Vegetarianism & Communism

Having been both vegetarian & a communist for more then 5 years now I decided to finally write something about the connection between these issues. Does vegetarianism have anything to do with Communism and vice-versa?

BRIEF STORY ABOUT MY POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

Before becoming a Communist I was a proponent of Schopenhauer’s philosophical pessimism. Where ever I turned I saw immense suffering, poverty, war, exploitation. About half of humanity (3.6 billion people) lives on less then 2 dollars per day while large portions of Africa live much worse. 80% lives on less then 10 dollars per day.

The Capitalist economic system fails to provide even the most basic necessities for countless millions and Western corporate interest actually actively hinders the development of most third world countries. 10 million die each year due to hunger and hunger related causes. Only 8% of this is due to natural disasters or war. 92% is simply due to economics, the poor can’t afford food. Meanwhile about half of the world’s food is wasted and left to rot as there is nobody (no paying customer) to purchase it. The needs of humans are in absolute antagonistic contradiction compared to the capitalist economic system.

Animals were often even worse off then humans, being exploited in horrible conditions in factory farms. Billions of animals are born each year only to suffer and die for the sake of consumerism, unnecessarily.

I stopped eating meat soon after understanding how unnecessary and immoral it was. I also saw the bankruptcy and inhuman character of capitalism but it took me some time to abandon pessimism. It had led me to a situation where I saw no solution for any of these problems.

As I gradually learned about the practicality of Socialism, the real benefits it provided and the futility of all other alternatives I finally stopped complaining, and started doing something to improve things. None of these problems were innate in life or humanity, they were the result of concrete material conditions which could all be changed.

RECOGNITION THAT SUFFERING IS BAD

We all have a capacity to suffer. It is universally recognized by everyone that it is bad, to be avoided, undesirable by definition. A masochist, who enjoys e.g. physical pain, does not suffer from it, but actually derives pleasure from it. Suffering is something that we all define as a bad thing.

But we only define it as bad if it is targeted towards us, right? Yes, but what makes any individual special? We all have the same capacity to suffer. From our subjective experiences and the realization that there is an external world outside of us, we inevitable reach the conclusion that suffering is just as bad for everyone. This subjective truth that suffering is bad, is accepted by every subject and is thus universally, objectively true. The only way to avoid this conclusion is nihilism or solipsism, neither of which were ever convincing to me. Even a solipsist or nihilist still behaves like suffering is bad, even if their ideology denies it.

If we recognize that suffering is bad, it is only natural to want to reduce it. Capitalism causes tremendous unnecessary suffering for the sake of profit. 

DEFENDERS OF ANIMAL EXPLOITATION

We communists seek to improve the lives of people. We want to make life better for them. But what about animals? Animals suffer exactly like humans.

The common arguments in favor of continuing unnecessary animal exploitation that I’ve heard are:

1. “We need animal products to survive”

This is a relatively common but entirely unfounded claim. There are countless people who have not consumed animal products for decades and still live normal lives.

2. “Animals are less intelligent so its ok to abuse them”

This argument is to me particularly reprehensible. The quasi-nazi character of this line of reasoning should be blatantly obvious.

Do we torture or abuse the mentally handicapped? Do we torture or abuse those of lesser intellect? Then why do we abuse animals? IQ does not effect ones capacity to suffer or feel joy.

On top of that animals are in reality highly intelligent (in many cases more intelligent then human children).

3. “I’m against factory farming but not all animal exploitation”

I oppose exploitation. Not just when its extreme but also when its a milder form. More humane treatment of animals is better, but why should we exploit or abuse them at all? Besides factory farming is more profitable. It makes sense for capitalists to continue doing it.

4. “Animals taste better”

This is not an argument at all, yet many still use it. It is the mentality of the morally bankrupt decadent egoist. Naturally as a Communist I cannot condone such behavior.

5. “Animal exploitation is natural”

This is an appeal to nature fallacy. Rape and murder are natural, yet every civilization has outlawed them. Animal exploitation is a phenomenon that developed out of concrete material conditions and is fundamentally unnecessary at this state of human development.

Secondly, there’s good reason to believe eating animals is not all that native to humans. Our bodies cannot fully digest meat and our teeth are not suited for raw flesh. Meat provides a source of protein but is also related to many negative health conditions.

6. “I need meat to be fit or build muscle”

This is an argument that particularly athletes, body builders and those who consider themselves to be on those categories use. However it is also untrue. There are many successful vegan athletes and body builders.

DEFENDERS OF HUMAN EXPLOITATION

What astounds me is that many vegetarians and vegans who recognize the unethical character of animal exploitation still hold right-wing political & economic views. If you are against animal exploitation, you should also be against human exploitation!

I will now deal with some common arguments made in favor of continuing human exploitation but I won’t go into great detail about specific anti-communist claims in this post.

1. “Animals are innocent but humans are not”

What about third world children? What are they guilty of? Humans don’t deserve exploitation any more then animals do.

2. “Animals are cute and humans are not”

Nobody would seriously argue this but many implicitly voice sentiments like this. We shouldn’t only defend the rights of those animals (or people) who we find aesthetically pleasing, they all can suffer or enjoy life just the same.

3. “Capitalism is voluntary, not exploitation like factory farming”

Humans are limited by their material conditions. Realistically in many third world countries unemployment means total destitution or even death. This is hardly a voluntary choice but rather one dictated by circumstances. These circumstances are created and maintained by the capitalist system itself.

In the West the situation is not as extreme but people who don’t own the means to employ themselves still must seek employment from a capitalist if they wish to live reasonably well. Even in the west losing one’s job can mean homelessness or going hungry, losing access to healthcare, being unable to pay for education etc.

4. “Socialist economies don’t work”

This is blatantly false. The Soviet Union, a socialist country, was the world’s second biggest economy and kept growing for the entirety of its existence. Most socialist countries were far wealthier then most capitalist countries. Most people in socialism had better access to healthcare, necessities of life, education and culture then in most capitalist countries. 10 million starve annually in capitalism and 3.6 billion live on less then $2/day?

5. “Socialism collapsed”

The reason why the Western capitalist countries were able to defeat the Socialist countries is complex, but the fact that Socialism was destroyed doesn’t prove that it is not a superior system when it comes to serving people’s needs.

Some basic Soviet GDP statistics:

CAN ANIMAL EXPLOITATION BE SOLVED IN CAPITALISM?

1. The Profit Motive

Capitalism is a system based on profit. Exploiting people and animals is highly profitable. It seems unlikely that a profit-driven system would stop doing something profitable. 

2. Can we not pass legislation against animal exploitation?

Theoretically we could but in a capitalist system those who control the wealth control politics and legislation also. The liberal quest to “get money out of politics” in capitalism, a system driven by money, is utterly hopeless. For this to work we would need a democratic system genuinely controlled by the people i.e. Socialism.

3. Can we not boycott the meat industry to make it unprofitable?

Theoretically we could but such boycotts are rarely enough. Besides people are limited by their resources. In this current system animal products are cheap, easily available and backed by advertisement. Attempts at “ethical consumerism” within capitalism practically never work.

SOCIALISM AND ANIMAL LIBERATION

1. Why did historical socialist countries not abolish animal exploitation?

The reasons are numerous. For one, they were far too concerned with the horrible conditions of humans. In countries that used to have serious famine only years before and where all resources were needed to industrialize, develop the military and win the Cold War this was not a realistic option. Add to that the fact that the Animal Rights Movement was not as developed as it is today.

2. Should we stop eating animals now or only in socialism?

The more vegetarianism and veganism spreads now the easier the transformation will be in the future. The economic base of capitalism facilitates exploitation but spreading the ideas now can’t do any harm. Reducing meat consumption right now has health benefits, reduces global warming and exploitation (even if only a tiny bit) and shows a good Communist Example of ethical behavior.

3. Isn’t Vegetarianism/Veganism Classist?

Bourgeois-vegetarianism can be classist. However as a Communist I recognize that some people can’t afford to change their eating habits. Its not the fault of the poor but the capitalist system. We shouldn’t blame them but fight to change the system.

4. National Self-Determination

Indigenous people who practice traditional hunting or cattle raising shouldn’t be our main focus. They contribute very little to the problem of animal exploitation. We should be lenient towards them.

Particularly cruel practices could be banned immediately in socialism and this wouldn’t necessarily be much of a violation of national self-determination. Socialist China banned traditional forced marriages and foot-binding as feudal and barbaric practices. If some traditional practices are exceptionally cruel towards animals we can do the same.

Its worth pointing out that in many indigenous cultures and many religions animal consumption in general, or the consumption of specific animals like cows or pigs is considered unethical.

SOURCES:

10 million starve annually due to economic conditions
http://www.bhookh.com/hunger_facts.php

Global poverty
https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty

56 billion animals are killed annually
http://www.animalequality.net/food

The world’s 3.6 billion poorest people are getting poorer
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/global-poverty-oxfam-world-economic-forum

Pigs Are Highly Social And Really Smart. So, Um, About Eating Them…
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/15/are-pigs-intelligent_n_7585582.html

How Does Socialism Solve Racism, Sexism & Other Oppression?

(or, How to better understand the Relation between Base & Superstructure)

INTRODUCTION

Unfortunately it is assumed by some Marxists that Socialism, almost automatically solves issues like sexism, racism, transphobia & homophobia. People who hold this mistaken view argue: “These issues cannot be solved in capitalism, so let’s not focus on them now, it will all be solved in Socialism.”

There is a tactical component to this question which I will discuss at the end. First I want to cover the assumption that Socialism solves these, inequalities, oppressions, ills of capitalism automatically, or almost automatically. This mistaken view derives from an incorrect understanding of the Base and the Superstructure & their relation.
Base-superstructure_Dialectic

WHAT ARE THE BASE AND THE SUPERSTRUCTURE?

What Marxists often call simply the “Base” means the underlying economic system of the society, the economic mode of production. In our current society this mode of production is imperialist capitalism.

In A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy Marx describes this economic underlying ‘base’ as follows:

“In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation…”

and adds:

“…on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.”

So what is this superstructure? The superstructure consists of things like culture, religion,  form of government such as parliamentarism, military dictatorship or monarchism.

Later on Marx describes the basic relation between the base & superstructure:

“The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.”

That is, each economic mode of production (e.g. capitalism) creates its own superstructure which necessarily results from the social relations arising from the economic mode of production. Changing this superstructure is only possible, even necessary after changing the economic base.

This has led some to hold the incorrect view, that replacing a capitalist economic system with a socialist one, will automatically or practically automatically or very easily, get rid of all the oppressive and reactionary elements arising from the old capitalist society.

HISTORICAL PRACTICE

1. What was achieved?

Let us now examine the notion that the destruction of the capitalist economic base will by itself alone quickly & easily get rid of the reactionary culture fostered by capitalism. When Marxist-Leninist states were in existence, did they cure all these ills? We know the answer. Racism and sexism still remained though in a more limited form.

Trans issues were not yet recognized by anyone at the time, except the trans people themselves. This applies not only the capitalist countries but also socialist ones. LBGT issues were advanced by communist groups like the Black Panthers and recognized by socialist countries like the German Democratic Republic but there was a lot to be desired.

What Marxist-Leninist countries did do was implement policies such as granting equal legal & democratic rights to women as well as ethnic and religious minorities. They provided equal opportunities to study and work for all people regardless of sex or race. The socialist media portrayed minorities as equally capable members of society,  the education system tried to combat sexist, racist and other bourgeois-conservative views.

2. Objective vs. Subjective Factors

These advances were a necessary outcome of the new society that was being built. Socialism couldn’t have been built without at the same time combating the most glaring and most vicious examples of bourgeois-conservative ideology and culture. They were in one sense a result of the objective factors.

However there was nothing “automatic” or “easy” in this process, as would be implied by the “don’t worry, it will all be taken care of in socialism” type of attitude. These achievements were necessitated by the new economic system, but they were implemented by conscious policies by people. In this sense, they were also a result of the subjective factors, the people, the activists, members of the oppressed groups etc.

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THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

The mistake of the “automatic” or “we will take care of it in socialism” theory is the following:

Although the capitalist base is what created and maintained the reactionary superstructure of sexism, racism, transphobia etc. the remnants of the old superstructure can still survive in a limited form for quite some time even in a new base. Especially as this base is constantly itself changing and transitioning away from the old towards something new. To think that these issues will be solved quickly and easily is naive hubris.

It took capitalism an extraordinarily long time to wipe out most remnants of feudal culture. There are still many constitutional monarchies in the world, where the economy is entirely capitalist and the crown has been stripped of power, yet the ridiculous cultural remnant of monarchist absolutism is still there.

Those aspects of feudalism which most strikingly hindered the growing bourgeoisie came into such violent conflict with the new capitalist system that they were eliminated much faster. Aspects like aristocratic privileges, Monarchist absolutism, absolute rule of the clergy, various feudal restrictions of banking, trade and other capitalistic activities. As a result the corresponding ideological-cultural superstructure, began to die out.

With the changes in the economic base the ruling feudal ideology began to be replaced by capitalist ideology. Feudalism was no longer seen as man’s natural state, instead man’s nature was proclaimed to be capitalistic. Religion lost much of its influence, the Divine right of the king crumbled into dust, replaced by the wealthy bourgeois politician.

This didn’t always happen in a simply linear fashion at all. The French Revolution overthrew feudal absolutism but the Napoleonic reaction managed to restore it, however while still releasing the economy from feudal shackles for capitalism to develop more freely.

In many capitalist countries up until a 100 years ago Monarchism & many feudal aspects still held influence. Finland still had clerical & aristocrat privileges and the church acted like a giant feudal landlord. The Russian Empire was another good example where capitalism was evidently there existing side by side with blatant feudalism. This is what Marxists later termed “semi-feudalism”.

Those aspects of the old feudal order which were less restricting for capitalism remained for a long time and died out only slowly, adapting themselves or even being co-opted by specific subjective forces in the capitalist order e.g. religious or conservative anti-communist propaganda. Similarly, while the Socialist States quickly stamped out the most egregious ills of capitalism, remnants still managed to survive and sometimes the people of those states were even unaware of this. It takes both the necessary objective conditions of the new society as well as conscious work by the subjective forces: the people, to achieve liberation and rid ourselves of sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia and other ills of capitalism.

THE TACTICAL QUESTION

The tactical question of the matter essentially boils down to the question: “Revolution or Reform?”

The advocates of the theory of “we will fix it later in socialism” hold their view because they have a mistaken understanding of Marxist-Leninist theory. They have a one-sided view that exaggerates the danger of reformism. They want working class revolution, and see all other struggles as secondary and fundamentally reformist. This is a dangerous error. Such thinking isolates the Communists from the masses. The struggles of oppressed people are not secondary but deeply intertwined with the working class struggle.

1. Are questions of race, sex, etc. secondary to class?

Lenin could have been a dogmatist and said that the Peasant Question, Women’s Question or National Question are secondary and unimportant. But why didn’t he?

Because women are approximately half the population, our work depends on women. Because the vast majority of the Russian population were poor toiling peasants, it would have been inconceivable to succeed without them. Because the Russian Empire was a prison house of nations, it was inconceivable to build a socialist society based on trust, equality and co-operation without granting full rights to national minorities. Without such a policy, this wouldn’t have been a project of fraternity but of subjugation.

The working class is the most revolutionary class and class is the significant factor. In this sense the working class question is “primary”, but its only so in terms of the end goal, a classless communist society without oppression. In real praxis these other questions were never secondary, they were beneficial or necessary for the victory of the working class revolution.

2. The question of our alliance with oppressed minorities

The relatively small number of LGBT & trans people has made their struggle far more difficult and probably has contributed to it only being recognize so late. That said, isolating ourselves from LGBT & trans organizations because of their alleged “reformism” only hinders our movement and reduces its allies & forces. By the fact that they are oppressed, they belong to our movement. By the simple fact that we want true equality for all, their goal is the same as ours.

Some might argue, that because the number of LGBT & trans people is so small their chances of playing the crucial role is smaller. A popular movement without women is doomed to fail, but a movement that is missing a small minority, can still succeed. For the sake of argument let us assume this is correct: why should we deny ourselves this beneficial alliance even if it were possible to win without it? There is no good reason for it.

The same question applies to some very small national groups. Someone might argue that they are so few, that in the nationwide scheme they are not the deciding factor, but why deny ourselves this ally? All oppressed people are our allies.

Their number may be small but this probably doesn’t give a fair representation of their influence. There is reason to believe that oppressed people are more prone to Revolution & political activism, and this should be worthy of consideration for us.

3. Reform or Revolution?

Some people will to a varying degree argue explicitly (or more often implicitly) that the women’s movement, anti-racist movements, trans or LGBT movements are at the end of the day reformist in character and therefore not of any use for us, or worthy of our support.

Certainly there are reformist tendencies, in fact most non-communists are reformists. Liberals, social-democrats and all those who think that sexism, transphobia, homophobia and racism can be solved in the context of capitalism are by definition reformists. But what kind of a “mass movement” can we hope to become if we isolate ourselves from the masses because they are not communists?

These “reformist” movements should more accurately be termed “spontaneous” movements. Their problem is not principled dedication to reformist tactics, but a lack of class and political consciousness. They lack an understanding of the underlying causes of their oppression and act unconsciously, which results typically in reformist actions. The cure for unconscious action is political education. We should be eager to hear the complaints and grievances of the masses, and the experience to be learned from them. Likewise the masses are eager for political knowledge and better organizational forms – the fact that they are organizing themselves is proof of that.

The real reformist danger lies elsewhere. The real danger lies in semi-conscious political groups, even communist groups which take the opposite kind of one-sided approach. Groups that spend all their time focusing on issues which only impact a tiny minority. They neglect work towards working class revolution in favor of reformist actions, to fix capitalism for the oppressed groups. This task is doomed to fail as capitalism cannot be made something that it is not. Capitalism cannot be made into a fair & equal system.

Such movements are either outright liberal or simply have accepted liberal idealist political theory to such a degree that they look more like a liberal then a genuinely leftist organization. They serve neither the working class or other oppressed groups. Their work only serves capitalism as it hinders any real change. They should be exposed and criticized but the existence of such groups should not lead us to the wrong and one-sided view that rejects our work with oppressed groups, our alliance with them, us recruiting them into our ranks.

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Thoughts on Hoxha & Hoxhaism

INTRODUCTION

This article will be my brief critique of Albanian socialist leader Enver Hoxha & his modern followers.

Enver Hoxha was a great Marxist-Leninist & anti-revisionist. His works are a valuable contribution to anti-revisionism and the practical application of Marxism-Leninism. This ought to be recognized by every communist.

The critical comments I’m about to make should not be interpreted as a condemnation of Hoxha’s significant work.

WHEN HOXHA WAS CORRECT

Hoxha perhaps most well known for his firm critique of Khrushchevite Revisionism:

“The true Marxist-Leninists will intensify their principled struggle for the exposure of the Khrushchevite and other modern revisionists”
(Hoxha, Reject the Revisionist Thesis of the 20th Congress)

As well as his outstanding work against Yugoslav revisionism:

“The Yugoslav renegades abandoned the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism on the socialist state right from the beginning…”
(Hoxha, Yugoslav “Self-Administration”)

However he also began to be very critical of Mao Tse-Tung’s China and this is where I feel he fell into serious errors. I will be writing a similar short article giving my thoughts on Maoism as well as the Juche Idea later. But for the time being let us point out that Mao also made mistakes, especially in the so-called “Three Worlds Theory” and it was entirely justified to point this out. In fact this was done by many supporters of Mao also.

One such pro-Mao communist was Harry Haywood who criticized the “incorrect strategic line of the Three Worlds Theory” in his article “China and its Supporters Were Wrong About USSR”. I will discuss the specifics of this issue in my future article on Mao.

WHEN HOXHA WAS WRONG

Let us now focus on Hoxha’s other criticisms of Maoist China.

1. The Peasant Question, People’s War

Hoxhaism claims that Mao gave up the leading role of the Proletariat to the Peasantry:

“Although he talked about the role of the proletariat, in practice Mao Tsetung underestimated its hegemony in the revolution and elevated the role of the peasantry.”
(Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution)

However, he in my opinion presents insufficient evidence to support this. Mao employed a worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the Proletariat & the Communist Party as Lenin and Stalin did. Hoxha claims that in Mao’s case this was mere rhetoric and not true, and that in reality the Proletariat was never the leader, but I find this unconvincing.

Is there any doubt that the Communist Party was at the head of the Revolution? Is there any doubt that Communism is first and foremost a working class & not a peasant ideology? Hoxha’s best evidence seems to be the numerical superiority of the peasants, but the same argument was frequently made against Lenin by dogmatists.

Hoxha’s second piece of evidence is Mao’s slogan of ‘the countryside encircling the cities’. Hoxha claims that this was not merely a tactic but a deviation from Marxism-Leninism. In my opinion he fails to justify this. The soundness of the strategy was proven by the fact that they won. Are all guerrilla movements which hide in the countryside, mountains and forests going against Marxism-Leninism? Surely not.

Mao’s military strategy was based on Marxist-Leninist analysis & popularizing previous military writings, Sun Tzu’s Art of War in particular.

2. National Liberation, United Fronts, New Democracy

Hoxha argues that Mao was a class-collaborator:

“The revisionist concepts of Mao Tsetung have their basis in the policy of collaboration and alliance with the bourgeoisie”
(Hoxha, ibid.)

This is based on the fact that the Chinese Communist Party allied with all patriotic elements against the Japanese invasion in a nationwide united front. Does Hoxha denounce all united fronts? No he doesn’t, he cannot do that as united fronts are an accepted Marxist-Leninist tactic. Therefore Hoxha only denounces this particular united front.

Hoxha attacks the Maoist policy of ‘New Democracy’ as class collaboration, as the New Democratic State allowed the existence of not only workers but also capitalists & peasants under the leadership of the Communist Party. Hoxhaists might point out that the other classes also had some representation in the government, but to claim that the Proletariat & the Communist Party were not leading the State is quite frankly ridiculous.

The New Democratic State was designed as a transition from semi-feudalism & semi-colonialism to Socialism. The other socialist countries; ‘People’s Democracies’ in Eastern Europe as well as the Soviet Union during the NEP policy, grappled with these issues. Hoxha doesn’t denounce all of them, only Mao.

Hoxha attacks Mao for his idea that there are antagonistic & non-antagonistic class contradictions, i.e. that some class differences can be solved relatively peacefully in the context of the Worker’s State. It was necessary to violently overthrow the KMT, compradors & landlords. However the peasantry & patriotic forces that supported the Communists do not need to be dealt with in the same way.

The Bolsheviks did not immediately wipe out all the capitalist elements, instead they allowed them to exist in a restricted form during the NEP. The Bolsheviks first secured the gains of the Democratic Revolution and only later constructed Socialism. During the Collectivization of Agriculture the Bolsheviks wanted to “win over the middle-peasant” (and isolate the Kulak). This would be solving the contradiction between the workers and poor & middle-peasants in a peaceful non-antagonistic way. For some reason Hoxha doesn’t consider this to be class collaboration in the same way.

Considering that China was semi-colonial & even more backward then the Soviet Union, it should be expected that more compromises would have to be made with the classes with different but not antagonistic interests like the petit-bourgeois peasants. It would take longer to get rid of these social classes then in countries with more favorable conditions. Still the landlords were gotten rid of, agricultural collectivization was implemented, industry was nationalized.

MISTAKES OF MODERN HOXHAIST PRAXIS

I consider Hoxhaists my comrades. I am non-sectarian enough to support Hoxhaist parties such as the Brazilian PCR as based on the information from my Brazilian comrades they are the best party of their country. However there are elements in modern Hoxhaism which I’d prefer not to be there.

Hoxhaists have seem to have an ultra-left tendency of seeking “ideological purity” over all else. This means sectarianism, isolating themselves from others, attacking non-Hoxhaist Marxist-Leninists as “revisionists” and deadly enemies.

In general Hoxhaists seem incapable of distinguishing between disagreement, deviation & revisionism. A deviation is a one-sided mistaken line in Marxism. Naturally there are different degrees of deviation, some of which are more harmful then others. Revisionism means an anti-marxist trend, a line that contradicts with the core of marxism.

In my opinion Maoism & Juche both show some signs of deviation, but not revisionism. What I consider the flaws of Maoism are in no way on the same level as the anti-Marxist tendencies of Khrushchevite, Trotskyite or Titoite Revisionism.

I shouldn’t have to explain what disagreement means, but it seems it is necessary. We will always have disagreement about the correct tactics, the correct policies, the correct slogans. It is not always Revisionist to have different views.

It should be obvious to everyone that China not only nationalized large industry but also implemented policies of agricultural collectivization similar to the Soviet Union. The notion that they were not constructing socialism is absurd and based on a nitpicking “left-communist” attitude. They don’t care about the big picture. If they can find some excuse to denounce something as Revisionism, they will.

This conduct is not different from “Left-Communist”, “Orthodox Marxists”, Trotskyists and other armchair revolutionaries who claim “the Soviet Union was state capitalist because it still used money instead of labor vouchers” or some such nonsense. Unfortunately many Hoxhaists boldly proclaim such absurdities; “China was never building socialism. Mao was a Revisionist”. I say this is nonsense.

HOXHAISM OR LENINISM?

The biggest danger for Hoxhaists is sectarianism. They openly admit that they are Marxist-Leninists, that Hoxha was an anti-revisionist and not someone who created new theory. Hoxha’s writings popularized & applied Marxism-Leninism just like Stalin did, and Hoxha never sought to create a new “ism”. Hoxhaists should agree with this.

So why do we have Hoxhaist parties? Why do we have Hoxhaism? Hoxhaists feel that if a Marxist-Leninist organization doesn’t identify as Hoxhaist then probably a new party should be created, though they might come up with some other excuse for this splitting action.

Maybe I am a hopeless centrist for not being a Hoxhaist nor a Maoist. Maybe I am centrist for thinking its counter productive to spend most of one’s time denouncing Maoism & the DPRK as revisionists, enemies, worse then capitalists etc., instead of actually trying to advance Communism.

Particularly small parties and groups have a tendency for sectarianism & isolating themselves. This is true of many Maoist groups as well and seems to be a serious danger for all Hoxhaist groups. The Brazilian PCR doesn’t seem to suffer from this quite as much as some others, but I’ve been criticized for being “pro-Mao” by some Brazilian Hoxhaists (in a friendly discussion) as if that is what we should be worried about at this point.

You don’t see Maoists or Marxist-Leninists focusing all their time on attacking Hoxha, yet Hoxhaists seem obsessed with attacking us non-Hoxhaist M-Ls. This is wrecking activity and harms our movement.

Should there in my opinion exist specifically Hoxhaist parties? Absolutely not. We need Marxist-Leninist parties. Everyone should recognize the positive contribution of Hoxha and all the times when he was correct, we don’t need to be “Hoxhaists” to do that.

If some comrades insist on labeling themselves “Hoxhaists” then so be it. But that is not a big enough issue to split over, not from their point of view or mine. Like Hoxha, I call for ‘true Marxist-Leninist unity’.

Unity cannot be unprincipled, we cannot achieve unity by merely proclaiming that we have it and then still continue to have big differences which are brushed aside, we all know this. However to have disunity or split over minor questions is sectarian. The Hoxhaist vs. M-L split is obviously just such a minor question, to claim the opposite only proves my point.

The quest to have specifically Hoxhaist organizations, to have Hoxha’s face and name always visible as a priority, to split with those who don’t agree with Hoxha on everything is obviously sectarian.

Moscow Trials (Part 3 – THE GREAT PURGE)

The so-called Great Purge is best defined as a period of intense political turmoil inside the Soviet Party & State Apparatus, although it did also spread outside it to the military and other segments of the population.


The Military Purge & Vlasovites

The purge of the military involved hunting down anti-government elements, nazi-sympathisers, trotskyists, bourgeois nationalists & corrupt careerists inside the Soviet Red Army. In previous parts I already discussed the Tukhachevsky Trial, however the military purge extended beyond merely removing Marshall Tukhachevsky and some other Red Army leaders connected with him. Many lower officers were also demoted or removed, even arrested.

However the numbers of the people removed or arrested are wildly exaggerated in Western cold-war propaganda. One often hears ridiculous speculations about half, or even 75% of the Red Army leadership being removed, and in effect this greatly damaging the defensive capability of the USSR. This is baseless.

In reality the number of military leaders kept constantly increase during the course of war preparations. The number increased from approximately 140,000 to almost 300,000 within the years 1937-1939. The purge reached its height in 1937 when 7.7% of the army leaders were removed. (Let us also note that 30% of all those removed were re-instated in the military before the Second World War.)

This 7.7% is nothing close to the claimed 50-75% and would not have crippled the army. In reality, as there were fifth columnists and unreliable elements in the army, it was crucial they be removed. There were attempted Nazi or Pro-Nazi military coups and conspiracies in many other countries such as Finland, USA, Brazil, Denmark, Romania, Brazil and elsewhere. There were pro-nazi elements and collaborators in all the allied countries but this is often forgotten by anti-communist propagandists who accuse the USSR of paranoia and pointlessly purging the army & state.

Year 1937 1938 1939
Total number of military leader 144300 179000 282300
Number of leaders removed 11043 6742 205
Leaders removed (%) 7.7% 3.7% 0.08%

(Source: Getty, Stalinist Terror)


Even despite this purge there were notable cases of Soviet generals or officers defecting to the fascist side, most famously
general Vlasov, Bunyachenko and Meandrov. There were Brits, French and Americans also fighting on the Nazi side. In the case of the British and French they formed entire battalions: British Free Corps, Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism and individual Americans served in the Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht and SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers. Nazi collaboration and plots were a real threat.


The Purge of the Bureaucracy

Anti-Communists claim the purge was something ordered by Stalin to crush dissent. In actuality this is a major misconception. The purge was many different contradictory things. On the one hand it was the state removing enemies, nazi-sympathisers, trotskyists and bourgeois elements. However this didn’t happen with the State crushing popular dissent, instead it mostly targeted the state and bureaucracy itself.

Not only that but together with the NKVD hunt for enemies there was a wave of populist anti-bureaucratism and denouncing of corrupt careerists and right-wing elements by the lower ranks and non-party members.

“The two radical currents of the 1930s had converged in July 1937, and the resulting turbulence destroyed the bureaucracy …. Antibureaucratic populism and police terror destroyed the offices as well as the officeholders. Radicalism had turned the political machine inside out and destroyed the party bureaucracy.” (Getty)

“(T)he center was trying to unleash criticism of the middle-level apparat by the rank-and-file activists. Without official sanction and pressure from above, it would have been impossible for the rank and file, on their own, to organize and sustain such a movement against their immediate superiors.”
(Ibid.)

“The evidence suggests that the … ‘Great Purges’ should be redefined. It was not the result of a petrified bureaucracy’s stamping out dissent and annihilating old radical revolutionaries. In fact, it may have been just the opposite … a radical, even hysterical, reaction to bureaucracy. The entrenched officeholders were destroyed from above and below in a chaotic wave of voluntarism and revolutionary puritanism.” (Ibid.)

Yagoda’s Right-Wing plot

“Kirov in Leningrad must be removed… Brothers, fascists, if you can’t get to Stalin, kill Gorky, kill the poet Demiyan Bieni, kill Kaganovich.”
~ Za Rossiyu, Nov. 1, 1934 (Organ of the fascist Russian National League of New Regeneration)

Kulaks, ex-capitalists & nationalists would have served as the popular base for an anti-soviet coup’de’tat. But there were anti-soviet forces at every level of Soviet society, including among the military men, officials and police men.

The NKVD chief Genrikh Yagoda was part of the Right-Wing conspiracy led by the Bukharin-Tomsky-Rykov triumphirate. He was complicit in the Leningrad Zinovievite-Trotskyite group’s assassination of party secretary Sergei Kirov.


“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.”
(Kahn & Sayers, The Great Conspiracy)

“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.”

“Preparations for it have already begun,” Yenukidze added. He told Maximov that Yagoda was behind all this, and the conspirators had his protection.”
(Ibid.)

The forces of the conspiracy were: the forces of Yenukidze plus Yagoda, their organizations in the Kremlin and in the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs
~Bukharin, court proceedings

“Not all the details are yet known of the strange struggle which Stalin carried on for years against his own secret police…. The leading members of the secret police, which had become a separate caste, were bound neither to any ideology nor to any party policy. What they wanted–in the name, of course, and for the benefit of, the party–was far-reaching powers and also certain material advantages… They therefore kept up a continual struggle against any limitation of their authority. When Stalin sought to impose certain restrictions on their right to pronounce death sentences, they simply secured that the new courts which were to hear certain cases with the public excluded, should be formed from their own members, that is to say members of the police caste. Stalin’s continual pressure for more rigid supervision by organs of the party was just what drove Yagoda and his colleagues into opposition and later into conspiracy.”
(Nikolaus Basseches, Stalin p. 236)


The Right-Wing conspirator Grigory Tokaev, member of the Red Army who defected to the British in 1948 was part of a group which had connections to the Zinovievite-Trotskyite conspirators but also to Yenukidze & Yagoda. He wrote in his 1956 book:

“Not that our movement was completely at one with the Sheboldayev-Yenukidze group, but we knew what they were doing and… considered it our revolutionary duty to help them at a critical moment …. We disagreed on details, but these were nevertheless brave and honorable men, who had many a time saved members of our group, and who had a considerable chance of success.”
(Tokaev, Comrade X)

“The NKVD… took another step forward. The Little Politbureau had penetrated the Yenukidze-Sheboldayev and the Yagoda-Zelinsky conspiracies, and broken through the opposition’s links within the central institutions of the political police… Yagoda was removed from the NKVD, and we lost a strong link in our opposition intelligence service.”
(Tokaev, Comrade X)


The Ezhovshchina – “Ezhov-terror”


How can anyone now allow himself the stupidity of criticizing Stalin for repression and crimes? This was a psychosis that was cleverly instituted by Yezhov and other enemies of the State… this psychosis took over the minds of millions of people. Practically all were involved in looking for “enemies” … the resolution to do these things which were undertaken by the REAL ENEMIES of the Soviet people. No directives either of Stalin, Molotov, or Voroshilov were to be found in all of these documents.”
(Aleksei Rybin, Next to Stalin: Notes of a Bodyguard)

Another complication in the Purge was the so-called Ezhovshchina, the terror initiated by NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov. While the NKDV cracked down on real enemies, real conspirators and counter-revolutionaries the leader of the NKVD itself, Ezhov was himself an anti-soviet conspirator. He protected the real conspirators to the best of his ability, while also arresting and even executing many innocent people to create popular distrust and hatred toward the government:

“Ezhov interrogation 04.30.39

“All this was done in order to cause widespread dissatisfaction in the population with the leadership of the Party and the Soviet government and in that way to create the most favorable base for carrying out our conspiratorial plans.””
(Pavliukov 525-6)

Enemies hiding in the party also expelled many members to create distrust and hatred towards the party and the government. One of them said:

“We endeavored to expel as many people from the party as possible. We expelled people when there were no grounds for expulsion. We had one aim in view – to increase the number of embittered people and thus increase the number of our allies.” (Getty)

Stalin responded by urging caution and trying to limit the amount of expulsions.

“It was necessary to hunt down active Trotskyites but not everyone who had been casually involved with them, Stalin announced. In fact, such a crude approach could “only harm the cause of the struggle with the active Trotskyist wreckers and spies.” … Each case of expulsion from the party for connections with the former oppositions should be dealt with carefully”
(Thurston, Life and Terror in Stalin’s Russia p. 47-48)

“…the specific remedies he [Stalin] proposed for the remaining “problems” were in the benign areas of party education and propaganda rather than repression.”
(Getty & Naumov, p. 129)

In the end many expulsions were discovered to be unjustified and many members were allowed back in their posts:

“In the majority of cases the commission examined from 40 to 60 percent of those thrown out of the party had been reinstated. ”
(Thurston, p. 107)


In 1938 Ezhov’s actions were exposed and he was removed from power and sentenced as a traitor. Journalist Edgar Snow wrote about the Purge, or more accurately the Ezhovshchina:

“The sadistic Yagoda and Yezhov, who for a time ruled a state within a state–the GPU, were chiefly responsible for these outrages. By Yagoda’s own account his hirelings faked thousands of documents and so mixed up the records that it was impossible to tell a genuine dossier from a bogus one. Curiously the public does not seem to blame Stalin for having permitted such a Frankenstein to develop, but instead gives him credit for having cleaned up the Yagoda gang and brought the secret police back under full control of the Politburo–which he did when the GPU was crushed.”
(Edgar Snow, The Pattern of Soviet Power p. 148)

When Stalin still thought the NKVD under Ezhov’s command was carrying out wrongful actions only mistakenly, not deliberately, he said that:

“Wholesale expulsions based on this “heartless attitude” alienated party members and therefore served the needs of the party’s enemies. According to Stalin, such embittered comrades could provide addittional reserves for the Trotskyists “because the incorrect policy of some of our comrades on the question of expulsion from the party… creates these reserves… It is high time to put a stop to this outrageous practice, comrades.””
(Getty, Origins of the Great Purges p. 147)

Stalin and the Politburo tried to stop the NKVD from committing excesses. Eventually he would become suspicious and realize Yezhov and Yagoda had been carrying out these anti-people activities deliberately to create de-stabilization, popular resentment and distrust in the government.

The Communist Party Central Committee issued a decree to limit the NKVD’s power. They were worried that the NKVD’s wrong actions could cause mass resentment among the population. It would take some time until they learned this was precisely what Ezhov attempted to do:

“I. ON DISCONTINUING THE MASS EXPULSIONS OF PEASANTS
All mass expulsions of peasants are to cease at once… Only persons accused of counterrevolution, terroristic acts, sabotage… [and other serious crimes] may be taken into preventive custody.”

“The organs of the OGPU are to obtain the prior consent of the directorate of the procuracy in making arrests, except in cases involving terroristic acts, explosions, arson, espionage, defection, political gangsterism, and counter-revolutionary, antiparty groups…”
(Getty & Naumov)


“In 1937 and 1938, Stalin and company tried to contain radicalism through press articles, speeches, revised electoral plans, and deglorifying the police. That they had to take such measures shows their lack of tight control over events.”

(Getty, Origins of the Great Purges)


In June 1936, Stalin interrupted Yezhov at a Central Committee Plenum to complain about so many party members being expelled: 
YEZHOV: Comrades, as a result of the verification of party documents, we expelled more than 200,000 members of the party. 
STALIN: [interrupts] Very many. 
YEZHOV: Yes, very many. I will speak about this…. 
STALIN: [interrupts] If we expelled 30,000… and 600 former Trotskyists and Zinovievists, it would be a bigger victory. 
YEZHOV: More than 200,000 members were expelled. Part of this number of party members, as you know, have been arrested. 
At about this time, Stalin wrote a letter to regional party secretaries complaining about their excessive “repression” of the rank-and-file. This led to a national movement to reinstate expelled party members,… 
[Later in this plenum, Stalin spoke specifically on this question. Circumstantial evidence suggests that he was genuinely concerned that too many of the rank-and-file had been expelled because such large numbers of disaffected former members could become an embittered opposition.”
(
Getty and Manning, Stalinist Terror)

In 1938 Stalin and the Politbureau finally became so suspicious of Ezhov they appointed Beria as the NKVD second-in-command to keep an eye on Ezhov. Within the year Ezhov was removed:

By the fall of 1938 Yezhov’s leadership of the NKVD was under steady fire from various directions. The regime responded officially on Nov. 17, in a joint resolution of the Sovnarkom and the party Central Committee. This document went to thousands of officials across the USSR in the NKVD, the Procuracy, and the party, down to the raion level. Thus, the acknowledgement that grotesque mistakes and injustice had occurred … Enemies of the people and foreign spies had penetrated the security police and the judicial system and had “consciously…carried out massive and groundless arrests.”
(
Thurston, Robert. Life and Terror in Stalin’s Russia, p. 114)


Ezhov the Traitor

“Beria … at a closed joint session of the Central Committee and the Central Control Committee of the Party, held in the autumn of 1938 … declared that if Yezhov were not a deliberate Nazi agent, he was certainly an involuntary one. He had turned the central offices of the NKVD into a breeding ground for fascist agents.” Tokaev

“Yezhov bears great personal responsibility for the destruction of legality, for the falsification of investigative cases.”
Getty and Manning. Stalinist Terror. p. 29

“The airplane designer Yakovlev recalls the following in his memoirs:
In the summer of 1940 Stalin said these precise words in a conversation with me:
Yezhov is a rat; in 1938 he killed many innocent people. We shot him for that.””
(Roy Medvedev, Let History Judge p. 529)

Ezhov as a member of the right-wing conspiracy was involved with foreign powers, with the Bukharin-tomsky-Rykov trio and Yagoda-Yenukidze plot:

“Later, in 1939, during interrogation, Ezhov confirmed that in 1935 he had indeed gone again to Vienna to be treated for pneumonia by Dr. Noorden … he confessed to having used the visit for contacting the German intelligence service.”
(Jansen & Petrov, Yezhov p. 36)

As Stalin and Beria were on his trail Ezhov and his group hastily began thinking of ways to save themselves:

“After his arrest, Ezhov was accused of having schemed against the Party leadership. He testified himself that after arrests began within the NKVD he, together with Frinovskii, Dagin, and Evdokimov, made plans to commit a “putsch” on 7 November 1937… Dagin, who was chief of the NKVD guard department, was to execute the plan, but on 5 November he was arrested, followed a few days later by Evdokimov. Ezhov alone could not prevent Beria’s initiative. “This way all our plans collapsed.”
(Ibid.)

“Evdokimov gave similar evidence. According to him, in September he discussed the threatening situation after Beria’s appointment with Ezhov, Frinovskii, and Bel’skii. Allegedly, they agreed to prepare an attempt on Stalin and Molotov. Ezhov was also said to have had plans to murder Beria.”
(Ibid.)

“After arrest he [Yezhov] himself confessed to having conspired against Stalin and having planned an attempt on him; this was confirmed by a number of accomplices and witnesses.”
(Ibid.)


Putting an end to Ezhovshchina

On November 17, 1938, Stalin and Molotov issued a decision, putting an end to Ezhov’s excesses:

“The general operations — to crush and destroy enemy elements — conducted by the NKVD in 1937-1938, during which investigation and hearing procedures were simplified, showed numerous and grave defects in the work of the NKVD and prosecutor. Furthermore, enemies of the people and foreign secret service spies penetrated the NKVD, both at the local and central level. They tried by all means to disrupt investigations. Agents consciously deformed Soviet laws, conducted massive and unjustified arrests and, at the same time, protected their acolytes, particularly those who had infiltrated the NKVD.

“The completely unacceptable defects observed in the work of the NKVD and prosecutors were only possible because enemies of the people had infiltrated themselves in the NKVD and prosecutor offices, used every possible method to separate the work of the NKVD and prosecutors from the Party organs, to avoid Party control and leadership and to facilitate for themselves and for their acolytes the continuation of their anti-Soviet activities.

“The Council of People’s Commissars and the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) resolves:

“1. To prohibit the NKVD and prosecutors from conducting any massive arrest or deportation operation ….

“The CPC and the CC of the CPSU(b) warn all NKVD and prosecutor office employees that the slightest deviation from Soviet laws and from Party and Government directives by any employee, whoever that person might be, will result in severe legal proceedings.

V. Molotov, J. Stalin.”
(Nouvelles de Moscou p. 15)

“Other opposition to Yezhov manifested itself at the beginning of 1938. At that time, a large group of NKVD employees complained to the Central Committee about Yezhov. They accused him of illegal use of government funds and also of the secret execution of a number of prominent party members without investigation or a court examination. In January 1938, the Central Committee Plenum produced a resolution criticizing excessive vigilance. Prominent in the movement to criticize Yezhov’s actions was Zhdanov, who played an important role in drafting the January 1938 resolution.”
(Getty and Manning p. 36)

“…at the end of 1938 Stalin removed Yezhov, disavowed the latter’s excesses, ordered the arrest of the purgers, and released a number of those “falsely arrested.””
(Getty & Naumov, p. 419)

“In December 1938, the campaign came to a complete halt. Most pending investigations for counter-revolutionary activities were dropped and the suspects released. Yezhov was dismissed as head of the NKVD and replaced by Beria. A number of leading NKVD officers were arrested and some executed for having extracted false confessions. Most regional heads of the security police were purged, and many were subject to criminal actions. Past abuses were widely criticized. Both Yagoda and Yezhov were denounced as enemies of the people. Numerous cases were reinvestigated and quite a few of the sentenced released”
(Szymanski, Human Rights in the Soviet Union p. 239)

Lack of oversight. This allowed Ezhov to function.

When interviewed by Feliks Chuev for his memoirs, Molotov gave the following explanation:

CHUEV: Didn’t the security agencies place themselves above the party?
MOLOTOV: No, that’s not so…. There was not enough time. We lacked resources. I did not say that the Politburo was overly trusting, but I did say that insufficient oversight was exercised. I disagree that we were overly trusting. The oversight was inadequate.”
(Feliks Chuev, Molotov Remembers, p. 262)

“I believe there were deficiencies and mistakes. It couldn’t have been otherwise with our enemies operating within the security agencies in charge of investigations…. The major deficiencies were that the security agencies had been left without due oversight by the party during certain periods. The negligence was not purposeful. The resources for adequate oversight were insufficient.”
(Ibid p. 287)

“…These errors were largely caused by the fact that at certain stages the investigations fell into the hands of people who were later exposed as traitors guilty of heinous, hostile, antiparty acts. ”
(p. 288)

Ezhovshchina’s role compared to the Purging of real enemies

Despite dwelling on the Ezhovshchina, the majority of enemies arrested & executed were not innocents. The purge was a period of extreme political turmoil but it still only affected a minority of the soviet population. Its impact has been exaggerated.


“To the rest of the world it seemed at the time that Russia was enveloped in a smothering atmosphere of plots, murders, and purges. Actually this was a superficial view since, although the rest of the world was morbidly interested in the trials to the exclusion of anything else about Russia, only a tiny percentage of the population was involved and the same years which saw the treason trials saw some of the greatest triumphs of Soviet planning. While the screws tightened on a tiny minority the majority of Soviet people were enjoying greater prosperity and greater freedom.”
(Jerome Davis, Behind Soviet Power , p. 30)

“In the so called Moscow trials 55 people got capital punishment and 7 imprisonment. Most of those prosecuted were persons in high positions in the party, the state apparatus and the army”
(Mario Sousa, The Class Struggle During the Thirties in the Soviet Union)


Propagandists like Robert Conquest, Solzhenitsyn and Snyder claim that tens of millions perished in the purge, they even ignore the very real nazi-collaboration and trotskyite-bukharinite opposition inside the country. Despite Solzhenitsyn claiming that Stalin had killed 60 million people, nearly half of the Soviet population, the real facts say something very different:

“The true number of those falsely accused of counter-revolutionary activities who were executed in the 1936-38 period, is probably between 20,000 and 100,000… the popular conception of the bloodiness of the Great Purge is a gross exaggeration cultivated by those concerned to discredit developments in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and since, as well as the contemporary or revolutionary process in other countries.”
(
Albert Szymanski, Human Rights in the Soviet Union)

“…(t)he archival evidence from the secret police rejects the astronomically high estimates often given for the number of terror victims.”
(Getty & Naumov, p. xiv)

“(t)he data available at this point make it clear that the number shot in the two worst purge years [1937-38] was more likely in the hundreds of thousands than in the millions… there are good reasons for assuming that they are not wildly wrong because of the consistent way numbers from different sources compare with one another.”
(Getty & Naumov, p. 591-93)


Despite the hysterical anti-communist propaganda, most of those sentenced were guilty, not innocent. The destruction of the anti-soviet Fifth Column was necessary.

“…To say that all the repressions were unwarranted is, I consider, incorrect. There was a sufficiently high number of enemies in the country after the revolution, dissatisfied people–political criminals as well as ordinary criminals. There was also a good deal of banditry going on in the country; on the collective farms they had to put up with murders of activists and people taking up arms. There were victims, of course. The repressions about which so much is written and talked about today were not at all on the scale that is stated now. “Hundreds of millions of repressed”, they say. Nonsense!”
(Rosamond Richardson, Stalin’s Shadow)

“For 10 years I have worked alongside some of the many recently shot, imprisoned, or exiled in Russia as wreckers. Some of my friends have asked me whether or not I believe these men and women are guilty as charged. I have not hesitated a moment in replying that I believe most of them are guilty.”
–Bruce Franklin (in The Essential Stalin p. 26)


The Fifth Column was at our doorstep. Without destroying them we could not have won the war.”
–Kaganovich (
Feliks Chuyev, Thus Spake Kaganovich)

If the fifth column had not been dealt with the USSR would probably have faced the same fate as Norway, Czechoslovakia and France:

“… 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… 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.”
–French Minister of Aviation Pierre Cot, Triumph of Treason

“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 tasks 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.”
~Joseph E. Davies

Unfortunately, many foreigners left the Soviet Union during 1937 and 1938 for one reason or another, carrying away with them the impression that the purge ended everything, or at least ended something; an epoch, let us say. Everyone worthwhile had been arrested or shot, it seemed. This impression was basically incorrect. The purge caused many arrests, but the Soviet Union was large, and millions of Russians who had not been involved personally in the purge took it more or less as it came without allowing it permanently to influence their attitude toward the Soviet power. So that in the end of 1938 when the purge ended, when hundreds of arrested people were released with terse apologies for ‘mistakes’ of the investigators, when new arrests stopped or almost stopped, most of the workers in Magnitogorsk had an essentially cheerful and optimistic view of things.” 
(
Scott, John. Behind the Urals)

Conclusion

The notion that the Purge was the action of an omnipotent state machine to crack down on dissent has proven incorrect. The purge most of all targeted the bureacy itself and not so much the general public.

The idea that all those accused of treason were innocent victims of frame-ups has also been proven false. The axis fifth column in Soviet Russia was destroyed but individual members of it still lived to escape to the West and tell of their treason. However these individuals are ignored by anti-communist propagandists. They don’t fit the narrative.

The purge was a somewhat hysterical and paranoid reaction, but to very real threats and very real enemies.

There is good evidence to believe most of those punished were really guilty. The number of victims is blown out of all proportion by cold-war propagandists like Robert Conquest, Solzhenitsyn and their modern followers. The fact that archival evidence and other kinds of reliable evidence were not available to western researchers in the cold-war, allowed them to speculate wildly and invent such insane death tolls as 10 million, 20 million or even 60 million.

When the Soviet Union collapsed anti-communist propagandists refused to believe Soviet population was as high as it was, it should have been half of that, if we were to believe tens of millions had been killed and another 27 million had died in WWII.

Many modern western researchers give the real number of deaths as around 700,000 (less then 0.5% of the population) and this includes those wrongfully killed by Ezhov which cannot be blamed on the Soviet Communist Party, while there are those who also propose even lower figures.

The purge was an expression of vicious class struggle and the aftermath of the Revolution & Civil war.

In its method, motive or scale it doesn’t compare to capitalist genocides like:

the Congolese genocide: Belgian Leopold II’s killing 10 million congolese causing the population of the Congo to fall by 25%. The Congo was Leopold’s “private property” which he could exploit as he saw fit.

The Haitian genocide: European colonialists killed off most of the indigineous population (about a million people)

Spanish conquest of the Americas wiped out most of the indigineous population causing it to fall from estimated 22 million to around mere 2 million.

The slave trade killed an approximate 100 million African slaves.

The Nazi holocaust systematically exterminated millions and their wars of aggression killed tens of millions more.

The CIA orchestrated the mass killing of from 500,000 to up a million suspected communists in Indonesia and carried out similar atrocities in other countries.

The United States has killed countless millions around the world in wars of aggression in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan etc. and consciously wiped out most of it’s own native populations.

Some will argue that those things happened a long time ago. But so did the Great Purge. While the purge happened in the late 30s, at the same time capitalist Great Britain still advocated bloody colonialism and knowingly starved millions of Bengalese. At the same time France still considered Vietnam as its own property and pursued a similar policy of shipping rice out from Vietnam starving millions. Supported by German banks and industrial capitalists, Hitler was killing millions of jews, slavs, communists & democratic forces.

In 1953 the CIA overthrows the democratically elected president of Iran and institutes a dictatorship. A year later the CIA overthrows the Guatemalan president and sets up a puppet dictator. The same year the CIA begins to attack independence forces in Vietnam.

The USA which still followed a policy of racial segregation, initiates CIA operation MOCKINGBIRD and recruits hundreds of journalists in various media outlets to become operatives. Shortly 25 biggest media outlets have CIA operatives controlling them.

Atrocities, even genocides, murderous wars of profit, toppling democratic governments, racist policies, outright colonialism & slavery by the capitalist powers are largely ignored by capitalist anti-communist propaganda. Communist wrong doings are invented, or exaggerated and all context is removed. Those targeted are described as innocent victims, whether they be fascists, supporters of monarchist absolutism, colonialism or simply criminals. Anything the communists do is declared to be bad.

History has been turned on its head by the anti-communists. Nazi collaborators & colonialists are treated as respectable figures. To hide their own wrong doings they blame others. Facts are not on their side, but they control distribution. They have a louder voice. The consensus by the corporate and right-wing media and academia to cover up capitalist crimes and slander socialism, can be called nothing else but a modern OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD.

SOURCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Getty, Stalinist Terror
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=NWYvGYcxCjYC&q=officer#v=snippet&q=officer&f=false

Kahn & Sayers, The Great Conspiracy
http://www.shunpiking.org/books/GC/

Nikolaus Basseches, Stalin quoted here:
https://espressostalinist.com/the-real-stalin-series/yezhovshchina/

Bruce Franklin (The Essential Stalin) available at:
http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/trotskyism/the%20essential%20Stalin.htm

Rosamond Richardson, Stalin’s Shadow

Albert Szymanski, Human Rights in the Soviet Union
https://ia800300.us.archive.org/6/items/HumanRightsInTheSovietUnion/Human%20Rights%20in%20the%20Soviet%20Union.pdf

Jerome Davis, Behind Soviet Power
https://books.google.fi/books/about/Behind_Soviet_power.html?id=DV0fAQAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

Feliks Chuev, Molotov Remembers

Jansen & Petrov, Yezhov
https://books.google.fi/books/about/Stalin_s_Loyal_Executioner.html?id=KqojAQAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y

Roy Medvedev, Let History Judge (try to find original source)

Getty, Origins of the Great Purges
https://books.google.fi/books/about/Origins_of_the_Great_Purges.html?id=R5zx54LB-A4C&redir_esc=y

Edgar Snow, The Pattern of Soviet Power
https://ia800203.us.archive.org/6/items/ThePatternOfSovietPower/The%20Pattern%20of%20Soviet%20Power.pdf

Getty & Naumov, The Road to Terror
https://books.google.fi/books/about/The_Road_to_Terror.html?id=wZ-v1Gj7UhIC&redir_esc=y

Thurston, Robert. Life and Terror in Stalin’s Russia
https://books.google.fi/books/about/Life_and_Terror_in_Stalin_s_Russia_1934.html?id=BgQpfVi8Z-wC&redir_esc=y

Pavliukov, Aleksei. Ezhov. Biografiia

Tokaev, Comrade X
http://epizodsspace.airbase.ru/bibl/inostr-yazyki/Tokaev_Comrade_X_1956.pdf


Feliks Chuyev, Thus Spake Kaganovich

Scott, John. Behind the Urals
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=JvH63H0s0agC&q=bandits#v=snippet&q=These%20agents%20bred%20purges&f=false


Joseph Davies, Mission to Moscow
https://archive.org/details/missiontomoscow035156mbp

Genocide of Congo
http://www.walkingbutterfly.com/2010/12/22/when-you-kill-ten-million-africans-you-arent-called-hitler/

The death toll of transatlantic slave-trade is controversial. 105 million death toll is the absolute max. This article places it at an approximate 60 million.
http://www.worldfuturefund.org/Reports/Slavedeathtoll/slaverydeathtoll.html

CIA & Suharto mass killing in Indonesia
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/aug/01/indonesia.comment

The Haitian native population fell by 85%
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/what-became-of-the-taino-73824867/

Aztec & Inca population
http://dopeaztec.weebly.com/graph-charttable.html

Why do we need Marxism-Leninism?

Reichstag.jpg

Why do we need Marxism-Leninism specifically?
Are there not many equally valid roads to socialism?

PHILOSOPHICAL WORLD OUTLOOK

Marxism-Leninism has the most accurate, scientific, world outlook:
Dialectical Materialism. All the alternatives to this, e.g. idealism, mechanical materialism etc. are inadequate. Other left-wing ideologies either use Marxian dialectics, or bourgeois outlooks. They haven’t put forth their own viable alternative.

ORGANIZATION & TACTICS

Marxism-Leninism has the most effective organizational form & tactics:
Vanguardism & Democratic Centralism. Marxism-Leninism rejects conspiracy & isolated acts of individuals. We seek revolution through organizing the working class & its reserve forces into a vanguard which acts as a front line & general staff of the revolution. This can be achieved through democratic centralism which combines the effectiveness of unity & discipline with democracy. We reject a loose disunited organization & movement without leadership. We advocate leadership through example & guidance, by the most politically conscious members of the working class. If the party’s policies, tactics and positions are correct it will succeed in rallying support around it and to revolution.

Loose movements with no unity, leadership which romanticize unconscious spontaneity don’t succeed. Allegedly non-hierarchical forms fail & “degenerate” to hierarchy or centralism betraying their principles.

MATERIALIST ECONOMIC THEORY & ANALYSIS OF IMPERIALISM

Marxism-Leninism has the most scientifically accurate theory of political economy: Marxian Economics with Lenin’s analysis of modern imperialism. Other leftist movements haven’t produced an alternative theory to fit the task at hand. They either use Marx’s economics & the Leninist concept of imperialism, or bourgeois notions. “Orthodox Marxism” & other “non-leninist marxists” also fail as their theory is lacking in this regard.

COHESIVE LOGICALLY SOUND IDEOLOGY

Marxism-Leninism is a logical whole. A cohesive ideological frame work, not a hodge-podge of internally contradictory, inconsistent parts forced together like some other ideologies. Leninism not only updated (modernized) and defended, but also developed Marxism further while being fully compatible with it. Marxism-Leninism is the modern form of scientific communism.

On the other hand Anarcho-Communism tries to fit the utopian Communist ideas of Kropotkin together with the individualism of Proudhon. Titoism tries to fit markets together with socialist planning. Those are ideologies with incompatible parts or compromises where compromises are not really possible.

CLEAR ANALYSIS OF OUR HISTORY BASED ON MATERIALISM

As Marxism-Leninism is a materialist ideology it is able to honestly and thoroughly analyse history and past revolutionary experience. Not a dogma, but a guide to action Marxism-Leninism offers a powerful methodology for analyzing the world.

Why do some revolutions fail while others succeed? Why did the Soviet Union in the end not reach communism? Marxist-Leninist theory offers ways of getting to those answers. The Anarchist Movement is incapable of adequately explaining its past failures, and thus incapable of learning from those mistakes. Trotskyism either falls into reformism or defeatism as it also has an inadequate way of explaining the past successes & failures of our movement.

We defend the historical legacy of socialism against attacks by anti-communist propagandists. Our movement has achieved tremendous things, and to denounce them or to discard that wealth of experience would be utterly foolish.

It is crucial that our analysis of history is accurate and not colored by bourgeois propaganda. We must know the real facts; to repeat the successes but not the failures of the past.

Those who under the persuasion of anti-communist propaganda, disregard or denounce the glorious history of existing socialism are making a great mistake.

UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE

Marxism-Leninism can be applied in a variety of different forms depending on the historical context or geographical location, in short material conditions. These applications will necessarily change over time.

Marxism-Leninism doesn’t require revolutions to happen in specific countries or in the exact same way. We argue that concrete conditions determine if countries can have revolutions. This is not determined by any moral or ideological prejudice. Marxism-Leninism rejects the Trotskyist notion that revolution can/should only occur in many countries at once or not at all.

The socialist revolution must be led by the working class vanguard. However we reject the dogmatist notion that it can only occur in wealthy non-colonized countries. We argue that working class revolution can happen not only by proletarians alone against capitalism, but also under the leadership of the communist workers in a worker-peasant alliance, or together with oppressed people fighting for national-liberation, or with broad struggle against feudalism, or for instance together with a democratic revolution or movement against fascism i.e., in countless different ways depending on the situation.

This is because our movement is meant to analyze and work based on the real world, and form our practical work based on what works in reality, responding to real conditions instead of imposing an ideological dogma on the situation or trying to force reality to fit a predetermined ideologically motivated model like a square peg into a round hole.

The Moscow Trials (Part 2: COURT PROCEEDINGS)

The Trials (1936-1938)

The Moscow Trials were a series of separate though connected trials. They were the following:

August 19-24, 1936 “The Case of the Trotskyite Zinovievite Terrorist Centre” known widely as the “Zinoviev-Kamenev Trial”. This trial mainly concerned the Trotskyist-Zinovievite underground and their connection with the Murder of Sergei Kirov.

January 23-30, 1937 “The Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Centre” or “The Piatakov-Radek Trial” which continued the NKVD investigation of the Trotskyite conspiratorial bloc.

May-June 1937 “Tukhachevsky Affair” concerning the military conspiracy and collaboration with foreign powers & fascists.

And finally, March 2-13, 1938 “The Case of the Anti-Soviet ‘Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.’” or “the Bukharin Rykov Trial” which convicted the last major members of the conspiracy. At this point it had become clear that the main conspiracies were actually all connected. The military conspiracy, the underground political opposition bloc and the wrecking in industry, espionage for foreign powers etc.

The parties involved in each were not in agreement but they worked together towards the common enemy. Some members were Trotskyists who agreed to help Germany for their own reasons, others were bourgeois elements hostile to the USSR or Bukharinites. Many were ex-members of the Left Opposition, United Opposition or the Right-Opposition, but not all. Some were recruited by Trotskyists, some by Zinovievites or Bukharinites. Some were in contact with Sedov or even Trotsky but most were not. Others were recruited by German intelligence and had no direct connection to Trotskyism at all.


But how believable were the accusations? How fair were the Trials in reality?


Main counter arguments:

1) Allegation that the accusations were incredible.

These days one often hears the claim that such a conspiracy was incredible, unbelievable, couldn’t have happened or something else to that effect. Really the findings of the Moscow Trials were widely accepted in mainstream discussion until Khruschevs’ Secret Speech of 1956. We will return to this detail later. The evidence the Soviets had was strong and credible, in the end only few groupings chose to disbelieve it due to political convictions. These groups were hardcore anti-communists & Trotskyists.

Of course Trotsky would have known the Trial findings were accurate. Similarly the Anti-Communists might have believed them also. Still both parties accused the Soviets of wrongdoing or frame ups in their own propaganda for obvious propaganda reasons.

U.S. Embassador to the USSR Joseph E. Davies was present at the Moscow Trials and said he felt the trial was fair and not staged:


“With an interpreter at my side, I followed the testimony carefully. Naturally I must confess that I was predisposed against the credibility of the testimony of these defendants… Viewed objectively, however, and based upon my experience in the trial of cases and the application of the tests of credibility which past experience had afforded me, I arrived at the reluctant conclusion that the state had established its case, at least to the extent of proving the existence of a widespread

conspiracy and plot among the political leaders against the Soviet government, and which under their statutes established the crimes set forth in the indictment… I am still impressed with the many indications of credibility which obtained in the course of the testimony. To have assumed that this proceeding was invented and staged as a project of dramatic political fiction would be to presuppose the creative genius of a Shakespeare and the genius of a Belasco in stage production. The historical background and surrounding circumstances also lend credibility to the testimony. The reasoning which Sokolnikov and Radek applied in justification of their various activities and their hoped-for results were consistent with probability and entirely plausible. The circumstantial detail… brought out by the various accused, gave unintended corroboration to the gist of the charges.”
(Davies, Mission to Moscow)

Davies was not alone in his views. He wrote in his diary:

“DIARY Moscow February 11, 37


The Belgian Minister, De Tellier, has been here a long time. I had a most interesting discussion with him to-day. He is experienced, able, shrewd, and wise; and knows his Europe well. The defendants in the trial were guilty, in his opinion.


DIARY Moscow February 18, 1937

The Minister called. Re trial: There was no doubt but that a widespread conspiracy existed and that the defendants were guilty.


DIARY Moscow March 11, 1937

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 on 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 we knew it was not, it was probably just as well that the outside world should think so.(ibid.)

Despite the fact that some bourgeois outlets wanted to portray the Trials as a hoax, many mainstream media outlets were eventually forced to admit the Trials were fair:

The defendants admitted frankly that they resorted to individual terror as a last resort, fully knowing that disaffection in the country now is not sufficiently strong to bring them into power in any other way… It is futile to think the trial was staged and the charges trumped up. The Government’s case against the defendants is genuine.”
The Observer, August 23


Other foreign visitors to the USSR voiced similar opinions:

“I studied the legal procedure in criminal cases in Soviet Russia somewhat carefully in 1932, and concluded … that the procedure gave the ordinal accused a very fair trial… The charge was a serious one. A group of men… under some measure of suspicion for counter-revolutionary or deviationist activities, and most of them having had such activities condoned in the past on assurances of the loyalty in the future, were now charged with long, cold-blooded, deliberate conspiracy to bring about the assassination of Kirov (who was actually murdered in December, 1934), of Stalin, of Voroshilov and other prominent leaders.

Their purpose, it seemed, was merely to seize power for themselves, without any pretence that they had any substantial following in the country… And at no stage was any suggestion made by any of them that any sort of improper treatment had been used to persuade them to confess. The first thing that struck me, as an English lawyer, was the almost free-and-easy dameanour of the prisoners. They all looked well…”
D.N. Pritt (quoted in The Moscow Trial Was Fair)

“Why did sixteen accused men all confess guilty… if they had been maltreated in prison, surely some signs of this would have been visible to the public, or at least one of them would have made some sort of a statement on the matter… To plead innocent was impossible because the proofs were overwhelming, and all these people knew this.”
Pat Sloan, ibid.

Even many members of the “American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky” ended up changing their minds and being convinced of Trotsky’s guilt. Among these people were journalists Carleton Beals and Lewis Gannett, Nation magazine editor Freda Kirchwey and Nation contributor Mauritz A. Hallgren who wrote:

“…Since joining your committee I have given deep and earnest thought to the whole problem here involved. I have examined, so far as they have been made available in this country, all of the documents bearing upon the case. I have followed closely all of the news reports. I have consulted some of the reports made by non-Communists who attended the first trial. I have carefully studied the published arguments of the partisans on both sides. And I have just as carefully restudied the writings of Trotsky concerning his case against Stalinism…

It is said by some that they have been hypnotized into confessing… For example, the unamity with which the men have been confessing is taken as proof that the confessions are false and have been obtained by some mysterious means. Yet these assertions rest upon no tangible or logical proof whatever… The very unamity of the defendants, far from proving that this trial is also a “frame-up”, appears to me to prove directly the contrary. For if these men are innocent, then certainly at least one of the three dozen, knowing that he faced death in any case, would have blurted out the truth. It is inconceivable that out of this great number of defendants, all should lie when lies would not do one of them any good. But why look beyond the obvious for the truth, why seek in mysticism or in dark magic for facts that are before one’s very nose? Why not accept the plain fact that the men are guilty?”
Mauritz A. Hallgren (Why I Resigned From the Trotsky Defense Committee)

2) The claim that the accused were Tortured or threatened.

While the USSR had a law which allowed the use of physical pressure by the NKVD there is no evidence the defendents in question were tortured.

The novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger was visiting the Soviet Union at the time of the Pyatakov-Radek Trial. He wrote:

The first and most reasonable supposition is, of course, that the confessions were extracted from the prisoners by torture and by the threat of still worse tortures. Yet this first conjecture was refuted by the obvious freshness and vitality of the prisoners, by their whole physical and mental aspect… There was no justification of any sort for imagining that there was anything manufactured, artificial, or even awe-inspiring or emotional about these proceedings.”
(
Feuchtwanger, Lion. Moscow, 1937, p. 121-122)


Journalist John Gunther also wrote about the trial:

It was said that the prisoners were tortured, hypnotized, drugged (in order to make them give false confessions) and–a choice detail– impersonated by actors of the Moscow Art theater! But the trials occurred soon after the preliminary investigations were concluded, and they took place before hundreds of witnesses, many of them experienced correspondents, in open court… Pressure there certainly was, in the manner of police investigation all over the world, but no evidence of torture.”
(
John Gunther, Inside Europe)

The most common allegation is that Bukharin was tortured, however according to Bukharin biographer Steven Cohen claims he couldn’t have been:

“It seems that no physical tortures were used against him [Bukharin] in prison.”
(Cohen, Bukharin na Lubianke, Svobodnaia Mysl’ 21, No. 3 (2003), pp. 60-1.)


Historian Asen Ignatov agrees: “We may be confident that Bukharin did not undergo torture.”
(Asen Ignatov,
Revoliutsiia pozhiraet svoikh vunderkindov. Sluchai Bukharina s psikhologicheski tochki zreniia. Forum 1 (2005))


Historian Edvard Radzinsky:

“There are many legends about the tortures which induced him to take part in this ignominious farce. It is a pity to debunk a good legend… No, there was no torture. And it seems unlikely that the delicate and hysterical Bukharin would have written so many literary works in the intervals of torture.” 
(Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin)

Some have opted to say that instead Bukharin confessed falsely in order to help the party but this seems unlikely too. There is no evidence for his innocence but there is for his guilt. According to Bukharin’s testimony he chose to confess after learning the evidence the NKVD had against him, how many others had been caught, and who had implicated him. This seems logical. We will return to Bukharin’s statements a bit later.

The claims of torture are extremely common but baseless. If there was solid evidence, we would have seen it by now. Further more the fact someone was tortured doesn’t imply innocence or that their testimony is inaccurate. It casts doubt on the accuracy of their statements for sure, so that the testimony has to be re-evaluated in the light of other evidence. On top of that, it seems unlikely that when cross examined witnesses could give mutually corrobarative, detailed statements about facts they allegedly knew nothing about or didn’t participate in. It is far more likely they were able to give these statements because they were truthful.


In the two following sections we will deal with the Dewey Commission & the political “Rehabilitations” of Khruschev and Gorbachev and the arguments they made against the Moscow Trials.


Political “Rehabilitations” by Khruschev & Gorbachev

Aleksandr Shelepin gave a speech in favor of Khruschev. He quoted from Iakir’s letter to Stalin of June 9, 1937.

“A series of cynical resolutions by Stalin, Kaganovich, Molotov, Malenkov and Voroshilov on the letters and declarations made by those imprisoned testifies to the cruel treatment of people, of leading comrades, who found themselves under investigation. For example when it was his turn Iakir – the former commander of a military region – appealed to Stalin in a letter in which he swore his own complete innocence. Here is what he wrote:

I am a noble warrior, devoted to the Party, the state and the people, as I was for many years. My whole conscious life has been passed in selfless, honest work in the sight of the Party and of its leaders… Now I am honest in my every word…
–Speech to the 22nd Party Congress of the CPSU, Pravda, October 27, 1961

The problem here is that Shelepin has taken this letter entirely out of context and lied about it’s contents. He claims Iakir was innocent and always proclaimed his innocence. In reality in this letter he actually admits guilt, but Shelepin has chosen to omit this part. The full text of the letter first came out in 1994. Here are some of parts left out by Shelepin:

Dear, close comrade Stalin. I dare address you in this manner because I have said everything, given everything up, and it seems to me that I am a noble warrior, devoted to the Party… Then the fall into the nightmare, into the irreparable horror of betrayal. . . . The investigation is completed. I have been formally accused of treason to the state, I have admitted my guilt, I have fully repented. I have unlimited faith in the justice and propriety of the decision of the court and the state. . . . Now I am honest in my every word…”
Iakir’s letter reprinted in [“Rehabilitation. How It Happened”] volume 2 (2003)

So Shelepin has taken a letter where a man admits his guilt and turned it into a claim of innocence! If Iakir was truly innocent would this kind of dishonestly really be needed?

We have already been over the Shvernik Reports attempt to blaim Stalin on the Kirov Murder & for framing Tukchavesky. No evidence was found and this time instead of trying to fabricate it the Khruschevites gave up and focused on other things.

The statement of the rehabilitation commission of the Politburo published in August 1989 reads:

“It has been established therefore that after 1927 the former Trotskyists and Zinovievists did not carry out any organized struggle against the party, did not unite with each other either on a terrorist or any other basis, and that the case of the “United Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center” was fabricated by the organs of the NKVD upon the direct order and with the direct participation of J. V. Stalin.”


It is quite a strange situation when Gorbachevites, supposed Communists are more anti-communist in their statements then Western historians.

“Although Trotsky later denied that he had any communications with former followers in the USSR since his exile in 1929, it is clear that he did. In the first three months of 1932 he sent secret letters to former oppositionists Radek, Sokolnikov, Preobrazhenskii, and others. Although the contents of these letters are unknown, it seems reasonable to believe that they involved an attempt to persuade the addresees to return to opposition. Sometime in October of 1932, E.S. Gol’tsman (a Soviet official and former Trotskyist) met Sedov in Berlin and gave him an internal memorandum on Soviet economic output. This memorandum was published in the Bulletin’ the following month under the title “The Economic Situation of the Soviet Union.” It seems, though, that Gol’tsman brought Sedov something else: a proposal from Left Oppositionists in the USSR for the formation of a united opposition bloc. The proposed bloc was to include Trotskyists, Zinovievists, members of the Lominadze group, and others. The proposal came from “Kolokolnikov” – the code name of Ivan Smirnov.” (Getty, Origins)

Western historians admit this, while the Gorbachevite government denies it? Of course we know Gorbachev was in reality an anti-communist himself:

“My ambition was to liquidate communism… My ideal is the path of social democracy.”
–Gorbachev

The Gorbachevite “rehabilitation” committee also denied the Terrorist character of this Bloc which they claimed didn’t even exist, despite the fact that even non-Soviet sources testified to it.

Molotov also spoke about these phony “rehabilitations” in his interview with Feliks I. Chuev published in 1993:

MOLOTOV: Take Tukhachevsky, for example. On what grounds was he rehabilitated? Did you read the records of the trial of the right-wing and Trotskyist bloc in 1938? Bukharin, Krestinsky, Rosengoltz, and others were on trial then. They stated flat out that in June 1937 Tukhachevsky pressed for a coup. People who have not read the record go on to say that the testimony was given under duress from the Chekists. But I say, had we not made those sweeping arrests in the 1930s, we would have suffered even greater losses in the war.” (Molotov Remembers p. 285)


It was not politically advantageous for Molotov to say these things. He supported Stalin and continued to defend his legacy against lies and slander even though the Khruschevite and Gorbachevite governments didn’t look kindly on it. He had nothing to gain for these statements except the knowledge he was speaking the truth.

The Dewey Commission

In 1937 the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky organized the so-called Dewey Comission, the goal of which was to prove the innocence of Leon Trotsky. The comission carried out interviews of Trotsky and sure enough stated that it had managed to prove his innocence.

In reality the Dewey Comission failed to provide any strong evidence of Trotsky’s innocence. Most of its conclusions are purely speculative but especially the important findings are all provably false and have been debunked. The comission voiced support to Trotsky’s baseless accusation that Stalin was behind the murder of Kirov, that Stalin unjustly framed all of his political opponents, glorifies Trotsky’s role in the world communist movement and in general acted as a popularizer of Trotskyist propaganda.

As the Dewey Commission failed to provide any meaningful evidence of its own they claimed to have found holes in the charges made at the Moscow Trial. Their case heavily rested on the so-called Hotel Bristol argument which also has since then been debunked. The argument goes as follows: one accused, Holtzman testified to having met Leon Sedov in Copenhagen in a hotel named Bristol. The Dewey Comission claimed that the hotel Bristol had burnt down, therefore this was an impossibility and a lie invented by the Stalinists.

Its since been proven that actually Holtzman met Sedov in the Grand hotel, the cafe-bakery adjatent to which was called Bristol. Holtzman mistakenly thought Bristol was the name of the hotel as the hotel had no other sign, other then the cafe sign that said “BRISTOL”. One wonders, does this sound like something the Soviet police would fabricate? No it doesn’t, its overly convoluted for no apparent reason. What it sounds like, is that Holtzman made an honest mistake and that his statement at least in that regard is accurate.

The Dewey comission presented as true Trotsky’s claims of innocence, even though we now know Trotsky was lying:

“GOLDMAN: Did you ever discuss with anyone the possibility of organizing a united center between your political followers and the followers of Zinoviev and Kamenev in the Soviet Union, after the break-up of your bloc with Zinoviev and Kamenev?

TROTSKY: Never. My articles show that it is absolutely impossible. My appreciation of them, my total contempt after the capitulation, my hostility to them and their hostility to me, excluded that absolutely.

GOLDMAN: Have you read the testimony of Zinoviev and Kamenev and the other defendants in the first Moscow trial?

TROTSKY: Yes.

GOLDMAN: Wherein these defendants claimed that you instructed several of them to establish a united center between your political followers and their political followers? Have you read such testimonies?

TROTSKY: Yes.

GOLDMAN: What have you to say about that?

TROTSKY: It is a falsehood organized by the GPU and supported by Stalin.”
(Dewey Comission proceedings, third session)


Despite the Dewey Comission’s best efforts even various members of the Trotsky defence committee (and the Dewey Comission itself) came to the conclusion that Trotsky was guilty and were compelled to leave it as a result.

On April 17 Carleton Beals, a member of the Dewey comission resigned from it. He described the work of the Dewey Commission in a public statement:

“… 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…. 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.”
(
New York Times, April 19, 1937 )

SOURCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Joseph E. Davies, Mission To Moscow
https://archive.org/details/missiontomoscow035156mbp

Statements of D.N. Pritt & Pat Sloan in The Moscow Trial Was Fair
https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sections/britain/pamphlets/1936/moscow-trial-fair.htm

Mauritz A. Hallgren, Why I Resigned From the Trotsky Defense Committee

Available at https://espressostalinist.com/2011/05/31/why-i-resigned-from-the-trotsky-defense-committee-by-mauritz-a-hallgren/

Feuchtwanger, Lion. Moscow, 1937, p. 121-122
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/feucht.htm#7


Bukharin was not tortured:
Cohen,
Bukharin na Lubianke, Svobodnaia Mysl’ 21, No. 3 (2003), pp. 60-1.)
Asen Ignatov,
Revoliutsiia pozhiraet svoikh vunderkindov. Sluchai Bukharina s psikhologicheski tochki zreniia. Forum 1 (2005))

available at http://www1.ku-eichstaett.de/ZIMOS/forum/docs/02Ignatow.pdf

Reabilitatsia. Kak Eto Bylo [“Rehabilitation. How It Happened”] vol. 2 (2003)


Dewey comission proceedings:

The case of Leon Trotsky Report of Hearings on the Charges Made Against Him in the Moscow Trials, third session
https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1937/dewey/session03.htm


New Evidence Concerning the “Hotel Bristol” Question in the First Moscow Trial of 1936
http://clogic.eserver.org/2008/holmstrom.pdf

Gorbachev 1989 Rehabiliation document:
O Tak Nazyvaemom ‘Antisovetskom Ob” edinennom Trotskistsko-Zinov’evskom Tsentre.”
quoted in http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf

Gorbachev about his anti-communism:
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv6n1/gorbach.htm

Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin


Carleton Beals’s statement available here:
http://www.shunpiking.org/books/GC/GC-AK-MS-chapter21.htm

The Moscow Trials (Part 1: THE INVESTIGATION)

Introduction.

The Soviet Union experienced a period of political turmoil at the end of the 1930s. This escalated in a series of trials known as the Moscow Trials. Nowadays the Trials are often characterized as fraudulent, that the accused were innocent of all wrong doings and victims of frame-ups. What is the reality of the situation? Is there any validity to these claims?

In this article I will be discussing the events leading up to the Trials and the Moscow Trials themselves.

Background:


1927-1928 Party Debates & Factional Struggles

In the 10th Party Congress Lenin had proposed a ban on factional groupings inside the party as they went against the organizing principles of Bolshevism, Democratic Centralism. Democratic Centralism means that in any given topic everyone has freedom of speech to express their opinion, but once a decision is reached everyone must uphold the rule of the majority. If after having lost the debate on a given issue a factional grouping still continued to insist on their own policy despite the party majority deciding against it they would probably be expelled from the party. Either accept the Party’s principles or be expelled.

“In the practical struggle against factionalism, every organisation of the Party must take strict measures to prevent all factional actions… ensure strict discipline within the Party and in all Soviet work and to secure the maximum unanimity in eliminating all factionalism…”
Lenin, “Summing-Up Speech On Party Unity And The Anarcho-Syndicalist Deviation”

Lenin’s ban on factions led to the suppression of various kinds of factional activities from the Syndicalists, Trotskyists and the Left-Communist Faction led by Bukharin and other groups. These groupings were forced to accept Democratic Centralism & party discipline if they wanted to stay in the party.

We move forward to 1927 when Stalin has out maneuvered his opponents. His policies are being accepted, he is recognized as the rightful leader of the party and the majority backs him. Trotsky’s Left Opposition has been ideologically defeated. Zinoviev & Kamenev who previously had been going back and forth about supportin Trotsky make an alliance of convenience with him and his supporters. This group becomes known as the United Opposition. An opposition grouping is tolerated within the party for a while but in October 1927 the United Opposition stages a demonstration separate from the rest of the Bolshevik Party, officially to commemorate the Revolution, but also to criticize the political line of the Party Majority and Central Committee led by Stalin. This is recognized as factionalism by the Party and many members of the United Opposition are forced to self-criticize or be expelled. Zinoviev & Kamenev capitulate and are allowed to stay. Trotsky refuses and is expelled. He is deported from the country a year later.


In exile Trotsky begins to write books and articles against the Soviet Union’s current leadership. He accuses the Soviet government of various wrongdoings and claims that he himself should have become the leader.


Trotskyist Conspiracy Illegal “Bolshevik-Leninist” underground inside the USSR (1932)

One fights repression by means of anonymity and conspiracy…”
letter from Trotsky to Sedov

The oppositionists led by Trotsky would eventually be accused of treason, espionage & running an illegal anti-soviet underground organization inside the USSR in the Moscow Trials. Trotsky denied all charges. Trotsky famously claimed all the accusations were merely inventions of Stalin. More of this later.

In 1980 the pre-eminent Trotskyist researcher Pierre Broué was granted access to the Harvard Trotsky archive. There he made a startling discovery: among other documents he found items of correspondence between Trotsky, his son Leon Sedov and Trotsky’s secretary Van Heijenoort. In this correspondence Broué found that Trotsky & his allies were discussing first the formation and then the running of a secret organization inside the Soviet Union.

This corraborated the Soviet accusations atleast to some degree. More shocking to a devoted Trotskyist like Broué was that Trotsky & Sedov had lied to all their supporters, indeed the entire world. The opposition Bloc of Trotskyists was entirely real – not a “Stalinist invention.”

It was then discovered that the Harvard Trotsky archive had been purged. Items had been removed. This was a closed archive meaning only certain Trotskyist researchers had been previously given access mainly Isaac Deutscher, a famous Trotskyist who wrote a massive biography on Trotsky’s life. Trotsky’s wife had also been given access. They form the most obvious candidates for the censoring of the archive of sensitive materials.

”…The proposal for a bloc seems to me to be completely acceptable.”
–letter from Trotsky to Sedov

The bloc is organised, it includes the Zinovievists, the Sten–Lominadze Group and the Trotskyists (former capitulators). The Safar–Tarkhan* Group have not yet formally entered they have too extreme a position; they will enter very soon…. [T]he I.N. Smirnov Group, Preobrazh. and Uf…”
letter from Sedov to Trotsky


*Safarov-Tarkhanov

As far as the illegal organisation of the Bolshevik-Leninists in the USSR is concerned, only the FIRST STEPS have been taken towards its re-organisation.”
letter from Trotsky (Dec. 16 1932) (emphasis added, Bolshevik-Leninist was a term Trotsky used for his supporters, Trotskyists—FB)

Broué‘s findings were published in his book, The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin in the USSR in 1932. Despite the fact that this was truly a bombshell revelation these findings were not given much attention, indeed many Trotskyists deny the existence of the Opposition Bloc to this day. Mainstream historians also largely continue to imply that the Bloc was Stalin’s invention and fabricated. The discovery did spark interest in the new school of Soviet Studies, among historians like J. Arch Getty who also visited the Trotsky archive and came to the conclusion that it had been censored.

But if the materials left in the archive proved at least part of the allegations at the Moscow Trial, then what about the missing materials? Trotsky, his Son & his secretary vehemently denied the existence of the Bloc claiming it to be a Stalinist lie. Trotsky’s secretary never mentioned it in his memoirs written well after Trotsky’s death. Same goes for Trotsky’s biggest advocate Isaac Deutscher who was allowed to go through the archive yet continued to insist there was no secret underground organization or Bloc.

This is what they said publicly:

“Of course the Russian Bolshevik-Leninists, didn’t enter into any kind of bloc.”
Sedov, The Red Book

While this was what they actually did secretly:

”…The proposal for a bloc seems to me to be completely acceptable.”
–letter from Trotsky to Sedov

The bloc is organised…”
letter from Sedov to Trotsky

Naturally when accused of a crime anyone will profess innocence regardless if they are actually innocent or guilty. All this demonstrates that Trotsky’s claims of innocence are worthless. Certainly he was running an illegal organization inside the USSR. As for the other charges, it will have to be determined based on evidence.

The indictment dates the conclusion of the bloc in 1932 as the starting point of the “terrorist activity” of the accused. From their side, Trotsky and Sedov denied that the bloc even existed.”
Pierre Broué (The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin in the USSR in 1932)

“It is clear, then, that Trotsky did have a clandestine organization inside the USSR in this period and that he maintained communication with it. It is equally clear that a united oppositional bloc was formed in 1932”
(Getty,
Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938)


Political Assassinations – Murder of Sergei Kirov (1934)

“Stalin must be killed!”
Leon Sedov

“Stalin… is crushing the country … Inplacable hatred is accumulating around him, and a terrible vengeance hangs over his head… An assassination attempt? It is possible that this regime… will ultimately suffer individual terror. One can add that it would be contrary to the laws of history that the gangsters in power not be subject to acts of vengeance…”
–Leon Trotsky

In 1934 head of the Leningrad organization of the Soviet Communist Party, Sergei Kirov was assassinated by a gunman. The killer, a party member, Leonid Nikolaev attempted to commit suicide before being captured but failed.

In the interrogation he initially claimed to be a lone gunman, but eventually testified to being part of a conspiracy of political assassinations by the underground Trotskyist-Zinovievite Bloc.

In response to these grave allegations Trotsky accused Stalin of masterminding the murder himself. However, there is no evidence to justify Trotsky’s claim. Both Khruschevite de-stalinization- & Gorbachev’s glasnost-era researchers attempted to compile evidence that Stalin killed Kirov, but nothing was found. In fact Kirov was a close collaborator of Stalin’s and naturally a target for politically motivated terrorists.

“Over the years, there were three, and perhaps four, “blue ribbon” investigations of the Kirov killing… Khrushchev and Gorbachev wanted to pin it on Stalin and all of them handpicked

their investigators accordingly. Having been able to acquaint myself with archival materials from these efforts, it is clear that none of the three investigations produced the desired conclusions. In particular, the Khrushchev and Gorbachev-era efforts involved massive combing of archives and interviews and failed to conclude that Stalin was behind the killing. Stalin’s effort, of course, concluded that the opposition did it and was the basis for the Moscow trials.”
Arch Getty (the H-RUSSIA discussion list August 24, 2000)

There was no obvious reason why Stalin would have wanted to falsely accuse the Oppositionists of this crime at this point. The Trotskyist underground Bloc had not been uncovered yet, certainly Stalin had no idea that Zinoviev, Kamenev etc. were members in it. It was largely the Kirov murder that sparked the investigation leading to these discoveries. The Oppositionists were politically powerless and marginalized in the legal party & state apparatus of the USSR. They had no chance to challenge Stalin’s political line. They were only dangerous in one capacity, as members of an illegal anti-soviet conspiracy.

However Stalin did not know of any such conspiracy at that time, so why frame the Opposition Bloc? Indeed, he didn’t even know the Opposition Bloc truly existed until it was discovered by the NKVD in connection with the Kirov investigation!


Is it conceivable that one of the leaders of the Party gets shot by a lone gunman? It is within the realm of possibility, but considering the facts the other option seems far more likely. There is no good evidence to doubt Nikolaev’s admission of guilt, one could merely say it alone is inconclusive. We will return to this point later.


After the Kirov murder and the discovery of the secret Bloc of Trotskyists the charges against the conspirators kept on mounting. Zinoviev & Kamenev were among the first to be tried, already arrested in connection with the Kirov murder. However they would be tried in connection with a broader conspiracy to overthrow the government. The charges against the defendants included sabotage, espionage, conspiring with foreign powers and planning & committing political assassinations.

Alexander Zinoviev (no relation to Grigory Zinoviev) was a political dissident in the USSR and was eventually exiled from the country. In 1939 he was accused of a plot to murder Stalin as part of an underground organization, but was eventually released.

He spoke of those years after the fall of the Soviet Union, actually admitting to his guilt.

“I was already a confirmed anti-Stalinist at the age of seventeen …. The idea of killing Stalin filled my thoughts and feelings …. We studied the ‘technical’ possibillities of an attack …. We even practiced. If they had condemned me to death in 1939, their decision would have been just. I had made up a plan to kill Stalin; wasn’t that a crime? When Stalin was still alive, I saw things differently… Until Stalin’s death I was anti-Stalinist”
Alexander Zinoviev (The remorse of a dissident: Alexander Zinoviev on Stalin and the dissolution of the USSR

The fact that he was arrested by the NKVD but released due to lack of conclusive evidence or confession argues against the idea that the Oppositionists were merely framed by the Soviet government. Not only was Alexander Zinoviev released and therefore not framed but he also admits his guilt, being an unwitting part of an underground group. This seems to demonstrate that the investigation was fair, the accused was innocent until proven guilty.

Clearly the notion of political assassinations was not invented by Stalin. Alexander Zinoviev admits his guilt. He wasn’t tortured into confessing by the NKVD, the NKVD doesn’t even exist anymore. Despite their best efforts Khruschev, Gorbachev, the capitalists – nobody has been able to find evidence that Stalin had Kirov killed. Trotsky’s claim is therefore false. Nikolaev the assassin confessed to being part of an Opposition group, exactly like Alexander Zinoviev did.

Mark Zborowski, an NKVD agent managed to infiltrate Trotsky’s organization and became Sedov’s second in command. He reported to Moscow that Sedov & his followers were planning assassinations of Stalin & Voroshilov.

“Trotsky’s and Sedov’s staffs were thoroughly infiltrated, and Sedov’s closest collaborator in 1936, Mark Zborowski, is said to have been an NKVD agent. In 1936, the 1932 bloc would be interpreted by the NKVD as a terrorist plot…” (Getty, Origins)

Jules Humbert-Droz, a Swiss Communist and political ally of Bukharin wrote in his memoirs about their last meeting in 1929. Bukharin had told him they were planning to assassinate Stalin. He had objected, and they had split over this. His memoirs were published in 1971, well after De-Stalinization had claimed Bukharin was innocent:

“Before leaving I went to see Bukharin for one last time not knowing whether I would see him again upon my return. We had a long and frank conversation. He brought me up to date with the contacts made by his group with the Zinoviev-Kamenev fraction in order to coordinate the struggle against the power of Stalin. I did not hide from him that I did not approve of this liaison of the oppositions:

“The struggle against Stalin is not a political programme…This bloc is a bloc without principles which will crumble away before achieving any results.”

“Bukharin also told me that they had decided to utilise individual terror in order to rid themselves of Stalin. On this point as well I expressed my reservation… Bukharin doubtlessly had understood that I would not bind myself blindly to his fraction whose sole programme was to make Stalin disappear. This was our last meeting.”
(‘De Lénin à Staline, Dix Ans Au Service de L’ Internationale Communiste 1921-31’)

G. A. Tokaev was a member of a conspiratorial anti-communist group within the Soviet Red Army who defected to the British in 1948. He wrote about his activities openly and unrepentantly. His group was connected to other Opposition underground groups, met with Bukharin and knew about the Trotskyist-Zinovievite conspiracy against Kirov in Leningrad:

“Stalin aimed at one party dictatorship and complete centralisation. Bukharin envisaged several parties and even nationalist parties, and stood for the maximum of decentralisation. He was also in favour of vesting authority in the various constituent republics and thought that the more important of these should even control their own foreign relations. By 1936, Bukharin was approaching the social democratic standpoint of the left-wing socialists of the West.”
Tokaev, Comrade X. Publisher, Harvill Press, 1956 p. 43

“Bukharin wanted us to act with greater determination. We were to snatch the initiative from the hands of the Stalin-Molotov-Kirov triumvirate…”
Tokaev, Betrayal of an Ideal. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1955

Tokaev unrepentantly said that Kirov brought the assassination upon himself by his work against the Zinovievists in Leningrad and purging the Party of Right-Wingers:

“The principal initiators of the 1933 purge were Stalin and Kirov, and of the two Kirov was the more responsible. He had already tried out purging in his own sphere in Leningrad. Indeed, that is what cost him his life. I have good reason to put on record that it was not in 1934, as the official Kremlin reports of the trial of the so-called “Leningrad Centre” suggest, but in the spring of 1933 that his assassination was first mooted, and that by men who should have known better… [i]t was not remarkable that the oppositionists of Leningrad fastened their hatred on him. When the assassin, Nikolaev, at his first cross-examination declared that the Leningrad opposition had its own special accounts to settle with Kirov, he was only being just.”
Tokaev, Grigori. Ibid.

“Our group had planned to assassinate Kirov and Kalinin, the President of the Soviet Union. Finally, it was another group that assassinated Kirov… In 1934 there was a plot to start a revolution by arresting the whole of the Stalinist-packed 17th Congress of the Party… A comrade from the group, Klava Yeryomenko, proposed in mid-1936 to kill Stalin… there had already been no less than fifteen attempts to assassinate Stalin, none had got near to success, each had cost many brave lives”
Tokaev, Comrade X

The right-wing conspirators of Tokaev regretted that Bukharin was caught. The Trotskyist Radek gave himself up and confessed to the NKVD:

“[Radek] provided the culminating ‘evidence’ on which Bukharin was arrested, tried and shot …. We had known of Radek’s treachery at least a fortnight before (Bukharin’s arrest on October 16, 1936), and we tried to save Bukharin…”
Tokaev, Comrade X. (p. 68)


Discovery of the Trotskyist Organization (1935 1936)


The NKVD makes a startling discovery. Inside the Soviet Union there exists a secret Trotskyist-Zinovievite underground conspiring to overthrow the Soviet government. Naturally everyone knew there were ex-Trotskyists, opposition groups and other similar forces in the country. However this new group was different, it was an illegal conspiratorial bloc, not a political opposition.

Also shocking was that old Opposition leaders like Zinoviev & Kamenev were among its leaders, together with ex-Trotskyists like Smirnov. Indeed these ex-Trotskyists were in reality still Trotskyists, only secretly. Trotsky continued to claim that he had no agreement with the Oppositionists and had had no contact with them since 1927. This turned out to be false – the bloc itself was in routine contact with Trotsky.

Much of the NKVD investigative materials are still classified in Russia so we do not know all the evidence they had. We have some of the testimonies describing the Trotskyite Bloc, its contact with Trotsky and naming some of it’s members which are confirmed by the materials from the Harvard Trotsky Archive.

Zinoviev, Kamenev, Preobrazhensky, Smirnov and others were directly named as members of the Conspiratorial Bloc in Trotsky’s correspondence discovered by trotskyist historian Pierre Broué.

Radek & Sokolnikov were named in mailing receipts of Trotsky’s correspondence which were discovered in the Trotsky archive by Getty. The actual letters had been removed from the archive by a person or persons unknown before it was opened to researchers.
(Getty, Origins)

“The Left Opposition was always an intransigent opponent of behind-the scenes combinations and agreements. For it, the question of a bloc could only consist of an open political act in full view of the masses, based on its political platform. The history of the 13-year struggle of the Left Opposition is proof of that.” (Sedov, Red Book, Chapter 9)

Broué commented on Sedov’s passage:

“This text, written right after the first Moscow trial, stands in complete contradiction to the 1932 document in secret ink in Sedov’s handwriting and that attests to the existence of the “bloc” and of the negotiations he was carrying on with the “Trotskyists” in the USSR; with Trotsky’s letter approving the formation of the “bloc” as an alliance, not a unification; and with the comments of Trotsky…”
(Broué, The Bloc of the Opposition against Stalin)

“On July 11, 1928, during the violent debates that took place before the collectivization, Bukharin  held a clandestine meeting with Kamenev. He stated that he was ready to “give up Stalin for Kamenev  and Zinoviev’, and hoped for ‘a bloc to remove Stalin'”
Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926–1929. By Edward Hallet Carr and R.W. Davies


In his confession, Bukharin said:

“The trio (Bukharin—Rykov—Tomsky) became… an illegal counter-revolutionary organization … close to this illegal center was Yenukidze, who had contact with this centre through Tomsky… About the autumn of 1932 the next stage in the development of the Right organization began, namely the transition to tactics of a forcible overthrow of Soviet power… terrorism, steering a course for a direct alliance with the Trotskyites. Around this time the idea of a “palace coup” was maturing in the Right circles… This was when the political bloc with Kamenev  and Zinoviev  originated.

In this period we had meetings also with Syrtsov and Lominadze… In the summer of 1932, Pyatakov told me of his meeting with Sedov concerning Trotsky’s  policy of terrorism.”
(“Report of Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet “Block of Rights and Trotskyites”)

We can be certain Bukharin spoke fairly accurately as even evidence outside the Soviet archives corraborates it. Zinoviev & Kamenev, Lominadze etc. were named in Trotsky’s letters which were discovered in 1980. Yenukidze is confirmed as a member of the right-wing conspiracy also by Tokaev.

Tuchkachevsky Affair & Military Conspiracy (1936)

“You are wrong to tie the fate of your country to countries which are old and finished, such as France and Britain. We ought to turn towards new Germany… Germany will assume the leading position on the continent of Europe”
–Marshall Tukhachevsky (Geoffrey Bailey , The Conspirators)


“[P]ro-German statements made by Tukhachevsky in Western European countries during his trip to Britain became known in France and Czechoslovakia… The information that such an important figure as Tukhachevsky took a pro-German stand caused grave concern in Paris and Prague. The two governments notified the Soviet Government about Tukhachevsky’s statements.”
–Yuri Yemelianov, “The Tukhachevsky Conspiracy”

“The Moscow press announced that… (the accused generals) had been in the pay of Hitler and had agreed to help him get the Ukraine. This charge was fairly widely believed in foreign military circles, and was later substantiated by revelations made abroad. Czech military circles seemed to be especially well informed. Czech officials in Prague bragged to me later that their military men had been the first to discover and to complain to Moscow that Czech military secrets, known to the Russians through the mutual aid alliance, were being revealed by Tukhachevsky to the German high command.”
–Anna Strong, The Soviets Expected It. New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 134

“People of the French Deuxieme Bureau told me long ago that Tukhachevsky was pro-German. And the Czechs told me the extraordinary story of Tukhachevsky’s visit to Prague, when towards the end of the banquet – he had got rather drunk – he blurted out that an agreement with Hitler was the only hope for both Czechoslovakia and Russia. And he then proceeded to abuse Stalin. The Czechs did not fail to report this to the Kremlin, and that was the end of Tukhachevsky – and of so many of his followers.” –Alexander Worth, quoted in Harpal Brar, Perestroika: The Complete Collapse of Revisionism (1992)

The NKVD discovered a network of traitors inside the Soviet Red Army centered around Marshall Tukhachevsky. In his letter Marshall Budyanni describes the interrogation of one of the members of the military conspiracy:

“PRIMAKOV very stubbornly denied that he led a terrorist group consisting of SHMIDT, KUZ’MICHEV and others, against com. VOROSHILOV. He denied this on the basis that, he said, TROTSKY had entrusted him, PRIMAKOV, with a more serious task – to organize an armed uprising in Leningrad. . . PRIMAKOV did not, however, deny that he had indeed earlier led a terrorist group and for that purpose had recommended SHMIDT to the post of commander of the mechanized corps. In connection with this special assigment of TROTSKY’S, PRIMAKOV worked on the 25th Cavalry Division with the divisional commander ZYBIN. According to him ZYBIN was assigned to meet TROTSKY at the border once the rebels had taken over Leningrad.”
–Letter from Marshall Budyonny to Commissar for Defense Kliment Voroshilov (June 26, 1937)

Both Voroshilov & Budyanni were close associates of Stalin’s. If they had framed Tukhachevsky together they would not discuss the investigation in the manner they do. Also, if accused Primakov was framed he would probably not insist that he was not currently member of a terrorist group but instead a military conspiratorial one as both are equally illegal.

On top of that Primakov admits to being part of a terrorist group previously, just not currently. This lends credibility to his testimony. Both the investigative materials, and Budyanni’s letter were never intended for publication and didn’t come out until decades later so lying in them would be pointless.

In this connection the Shvernik Report should be mentioned. It was a report compiled by a Khruschev era commission whose goal was to gather materials that could be used to disprove the guilt of Tukhachevsky, to prove that Stalin had framed him. Unfortunately for Khruschev the commission failed to find such evidence but instead it found further evidence of Tukhachevsky’s guilt. Among some of the materials dicussed in the Shvernik Report is a telegram from a Japanese military attaché to his superior in Japan testifying to secret contact with a representative of Marshal Tukhachevsky, corraborating the Moscow Trial testimony. The Shvernik Report went unpublished at the time as it didn’t achieve what Khruschev wanted it to.

The notion that there could have been a military conspiracy is deemed unbelievable by Trotskyists and Anti-Communists. They dismiss evidience against Tukhachevsky and say his testimony cannot be trusted. I will point out the case of general Vlasov, who defected from the Red Army to the German side in 1941 saying he wanted to “…build a New Russia without Bolsheviks or capitalists ….”
(Vlasov and Vlasovites. New Times 44 (1990), pp. 36—40. “Why I embarked on the road of struggle against Bolshevism “)

This is eerily similar to Tukhachevsky’s rhetoric. Vlasov was never arrested by the Soviets and gave this testimony of his own volition from the safety of the West. Another such example was Colonel Tokaev who defected to the British.

The case file of Tukhachevsky is still classified. The last person known to have read it is Colonel Victor Alksnis, relative of one of the people involved in the Trial. He said:

“My grandfather and Tukhachevsky were friends. And grandfather was on the judicial panel that judged both Tukhachevsky and Eideman. My interest in this case became even stronger after the well-known publications of procuror Viktorov, who wrote that Iakov Alksnis was very active at the trial, harrassed the accused. . . . But in the trial transcript everything was just the opposite. Grandfather only asked two or three questions during the entire trial. But the strangest thing is the behavior of the accused. Newspaper accounts claim that all the defendants denied their guilt completely. But according to the transcript they fully admitted their guilt. I realize that an admission of guilt itself can be the result of torture. But in the transcript it was something else entirely: a huge amount of detail, long dialogues, accusations of one another, a mass of precision. It’s simply impossible to stage-manage something like this. . . . I know nothing about the nature of the conspiracy. But of the fact that there really did exist a conspiracy within the Red Army and that Tukhachevsky participated in it I am completely convinced today.”
–Colonel Alksnis (Elementy, 2000)

From a further interview of Alksnis by Vladimir Bobrov:

Alksnis: I turned the pages of the transcript and had more questions than answers. I came away with the impression that, obviously, there had really been a conspiracy. But this is what struck me: in the transcript there are parts which attest to the sincerity of what the defendants said (no matter who claims that the trial was an organized show, that they worked on the defendants specially so that they would give the necessary confessions.) Imagine this. Let’s say, Tukhachevsky is telling about a meeting with the German military attaché in a dacha near Moscow and at that moment Primakov interrupts him and says “Mikhail Nikolaevich, you are mistaken. This meeting did not take place in your office at the dacha, but was on the veranda.” I think that it would have been impossible to “direct” things such that Tukhachevsky said precisely that and that Primakov would then make a correction like that.

Bobrov: Very well. But was there anything there that made you think that the trial had been scripted and directed anyway?

Alksnis: No, it would have been impossible to script and direct a trial such as is in the transcript.

Bobrov: That is, you wish to state that, having read the transcript, you did not find in it any traces of any kind of staging?

Alksnis: Yes, yes. On top of that all of them confessed, and when they all admitted guilt in their last words, stating that they had been participants in the conspiracy and knowing that after that execution awaited them, it is just impossible to imagine that they forced them all to make such admissions and declarations.

Bobrov: What was the main point of accusation of the “conspirators”?

Alksnis: Everything was there: espionage, preparation for a military coup, sabotage, wrecking.

Bobrov: And what does “espionage” mean? You were talking about the meeting at the dacha.

Alksnis: Yes, yes, with the German military attaché. They were talking about arranging coordination with the German military, contacts were going on with them.

Bobrov: One last question. In your interview with “Elementy” you talked about some kind of “cannon” that might shoot at our own times from back in the 30s. What did you have in mind?

Alksnis: If an objective research project on the events of those years were to be done, free of ideological dogmas, then a great deal could change in our attitude towards those years and towards the personalities of that epoch. And so it would be a “bomb” that would cause some problems. (Bobrov)

During the last years of his life, long after de-stalinization Molotov spoke about this issue in an interview with Feliks Chuev published in 1993 as Molotov Remembers. The Khruschev government had made de-stalinization official policy, similarly in the Gorbachev years it was political suicide to oppose the anti-stalin line. However Molotov did so anyway. He testified to the accuracy of the Trial findings:

“The right wing already had a channel to Hitler even before this. Trotsky was definitely connected to him, that’s beyond any doubt…. Many of the ranking military officers were also involved. That goes without saying.” (Molotov Remembers p. 275)

CHUEV: He [Tukhachevsky] was accused of being a German agent.

MOLOTOV: He hurried with plans for a coup. Both Krestinsky and Rosengoltz testified to that. It makes sense. He feared he was at the point of being arrested, and he could no longer put things off. And there was no one else he could rely on except the Germans. This sequence of events is plausible. I consider Tukhachevsky a most dangerous conspirator in the military who was caught only at the last minute. Had he not been apprehended, the consequences could have been catastrophic. He was most popular in the army.

Did everyone who was charged or executed take part in the conspiracy hatched by Tukhachevsky? Some were certainly involved… But as to whether Tukhachevsky and his group in the military were connected with Trotskyists and rightists and were preparing a coup, there is no doubt.”
(Molotov Rembers p. 280)


Is it really likely that Molotov was lying? For what possible reason? To defend himself? Surely not – these kinds of statements not only went against the western narrative but also the Gorbachevite narrative. Some will portray Molotov as a careerist, a hopeless yes-man who agreed to all of Stalin’s proposals merely to stay in power. But here he was attesting to the correctness of their policies even though he had nothing to gain from doing so, quite the opposite. Obviously he must have believed he was telling the truth and he chose to tell it even it meant trouble for him.


Chuev also interviewed Kaganovich and it was publisheds in 1992. Kaganovich corraborated Molotov’s statement. Here is what he said:

“[Chuev:] Perhaps there was misreporting in the organs of the NKVD.

[Kaganovich:] Exactly, this is what I would like to tell you, was it possible to check every detail? This was indeed a most complicated question. Where we were sure of the person’s innocence we defended him. In fact, I also went by this principle. It was only 20 years after the revolution after all, the white officers, kulaks and the Nepmen were all alive…

[Chuev:] Do you think that there could have been a counter-revolutionary sabotage in the 1930s?

[Kaganovich:] Of course there was such a threat, not only this there were also instances of terrorism…. The Fifth Column was at our doorstep. Without destroying them we could not have won the war. The Germans would have beaten us to pulp.”
–Feliks Chuyev, Thus Spake Kaganovich

One other point is worth mentioning. Tukhachevsky’s guilt is heavily implied by documents from the German foreign office discovered by historian Frederick Carsten in the 70s. However Carsten himself proposed the theory that the documents were the result of an attemp by the SS to frame Tukchavesky, presumably to weaken the USSR and cause de-stablization. Few noteworthy things about this:

1) If he was framed by the SS, it means the soviets didn’t deliberate frame him but merely wrongly believed him guilty. Carsten’s findings disprove the notion of Stalin framing Tukhachevsky. The Marshal was either framed by Germany, or guilty. 2) Some critics have claimed that the scarcity of documentary proof from German archives of the Tukchavesky conspiracy is proof it wasn’t real. This is a mistake in logic. In any case even these few documents only emerged in 1974, well after Hitler’s regime had collapsed. The scarcity of German documents proves very little and the documents we have argue in favor of the marshall’s guilt. And yet, even if one dismisses all the Soviet evidence and then dismisses the German evidence we still have compatible & corraborative evidence from Japan, Czechoslovakia and other sources.

Collaboration with Fascism

After the discovery of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite plot Nazedhna Krupskaya, Lenin’s wife, an Old Bolshevik & Revolutionary in her own right wrote about the subject:

“Trotsky… is now standing on the path of organising terrorist acts against Stalin, Voroshilov and other members of the Politburo, who are helping the masses to build socialism. It is not a matter of chance, therefore, that the unprincipled bloc of Kamenev and Zinoviev together with Trotsky have pushed them from one step to another into a deep abyss of an unheard betrayal of Lenin’s work, the work of the masses, the ideals of Socialism. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and their entire band of killers acted together with the German fascists, entered into a pact with the Gestapo.”
Krupskaya, “Why Is the Second International Defending Trotsky?” (1936)

These were grave charges indeed. Trotsky from his side entirely denied all of them. After the second world war the leader of the Finnish Communists, O. W. Kuusinen, said:


“[T]he ruling circles of the imperialist countries didn’t limit themselves to ideological struggle against socialism. Alongside it they engaged in provocational attacks against the Soviet Union and organized treacherous sabotage and wrecking activity, which was carried out in the production facilities of the Soviet Union by bourgeois experts, trotskyites, zinovievites, bukharinites and nationalists.”
–”Missä on Stalin, siellä on voitto” (1949)

The diary of Georgi Dimitrov, supporter of Stalin and the head of the Comintern after 1935 was published in 2003. Dimitrov met with Stalin, Molotov Kaganovich, Voroshilov & Ordzhonikidze in the Kremlin regarding among other things the interrogation of the accused Sokolnikov:

“16 December 1936 – With “the Five” in the Kremlin.

Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov, Ordzhonikidze.

Exchange of opinions of Chinese events, the French Question. . .

Interrogation of Sokolnikov, 12 December 1936:

Question: Thus, the investigation concludes that Trotsky abroad and the center of the bloc within the USSR entered into negotiations with the Hitlerite and Japanese governments with the following aims:

First, to provoke a war by Germany and Japan against the USSR;

Second, to promote the defeat of the USSR in that war and to take advantage of that defeat to achieve the transfer of power in the USSR to their government bloc;

Third, on behalf of the future bloc government to guarantee territorial and economic concessions to the Hitlerite and Japanese governments. Do you confirm this?

Reply: Yes, I confirm it.

Question: Do you admit that this activity by the bloc is tantamount to outright treason against the motherland?

Reply: Yes, I admit it.” (Dimitrov 42-43, Quoted in Furr, Evidence of Trotsky’s Collaboration with Germany and Japan)

Sokolnikov was one of the people named in the mailreceipts found by Getty in Trotsky’s archive so we know he was part of Trotsky’s group. His testimony verifies the facts that already came out in connection with Tukhachevsky. This information was not used in the Public Trial and is now available via Dimitrov’s diary. The question is, would Stalin, Dimitrov, Voroshilov and others really have framed Sokolnikov? We already know Sokolnikov was at least guilty of conspiring with Trotsky and the picture painted by Dimitrov’s diary is that Stalin & others were genuinely curious about the proceeding of the NKVD investigation.

Dimitrov’s diary was only made public in 2003. If he wanted to lie – to cover for Stalin then he would have done so publicly, not in his personal diary that no one ever saw until after the collapse of the USSR.

As much of the material from Soviet Archives still remain classified we don’t have too many documents where Stalin & his associates discuss these matters privately among themselves. However we do have some.

In June 1937 on the eve of the C. C. Plenum Trotsky sent a telegram to the Central Executive Committee, the highest organ of the Soviet government. In this telegram he urged the CEC to betray Stalin and support him. The telegram says:

POLICY IS LEADING TO COMPLETE COLLAPSE INTERNAL AS WELL AS EXTERNAL. STOP. ONLY SALVATION IS RADICAL TURN TOWARD SOVIET DEMOCRACY BEGINNING WITH OPEN REVIEW OF THE LAST TRIALS. STOP. ALONG THIS ROAD I OFFER COMPLETE SUPPORT – TROTSKY.


This telegram didn’t reach the CEC before being intercepted by the NKVD which handed it to Stalin. Upon reading it he wrote on it the following words: “Ugly spy. Brazen spy of Hitler.” Stalin then not only signed his name under it but gave it to Molotov, Voroshilov, Mikoian, Zhdanov. After reading the telegram they signed their names in agreement with Stalin’s assessment.

If Stalin and his collaborators Molotov, Voroshilov etc. truly were framing Trotsky, then would they really call Trotsky a spy of Hitler even when no one else was present? This seems unlikely. The telegram was never made public, not to mention that Stalin’s and his associates comments on it were never made public. The obvious explanation is that they truly believed Trotsky was in league with Hitler.

The authenticity of the telegram has been verified. The question is what was Trotsky’s plan? It seems that he was preparing the stage for his return to power. Once the Soviet Union took heavy losses in a war with Germany, and the Trotskyist conspirators would cause pro-Trotsky rebellions among the troops, even having one of the five Soviet Marshalls and few generals on their side the ousted political Opposition consisting of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Smirnov and others would take over. They would make a peace with the foreign powers granting them heavy concessions. Get rid of Stalin and his supporters, the so-called “bureaucracy” and implement what Trotsky considered “Soviet democracy”.

We also have for instance a written comment by Stalin criticizing the work of the NKVD upon reading the interrogation report for the accused Iakovlev’s wife Sokolovskaia.

According to the NKVD report Sokolovskaia wife to the interrogators:

“During the past five years Iakovlev has been undertaking active participation in the underground anti-Soviet organization that stood on Trotskyist positions.”

To which Stalin remarked:

“…What’s important is not Iakovlev’s and Sokolovskaia’s past activity but their sabotage and espionage work during the past year and the recent months of 1937. We also need to know why both of these scoundrels were going abroad almost every year. 
J. Stalin.”
(Lubianka)

Once again, if Stalin & the NKVD were framing Iakovlev and Sokolovskaia, if they knew the accused were really innocent but being framed, would they behave like this? Stalin sounds genuinely interested about the activities of the accused. Not to mention that this comment by Stalin was never made public either, he was not acting for an audience.

A further document of Stalin’s comments to the NKVD regarding Iakovlev contained the following handwritten points by Stalin:

“1) Did he know about Vareikis’ service with the Tsarist secret police?

2) His opinion about Mikhailov from Voronezh and his participation in the C.R. Org.

3) His contact with Trotsky (did he see him personally in 1935 or in 1934).

4) How did he want to use MOPR? Whom in MOPR did he make use of?

5) “Turn” Iakovlev’s wife: he is a conspirator and she must tell us everything. Ask her about Stasova, Kirsanova, and other friends – acquaintances of hers.” (Lubianka B 396)


Notes:
-C. R. org. = short for Counter-revolutionary organization
-MOPR = International Organization for Aid to Revolutionaries. Soviet organization to aid Communists in other countries.

Obviously Stalin believed the confession of Iakovlev was real and not framed. There would be no sense to behave like this if Stalin & the NKVD had framed Iakovlev together.

Sokolnikov’s and Iakovlev’s wives both confessed to crimes and were found guilty. According to Dimitrov’s diary Stalin had told him: “We shall probably arrest Stasova, too. Turned out she’s scum. Kirsanova is very closely involved with Yakovlev. She’s scum.”

However neither Stasova or Kirsanova were found guilty of crimes despite Stalin’s suspicions against them because they were friends with the accused. This tells us a couple of things:

1) That the investigation didn’t simply frame anyone Stalin personally didn’t like or thought suspicious, they actually looked at the evidence and let these people go even though Stalin personally thought they were suspicious.

2) That Stalin obviously didn’t frame the accused. He believed Iakovlev, Sokolnikov and their wives guilty of conspiracy. He also suspected Kirsanova & Stasova but the evidence didn’t bear that out in the cases of the latter two.

Trotsky & the Secession of Ukraine


Immediately prior to the Nazi invasion of Poland Trotsky began arguing in favor of Ukrainian secession from the USSR & rebellion against the Soviet Union.

To the totalitarian bureaucracy, Soviet Ukraine became an administrative division of an economic unit and a military base of the USSR… Kremlin’s attitude today is the same as it is toward all oppressed nationalities, all colonies, and semi-colonies, i.e., small change in its international combinations with imperialist governments… Not a trace remains of the former confidence and sympathy of the Western Ukrainian masses for the Kremlin… Only hopeless pacifist blockheads are capable of thinking that the emancipation and unification of the Ukraine can be achieved by peaceful diplomatic means… Since the latest murderous “purge” in the Ukraine… In my opinion there can be at the present time only one … slogan: A united, free and independent workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Ukraine…”
Trotsky, Problem of the Ukraine

Trotsky called for a united soviet Ukraine but realistically all Communist forces in Ukraine supported Stalin while the opponents of Stalin were bourgeois nationalists and fascists. What kind of sense does it make to call for Ukraine to leave the USSR as Hitler was approaching it’s Western border? It would weaken the Soviet Union and hand Ukraine over to Hitler.


In his confession in 1936 Tukhachevsky tesfied:

“During the winter of 1935/1936, Pyatakov told me that Trotsky had now asked us to ensure the defeat of the USSR in war, even if this meant giving the Ukraine to the Germans and the Primor’ye to the Japanese. In order to prepare the USSR’s defeat, all forces, both within the USSR and outside the USSR would have to be made ready…”
–Tukhachevsky

Bukharin confirmed this:

“In the summer of 1934 Radek told me that directions had been received from Trotsky… that Trotsky had already promised the Germans a number of territorial concessions, including the Ukraine …. I objected to this… I considered it essential that he, Radek, should write and tell Trotsky that he was going too far… this point of view of Trotsky’s was politically and tactically inexpedient.”
Bukharin (“Report of Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet “Block of Rights and Trotskyites”)

In his testimony Pyatakov, another member of the Right-Opposition said:

Pyatakov: First, the German fascists promise to adopt a favourable attitude towards the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc and to support it if it comes to power, either in time of war, or before a war, should it succeed in doing so. But in return the fascists are to receive the following compensation: a general favourable attitude towards German interest and towards the German government on all questions of international policy; certain territorial concessions would have to be made, and these territorial concessions have been defined – in particular, mention was made of territorial concessions in a veiled form which were called “not resisting Ukrainian national-bourgeois forces in the event of their self-determination.”

Vyshinsky: What does that mean?

Pyatakov: It means in a veiled form what Radek spoke about here: should the Germans set up their Ukrainian government, ruling the Ukraine not through their German Governor-General but perhaps through a hetman – at any rate, should the Germans “self-determine” the Ukraine – the Trotskyist-Zinovievite bloc will not oppose it.”


This truly is what would most likely have happened. If Ukraine’s nationalist forces had seceded, Ukraine would have became an ally or an outright puppet regime of Nazi Germany. The notion that this kind of Ukraine would be a ‘free Soviet Ukraine’ is utterly laughable.

Trotskyists pointed out that there existed “Partisan” anti-Stalin groups in Ukraine. These groups in fact were of course Hitlerite Nationalists, not leftists. The Fourth international actually supported the OUN, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists which fought on the side of Hitler against the USSR. They used Trotsky’s writings to provide ideological justifications for this. They claimed that since the OUN had split between two factions, the Right-wing led by Stepan Banderra and the supposed “Left-Wing” led by Melnyk they were justified in defending the supposedly leftist Melnyk faction. In reality both the Banderist and Melnykist factions continued to collaborate with Hitler though had rivalries among each other. Melnyk was by no means a leftist, having fough against the Soviet Revolutionaries already in the civil and the Soviet Ukrainian war.

A Trotskyist publication, (Revolutionary History) states the following:

“To mention the Ukrainian question is commonly met with the raising of spectres of ‘Ukrainian Bourgeois Nationalism’ and ‘Nazi collaborators’. Sadly, such prejudices run deep, and have a tradition within Marxism as far back as Engels and Luxemburg. With the rise of Stalinism things have worsened to such a scale that it is at times difficult to get a rational and thoughtful discussion on the subject.

The Ukrainian question, to quote Trotsky, is being placed on the “order of the day and this time with redoubled force””

Apparently Stalinism has caused leftists to be suspicious when giving lip-service to Nazi collaborators.


The Trotskyists continue:

“In the split that occurred between the left and right of OUN in 1940… the left… moved steadily to take on Socialist politics injected into it by the working class”

They even go so far as to defend the UPA , the military wing of the Nazi-collaborating Melnyk faction of the OUN which carried out a policy of ethnic cleansing against poles, jews and other minorities:

“[T]he UPA is accused of being “Fascistic” for the reason that during the war it waged an armed struggle against… Russian Stalinism. The UPA remains one of the most unknown revolutionary movements in Soviet history, deliberately portrayed by the Stalinists as collaborators…”

To these Trotskyists the UPA is a legitimate “revolutionary” movement who are apparently only seen as Fascistic because of alleged Stalinist propaganda! This is truly cringeworthy reading in the context of the recent Ukrainian fascist coup. These are UPA supporters. They are Nazis. The Ukrainian militant Neo-Nazi group Pravi-sector (right sector) has even adopted the UPA flag as their official flag.

This is the result of Trotsky’s writings, which state that anyone who opposes the Soviet Union with even the slightest quasi-leftist or quasi-revolutionary rhetoric is legitimate and worthy of support from the Trotskyists!

Trotsky consistently used propaganda which equated Stalin with Hitler or worse then Hitler, blaming Soviet Communism for Hitler and legitimizing opponents of the Soviet Union who in the case of Ukraine would be OUN fascists.

In his article on Ukraine he employed an interesting propaganda tactic, at first he seems to criticize Hitler but in fact he is only criticizing Stalin. Putting all blame on Stalin & saying that Hitler is only a response to Soviet crimes:


“…but for the rape of Soviet Ukraine by the Stalinist bureaucracy there would be no Hitlerite Ukrainian policy.”
Trotsky, Problem of the Ukraine

It is not at all surprising that Trotsky would make criticisms of Nazism even as he was helping Hitler. He was entirely willing to lie and do what ever it took to achieve his aims. More over in their substance his policies were not anti-Hitler but anti-Soviet & pro-Hitler. Of course Trotsky had no personal love Hitler, not did Hitler like the jew Trotsky. But they were useful for each other as they shared a common enemy.


Analysis of Trotsky’s Political Propaganda

“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 praise of Trotsky’s book’… ‘Brilliant!’ cried Hitler, waving Trotsky’s ‘My Life’ at his followers. I have learned a great deal and so can you!'”
(Kahn and Sayers, The Great Conspiracy Against Russia)


Trotsky’s open political propaganda was naturally different from his clandestine conspiratorial activity. However both were meant to serve the same end: topple the Soviet government led by Stalin.


Tacit support for Fascism

Anything Trotsky said openly has to be looked at with skepticism as he was a proven liar but we can learn some things from his statements. For instance when he made weak criticisms of Nazism it is obvious he was not being honest, as he was collaborating with fascists himself. Still he was not a fascist, and in fact disliked fascism but still saw it as a convenient ally against the bigger enemy – Stalin’s government. For this reason even as he criticized fascism he emphasized how the Soviet Union was essentially as bad or even worse then fascism and tried to put the blame for fascist crimes on the Soviet Union. This would also help him seem like a genuine anti-fascist and not a collaborator even though he was one. What better plan to remove suspicion from himself then to accuse everyone else and claim to be the biggest anti-fascist of all.

“(I)n the last period the Soviet bureaucracy has familiarized itself with many traits of victorious fascism”
Trotsky,On the Eve of the Congress

“(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.”
Leon Trotsky, Que signifie la capitulation de Rakovsky? (31 March 1934). La lutte, pp. 59—60.


Obviously this statement is baseless as the USSR was the biggest enemy of Fascism, fighting against Fascist Franco in 1936, Japan in 1938 & 1939 and in WWII and obviously it was Stalin’s USSR that defeated Hitler’s armies. Interestingly Trotsky here attacks Social-democracy while he would later attack Stalin for not supporting Social-democracy enough.

“Hitler’s victory … (arose) … by the despicable and criminal policy of the Cominterm.“No Stalin – no victory for Hitler.” … Stalinist Comintern, as well as the Stalinist diplomacy, assisted Hitler into the saddle from either side… the Cominterm provided one of the most important conditions for the victory of fascism… to overthrow Hitler it is necessary to finish with the Cominterm… Workers, learn to despise this bureaucratic rabble!”
Trotsky, Are There Limits to the Fall?

Here Trotsky is demanding the destruction of the Communist International but disguises this as a leftist position. He says to overthrow Hitler he must destroy the Comintern. This is a ridiculous statement as in reality to destroy the Comintern was to aid and unite with Hitler and his Anti-Comintern. Trotsky of course knew this. These writings by him were merely a tactic to fool his supporters who would have never done so otherwise, into opposing Soviet socialism and aiding Hitler.

Tacit support for terrorism


When it comes to Trotsky’s statements surrounding the Kirov murder we can notice a few basic components:

Trotsky essentially said Kirov got what he deserved. He briefly stated he was opposed to terrorism but obviously didn’t condemn this murder in any strong words, quite the opposite he voiced tacit support for it.

“(A) terrorist act prepared beforehand and committed by order of a definite organization is … inconceivable unless there exists a political atmosphere favorable to it. The hostility to the leaders in power must have been widespread and must have assumed the sharpest forms for a terrorist group to crystallize out within the ranks of the party youth …. If … discontent is spreading within the masses of the people … which isolated the bureaucracy as a whole; if the youth itself feels that it is spurned, oppressed and deprived of the chance for independent development, the atmosphere for terroristic groupings is created.”
Trotsky, On the Kirov Assassination

Trotsky said in no uncertain terms that the Soviet government Kirov was serving was so oppressive it spawned resistance from the workers. He continued to insist that the murder was carried out by worker Oppositionists whom Trotsky consirered legitimate. This is interesting as he would later after his plot failed, and his organization was crushed, accuse Stalin of orchestrating the murder himself.


“The reactionary bureaucracy must be and will be overthrown. The political revolution in the USSR is inevitable.”
Trotsky, Le gouvernement soviétique applique-t-il toujours les principes définis il y a vingt ans? (13 January 1938). La lutte, pp. 159—160.

One might ask how this statement is to be interpreted in context with assassinations. According to Trotsky Kirov was a Stalinist bureaucrat, who even deserved to be killed.

“The insane atrocities provoked by the bureaucratic collectivization methods, or the cowardly reprisals against the best elements of the proletarian vanguard, have inevitably provoked exasperation, hatred and a spirit of vengeance. This atmosphere generates a readiness among the youth to commit individual acts of terror ….”
Trotsky, Ibid

This kind of vitriol against the USSR seems hardly any strong condemnation of the terrorists, quite the opposite he makes every excuse for the terrorists and is very understanding towards their plight under Soviet rule! Trotsky says in no uncertain terms he saw the attack as a form of resistance by the oppressed citizens. Indeed, by a resistance group. The thing he didn’t say of course is that he was leading said group.


Overt support for the overthrow of the Soviet Union:

“The proletariat that made three revolutions will lift up its head one more time. The bureaucratic absurdity will try to resist? The proletariat will find a big enough broom. And we will help it.”
Leon Trotsky, Pour sa propre sauvegarde, la bureaucratie entretient la terreur (26 September 1935). L’appareil policier du stalinisme (Paris: Union générale d’éditions, 1976), pp. 85-87.


Trotsky calls for an insurrection against the Soviet Union. But who were leading these insurrections? Kulaks, whites, bourgeois-nationalists & banderite Nazis. He is quite clear, this resistance work against the Soviet Union is to be continued & is to be organized inside the USSR!

“I cannot be ‘for the USSR’ in general. I am for the working masses who created the USSR and against the bureaucracy which has usurped the gains of the revolution … It remains the duty of a serious revolutionary to state quite frankly and openly: Stalin is preparing the defeat of the USSR.”
Trotsky, A Political Dialogue, pp. 156, 158.


Here Trotsky chooses a softer tone. He claims to be helping the Soviet Union, and that it is not him who is sabotaging it’s defenses in favor of Fascism but Stalin.

“Only the overthrow of the Bonapartist Kremlin clique can make possible the regeneration of the military strength of the USSR …. The struggle against war, imperialism, and fascism demands a ruthless struggle against Stalinism, splotched with crimes. Whoever defends Stalinism directly or indirectly, whoever keeps silent about its betrayals or exaggerates its military strength is the worst enemy of the revolution, or socialism, of the oppressed peoples.”
Trotsky, A Fresh Lesson: After the “Imperialist Peace” at Munich (10 October 1938). Writings, vol. 11, p. 68.

Whoever supports the Soviet government or the Communist international is according to Trotsky the worst enemy of socialism. So Hitler in fact is better, as he doesn’t support either of those things. Trotsky embraces the company of Hitler.

“I consider the main source of danger to the USSR in the present international situation to be Stalin and the oligarchy headed by him. An open struggle against them … is inseparably connected for me with the defense of the USSR.”
Trotsky, Stalin After the Finnish Experience (13 March 1940). Writings, vol. 12, p. 160.

Apparently in Trotsky’s mind an open struggle against the Soviet government would strenghten it’s defenses! Obviously the main danger to the USSR was a foreign invasion, invasion which Trotsky was in fact supporting and even counting on. More of this later.


Trotsky, Japan & China

“VYSHINSKY: What did you and Trotsky say about your underground Trotskyite tasks?

BESSONOV: He imposed on his followers working in the diplomatic field the task of adopting the line of sabotaging official agreements in order to stimulate the interest of the Germans in unofficial agreements with opposition groups. “They will come to us yet,” said Trotsky, referring to Hess and Rosenberg. He said that we must not be squeamish in this matter, and that we might be ensured real and important help from Hess and Rosenberg. He said we must not stop short at consenting to big cessions of territory.

Radek: As regards Japan, we were told she must not only be given Sakhalin oil but be guaranteed oil in the event of a war with the U.S.A. It was stated that no obstacles must be raised to the conquest of China by Japanese imperialism.”

In their testimony some defendants explained that on top of promising territorial concessions (mainly in Ukraine) to Germany, Trotsky was also promising concessions to Japan. Access to natural resources, favorable trade and perhaps most importantly of all Trotsky would guarantee Japan freedom of activity in China and sabotage the Pro-Stalin Communist forces there.

On Trotskyist sabotage activity in China Mao Tse-Tung wrote:

“In the central districts of Hebei the Trotskyists organised a ‘Partisan-Company’ on the direct instructions of the Japanese headquarters and called it a ‘Second Section of the Eighth Army’. In March the two battalions of this company organised a mutiny but these bandits were surrounded by the Eighth Army and disarmed. In the Border Region such people are arrested by the peasant self-defence units which carry out a bitter struggle against traitors and spies.

Trotskyist agents are being sent to the Border Regions where they systematically apply all methods in their sabotage work against the cooperation of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party.”
Mao Tse-Tung, “On the Use of Trotskyists as Japanese Spies in China” (1939)


Ho Chi Minh, also working with the Chinese Communist Party at the time wrote:

“In the past, in my eyes and those of a good number of comrades, Trotskyism seemed a matter of a struggle between tendencies within the Chinese Communist Party. That’s why we hardly paid it any attention. But a little before the outbreak of war, more exactly since the end of the year 1936 and notably during the war, the criminal propaganda of the Trotskyists opened our eyes.

The Chinese Trotskyists (like the Trotskyists of other countries) do not represent a political group, much less a political party. They are nothing but a band of evil-doers, the running dogs of Japanese fascism (and of international fascism)”
(“Three Letters from Ho Chi Minh”)

Trotsky, Spain & Italy

Trotsky is the whore of fascism.”
Antonio Gramsci


In his testimony accused Krestinsky said:

“Trotsky arrived in Meran [Italy] around the 10th of October together with Sedov. . . For Trotsky, the questions which bothered us in Moscow were irrevocably settled and he himself proceeded to expound his instructions with regard to this. He said that as since 1929 we had developed into an organization of a conspiratorial type, it was natural that the seizure of power could be consummated only by force.”

LEON TROTSKY IN ITALY: Leon Trotsky… visited the Roman ruins near Naples, Italy, before proceeding to Denmark for a lecture tour.”
The Cornell Daily Sun, December 1932


As the Italian communist leader Antonio Gramsci rotted in Mussolini’s prison, Leon Trotsky was walking around quite freely.

After leaving Italy Trotsky travelled to Denmark to give a series of speeches. It is interesting to note that although he ostensibly called for the overthrow of the Soviet Union by the soviet working class themselves, he chose to give his speeches in English. In other words, his real objective was to convince the Western audience. These statements by Trotsky were widely published in the West, recordings were even made and shown widely in the Western media.

“M. TROTSKY IN DENMARK
Lecture Broadcast to America”
Barrier Miner, Wed 30 Nov 1932

Trotsky knew his support among Soviet workers was insignificant at the present time. This is the main reason for him abandoning popular revolutionary struggle in favor of conspiracy. He wrote:

”One fights repression by means of anonymity and conspiracy… Loss of time is impermissible”
–Trotsky (1932)

Trotsky sent his secretary Erwin Wolf to Spain on a mission to organize an uprising there. The pro-Trotskyite and anti-Soviet POUM together with some of the Anarchists they had managed to recruit to their services carried out an insurrection known as the Barcelona May Day in 1937. As Franco-Italian troops were marching against the Republicans The Trotskyists and their unwitting helpers staged a rebellion against Republican forces.


The rebellion was a failure and Wolf was arrested by the Spanish republican police. However this anti-Republican uprising contributed to the victory of fascist Franco backed by Mussolini and Hitler.



Industrial Sabotage

Many of the Moscow Trial defendents were accused of industrial sabotage to hinder the industrialization effort and defensive capability of the Soviet Union. Even these charges are denied entirely by Western anti-communists. However, at the time there was little doubt that there was much very real sabotage going on.

John Littlepage, American engineer who worked between 1928 and 1937 in the mines of Ural and Siberia. He was chosen as a specialist for a comission which was to carry out inspections in mining enterprises. He described the extent of the sabotage:

“[I]n 1928 I went into a power-station at the Kochbar gold-mines. I just happened to drop my hand on one of the main bearings of a large Diesel engine as I walked by, and felt something gritty in the oil. I had the engine stopped immediately, and we removed from the oil reservoir about two pints of quartz sand, which could have been placed there only by design. On several other occasions in the new milling plants at Kochkar we found sand inside such equipment as speed-reducers, which are entirely enclosed, and can be reached only by removing the hand-hold covers.

“Such petty industrial sabotage was – and still is – so common in all branches of Soviet industry that Russian engineers can do little about it…”

“I shall never forget the situation we found at Kalata. Here, in the Northern Urals, was one of the most important copper properties in Russia, consisting of six mines, a flotation concentrator, and a smelter, with blast and reverberatory furnaces.”

“[I]n the spring of 1932 … Soon after my return to Moscow I was informed that the copper-mines at Kalata were in very bad condition; production had fallen even lower than it was before I had reorganized the mines in the previous year. This report dumbfounded me; I couldn’t understand how matters could have become so bad in this short time, when they had seemed to be going so well before I left.

“I never followed the subtleties of political ideas and manouvres …. (But) I am firmly convinced that Stalin and his associates were a long time getting round to the discovery that disgruntled Communist revolutionaries were the most dangerous enemies they had ….

“My experience confirms the official explanation which, when it is stripped of a lot of high-flown and outlandish verbiage, comes down to the simple assertion that `outs’ among the Communists conspired to overthrow the `ins’, and resorted to underground conspiracy and industrial sabotage…”
John D. Littlepage, In Search Of Soviet Gold (1937)

Pyatakov explained in his testimony that when he was responsible for purchasing various mining equipment for the Soviet government he had used this, under Sedov’s instructions as a way of embezzling money for the use of the Trotskyist Bloc by buying equipment at too high a price from two specifically selected German companies Borsig and Demag.

“Sedov said that only one thing was required of me, namely that I should place as many orders as possible with two German firms, Borsig and Demag, and that he, Sedov, would arrange to receive the necessary sums from them”
Pyatakov (U.S.S.R. Report of Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Centre)


This too was corraborated by Littlepage who at the time had made a report to the committee led by Pyatakov that the firms were apparently trying to trick to Soviets into paying too much.

“Piatakoff’s confession is a plausible explanation, in my opinion, of what was going on in Berlin in 1931, when my suspicions were roused because the Russians working with Piatakoff  tried to induce me to approve the purchase of mine-hoists which were not only too expensive, but would have been useless in the mines for which they were intended.”
John D. Littlepage, In Search Of Soviet Gold (1937)

John Scott, an American engineer working in the Magnitogorsk steel complex wrote of his experiences in his book Behind the Urals. His view of the USSR was mixed, he was not a Communist though he saw the good things the industrialization was achieving and how the USSR’s economy was growing when the West struggled with the Great Depression.

Scott verified that there was much real sabotage in Magnitogorsk, especially because of the use of Bourgeois-specialists and kulak penal labor. He said:

White armies, State employees from pre-war days, business men of all kinds, small landlords, and kulaks. All of these people had ample reason to hate the Soviet power, for it had deprived them of something which they had before. Besides being internally dangerous, these men and women were potentially good material for clever foreign agents to work with”

 

 

SOURCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lenin, Summing-Up Speech On Party Unity And The Anarcho-Syndicalist Deviation
http://www.marxistsfr.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/10thcong/ch04.htm

Trotsky’s letters about the Bloc:
Library of Harvard College 13905c, 1010, 4782 quoted in Pierre Broué’s The “Bloc” of the Oppositions against Stalin. Available at https://mltheory.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/on-the-existence-and-character-of-the-united-bloc-of-rights-zinoviev-ites-and-trotsky-ites/

Sedov, The Red Book
https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/sedov/works/red/

Getty, Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938
https://books.google.fi/books?id=R5zx54LB-A4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Getty on the Kirov Murder:
Arch Getty, the H-RUSSIA discussion list August 24, 2000.
quoted here
http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf

Alexander Zinoviev, The remorse of a dissident quoted here:
https://communismgr.blogspot.fi/2016/08/the-remorse-of-dissident-alexander.html#more)


Jules Humbert-Droz’s statement:

De Lénin à Staline, Dix Ans Au Service de L’ Internationale Communiste 1921-31’
available at http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv8n1/bukharin.htm

Tokaev, Comrade X. Publisher, Harvill Press, 1956 (page 43)
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=HqoeAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=left-wing+socialists

Ibid. (page 68)
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=HqoeAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=we+tried+to+save+Bukharin


Tokaev, Grigori.
Betrayal of an Ideal, Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1955
https://archive.org/stream/betrayalofandide008698mbp/betrayalofandide008698mbp_djvu.txt

Letter from Marshall Budyanni to Commissar for Defense Kliment Voroshilov (June 26, 1937)

Colonel Alksnis interviews:
Elementy, 2000 & Bobrov, Vladimir L’vovich Transcript of a recorded conversation with Deputy V.I. Alksnis quoted here http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf


Molotov Remembers quoted here:
https://espressostalinist.com/category/revisionism/trotskyism/page/4/

Trotsky, Problem of the Ukraine
https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1939/04/ukraine.html

Trotsky, On the Eve of the Congress
https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1934/01/congress.htm

Trotsky, On the Kirov Assassination
https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1934/12/kirov.htm

Trotsky, Are There Limits to the Fall?
https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1934/01/fall.htm

Trotsky, Pour sa propre sauvegarde, la bureaucratie entretient la terreur (26 September 1935). L’appareil policier du stalinisme (Paris: Union générale d’éditions, 1976), pp. 85-87.

Trotsky, Que signifie la capitulation de Rakovsky? (31 March 1934). La lutte, pp. 59—60.

Trotsky, Le gouvernement soviétique applique-t-il toujours les principes définis il y a vingt ans? (13 January 1938). La lutte, pp. 159—160.

Trotsky, A Political Dialogue, pp. 156, 158.

Trotsky, A Fresh Lesson: After the “Imperialist Peace” at Munich (10 October 1938). Writings, vol. 11, p. 68.

Trotsky, Stalin After the Finnish Experience (13 March 1940). Writings, vol. 12, p. 160.

Zborowski reports 8 feb. 1837 & 11 feb. 1938, quoted in Bertrand M. Patenaude, Stalin’s Nemesis

Tukhachevsky’s testimony published in Molodaia Gvardiia issue 10 of 1994 quoted here: http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf

Geoffrey Bailey, The Conspirators (page 215)
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=rP4jAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=Titulescu

Yuri Yemelianov, The Tukhachevsky Conspiracy
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv13n2/tukhach.htm

Hitler read Trotsky’s Autobiography:

Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer: Hitler’s rise to power (page 318)
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=_lUTAQAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=i+have+learned

Anna Strong, The Soviets Expected It. New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 134 available here
http://www.stalinsociety.org/2016/04/10/the-real-stalin-series-part-fourteen-military-purges/

Alexander Werth, quoted in Harpal Brar, Perestroika: The Complete Collapse of Revisionism (1992) p. 161 here:
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=LOBoAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=alexander

Also here: http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/Ludo%20Martens/node115.html

Full book in Russian here:
http://www.cpgb-ml.org/download/publications/HarpalBrar_Perestroika_Russian.pdf


Vlasov and Vlasovites. New Times 44 (1990), pp. 36—40. “Why I embarked on the road of struggle against Bolshevism” available here:
http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/Ludo%20Martens/node117.html

Frederick Ludwig Carsten, “New Evidence against Marshal Tukhachevskii” in ‘New Light On Old Stories About Marshal Tukhachevskii : Some Documents Reconsidered’
https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/tukh.html

Georgi Dimitrov’s diary quoted here:
http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf

Trotsky’s telegram from Volkogonov Archive:
https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/trotsky_telegram061837.pdf

NKVD report about the interrogation of Iakovlev’s wife
http://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/61211

Stalin’s comments to the NKVD report
http://grachev62.narod.ru/stalin/t18/t18_065.htm

Stalin’s further comments to the NKVD
http://www.alexanderyakovlev.org/fond/issues-doc/61209

M. Sayers, A. E. Kahn, The Great Conspiracy. The Secret War Against Soviet Russia
http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/Great%20Conspiracy/index.htm

The Gramsci quote is from Togliatti, Palmiro, Selected Articles and Speeches. Vol. 1. Moscow: 1965.

“LEON TROTSKY IN ITALY” in The Cornell Daily Sun, December 1932
http://cdsun.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/cornell?a=d&d=CDS19321201.2.30&e=——–20–1———

Krupskaya, “Why Is the Second International Defending Trotsky?” (1936)
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/trotskykrup2.htm

Mao Tse-Tung, “On the Use of Trotskyists as Japanese Spies in China” (1939)
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/trotskymao.htm

Ho Chi Mihn,”Three Letters from Ho Chi Mihn” (1939)
https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/vietnam/pirani/hochiminh.htm

Kuusinen quote from”Missä on Stalin, siellä on voitto” (1949)

english translation & original finnish the quote available at:

https://mltheory.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/other-communists-on-trotsky-trotskyism/

Edward Hallett Carr.  Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926–1929, Volume 2 (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1971), Ibid. , p. 65 quoted in Ludo Martens, Another View of Stalin

Available here http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/Ludo%20Martens/node92.html

John D. Littlepage, In Search Of Soviet Gold (1937)
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.80968

John Scott, Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia’s City of Steel (pp. 188-189)
https://books.google.fi/books?redir_esc=y&id=JvH63H0s0agC&q=bandits#v=snippet&q=These%20agents%20bred%20purges&f=false


FURTHER READING:

Stalin & myth of the “old Bolsheviks”
https://mltheory.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/stalin-the-myth-of-the-old-bolsheviks/

Revolutionary leaders on Trotsky & Trotskyism
https://mltheory.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/other-communists-on-trotsky-trotskyism/

More about Alexander Zinoviev
http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/Ludo%20Martens/node91.html

More about engineer Littlepage’s experiences
http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/Ludo%20Martens/node101.html

Trotsky, Orwell & the FBI
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv3n2/trotsky.htm


Orwell, friend of POUM, snitch of Western intelligence services
http://bennorton.com/george-orwell-list-leftists-snitch-british-government/

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/29/opinion/george-orwell-s-list.html

Lies concerning the history of the Soviet Union – From Hitler to Hearst, from Conquest to Solzhenitsyn
http://marxism.halkcephesi.net/mario%20Sousa/lies%20about%20stalin.htm

 

 

Some critical remarks on the Soviet election system & democracy

Introduction

To repeat the successes and not the mistakes of the past, it is important to understand that past. For this reason I think studying the economic & state systems of previous socialist experiments is highly important.

That said, I am by no means an expert on the Soviet System. Therefore I will only make some remarks on their system instead of attempting to make a thorough critique.

Elections under Lenin

The Lenin era democratic system was based on the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Local soviets (worker councils) would send delegates to a Congress which created laws & decided policy. While the congress was not in session a Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) ran the government.

Elections under Stalin

The Stalin era democratic system replaced the Congress of Soviets with the Supreme Soviet which held elections every 4 years. The local Soviets decided only local issues while people could be elected to the Supreme Soviet directly instead of being sent as delegates.

Problems & Positive Features:

Without going into too much detail the Stalin era system was much more developed then the Lenin era system and all around can be called more democratic. However I think it was still flawed.

The Stalin era system actually copies the Western parliamentary system to a notable degree with its parliament (Supreme Soviet) & local organs (worker councils) but makes it more democratic in many ways while also limiting the rights of bourgeois forces.

1. Role of the Local Soviets

I think limiting the Soviets to deciding only local issues was a mistake. Having them send delegates to the parliament would have kept a stronger bond between work places and democracy & it would have better facilitated worker control on all levels of society. It would have kept the delegates more accountable also.

2. Selecting candidates

The Stalin era system of picking candidates for elections had positive elements. Having communist party chapters, komsomol, army units, women & student groups and co-operatives pick candidates; in short selecting candidates collectively was a good idea. It is more democratic, makes it more difficult for right-wingers & corrupt careerists with no social base to run.

3. Wages

Lenin states in The State and Revolution:

“Marx, referring to the example of the Commune, showed that under socialism functionaries will cease to be “bureaucrats”, to be “officials”, they will cease to be so in proportion as—in addition to the principle of election of officials—the principle of recall at any time is also introduced, as salaries are reduced to the level of the wages of the average workman…”

Needless to say this was not done in the Soviet Union. An official could earn 1000 rubles or if they held multiple positions which was possible they could earn more, while the lowest collective farmer or manual laborer could earn as little as 300-400 rubles per month. It is important to note that a skilled expert, manager or scientist could earn the same as a politician. Many of these inequalities were simply inherited from the previous capitalist system.

Why was this inequality not done away with? Lenin answers in the same work:

“Abolishing the bureaucracy at once, everywhere and completely, is out of the question. It is a utopia. But to smash the old bureaucratic machine at once and to begin immediately to construct a new one that will make possible the gradual abolition of all bureaucracy­­, this is not a utopia, it is the experience of the Commune, the direct and immediate task of the revolutionary proletariat.”

The elimination of the old state machine, all its remnants cannot be done over night. Secondly when writing his work Lenin was talking about revolution and socialism in an industrial country. Naturally in a backward country the elimination of the old bureaucracy would have to be even more gradual. As only 20% of the country was literate when the Bolsheviks took power, it was simply impossible for ‘all to govern in turn’ while such conditions existed. It was impossible to elect all officials. A transition, a raising of the cultural level had to take place.

I’m perfectly aware of the difficulties the Soviet government faced, but in my opinion the relative inequality in wages (though incredibly small in comparison with capitalist nations) was a problem. Economic incentives for individuals in production (as long as restricted & regulated) are not a problem, but privileges for political elites are. The principle of electing all or almost all officials could have been implemented after the old bourgeois experts & managers had been completely removed (i.e. in the late 30s, 40s or 50s).

The reason why such democratic reform did not take place was the struggle between two tendencies in the party: the Proletarian line of Stalin (which in the 1950s was in the minority) & the right-wing bourgeois line of the Revisionists, supported by centrists and bureaucrats (which managed to take power).

4. Contested Elections

The Soviet Union banned the opposition parties for violently opposing the Bolshevik Revolution or supporting the White Army etc. etc. etc. and never allowed opposition parties after that point. In the mid-1930s Stalin argued for contested elections. However this proposal was not accepted in the end.

Liberal critics claimed that Stalin’s move was merely a propaganda stunt, as he knew the Communist Party would win and therefore was willing to grant legal status to a powerless & marginal opposition that had no chance to take power. This is rather ironic considering that is precisely how most Western capitalist countries deal with their oppositions. The Communist Parties are tolerated in the West, as long as they don’t threaten Capitalism. If they begin to pose a threat Mccarthyism kicks in, or perhaps a military coup.

In any case, despite the Soviets not doing so, many other socialist countries (e.g. the GDR) had multiple parties. As far as I know there were no immediate negative consequences for this.

The question of allowing bourgeois opposition is a different one. My guess is that such opposition forces would immediately become puppets of foreign capitalist powers and should then be outlawed as organizations of foreign agents and traitors.

The context in which the Soviets banned the other parties was very specific, this cannot be over emphasized. First of all it was during a violent civil war and therefore more acceptable. Secondly, Russia (and other Eastern European countries) didn’t have a long history of parliamentary democracy to begin with. They were used to monarchy, despotism and right-wing dictatorship.

In our current context (long history of parliamentarism & time of peace), banning the opposition would be an entirely different matter. Venezuela has chosen not to do so even though their oppositionists are clearly paid by the USA.

The question of should we allow a left-opposition or a right-opposition is a difficult one but boils down to this: the Proletariat must be in charge, anti-proletarian forces cannot be allowed back in power. The vanguard status of the Communist Party is also of immense importance but this status has to be earned over and over again. Further more this vanguard status does not necessarily have to mean that the party holds monopoly control over the state.

The party is an ideological leader, but if the conditions are there, the people themselves should administrate the state as much as possible. All are in agreement about this. In Communism this should become the norm, but to reach this stage it should be facilitated already in the transitional period of Socialism.

stalin election1.jpg

Bibliography:

State and Revolution
https://www.marxists.org/ebooks/lenin/state-and-revolution.pdf

Stalin and the Struggle for Democratic Reform
http://clogic.eserver.org/2005/furr.html

Constitution (Fundamental law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1936/12/05.htm

TROTSKY’S LIES (Part 2: United Fronts)

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

TROTSKY & THE THEORY OF SOCIAL-FASCISM

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

TROTSKY’S FIGHT AGAINST THE POPULAR FRONT IN SPAIN

“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.

trotfash.jpg

TROTSKY’S STRUGGLE AGAINST THE UNITED FRONT IN CHINA

“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_poster_destroy_verm

CONCLUSION:

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.

Notes:

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.

Notes:

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: –

Offense

Place of Offense

Date

Disposition

Drunkenness

Charlestown, Mass.

9/7/20

Released

Driving so as to endanger

Roxbury

12/18/23

Fined $25

Driving without license

Suffolk

2/11/24

Fined $25

Driving so as to endanger

Suffolk

6/27/24

Placed on file

Larceny

Malden

2/4/32

6 mos. House of Correction; appealed

Larcery

Middlesex

(?)

-prossed Superior Court 4/12/32

Operating after license

Lowell

2/11/32

Filed suspended

Violation of Section 690

New York City

12/20/33

Acquitted of the penal law

(Sodomy)Arrested on charges of im-

Pittsburgh

12/11/39

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.

Notes:
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.

ROOSEVELT, STALIN, CHURCHILL.


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.”


Notes:

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.

CHAPTERS I-II

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).

CHAPTER III

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.

CHAPTER IV

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).

CHAPTER V

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).

CHAPTER VI

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).

CHAPTER VII

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).

CHAPTER VIII

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).

CHAPTER IX

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).

CHAPTER X

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).

CHAPTERS XI-XII

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).

CHAPTERS XIII-XIV

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).

CHAPTERS XV-XVI

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.

CHAPTERS XVII-XX

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.

CHAPTER XXI

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).

CHAPTER XXII

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.

CHAPTER XXIII

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.

CHAPTER XXIV

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.

CHAPTER XXV

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).