www.ebbemunk.dkarrowKrushchev's Secret Speech (1956)

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The Cult of the Person | Enemy of the People | 17th Party Congress | The Great Patriotic War | After the War | Self-Glorification | Postscript and Notes

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Postscript

The English translation of Krushchev's speech stems from http://www.trussel.com/hf/stalin.htm.

The notes are written by Boris I.Nicolaevsky and Jon Bone at http://www.trussel.com/hf/stalnote.htm and http://www.uwm.edu/Course/448-343/index12.html.

Please note Anatole Shub's column in http://www.trussel.com/hf/stalintr.htm.

Remark: Note 32 describes how Krushshev understated the number of executed - he mentions 7,679 rehabilitated, but in fact 684,244 were executed.

Furthermore the note documents that as a party secretary Krushchev must have known the real scale of executions, as he wrote a telegram to Stalin in 1937 that 6,500 + 2,000 kulaks were ready for execution in Moscow and environs.

The much lamented Robert Eiche had filled a position as party secretary as well and must have known about the mass executions.

Technically: Converted in OpenOffice and edited in EditPlus. The spelling of "Eikhe" is changed to "Eiche" as in the German translation. The six headlines are added by me.

Ebbe Munk

Notes

(1) It has never been clear which Party Congress Lenin had in mind when composing this letter. Evidently it was written some months prior to the 12th (April 1923). However Krupskaya submitted it to the 13th Party Congress (May 1924).

(2) On Lenin's "Testament" see the primary textbook for this course, Geoffry Hosking, The First Socialist Society: A History Of The Soviet Union From Within (Cambridge MA, 1992), 131-32. Readers interested in more should also consult the appendix entitled "The Eastman Affair" in Lars T. Lih, Oleg V. Naumov, and Oleg V. Khlevniuk, eds., Stalin's Letters To Molotov, 1925-1936 (New Haven, 1995), 241-49.

(3) Nadezhda Krupskaya, b. 1869 d. 1939 , was Lenin's wife (though not necessarily his post-revolutionary sexual partner, a role that seems to have been played by a much younger and comlier woman named Inessa Armand). A Bolshevik since 1898, Krupskaya involved herself in the 1920s-1930s in education and in women's issues. Considered an annoyance by many of the men who dominated the inner circle of the Party, notably including Stalin, she was relegated to the political sidelines during the last decade of her life. Still, as Lenin's widow she retained considerable symbolic status--and tacit inviolability from Stalinist repression--until her own death of natural causes.

Lev Kamenev, b. 1883 d. 1936 (repressed), Party member since 1901. Kamenev was a prominent revolutionary (originally having a Moscow power base) and a leading figure in the post-Civil War Politbiuro. A contender for political primacy in the 1920s, he was associated in particular with Grigory Zinoviev in mid-1920s opposition to Stalin.

(4) Stalin had berated Krupskaya on the telephone for ignoring doctors' orders to keep the partially paralyzed Lenin from working.

(5) Grigory Zinoviev, b. 1883 d. 1936 (repressed), Party member since 1901. Zinoviev was a prominent revolutionary (with a Petrograd power base), and a leading figure in the post-Civil War Politbiuro. A leading contender for political primacy in the 1920s, he was associated in particular with Lev Kamenev in mid-1920s opposition to Stalin.

Control Commission = Party organ charged with maintaining Party discipline and orthodoxy.

(6) Lenin evidently found out about Krupskaya's blowup with Stalin some two months after the fact, immediately penning the missive Khrushchev is citing here. Neither Lenin nor Khrushchev notes that Stalin had apologized (both orally and in writing) to Krupskaya in the meantime.

(7) The 17th Party Congress took place in January-February 1934.

(8) right deviation = the political position, advanced by Nikolay Bukharin and other so-called "Right Oppositionists" circa 1928, that continuing the political-economic framework of the New Economic Policy/NEP was the best future course for the USSR.

The phrase "cotton-dress industrialization" is an allusion to Western economic theories of the 1950s that recommended textile production as an easy first step towards the modernization of third-world countries.

(9) Mikhail Rodzyanko, b. 1859 d. 1924, a prominent figure in the February Revolution of 1917 and a charter member of the first Provisional Government.

Alexander Kerensky, b. 1881 d. 1970, the first socialist to join the Provisional Government after the February Revolution of 1917. A lawyer and SR, Kerensky was an expert on rural affairs. He headed the Provisional Government in September 1917 and was deposed by the October Revolution.

(10) Left Socialist Revolutionaries attempted a coup in Moscow in July 1918, trying also to touch off revolt in Yaroslavl and other provincial centers and to link the insurrection to Allied landings at the northern port of Arkhangel'sk. The whole affair became known as the anti-Soviet uprising. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 63.

The reference to counterrevolutionary kulaks alludes to repressive measures ordered by Lenin in the summer of 1918 and carried out by the newly formed Cheka (the first Bolshevik state-security organ). Well-off peasant landowners (so-called kulaks ) who resisted the expropriation/redistribution of their property were among the targets singled out for attention. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 70-71.

(11) The phrase "Beria gang" alludes to secret-police officials associated with Lavrenty Beria, b. 1899 d. 1953 (repressed). Beria, the longtime boss (1931-53) of the Georgian Republic, headed the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs; = secret police) from 1938 to 1945. His promotion to the post, marking the downfall of its previous occupant Nikolay Yezhov, was followed by a systematic purge of the NKVD apparatus. This allowed the empowerment of a new cohort (or "gang") of ranking operatives beholden to him. From 1945 into 1953 Beria was shifted to control of the Soviet atomic-bomb project. Until his fall from grace, he ranked roughly third in the postwar Soviet hierarchy.

(12) The 18th Party Congress was held in March 1939, the 19th Party Congress in October 1952.

Great Patriotic War = World War II from the Soviet point of view, i.e. from June 22, 1941 through VJ day (September 2, 1945).

(13) At the 17th Party Congress, a.k.a. the Congress of Victors, delegates approved a number of self-congratulatory resolutions celebrating Stalinist accomplishments (including collectivization and the first two Five Year Plans). See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 184.

(14) Sergey Kirov, b. 1886 d. 1934. Though a Party member since 1904, Kirov was considered a rising young star in the late 1920s-early 1930s. He was Stalin's choice to replace Grigory Zinoviev as the head of the Leningrad Party organization in 1926, and was made a full member of the Politbiuro in 1930. Popular and energetic, he was murdered under suspicious circumstances widely believed to have been orchestrated by Stalin. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 185-86.

Abel Yenukidze, b. 1877 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1898, best known as the longtime Secretary of the nominally representative [all-Union] Central Executive Committee and one of the highest-ranking members of the state (i.e., nominally non-Party) side of Soviet government.

(15) On paper, death sentences levied by the judicial system previously had been subject to review by a Commission of the Central Executive Committee chaired by then-Soviet President Mikhail Kalinin (b. 1875 d. 1946). Kalinin's oversight Commission did in fact exist prior to this decree. However it was in no sense the independent judicial-review organ it appeared to be on paper. In practice it was an adjunct to the Politbiuro, its recommendations subject to ratification at Politbiuro sessions.

(16) Leonid Nikolaev, shot in 1934 for the murder of Sergey Kirov. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 185.

(17) It has been impossible to determine whether the Leningrad NKVD was purged to cover up a conspiracy to murder Kirov, as Khrushchev is alleging here. The principal difficulty is that the police organs underwent a general "cleansing" in 1937 and especially 1938. Motives in cases against individual NKVD functionaries are impossible to separate from the widespread repression that took place.

(18) Andrey Zhdanov, b. 1896 d. 1948, a close Stalin crony in the 1930s. Zhdanov replaced the murdered Sergey Kirov as head of the Leningrad Party organization 1934-1944. He probably ranked second after Stalin in terms of influence in the immediate postwar period.

Sochi, a Black Sea resort, was where Stalin took working vacations.

Lazar Kaganovich, b. 1893 d. 1991, a Party member from 1911 and one of the few present at both the creation and fall of the USSR. The tough-as-nails Kaganovich was a career functionary best known as Stalin's trouble-shooter of choice. He held a wide variety of posts under Stalin, most of them for relatively short periods of time, and also frequently worked on field assignments as Stalin's plenipotentiary. Kaganovich's influence eroded quickly after his mentor's death. Mounting an unsuccessful challenge to Khrushchev as a member of the so-called "Anti-Party Group" (see Hosking, First Socialist Society, 346), he was reduced to political irrelevance after defeat and censure at the June, 1957 Central Committee Plenum. Like Vyacheslav Molotov, he managed to retain most of his privileges into his (extended) dotage.

Vyacheslav Molotov, b. 1890 d. 1986, Party member since 1906. A longtime intimate associate of Stalin's, Molotov was the nominal head of the Soviet State 1930-1941, Stalin's principal Deputy in the State Defense Committee (GKO) 1941-45, and Minister of Foreign Affairs 1939-1949. Molotov's influence and power dwindled during Stalin's last years and the political decline accelerated with his mentor's death. Together with Kaganovich and Malenkov, he mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Khrushchev as a member of the so-called "Anti-Party Group" (see Hosking, First Socialist Society, 346) and was reduced to political irrelevance after defeat and censure at the June, 1957 Central Committee Plenum. Molotov retained most of his privileges (if not his power) through the end of the Brezhnev era.

(19) Nikolay Yezhov, b. 1895 d. 1940 (repressed), Party member from 1917. A ruthless Stalin protégé, Yezhov came up through the Central Committee's cadres and control bureaucracies and is best known as the head of the NKVD 1936-38. He was replaced by Lavrenty Beria.

Genrikh Yagoda, b. 1891 d. 1938 (repressed), Party member from 1907. A career secret policeman, Yagoda was Deputy head of the OGPU (the successor organ to the Cheka and the forerunner of the NKVD) in 1924-1934, and headed the NKVD in 1934-1936. Replaced by Nikolay Yezhov, he served as the Union-level People's Commissar of Communications until his arrest.

(20) General A. I. Denikin, Tsarist Army officer and principal White leader on the southern (Ukrainian) front during the Civil War.

Felix Dzerzhinsky, b. 1887 d. 1926, best known as head of the Cheka and its successor organs the GPU/OGPU 1918-23. Dzerzhinsky was also deeply involved in economic planning/control during the NEP era. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 69.

(21) This is disingenuous at best and probably an outright falsehood. The death penalty was formally reinstated in May 1920 with the outbreak of the Polish War. Moreover a number of technically illegal executions seem to have taken place quietly during the interim.

(22) Pavel Postyshev, b. 1888 d. 1938 (repressed), Party member from 1904. Postyshev was the Central Committee Secretary in 1930-34, and in 1933-37 served as the Second Secretary of the Communist Party (Ukraine).

(23) Robert Eiche, b. 1890 d. 1940 (repressed), Party member from 1905, best known as the Party boss of Siberia 1929-1937. In 1937-38, Eiche served as the USSR's People's Commissar of Agriculture.

(24) Z. M. Ushakov was a notorious police-organ investigator of the 1930s, decorated with the Order of the Red Star for his zeal in uncovering enemies in the wake of the Kirov murder.

It is not totally clear which "Nikolaev" Eiche is referring to. Probably it is N. G. Nikolaev-Zhurid, serially head of the NKVD's Operational Section, Counter-Revolutionary Section, and then Special Section in 1936-37.

(25) Moisey Rukhimovich, b. 1889 d. 1938 (repressed), Party member from 1913. Rukhimovich is best known for his associations with the railroads and with the coal industry. In 1936-37, he was People's Commissar of the Defense Industries.

Valery Mezhlauk, b. 1893 d. 1938 (repressed), Party member from 1917. Mezhlauk headed the State Planning Agency (Gosplan) in 1934-37. His career was associated primarily with heavy industry and with defense production.

(26) Yan Rudzutak, b. 1887 d. 1938 (repressed), Party member from 1905. Rudzutak was a career Soviet bureaucrat with a reputation as a negotiation-minded problem solver. He was Deputy Chair of the (all-Union) Council of People's Commissariats and of the (Union-level) Council of Labor and Defense from 1926 to 1937. He headed the Party Control Commission in 1931-1934.

(27) I cannot positively identify comrade Rozenblum with sources at hand.

(28) Nikolay Komarov, b. 1886 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1909. Komarov was one of the team members sent into Leningrad by Stalin in connection with the ouster of Grigory Zinoviev as the area's Party boss, and a close associate of Sergey Kirov . Komarov chaired the Leningrad Provincial Executive Committee until 1930, when he became the Russian Federation's People's Commissar for Communal Services.

Leonid Zakovsky, b. 1894 d. 1938 (repressed), headed the Leningrad Provincial NKVD 1934-38, in 1938 was named Deputy Commissar of the NKVD and head of the Moscow Provincial NKVD. Zakovsky was sacked when Lavrenty Beria took over the NKVD and subsequently shot.

(29) Mikhail Chudov, b. 1893 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1913, close associate and friend of Sergey Kirov. Between 1928 and 1936, Chudov was Second Secretary of the Leningrad Provincial Party Committee, then the Chair of the all-Union Cooperative Industries Council.

Fyodor Ugarov, b. 1887 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1905, an aide to Sergey Kirov and one of the secretaries of the Leningrad Provincial Party Committee 1926-1930, subsequently assigned to economic work.

Pyotr Smorodin, b. 1897 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1917, close associate of Sergey Kirov. From 1928 into 1937, Smorodin was First Secretary of various district Party committees in Leningrad, then Second Secretary of the Leningrad Provincial Party Committee. From August 1937 through June 1938, he was the Party boss of the Stalingrad Province.

Boris Pozern, b. 1882 d. 1939 (repressed), Party member from 1902, member of the Party's Central Control Commission 1923-1930. From 1929 into 1937, Pozern was one of the secretaries of the Leningrad Provincial Party Committee. He was then shifted into the judicial system and served as the Leningrad Provincial Prosecutor until sacked in June 1938.

Liudmilla Shaposhnikova, b. 1895 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1917, Secretary of the Leningrad Trade Union Council during the 1930s and a member of the Party's Central Control Commission .

(30) Ivan Kabakov, b. 1898 d. 1937 (repressed), Party member from 1914. Party boss of the ferrous-metallurgy/defense industry center of Tula in the 1920s, Kabakov was posted to the Urals by Stalin in 1929 as a spokesperson for development there. He was Party boss of the Urals region from 1929 (from 1934, of the Sverdlosk Province within the Urals) until his sacking and execution in 1937.

(31) Stanislav Kosior, b. 1889 d. 1939 (repressed), Party member in 1907, best known for his posting from 1928 into 1938 as the First Secretary of the Communist Party (Ukraine). In January 1938 , Kosior was named Deputy Chair of the all-Union Council of People's Commissariats and Chair of the Party's Commission of Soviet Control (the successor to the Central Control Commission).

Vlas Chubar, b. 1891 d. 1939 (repressed), Party member from 1907, probably best known as Chair of the Ukrainian Council of People's Commissars from 1923 to 1934. Chubar later served as Deputy Chair of the all-Union Council of People's Commissars and of the Council of Labor and Defense, and in 1937-1938 was the USSR's People's Commissar of Finance.

Alexander Kosarev, b. 1903 d. 1939 (repressed), Party member from 1919, best known as Secretary of the Young Communist League (Komsomol) from 1929 until his sacking during the Great Purges.

(32) Joseph Stalin died on March 5, 1953. Shortly after, the Politbiuro ordered an investigative review of repression carried out by the NKVD during the years 1929-1940. This was conducted under the auspices of the 1st Special Section of the Ministry of Internal Affairs/MVD (the successor to the NKVD). It generated a top-secret summary dated December 11, 1953 documenting 684,244 executions in the years 1937-1939. Of these 681,692 occurred in 1937-1938. In suggesting that the Great Purges targeted mainly Party, administrative, and/or military elites, and in asserting that "many thousands" died during them, Khrushchev is grossly understating their scope and lethality. The number of victims he is admitting to is insufficient by some two full orders of magnitude (i.e. 10 x 10 or 100 times).

There is no particular reason to doubt Khrushchev's count of 383 execution lists naming members of the elite whose deaths were personally approved by Stalin. However the comparatively anonymous "mass operations" of 1937-38 collectively accounted for hundreds of thousands more executions and probably were responsible for the majority of the victims of the Great Purges. Stalin's ultimate responsibility for sanctioning this quota-driven repression against the general population is crystal clear. However provincial leaders such as Khrushchev, who was Moscow's Party Secretary at the time, not only knew about it but were complicit in greater or lesser degree in carrying it out.

Nikita Khrushchev's prior knowledge of the mass operations is amply illustrated by the following telegram:

To: Central Committee/All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik)-- comrade STALIN, J. V.

10 July 1937.

I report that the overall number of criminal and kulak elements who have served their sentences and have settled in Moscow and in Moscow Province has been reckoned at 41,305. Of these, 33,436 have been registered as criminal elements.

Material on hand provides the basis for regarding 6,500 of these as 1st-category criminals [i.e. subject to immediate execution] and 5,272 as 2nd-category criminals [i.e. subject to Gulag re-incarceration].

Kulaks having served out their sentences and settled in Moscow and its environs have been reckoned at 7,869 persons.

Material on hand provides the basis for regarding 2,000 of these as 1st category [i.e. subject to immediate execution] and 5,869 as 2nd category [i.e. subject to Gulag incarceration].

We ask that you approve [a 3-man oversight] Commission [for this] consisting of comrades [Stanislav] Redens,* head of the Moscow Provincial NKVD Administration; Maslov, Deputy Procurator of the Moscow Province;** and Khrushchev, N. S., Secretary of the Moscow Provincial and Moscow Municipal Party Committees, with A. A. Volkov,*** the Second Secretary of the Moscow Municipal Party Committee, [having] the right to stand in [for him], if necessary,

[Signed] Secretary, Moscow Provincial Party Committee N. S. Khrushchev

* Stanislav Redens, b. 1892 d. 1940 (repressed), a career Chekist, was Stalin's brother-in-law. He headed the secret police in the Caucasus from 1927 to 1931, held the same post in Ukraine 1932-33, was an OGPU liason to Moscow Province in 1933-34, and from 1934 through 1937 bossed the NKVD in the Moscow region. From January 1938 until his arrest that June, Redens was the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs (i.e., NKVD chief) for the Kazakh Republic.

** Additional information on Maslov is not available.

*** Volkov is a common Russian name and it is not altogether clear which one Khrushchev is referring to. I think this may actually have been A. P. Volkov, b. 1910 d. 1990, from 1943 to 1950 variously the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of the Moscow Provincial Party Committee, in 1952-1956 Chair of the Moscow Provincial Executive Committee, and then Chair of the State Committee on Labor and Wages until his retirement in 1974. It may also have been the A. A. Volkov who was Party Secretary in Belorussia circa 1937.

(Translated from text reproduced in Hilda Sabbo, Voimatu Vaikida/Nevozmozhno mol'chat' (Tallinn, 1996), 297).

In the event, Khrushchev's petition for membership in the troika overseeing the Moscow region's mass operations was denied. The appointment went instead to his Deputy, Volkov, for reasons that remain obscure despite the post-1991 opening of many formerly secret Soviet archives. Technically speaking, Khrushchev may not have been personally responsible for ensuring that the mass-operation executions he had recommended were carried out. Other regional leaders however were-- including longtime Siberian boss Robert Eiche, eulogized earlier in the "Secret Speech" by Khrushchev as a victim of unjust repression. For the full list of those leaders originally appointed to mass-operation oversight troikas see Yezhov order (prikaz) no. 00447 (undated), reproduced in Sabbo, Voimatu Vaikida, 297-98.

(33) Posthumous rehabilitation was no help to the dead but of considerable significance to surviving dependents. The post-facto restoration of civil rights had real implications for housing, survivors' benefits, educational access, and so on.

(34) One of the resolutions of the January, 1938 Central Committee Plenum did note "incorrect expulsions" from the Party. However it went on to praise Yezhov and the NKVD for having arrested the perpetrators and for facilitating the rehabilitation of the victims. As Boris Nikolaevsky noted long ago in annotating the "Secret Speech," this was in fact an oblique endorsement of the Yezhovshchina (lit., "Yezhov affair", the term commonly used in Russian to refer to then-NKVD head Yezhov's direction of what is generally considered the worst period of the Great Purges).

(35) Stalin and Molotov categorically forbade further mass arrests in a Politbiuro decision of 17 November 1938.. This later was issued as a joint declaration of the Central Committee and the all-Union Council of People's Commissars. See Sabbo, Voimatu Vaikida, 324-25.

(36) No other information on Rodos is available.

(37) In the Soviet Union, history was considered a science and historical research was considered scientific investigation.

(38) The documents Khrushchev is referring to were published as British Foreign Policy Papers and also referenced in British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's memoirs. Churchill says he drafted his initial warning note to Stalin on April 3. However some diplomatic to-and-fro intervened and Sir Stafford Cripps, the British Ambassador to the USSR at the time, did not actually hand it over to a Kremlin aide for delivery to Stalin until April 19. For details see Churchill's The Grand Alliance (Boston, 1950), 356-61.

(39) M. A. Vorontsev was actually the Soviet naval attaché in Berlin and as far as I can establish held a rank equivalent to Admiral.

(40) No further information on Khlopov is available.

(41) Cripps delivered the message in London rather than Moscow because he'd been recalled home for a brief consultative visit.

(42) Khrushchev here overstates Soviet capabilities, especially early in the war. He also ignores the considerable contribution to Soviet survival provided by the Lend-Lease program, under which Great Britain and the US supplied war materiel to the USSR in exchange for deferred payments (that in fact were never made). From October 1941 to March 1946, Lend-Lease deliveries included nearly 13,000 tanks, 380,000 trucks, 50,000 Jeeps, 11,000 railroad cars, 2,000 locomotives, 4 million tons of food, and 15 million pairs of boots. The motor transport in particular was invaluable and could not have been supplied by Soviet production. See e.g. Walter S. Dunn, Jr., The Soviet Economy And The Red Army, 1930-1945 (Westport CT, 1995), 67-91.

(43) Georgy Malenkov, b. 1901 d. 1988 , Party member from 1920. A prominent contender for power in the postwar 1940s and early 1950s, Malenkov followed Stalin's career path by rising through the Party's organizational bureaucracy. He headed the Central Committee's Organization and Assignment Bureau (1934 -39) and its successor the Party Cadres Administration (1939--). From 1946 to 1953 and again from 1955 to June 1957, Malenkov was the Deputy Chair of the all-Union Council of Ministers. In 1953-1955 he chaired the CM.

(44) Colonel-General M. P. Kirponos commanded the Southwestern Front at the outset of the war. He was killed in battle while attempting to hold Kiev per Stalin's orders categorically forbidding retreat. Red Army losses in the Kiev encirclement totalled roughly 450,000 officers and men, a considerable number of them prisoners of war.

(45) Repression in the Red Army's officer corps was appalling, and was pervasive at the division level and above. However there has been a tendency to overstate the total number of victims. The number of those repressed for alleged counter-revolutionary activity now appears to have been closer to 19,000 (all ranks) than the 40,000 + officers alone sometimes encountered in the "classic" literature on Stalinism. About 3,500 commissioned officers were shot 1936-39, died in custody, committed suicide, or actually lived through prison sentences. Another 3,200 non-coms suffered similar fates, as did roughly 12,000 rank-and-file soldiers. A very good sense of the wipeout of ranking officers can be found in Robert Conquest, The Great Terror (New York, 1990), 450ff, although Conquest's estimates of the purges' overall lethality within the Army have been deflated by more recent, archivally based work.

The state-of-the-historiographic-art figures cited in the present note, plus a lengthy necrology of repressed command officers, can be found in O. F. Suvenirov, Tragediia RKKA 1937-38 (Moscow, 1998), unfortunately published so far only in Russian. Suvenirov's assessments of Army-officer deaths are grounded to the extent possible on actual case files. See also Roger Reese, Stalin's Reluctant Soldiers. A Social History of the Red Army, 1925-1941 (Lawrence, Kansas, 1996).

(46) Marshal Konstantin Rossokovsky, b. ? d. 1968, was arrested in 1937, sentenced to the Gulag, and released in time to re-assume command duties on the eve of the German attack. A close associate of the famous Georgy Zhukov, he commanded with great distinction during the war and afterward served for a time as Poland's Defense Minister.

Colonel-General Alexander Gorbatov, circa 1956 the commander of the Baltic Military District. When repressed he was second-in-command of the 6th Cavalry Corps.

Marshal Kiril Meretskov, circa 1956 the commander of the Northern Military District. He apparently was arrested for his long-time association with Ieronym Uborevich, who had been in charge of Soviet armaments production in 1930-31 and subsequently commanded Soviet forces in Belorussia. It is not clear why Meretskov, who was serving as the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense for the USSR when repressed, was let off with a Gulag stint and then rehabilitated in time for wartime service. He may have saved himself with an appeal from jail addressed to Stalin. In it he protested that his heroic performance against Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War should be taken as proof of his loyalty. See Suvenirov, Tragediia RKKA, 104.

K. P. Podlas, prior to his jailing the commander of the 27th Rifle Division. Like Kiril Meretskov, Podlas was arrested for association with Uborevich (see above) and was rehabilitated in time to return to the Belorussian front on the eve of the war. He held the wartime rank of Marshal when killed.

(47) A more salacious version reads "Lenin left us a great legacy and we've fucked it up." This variant may be found in Dmitry Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph And Tragedy (Rocklin CA, 1992), 410, and is based on Volkogonov's familiarity with a tape-recorded account of the incident. This tape evidently was dictated during a memoir session (with Anastas Mikoyan?!). It is excerpted in bowlderized form in Russian in V. Kuzmanov's article "Iz vospominanii o voennykh godakh" in the journal Politicheskoe obrazovanie no. 9 (1988). The anecdote -- which does not appear in the original, 4-vol. Russian edition of Volkogonov's biography -- apparently was in fairly general circulation in elite circles in the middle 1950s.

(48) According to Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph And Tragedy, 409-10, the lack of official documents bearing Stalin's name shows that he fell to pieces some six days after the initial German attack and was hors combat (ceased to do anything whatsoever) from 28 to 30 June 1941. Roy Medvedev, in the revised edition of his Let History Judge: The Origins And Consequences Of Stalinism (New York, 1989), is equally adamant that Stalin was absent from duty from 23 to 30 June. Whatever actual length of time was involved, Medvedev hints (and Volkogonov explicitly claims) that this paralysis reflected deep psychological shock once the full impact of the German invasion became apparent. Less charitable sources -- believed by a good many Russians today -- suggest that Stalin went on a vodka binge upon realizing what was happening. A plausible alternative explanation I first heard in 1993 is that Stalin suffered a minor heart attack or stroke at the very outset of the war, one kept secret even from most of his inner entourage, and was temporarily incapacitated by physical rather than mental infirmity. As yet, there is no hard evidence to confirm or deny any of these scenarios.

Khrushchev almost certainly based his description of the Politbiuro delegation's visit to Stalin on the recollections of Anastas Mikoyan (q.v.). According to Mikoyan, he, Molotov, Beria, and others decided that post-invasion paralysis could be solved by vesting total authority for the war effort in a new Committee of State Defense headed by Stalin, and went to Stalin's dacha to ask him about it. The Russian edition of Dmitri Volkogonov's Stalin biography -- but not the English edition -- speculates that Stalin may have thought the petitioners had come instead to arrest him. See his Triumf i tragediia: I. V. Stalin, politicheskii portret, book 2 part 1 (Moscow, 1989), 168-169 .

(49) Marshal Ivan Bagramyan, b. 1897 d. 1982. Bagramyan held a number of ranking Army posts during the Great Patriotic War, the highest appointment being Deputy Chief of the General Staff. In 1955-1956 and again from 1958-1968 he was the USSR's Deputy Minister of Defense, spending the interim running the Voroshilov Military Academy.

(50) Marshal Alexander Vasilevsky, b. 1895 d. 1977, held a number of ranking defense posts during the Great Patriotic War. The most consequential and lasting of these was his service as Deputy People's Commissar of Defense in 1942-45. In 1945 he commanded Soviet operations against Japan. After the war he was the USSR's Deputy Defense Minister until 1949, its Defense Minister in 1949-1953, and once again its Deputy Defense Minister until 1957.

(51) The Kharkov counterattack, which began on 12 May 1942, was an attempt to pull off a 'pincer' encirclement of Nazi troops in the region as a preliminary step towards recapturing Ukraine's principal industrial center, the Donbass. Unfortunately for the Red Army, its advance opened it up to a flank counterblow that German forces fortuitously had had in the works. The result was the near-total annihilation of the Soviet forces engaged in the battle, including the 6th and 57th Armies, with a loss of roughly a quarter million dead, wounded, or captured. In his memoirs, Marshal Grigory Zhukov (q.v.) contradicts Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" account of the debacle. Zhukov claims that he and the rest of the General Staff actually understood the danger posed by the Kharkov counterattack, and that overly optimistic situation updates by Khrushchev himself helped convince Stalin to continue the inherently imprudent operation. See Volkogonov, Triumph And Tragedy, 431-32

(52) Anastas Mikoyan, b. 1895 d. 1978, the longtime Stalin crony and inner-circle member who was the Soviet Union's People's Commissar/Minister of Foreign Trade in 1938-1949 and in 1937-1955 the Deputy Chair of the Council of People's Commissariats/Council of Ministers.

(53) Marshal Grigory Zhukov, b. 1896 d. 1974, the best known of Stalin's WW II generals and a leading contender for political power in the early postwar period. Zhukov's Red Army career began in when he volunteered for the cavalry in 1918. By 1938 he had risen to the post of Deputy cavalry commander for the Belorussian Military District. Having avoided the purges, he was transferred to the Far East in 1939 and commanded Soviet forces there in a sharp border war with Japanese troops then threatening Mongolia. Zhukov was recalled to the center in the spring of 1940 to head the Kiev Military District, and went on to serve in a variety of headquarters positions (Deputy chief of the Supreme Command, Deputy People's Commissar of Defense, etc.) as well as temporary front commands during the Great Patriotic War. His most prominent postwar post was as Soviet Defense Minister, 1955-1957.

(54) Kuzma Kryuchkov was a Don Cossack who distinguished himself in the initial clashes of World War I and was instantly transformed into a quasi-legendary, Rambo-type figure by wildly jingoistic press reports.

The reference to putting one dress on seven people at the same time comes from an old folk tale, not from newspaper coverage of Kryuchkov, and alludes to hyperbolic boasting. A Western equivalent is the story of the tailor who killed seven (flies) with one blow.

(55) The Fall of Berlin = Padenie Berlina, a two-part 1949 production directed by Mikhail Chiaureli and starring Mikhail Gelovani as Stalin. For details see http://lycos.imdb.com/title?0041727.

Alexander Poskrebyshev, b. 1861 d. 1965, a Party member from 1917, was one of Stalin's longtime private secretaries. In 1929, Stalin named him Deputy head of the Secret Section of the Central Committee's Secretariat. From 1930 to 1952, Poskrebyshev directed the CC/Secretariat's Secret Section (from 1934 known as the Special Section). In practice, this meant he was responsible for handling secret paperwork flowing to/from Stalin. He also oversaw Stalin's office appointments, evidently setting himself up as an arbitrary gatekeeper who tried to control access to the General Secretary. He typically is described in the memoirs of those who had dealings with him as "vile" and "loathsome."

(56) From the outset of the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, through the end of 1944, when mass wartime deportations ceased, nearly 1.8 million people were forcibly relocated as members of 12 major ethnic groups. Totals derived from post-Soviet archival research include:

Total

Ethnicity

When

Where

90

Finns

summer 1941

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan

750

Germans

summer 1941

Kazakhstan, Siberia

90

Kalmyks

December 1943

Kazakhstan, Siberia

70

Karachai

November 1943

Kazakhstan, Kirgizia

390

Chechens

February 1944

Kazakhstan, Kirgizia

90

Ingushi

February 1944

Kazakhstan, Kirgizia

40

Balkars

March 1944

Kazakhstan, Kirgizia

185

Crimean Tatars

May 1944

mainly Uzbekistan

15

Crimean Greeks

June 1944

Uzbekistan, Mari ASSR

95

Meskhetian Turks, Kurds, Khemshili

November 1944

Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan



[Adapted from "Table 1.1. Major National Deportations Under Stalin, 1937-1944" in J. Otto Pohl, Ethnic Cleansing In The USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport CT, 1999). Figures rounded to nearest 5,000. Totals reflect persons factually remanded to transport and do not include victims repressed during the round-up operation. Moreover, many of those dispatched to internal exile died of neglect, malnutrition, disease, etc. while en route or at their places of relocation. Depending on the ethnicity involved and the scholarly authority in question, estimates of these "excess deaths" range as high as a quarter of the people subject to relocation. The exact number may never be known.]

Some authorities also consider the late 1937 relocation of roughly 170,000 ethnic Koreans from the Soviet Far East to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan a wartime deportation.

(57) The Karachai were forcibly deported from their north Georgian homeland (highlands northwest of Mt. Elbrus) to Soviet Central Asia in November, 1943. The Karachi Autonomous Province subsequently was dissolved, with the Karachaiskii and Uchku Lanskii Districts melded into the Georgian Republic.

(58) Kalmyks were forcibly deported from their homelands on the northwest shore of the Caspian Sea (south of Stalingrad/Volgograd and west of the Volga River), again to Soviet Central Asia.

Chechens and Ingushi were removed en masse from the Caucasus to Soviet Central Asia, not only from the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Republic but from neighboring Dagestan and Ossetia. The order authorizing the relocation justified the action on the basis of alleged treason and collaboration with the Nazis. For a recent, impassioned article on the subject by a Chechen intellectual see: http://www.amina.com/article/aniver_gen.shtml

In the fall of 1942, the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Republic (highlands northeast of Mt. Elbrus in the Caucasus) was occupied by Nazi forces for between two and six months, depending on locale. In the spring of 1944, roughly a year after the Red Army had retaken the region, the Balkars were forcibly relocated to Kazakhstan and Kirgizia.

(59) Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, is making a sardonic joke. There is absolutely no evidence that Stalin intended to forcibly deport Ukrainians as such.

(60) Nikolay Voznesensky, b. 1903 d. 1950 (repressed), Party member from 1919. Voznesensky came to prominence circa 1934 as a member of the Party Control Commission and its successor, the Commission of Soviet Control. In 1935-1937 he was the Deputy Chair of the Leningrad Municipal Executive Committee. From 1937 through 1939 he was Deputy Chair of the State Planing Agency (Gosplan) and headed the organ in 1939-41 and again in 1942-49. He also served 1942-1949 as the Deputy Chair of the Union-level Council of People's Commissariats (Council of Ministers), and was a member of the State Defense Committee 1942-1945.

Aleksey Kuznetsov, b. 1905 d. 1950 (repressed), was Second Secretary of the Leningrad Provincial and Municipal Party Committees in 1937-45 and First Secretary in 1945-1946. He was shifted in 1946-1949 to posts as Secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the Central Committee's Cadres Administration. In 1949, Kuznetsov put in a short stint as head of the Central Committee's Far Eastern Bureau before being arrested.

Mikhail Rodionov, b. 1907 d. 1950 (repressed), chaired the Gorky Provincial Executive Committee in 1937-40, was First Secretary of Gorky Provincial Party Committee in 1940-46, and in 1946-1949 chaired the Council of Ministers for the Russian Federation.

Pyotr Popkov, b. 1903 d. 1950 (repressed), in 1938-1939 was First Deputy Secretary and in 1939-1946 Chair of the Leningrad Municipal Executive Committee. He served as First Secretary of the Leningrad Provincial and Municipal Party Committees in 1946-1949, then putting in a short stint as a graduate student in the Academy of Sciences before his arrest and execution in August 1949.

(61) On paper, the Central Committee Secretary then was responsible for supervision of the security organs. Thus Voznesensky's appointment meant that -- at least technically speaking -- he had become Lavrenty Beria's boss.

(62) V. S. Abakumov, b. 1908 d. 1954 (repressed), a protégé of Lavrenty Beria's, was Deputy NKVD head in 1941-1943. He headed the notorious "Smersh" (contraction of smert' shpionam = "death to spies") counter-espionage organization 1943-1946. His boss, Lavrenty Beria, was shifted in 1946 from direct control of the police organs to running the Soviet atomic project. Abakumov then was moved into the post of Minister of State Security until his arrest in July, 1951. He was shot for, among other things, his complicity in trumping up the "Leningrad Affair" against Voznesensky et al.

(63) Mingrelians are a relatively small ethnic group historically concentrated in and around the Abkhazia region in the Caucasus. Beria was a Mingrelian by birth. The Georgian power base he had assembled in the 1930s depended in large part on the patronage support of fellow Mingrelians emplaced in key positions in Republican organs. Thus the "discovery" of a "Mingrelian nationalist organization" (the so-called "Mingrelian Affair") was a blow aimed at undermining Beria by attacking these regional supporters. See Amy Knight, Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant (Princeton NJ, 1993), 159-64.

(64) The CIA/US State Dept. translation of the "Secret Speech" uses the misleading term "genial" leadership to render genial'noe rukovodstvo. This implies a sarcastic pun on "genial" = kindly/ "genius" that is not present in the original Russian. Whoever did the original translation evidently thought that "genial" was an acceptable adjectival form of the word "genius." Unfortunately current dictionaries of American English consider this usage obsolete.

(65) Marshal Joseph Tito (born Joseph Broz), b. 1892 d. 1980, a patriot, socialist, and politician who led Yugoslavia's resistance to Nazi occupation during WW II and who established independence from the Soviet bloc in 1948. As President of Yugoslavia 1953-1980, he pursued an independent brand of communism that stressed foreign-policy neutrality and did not fear economic contact with the West. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 321-25.

(66)The letter Lidiya Timashuk addressed to Stalin in 1948 was considerably more substantive than Khrushchev's rather dismissive comments suggest. In it she charged leading Kremlin doctors with malpractice involving high-ranking patients, including misdiagnosing the heart ailment that had killed Andrey Zhdanov earlier in the year. Her allegations -- at least some of which apparently had foundation-- prompted a less-than-rigorous probe that initially found little amiss.

Under ordinary circumstances, the affair might have faded away. However political intrigue within the police organs came into play. Seeking an opportunity to denounce his boss, State Security Minister Abakumov, Special Investigator Mikhail Riumin seized upon the case. In a note apparently passed to Stalin via Beria and/or Malenkov, both of whom detested Abakumov, Riumin complained that key aspects of the case had been bungled. Fallout from this contributed to the sacking and arrest of Abakumov in mid-1951 and to Riumin's promotion to Deputy Minister of State Security.

Charged with getting to the bottom of the matter, Riumin not only reopened the probe grounded in Timashuk's allegations but began to investigate its original investigators. In the course of this, several of Abakumov's proteges "confessed" that Kremlin physician Iakov Etinger had been part of a wider plot to medically murder Politbiuro member Aleksandr Shcherbakov (died of heart problems in 1945). This evidence, plus a re-exmination of the circumstances surrounding Zhdanov's death, apparently prompted Stalin to order wholesale arrests in September 1952. By this time, Timashuk's allegations had mutated into a bizarre conspiracy in which top Kremlin doctors -- who were Jewish -- supposedly had poisoned Zhdanov and intended to poison other top Soviet leaders in the interests of Zionism. Most historians, as did Khrushchev, assume that the arrests and trials in the "Doctor's Plot" would have been followed by a new round of anti-semitically tinged purging had further developments not been short-circuited by Stalin's 1953 death.

For the latest on Timashuk and the "Doctors' Plot" see: Gennady Kostyrchenko, Out Of The Red Shadows: Anti-Semitism In Stalin's Russia (Amherst NY, 1995), 261-70; and Chris Burton, Medical Welfare During Late Stalinism: A Study Of Doctors And The Soviet Health System, 1945-1953 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1999), 397-98.

(67) V. N. Vinogradov, one of Stalin's physicians, was a full member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Semyen Ignatiev, b. 1904 d. 1983. In 1937-1946, Ignatiev was the provincial Party boss in the Buriat-Mongolian Autonomous Republic and then Bashkiria. Brought to the center after the war, he served in 1946-1947 as head of the Central Committee's Administration for Reviewing Party Organs, as First or Second Party Secretary for Belorussia in 1947-1949, and as the Central Committee's representative to Uzbekistan in 1949-1950. In 1950-1953 Ignatiev headed the Central Committee's Bureau of Party, Professional, and Komsomol Organs. In 1951-53 he also was the Minister of State Security for the USSR. Ignatiev was not repressed after Stalin's death. He was returned to the provinces to finish out his career in provincial leadership posts in Tatarstan and then the Bashkir Republic.

(68) Protocol/protokol in this context means "transcript." Soviet police-organ interrogations at the time typically produced two sorts of protocol. The first was a lengthy, more or less verbatim record of questions and responses. The second was a condensed, sometimes drastically rewritten version of the first intended for quick perusal by higher-ups. The protocols Khrushchev is referring to presumably were the summary type.

(69) Grigory Kaminsky, b. 1895 d. 1938 (repressed), a Party member from 1913. Secretary of the Moscow Municipal Party Committee in 1930-1932, he headed the Moscow Municipal Executive Committee 1932-1934 and was the People's Commissar of Health (until 1936, for the Russian Federation, since technically speaking there was no all-Union post at the time; after 1936, for the USSR) until his arrest.

Formed in 1911-1912, the Musavat Party was the principal rival to Bolshevik control in Azerbaijan, governing there from 1918 until the Red Army toppled it in the spring of 1920. While performing undercover work on behalf of the Bolsheviks, Beria briefly infiltrated the Musavat Government in the fall of 1919. He also was involved at the time in a complicated series of spy/counter-spy operations in civil-war Azerbaijan. Some of these involved Musavat intelligence agents and informers. Throughout the rest of his career, Beria was dogged by allegations that he had been a double agent during all this and had secretly worked for the Musavat. See Knight, Beria, 17-18.

(70) No further biographical information on A. V. Snegov is available.

(71) Lavrenty Kartvelishvili (born Lavrentiev), b. 1890 d. 1938 (repressed), Party member from 1910. Kartvelishvili spent 1917-1920 in Party work in Ukraine, mainly in Odessa, and moved into Georgia following its occupation by the Red Army. He became Chair of the Georgan Council of People's Commissars in 1923 and served during most of the 1920s as Party Secretary for Georgia. In 1931 he was named Secretary of the Trancaucasian Regional Party Committee. After refusing to work with Beria, he was transferred to the Western Siberian Provincial Party Committee as its Second Secretary. In 1933-1936 he was the Party Secretary for the Far Eastern Territory. From December, 1936 until his repression he headed the Crimean Provincial Party Committee.

(72) Grigory ("Sergo") Ordzhonikidze, b. 1886 d. 1937 (suicide), Party member from 1903. A close associate of Stalin's, Ordzhonikidze came out of the Caucasus to spend 1926-1930 as chair of the Party's Central Control Commission and as the Union-level People's Commissar of Workers' and Peasants' Inspection (essentially, the State Inspector-General). He simultaneously served as deputy Chair of the Union-level Council of People's Commissariats and also the Council of Labor and Defense. In 1930 he took over the Supreme Council of the Economy (the main heavy-industry oversight organ) and in 1932 he became People's Commissar of Heavy Industry.

(73) Mikhail Kedrov, b. 1878 d. 1941 (repressed). A prominent Chekist, he held a number of operational posts during the Civil War including Chair of a notorious Party Commission sent to the Arkhangel'sk Front in 1920 to combat saboteurs, interventionists, and white-guardist agents. In 1921-23, while a member of the Collegium of the Cheka (GPU), he moved into educational work in the People's Commissariat of Education (he had graduated medical school in Berlin before the Revolution) and was a special representative of the Council of Labor and Defense. Evidently retiring from the police organs in 1924, his subsequent career included stints with the Supreme Council of the Economy, the People's Commissariat of Health for the Russian Federation, the State Planning Agency (Gosplan) for the Russian Federation, and finally service with the Supreme Court of the USSR.

Apparently V. [P.?] Golubov, evidently a Chekist active in the Caucasus during the late Civil War period. Golubov may have been the deputy Cheka representative on the Tsaritsyn (later, Stalingrad/Volgograd) Front circa 1919.

(74) Andrey Andreev, b. 1895 d. 1971, Party member from 1914. Andreev had early experience as a trade union administrator, chairing the all-Russian Council of Professional Unions in 190-1922 and the Central Committee of the Railway Workers' Union from 1922 to 1927, when he was shifted to the Caucasus as head of the North Caucasian Regional Committee until 1930. Holding a variety of administrative and Party posts thereafter, Andreev is perhaps best known as the Party Central Committee secretary in 1924-1925 and again in 1935-1946 and as deputy Chair of the all-Union Council of Ministers in 1946-1953.

(75) Located in Moscow, the Lefortovo Prison was one of several vintage, maximum-security jails used by the Cheka/OGPU/NKVD/MVD [Ministry of Internal Security] and their successor organs. It is still in use today.

(76) Okhrana = the late 19th-century Tsarist secret police organ.

(77) "Sergo" Ordzhonikidze died in 1937, evidently by his own hand although the death was reported in the press as a heart attack. There has been considerable speculation over the years that Stalin either deliberately drove Ordzhonikidze to shoot himself, as Khrushchev asserts here, offered it as an alternative to arrest and trial, or else poisoned him (see Hosking, First Socialist Society, 193). However nothing definitive has yet turned up in the archives. The state-of-the-historiographic-art treatment of the complicated Ordzhonikidze-Stalin relationship in the 1930s is Oleg Khlevniuk, Stalin i Ordzhonikidze: Konflikty v Politbiuro v 30-e gody (Moscow, 1993), as yet available only in Russian.

(78) Short Biography = Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin. Kratkaia biografiia. The first of many, constantly revised editions bearing this title was credited to longtime Stalin secretary Ivan Tovstukha (1889-1935) and published in 1927. Khrushchev is referring to a revised and expanded second edition issued in 1948 and credited to Institue of Marxism-Leninism flack Georgy Alexandrov.

(79) It is worth mentioning that top Bolsheviks had been emending draft texts of their published records for years. During the 1920s and 1930s, stenographic reports of speeches, debates, and meetings (including at least some Party Congresses) routinely were circulated for pre-publication revision. I have no examples of Khrushchev's doing this in my files, nor have I encountered any. However the practice was ubiquitous enough that he almost certainly was guilty of an attenuated form of the same self-censorship he is castigating Stalin for.

(80) The book's title page in fact says "Edited by a commission of the Central Committee...." For the official translation in English see History Of The Communist Party Of The Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course (New York, 1939). For more on the origin of the work see Hosking, First Socialist Society, 217-18.

(81) Stalin Prizes were created in 1939 to reward outstanding achievements in art, literature, scholarship, and science. Some 92 prizes originally were awarded annually, entitling their recipients to monetary rewards of up to 100,000 rubles plus a gold medal. The most prestigious of the prizes was probably the one awarded for literature. On the whole, the Stalin Prizes resembled a domestic version of the Nobel Prizes. There also was a system of Stalin Stipends that rewarded ongoing work. These evidently functioned in a manner broadly analagous to MacArthur or Guggenheim Foundation grants in the contemporary US.

(82) The Soviet Union's de facto anthem originally was the Internationale, a socialist workers' song appropriated by the Bolsheviks. At some point after the Nazi invasion in 1941, it was decided that this music was insufficiently patriotic and was not in keeping with the "Save Russia"/"Save the Socialist Fatherland" rhetoric of the war effort. In 1944, collaboration between A. V. Alexandrov (music) and Sergey Mikhailovich produced the Soviet-specific "Hymn of the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics." This became the official anthem of the USSR until its 1991 dissolution.

The vainglorious passage Khrushchev is referring to originally went:

Through tempests the sunrays of freedom have cheered us,
Along the new path where great Lenin did lead.
Be true to the people, thus Stalin has reared us,
Inspire us to labor and valorous deed!

The last two lines of this stanza were changed after Stalin's death to:

To a righteous cause he raised up the peoples,
Inspired them to labor and valorous deed.

For a web page dedicated to the anthem, including downloadable music clips in a variety of formats and a link to a page containing the full translation excerpted above, see http://www.funet.fi/pub/culture/russian/html_pages/soviet.html.

(83) The Unforgettable Year of 1919 = Nezabyvaemyi god 1919, a 1952 production directed by Mikhail Chiaureli. For details see http://lycos.imdb.com/title?0044964.

(84) This visit to Siberia pioneered the so-called "Urals method" of grain procurement, in which grain was forcibly taken from peasant producers allegedly hoarding it. See Hosking, First Socialist Society, 159.

(85) What Khrushchev does not make clear that Stalin's exchange with Postyshev took place during the February-March 1937 Central Committee Plenum. Among other results, this gathering featured the condemnation of long-time Stalin rival Nikolay Bukharin and of the former titular head of the Soviet State government, Alexsey Rykov. Postyshev was one of the few to object to the proceedings and to refuse to admit that errors had been made under his watch. Stalin essentially broke in on him to ask, in effect, "Who the hell are you to be critical?" Postyshev's reply "A Bolshevik" was a pointed reminder that Party practice in the 1920s had allowed heterodoxy during debate, provided factional politicking was not involved and provided that dissenters subsequently line up behind whatever course of action was resolved upon.

(86) Nikolay Bulganin, b. 1895 d. 1975, Party member from 1917. A leading figure in the postwar USSR, Bulganin first came to prominence as Chair of the Moscow Municipal Council's Executive Committee in 1931-1937. Moving up thanks to a Purge vacancy, he became Chair of the Russian Federation's Council of People's Commissariats in 1938-1939 and then Deputy Chair of the all-Union Council of People's Commissariats (Council of Ministers) in 1938-41 and again in 1947-1953. In 1941-1943 he served as a member of the Military Council of a number of fronts, subsequently becominf the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense (Minister of the Armed Forces) 1947-1949 and the Minister of Armed Forces 1953-1955. The apogee of his career was his stint in 1955-1958 as Chair of the USSR's Council of Ministers. Demoted, he spent 1958-1960 as Chair of the Stavropol Council of the Economy and then retired.

(87) The most widely distributed translation of this reads "what card-player's terminology." The sense is adequately conveyed by the word sophistry.

(88) Khrushchev is not just engaging in speculation but speaking from experience. Among other things tracked by NKVD surveys of popular mood during the Purge years was the signal sent by the wholesale changing of signs, the replacement of portraits, and/or the re-naming of towns, schools, enterprises, etc. In 1938, for example, most Red Army troops in the Far East learned that their commander, Marshal Vasily Bliukher, had been sacked when his portrait was ordered removed from regional wardrooms and barracks. The NKVD apparently was commissioned ahead of time to monitor the reaction, its agents and informants noting openly expressed comments on the move.

hammer star stalin hammer star krushchev hammer star stalin hammer star

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