instigated a series of bloody, anti-Semitic pogroms throughout the Ukraine. Ruthless punitive measures were employed to suppress the revolutionary Ukrainian workers and peasants.

The revolutionary movement, however, continued to grow. Von Eichhorn, deciding that Petlura was incapable of handling the situation, replaced his government with a military dictatorship. The new puppet regime was headed by von Eichhorn’s brother-in-law, General Pavel Petrovich Skoropadski, a hitherto unrenowned Russian cavalryman, who could not speak a word of Ukrainian. Skoropadski assumed the title of Hetman (Head Man) of the Ukraine.

Hetman Skoropadski fared little better than Petlura. Before the end of 1918, disguised as a German private, he fled from the Ukraine with the German Army of Occupation, which had been decimated by the Red Army and by the Ukrainian partisans.

The departure of the Germans by no means ended the problems of the Bolsheviks in the Ukraine. The Allies also had been supporting anti-Soviet White Russian movements in southern Russia. Allied aid had gone chiefly to the counterrevolutionary forces which had been organized into the “Volunteer Army” in the Don Cossack region under the leadership of Kaledin, Kornilov, Denikin and other former Czarist generals who had fled south after the Bolshevik Revolution.

At first the campaign of the Volunteer Army met with serious reverses. General Kaledin, its original commander-in-chief, committed suicide. His successor, General Kornilov, was driven from the Don Region by the Soviet forces and finally killed in a battle on April 13, 1918. Command of the retreating, desperately harassed Volunteer Army was assumed by General Denikin.

At this very moment, when the fortunes of the White Russians appeared to be at their lowest ebb, the first British and French troops landed in Murmansk and Archangel, and substantial Allied supplies began pouring across the Russian frontiers to aid the White Armies. Denikin’s hard-pressed army was saved from destruction. Replenished and reinforced, the Denikin army was ready, by the fall of 1918, to assume the offensive against the Soviets. . . .

On November 22, 1918, exactly eleven days after the Armistice which ended the First World War was signed, a radiogram reached Denikin’s southern headquarters with the message that an Allied fleet was on its way to Novorossisk. The following day Allied vessels anchored in the Black Sea port, and French and British emissaries came ashore to inform Denikin that ample war supplies from France and Great Britain would be coming to his assistance in the immediate future.

During the last weeks of 1918 French troops occupied Odessa and Sevastopol. An English flotilla steamed into the Black Sea and landed detachments at Batum. A British commander was as named Governor General of the region.(5)

Under the supervision of the French High Command, and supplied with great quantities of military equipment by the British, Denikin launched a major offensive against Moscow. Denikin’s chief aide in this offensive was General Baron von Wrangel, a tall, lean military man with thinning hair and chill, slate-blue eyes, who was notorious for his savage cruelty. Periodically

Wrangel would execute groups of unarmed prisoners in front of their comrades and then give the prisoners who had witnessed the execution the choice of joining his army or else being shot. When the troops of Denikin and Wrangel stormed into the captured city of Stavropol, one of their first acts was to break into a hospital and massacre seventy wounded Red Army soldiers. Pillage was an official practice in Denikin’s army. Wrangel himself issued orders to his troops that loot from their campaign should be “equally divided” among them.

Driving north the forces of Denikin and Wrangel occupied Tsaritsyn (now Stalingrad) in June 1919, and by October were approaching Tula, 120 miles from Moscow. “The entire Bolshevik structure in Russia appears to be collapsing,” reported the New York Times. “The evacuation of Moscow, the head center of Bolshevism, has begun.” The Times described Denikin as “sweeping all before him,” and the Red Army as retreating in “wild panic.”

But, using a plan of attack drawn up by Stalin as a member of the Revolutionary Military Committee, the Red Army initiated a sudden counteroffensive.

Denikin’s forces were taken completely by surprise. Within a few weeks the Southern White Russian Army was in headlong retreat toward the Black Sea. Morale broke down, and Denikin’s troops fled in panic and disorder. Sick and dying clogged the roads. Hospital trains were frequently without medical supplies, doctors or nurses. The army disintegrated into bands of robbers, streaming toward the south.

On December 9, 1919, General Wrangel sent a panic-stricken dispatch to General Denikin, declaring:

This is the bitter truth. The Army has ceased to exist as a fighting force.

In the early weeks of 1920 the remnants of Denikin’s army reached the port of Novorossisk on the Black Sea. White soldiers, deserters and civilian refugees poured into the city.

On March 27, 1920, while the British warship Emperor of India and the French cruiser Waldeck-Rousseau stood by and hurled shells inland at the advancing Red columns, Denikin set sail from Novorossisk on a French war vessel. Tens of thousands of soldiers from Denikin’s army crowded onto the docks and watched helplessly while their commander and officers steamed away.

5. Eastern Campaign

According to the master plan of the interventionists, while Denikin drove on Moscow from the south, Admiral Kolchak was to besiege the city from the east. Events, however, did not proceed according to plan. . . .

During the spring and early summer of 1919, newspapers in Paris, London and New York carried frequent, detailed reports of devastating Red Army defeats at the hands of Admiral Kolchak. These were some of the headlines which appeared in the New York Times:





But on August 11 the Times carried a dispatch from Washington stating:

The time has come, a high official of the government stated tonight, to prepare the people of the anti-Bolshevik world for a possible disaster to the Kolchak regime in Western Siberia.

By midsummer Admiral Kolchak was fleeing desperately be fore the smashing attacks of the Red Army. At the same time his troops were being ceaselessly harassed behind their lines by a widespread, rapidly growing guerilla movement. In November, Kolchak evacuated his capital at Omsk. In tattered uniforms and worn-out boots, Kolchak’s troops trudged along the roads leading from Omsk. Thousands dropped from the endless, miserable parade and died in the snow alongside the roads. The railroad lines from Omsk were clogged with broken-down locomotives. “The dead,” an observer noted, “were thrown along the trucks to rot.”

Kolchak reached Irkutsk in a train flying the Union Jack, the Stars and Stripes, the French and Italian tricolors, and the Rising Sun of Japan.

The people of Irkutsk revolted on December 24, 1919, establishing a Soviet, and arrested Kolchak. Seized with him was a vast treasure he had been transporting in a special train: 5143 boxes and 1680 bags of gold bricks, bullion, securities and valuables, with an estimated total value of 1,150,500,000 rubles.

Admiral Kolchak was placed on trial by the Soviet regime and charged with treason. “If a ship sinks, it sinks with all hands,” Kolchak told the court, regretting he had not remained at sea. Bitterly he asserted that he had been betrayed by “foreign elements” which had deserted him in the crisis. . . .

The court sentenced Kolchak to be shot. He was executed by a firing squad on February 7, 1920. A number of Kolchak’s aides escaped to the Japanese. One of them, General Bakich, sent this final message to the White Russian Consul at Urga, Mongolia: “Pursued by the Jews and Communists, I have crossed the frontier!”

6. The Poles and Wrangel

In spite of the catastrophic reversals they had suffered, the Anglo-French interventionists launched two more offensives against western Soviet Russia.

In April 1920, demanding all the territory of the western Ukraine and the occupation of the Russian town of Smolensk, the Poles attacked from the west. Generously equipped by the French and British with war materials and a $50,000,000 loan from the United States,(6) the Poles drove into the Ukraine and occupied Kiev. Here they were halted and hurled back by the Red Army.

With the Russian troops hot on their heels, the Poles retreated frantically. By August, the Red Army stood at the gates of Warsaw and Lvov.

The Allied Governments rushed fresh loans and supplies to the Poles. Marshal Foch hurriedly sent his chief of staff, General Maxime Weygand, to direct Polish operations. British tanks and planes were rushed to Warsaw. The Red troops, commanded by General Tukachevsky and War Commissar Leon Trotsky, had dangerously overextended their lines of communications. Now they suffered the consequences, as the Polish counteroffensive drove them back along the entire front. The Soviet Government, by the Peace of Riga, was forced to turn over to the Poles the western portions of Byelorussia and the Ukraine. . . .

The peace with Poland left the Red Army free to deal with Baron Wrangel, who, replacing General Denikin as commander-in-chief in the south and supported by the French, had driven northward from the Crimea into the Ukraine. By the late fall of 1920, Wrangel was driven into the Crimea and bottled up by the Red forces. In November the Red Army stormed Perekop and swept into the Crimea, driving Wrangel’s army into the sea.

7. The Last Survivor

With the smashing of Wrangel’s army and the end of intervention in the west, the only foreign army remaining on Russian soil was that of Imperial Japan. It seemed that Siberia with all its riches was destined to fall completely into the hands of the Japanese. General Baron Tanaka, the Minister of War and Chief of the Japanese Military Intelligence, exulted: “Russian patriotism was extinguished with the revolution. So much the better for us! Henceforth the Soviet can be conquered only by foreign troops in sufficient strength.”

Japan still had more than 70,000 troops in Siberia and hundreds of secret agents, spies, saboteurs and terrorists. White Guard armies in the Russian Far East continued to operate under the supervision of the Japanese High Command. Chief among these anti-Soviet forces was the bandit army of Japan’s Cossack puppet, Ataman Semyonov.

American pressure forced Japan to move cautiously; but on June 8, 1921, the Japanese signed a secret treaty at Vladivostok with Ataman Semyonov, calling for a new, all-out offensive against the Soviets. The treaty stipulated that, after the Soviets were liquidated, Semyonov should assume full civil power. This secret agreement added:

When a stable governmental authority is established in the Far East, Japanese subjects shall receive preferential rights for obtaining hunting, fishing and forestry concessions . . . and for the development of mining resources and gold mines.

One of Semyonov’s chief aides, Baron Ungern-Sternberg, was assigned a major role in the projected military campaign.

It was to be the last White campaign of the war of intervention.

Lieutenant General Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, a pale, effeminate-looking Baltic aristocrat with blond hair and a long, reddish mustache, had entered the Czar’s army as a youth, fought against the Japanese in 1905, and subsequently joined a Cossack police regiment in Siberia. During the First World War, he served under Baron Wrangel and was decorated with the Cross of St. George for valor in combat on the southern front. Among his fellow officers he was notorious for his wild daring, ferocious cruelty and fits of uncontrollable rage.

After the Revolution, Baron Ungern had made his way back to Siberia, and assumed command of a Cossack regiment that pillaged the countryside and carried on sporadic warfare against the local Soviets. He was finally contacted by Japanese agents, who persuaded him to enter Mongolia. They placed at his disposal a motley army of White Russian officers, anti-Soviet Chinese troops, Mongolian bandits and Japanese secret service agents.

Living in an atmosphere of feudal banditry and absolutism at his headquarters in Urga, Ungern began to conceive of himself as a man of destiny. He married a Mongolian princess, abandoned Western dress for a yellow silk Mongolian robe, and pronounced himself the reincarnation of Genghis Khan. Incited by the Japanese agents who always surrounded him, he dreamed of himself as Emperor of a New World Order emanating from the East, which was to descend on Soviet Russia and Europe, destroying with fire and sword and cannon the last traces of “decadent democracy and Jewish Communism.” Sadistic and half-insane, he indulged in countless acts of barbaric savagery. On one occasion he saw a pretty Jewish woman in a small Siberian town and offered a thousand rubles to the man who would bring him her head; the head was brought and duly paid for.

“I will make an avenue with gallows that will stretch from Asia across Europe,” Baron Ungern declared.

At the outset of the 1921 campaign, Baron Ungern issued a proclamation to his men, from his headquarters at Urga, stating:

Mongolia has become the natural starting-point for a campaign against the Red Army in Soviet Siberia. . . .

Commissars, Communists and Jews, together with their families, must be exterminated. Their property must be confiscated. . . . Sentences on guilty parties may either be disciplinary o: take the form of different degrees of the death penalty.

“Truth and mercy” are no longer admissible. Henceforth there can be only “truth and merciless cruelty.” The evil which has fallen upon the land, with the object of destroying the divine principle in the human soul, must be extirpated root and branch.

In the wild and desolate Russian border country, Ungern’s warfare developed as a series of plundering bandit sorties, leaving in their wake smoking villages and the mutilated bodies of men women and children. Towns taken by Ungern’s troops were given up to rape and pillage. Jews, Communists and all suspected of the mildest democratic sympathies were shot, tortured to death and burned alive.

In July 1921, the Red Army launched a drive to exterminate Ungern’s army. After a series of sharp, fluctuating engagements, the Red Army and Soviet guerillas won a decisive victory. Ungern’s hordes fled, abandoning most of their guns, their supply trains and their wounded.

In August, Ungern was surrounded. His own Mongolian bodyguard mutinied and handed hire over to the Soviet troops. The Baron was brought in his silk Mongolian robe to Novo-Nikolayovsk (now Novo-Sibirsk) and put on public trial before the Siberian Soviet Supreme Court as an enemy of the people.

It was an extraordinary trial. . . .

Hundreds of workers, peasants, soldiers -Russians, Siberians, Mongolians and Chinese – jammed the courtroom. Thousands more stood outside in the street. Many of these people had lived through Ungern’s reign of terror; their brothers, children, wives and husbands had been shot, tortured, hurled into the boilers of locomotives.

The Baron took his place and the indictment was read:

In accordance with the decision of the Revolutionarv Committee of Siberia, dated September 12, 1921, LieutenantGeneral Baron Ungern yon Sternberg, formerly commander of the Asiatic cavalry division, is indicted before the Siberian Revolutionary Court on the charges:

1. Of having lent himself to the annexationist aims of Japan through his attempts to create an Asiatic State and to overthrow the government of Transbaikalia;

2. Of having planned to overthrow the Soviet authority with the object of restoring the monarchy in Siberia and the ultimate intention of putting Michael Romanov on the throne;

3. Of having brutally murdered great numbers of Russian peasants and workers and Chinese revolutionaries.

Ungern did not attempt to deny his atrocities. Executions, tortures and massacres – yes, these were all true. The explanation was a simple one: “It was war!” But a puppet of Japan? “,My idea,” Baron Ungern explained, “was to make use of Japan.” Ungern denied that he had any treasonable or intimate relations with the Japanese.

“The accused is lying,” said Soviet Prosecutor Yaroslavsky, “if he claims that he never had any relations with Japan. We hold proof to the contrary!”

“I did communicate with the Japanese,” admitted the Baron, “just as I communicated with Chang Tso-lin.(7) . . . Genghis Khan, too, paid court to Van-Khan before conquering his kingdom!”

“We are not in the twelfth century,” said the Soviet Prosecutor, “and we are not here to judge Genghis Khan!”

“For a thousand years,” cried the Baron, “Ungerns have given other people orders! They have never taken orders from anybody!”

He stared haughtily at the upturned faces of the soldiers, peasants and workers in the courtroom.

“I refuse to admit working-class authority! How can a man who doesn’t even keep a general servant talk about governing? He is incapable of giving orders!”

Prosecutor Yaroslavsky enumerated the long list of Ungern’s crimes – the punitive expeditions against Jews and pro-Soviet peasants, the cutting-off of arms and legs, the night rides across the steppe with flaming corpses for torches, the annihilation of villages, the ruthless massacres of children. . . .

“They were,” coldly explained Ungern, “too Red for my liking.”

“Why did you leave Urga?” asked the Prosecutor.

“I decided to invade Transbaikalia and persuade the peasants to revolt. But I was taken prisoner.”

“By whom?”

“Some Mongols betrayed me.”

“Have you ever asked yourself why those men acted as they did?”

“I was betrayed!”

“Do you admit that the end of your campaign was the same as that of all the attempts which have recently been made upon the workers’ authority? Don’t you agree that, of all these attempts to attain the objects you had in view, your attempt was the last?”

“Yes,” said Baron Ungern. “Mine was the last attempt. I suppose I am the last survivor!”

In the month of September 1921, the verdict of the Soviet court was carried out. Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, “the last survivor” of the White war lords, was shot by a Red Army firing squad.

Ataman Semyonov and the remnants of the Japanese puppet army fled across the Soviet border into Mongolia and China.

Not for more than another year was Soviet soil to be finally rid of the Japanese. On October 19, 1922, the Red Army closed in on Vladivostok. The Japanese in occupation of the city surrendered and handed over all their military stores. Japanese transports, carrying the last soldiers of Japan, left Vladivostok the next day. The Red flag was raised over the city.

“The decision to evacuate,” announced the Japanese Foreign Office, “is intended to place Japan on record as a non-aggressive nation, striving to maintain the peace of the world.”


1. The “Whites,” so-called because of their opposition to the revolutionaries whose symbol was the Red Flag, included, according to George Stewart’s authoritative account of their struggle in The White Armies of Russia, all those for whom “Czarism represented the assurance of their status in society, their livelihood, honors, Holy Russia, a social order built upon privilege and force, pleasant in its rewards to the fortunate, comfortable to parasitic groups which found their life in serving it, an ancient system which had its sanction in long centuries when Russia was building.” The term “White Russians” is used in this book to describe those who fought to retain or restore this ancient order in Russia. It must not be confused with the name given to inhabitants of the Soviet Republic of Byelorussia, who are also called White Russians because of their original native costume: white smock, bast shoes with white leggings and white homespun coat.

2. In 1937 the late John Cudahy, a member of the wealthy Chicago meatpacking family, was appointed American Minister to Eire and later, Ambassador to Belgium. An outspoken enemy of Soviet Russia, he afterwards became a leading member of the isolationist America First Committee, which in 1940-41 opposed Lend-Lease aid to nations fighting the Axis.

3. With the aid of von tier Goltz’s well-armed troops, Baron Mannerheim overthrew the Finnish Government and invited Prince Friedrich von Hessen, Kaiser Wilhelm’s son-in-law, to occupy the Finnish throne. To suppress the opposition of the Finnish people, von tier Goltz and Mannerheim instituted a reign of terror. Within a few weeks Mannerheim’s White Guards executed some 20,000 men, women and children; tens of thousands more were thrown in concentration camps and prisons, where many of them died from torture, starvation and exposure.

4. One of the most active British Secret Service agents in the northern campaign was Paul Dukes, a close colleague of Captain Sidney Reilly. Dukes succeeded in getting himself a commission in the Red Army, and served as an anti-Soviet spy and saboteur within the Red forces opposing Yudenitch. When the White Army was attacking Petrograd, Dukes arranged for the blowing up of bridges vital to the retreat of the Red Army, and he countermanded orders for the destruction of communications facilitating the advance of Yudenitch. Dukes kept Yudenitch informed of every move of the Red forces. He was also in close touch with the armed terrorists, remnants of Reilly’s organization, inside Petrograd, who were waiting to aid the Whites the moment they entered the city. After he returned to London, Dukes was knighted for his exploits. Later, he wrote a book, Red Dusk and the Morrow, describing his adventures as a spy in Russia. In collaboration with Sidney Reilly he translated for propagandist purposes Boris Savinkov’s The Pale Norse and various other White Russian or anti-Soviet writings.

5. British troops had been active in the southernmost portion of Russia since July 1918, when the British High Command had sent soldiers from Persia into Turkestan to aid in an anti-Soviet uprising led by Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries. The “Transcaspian Executive Committee,” headed by the counterrevolutionary Noi Jordania, had established a puppet government dominated by the British. An agreement was drawn up by which the British received special rights in the export of cotton and petroleum from this area, in exchange for their aid to the counterrevolutionary forces.

6. Herbert Hoover placed millions of dollars worth of American Relief Administration supplies at the disposal of the Polish Army. On January 4, 1921, Senator James Reed of Missouri charged on the floor of the Senate that $40,000,000 of the Congressional relief funds “was spent to keep the Polish army in the field.” In addition, some $23,000,000 raised by Hoover by popular subscription for aiding children in Central Europe was spent largely in Poland, although the fund appeals published in the United States stated the money was to be equally divided among destitute Austrians, Armenians, and Poles.

The great bulk of the money raised in the United States allegedly for European relief was used to support intervention against the Soviets. Hoover himself made this clear in his report to Congress in January 1921. The Congress had originally appropriated funds for reef primarily in “Central Europe”; but Hoover’s report showed that almost all of the $94,938,417 accounted for was spent in territory immediately adjoining Russia or in those sections of Russia which were under the control of the White Russian armies and the Allied interventionists.

7. Ungern’s “communication” with Chang Tso-lin, the notorious Chinese war lord, included a deal whereby the Baron, for staging a “retreat” before Chang’s forces, was to get 10 per cent of $10,000,000 (Mex.) which Chang extorted from the Pekin Government.

CHAPTER VII – An Accounting

THE two and a half years of bloody intervention and civil war had been responsible for the death through battle, starvation or disease of some 7,000,000 Russian men, women and children. The material losses to the country were later estimated by the Soviet Government at $60,000,000,000, a sum far in excess of the Czarist debt to the Allies. No reparations were paid by the invaders.

Few official figures were given of the cost to the Allied taxpayers of the war against Russia. According to a memorandum issued by Winston Churchill on September 15, 1919, Great Britain to that date had spent nearly £100,000,000 sterling and France between £30,000,000 and £40,000,000 on General Denikin alone. The British campaign in the north cost £18,000,000. The Japanese admitted the expenditure of 900,000,000 yen on the maintenance of their 70,000 troops in Siberia.

What were the motives behind this futile and costly undeclared war?

The White generals were frankly fighting for the restoration of their own Great Russia, for their landed estates, their profits, their class privileges and their epaulettes. There were a few sincere nationalists among them, but the White Armies were overwhelmingly dominated by reactionaries who were the prototypes of the fascist officers and adventurers who were later to emerge in Central Europe.

The war aims of the Allies in Russia were less clear.

The intervention was finally presented to the world by Allied spokesmen, in so far as its motives were publicized at all, as a political crusade against Bolshevism.

Actually, “anti-Bolshevism” played a secondary role. Such factors as north Russian timber, Donetz coal, Siberian gold and Caucasian oil carried more weight. There were also such large scale imperialist interests as the British plan for a Trams-Caucasian Federation which would seal off India from Russia and make possible exclusive British domination of the oil fields of the Near East; the Japanese plan for the conquest and colonization of Siberia; the French plan to gain control in the Donetz and Black Sea areas; and the ambitious long-range German plan to seize the Baltic States and the Ukraine.

One of the very first acts of the Soviet Government on its assumption of power had been to nationalize the great economic trusts of the Czarist Empire. Russian mines, mills, factories, railroads, oil wells and all other large-scale industrial enterprises were declared to be the state property of the Soviet people. The Soviet Government also repudiated the foreign debts incurred by the Czarist regime, partly on the grounds that the monies had been advanced as a deliberate means of aiding Czarism to suppress the popular revolution.(1)

The Czarist Empire, for all its outward show of wealth and power, had actually been a semi-colony of Anglo-French and German financial interests. The French financial stake in Czarism amounted to the sum of 17,591,000,000 francs. Anglo-French interests controlled no less than 72 per cent of Russian coal, iron and steel, and 50 per cent of Russian oil. Annually, several hundreds of millions of francs and pounds in dividends, profits and interest were drawn from the labor of the Russian workers and peasants by foreign interests allied with the Czar.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, the London Stock Exchange Year Book of 1919 recorded under the heading “Russian Accounts”: “Interest due, 1918, and since in arrears.”

British member of Parliament, Lieutenant Colonel Cecil L’Estrange Malone, told the House of Commons during a somewhat heated debate on Allied policy in Russia in 1920: –

There are groups of people and individuals in this country who have money and shares in Russia, and they are the people who are working, scheming and intriguing to overthrow the Bolshevik regime. . . . Under the old regime, it was possible to get ten or twenty per cent out of exploiting the Russian workers and peasants, but under socialism it will not be possible to get anything at all probably, and we find that nearly every great interest to this country in some way or another is connected with Soviet Russia.

The Russian Year Book for 1918, the speaker went on, had estimated combined British and French investments in Russia at approximately £1,600,000,000 sterling, or close to $8,000,000,000.

“When we talk about . . . Marshal Foch and the French people being opposed to peace with Russia,” said Colonel Malone, “we do not mean the French democracy, and we do not mean the French peasants or workers, but the French stockholders. Let us be quite clear about that. We mean the people whose ill-earned savings constitute the £1,600,000,000 which have been sunk in Russia.”

There was the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company, whose Russian interests had included the Ural Caspian Oil Company, the North Caucasian Oilfield, the New Schibareff Petroleum Company and many other oil concerns; there was the great British arms trust of Metro-Vickers which, together with the French Schneider-Creusot and the German Krupp, had virtually controlled the Czarist munitions industry; there were the big banking houses of Britain and France: the Hoares, Baring Brothers, Hambros, Crédit Lyonnais, Société Generale, Rothschilds and Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris, all of which had invested huge sums in the Czarist regime. . . .

“All these big interests,” Colonel Malone informed the House of Commons, “are interwoven with one another. They are all interested in keeping the war going with Russia. . . . Behind these interests and behind the financiers who sit on the other side of the House are the newspapers and the other influences which go to make up public opinion in this country.”

Some Allied spokesmen were quite frank as to their motives in supporting the White Armies in Russia.

Sir Francis Baker, the European manager of Vickers and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, addressed a banquet of the British Russia Club attended by leading industrialists and politicians in London in 1919 with these words: –

We wish success to Admiral Kolchak and General Denikin, and I think I cannot do better than raise my glass and ask you all to drink to the health of Admiral Kolchak, General Denikin and General Yudenitch!

Russia is a great country. You all know, because you are intimately connected with it in your business, what the potentialities of Russia are, whether it be from the point or view of manufacture or the point of view of mineral wealth, or any other thing, because Russia has everything. . . .

As Anglo-French troops and munitions poured into Siberia, the Bulletin of the British Federation of Industries, the most powerful association of British industrialists, exclaimed in print: –

Siberia, the most gigantic prize offered to the civilized world since the discovery of the Americas!

As Allied troops drove into the Caucasus and occupied Baku, the British business journal The Near East declared: –

In oil Baku is incomparable. . . . Baku is greater than any other oil city in the world. If oil is king, Baku is its throne!

As the Allied-supported White Army of General Denikin swarmed into the Don coal basin, Messrs. R. Martens and Co., Ltd., the great British coal combine, announced in their trade publication Russia: –