Like others, I was beginning to doubt whether all the arrests and convictions had been justified from the standpoint of judicial norms. Members were supporters of Georgian independence from Russia. On 17 February, Frinovsky invited Slutsky to his office where another of Yezhov's deputies came up behind him and drew a mask of chloroform over his face. Stalin now ordered the Red Army into Poland and reclaimed land lost when the Brest-Litovsk Treaty was signed in 1918. There was a certain shyness in his smile, and the handshake was not perfunctory. Stalin originated the concept "enemy of the people". The cost to the Soviet people was immense. However, the peasants liked farming their own land and were reluctant to form themselves into state collectives. Nikolay Bukharin joined the attacks on Trotsky asserted that Trotsky's theory of "permanent revolution" was anti-Leninist. In other words, imperialism was instrumental not only in making the revolution a practical inevitability, but also in creating favourable conditions for a direct assault on the citadels of capitalism. (38), On 26th October, 1917, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets met and handed over power to the Soviet Council of People's Commissars. Edvard Radzinsky, the author of Stalin (1996) has pointed out: "Stalin had a secret and extremely important aim in Spain: to eliminate the supporters of Trotsky who had gathered from all over the world to fight for the Spanish revolution. This included Nickolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Krestinsky and Christian Rakovsky. Stalin now believed that the main objective of British foreign policy was to encourage Germany to head east rather than west. (92), According to Edvard Radzinsky, the author of Stalin (1996): "The opposition then organized demonstrations in Moscow and Leningrad on November 7. If they were guilty of trying to murder Stalin and knew they would be shot in any case, why cringe and crawl instead of defiantly justifying their plot on revolutionary grounds? As German troops moved deeper into the Soviet Union, supply lines became longer. But it was not in his character to share equal rights with any other person. "The extreme seriousness of the position compels us (in the interests of our Party, in the interests of the working class) to state openly that a continuation of the policy of the majority of the Politburo threatens grievous disasters for the whole Party. My standing does not allow me to identity the real stature of the man with the giant shadow it casts on the screen of the bureaucracy. Charlie agreed, but in a lower emotional key. Groaning are the unceasingly persecuted and humiliated Jews, deprived even those miserable rights that other Russian subjects enjoy the right to live where they choose, the right to go to school, etc. And yet, politically it was right and necessary, from the point of view of organization. Little damage was done but the action persuaded most of those defending the building to surrender. Stalin's nerves were already strained to the utmost. (25), Stalin was elected as one of the delegates of the union involved in the negotiations with the employers. He demanded a more revolutionary foreign policy as well as more rapid industrial growth. While Lenin lived and had his strength, the Party Secretariat was no more than an important cog in the machine which Lenin had created and controlled, but with Lenin weakened and dying the cog became the keystone of the Soviet arch. Tomsky and Bukharin were removed. And I, appealing to our government, petition them to double, and treble, the sentries guarding the slab, and stop Stalin from ever rising again.". Stalin had two main options open to him: he could oppose Lenin and challenge him for the leadership of the party, or he could change his mind about supporting the Provisional Government and remain loyal to Lenin. Flashcards. (52), Roy A. Medvedev, has argued in Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (1971) that on the surface it was a strange decision: "In 1922 Stalin was the least prominent figure in the Politburo. Stalin was the tactician of the triumvirate and its organizing force. (104), Walter Duranty, a journalist working for the New York Times, observed the suffering caused by collectivisation: "At the windows haggard faces, men and women, or a mother holding her child, with hands outstretched for a crust of bread or a cigarette. He argued that people should be released from prison who had opposed the government's policy on collective farms and industrialization. (103), Ian Grey, in his book, Stalin: Man of History (1982): "The peasants demonstrated the hatred they felt for the regime and its collectivisation policy by slaughtering their animals. The principles and aims of mass terror have nothing in common with ordinary police work or with security. His alliance with Hitler was marked by the immediate expulsion of virtually all Jews from high office in the diplomatic and military services and from the higher reaches in the Soviet elites generally. (155), According to Alexander Orlov, who was Chief of the Economic Department for Foreign Trade who worked closely with Genrikh Yagoda, the head of the Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD): "Stalin decided to arrange for the assassination of Kirov and to lay the crime at the door of the former leaders of the opposition and thus with one blow do away with Lenin's former comrades. The atmosphere in which I lived was saturated with hatred against Tsarist oppression." Two months later Slutsky was posthumously stripped of his CPSU membership and declared an enemy of the people. ", Duranty then went on to criticize Gareth Jones. Views: 281. This decision was ratified by the Fifteenth Party Congress in December. For over an hour I asked questions and answered them. "All right," Stalin consented. Stalin told him that after the Russian Revolution the capitalist countries could have crushed the Bolsheviks: "But they waited too long. The sensational reports abroad had been full of supposed trouble between Stalin and his military chief. Lenin the Marxist, Lenin the leader of our fighting Social Democratic Party, is no more. He also appointed his allies, Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov, Gregory Ordzhonikidze, Lazar Kaganovich, Sergy Kirov, Semen Budenny and Andrei Andreev. Voroshilov was not concealing his enjoyment of the situation. However, it has been argued that Hitler's policy of exterminating the Soviet people guaranteed his defeat. In his speech, Lenin urged the peasants to take the land from the rich landlords and the industrial workers to seize the factories. My Russian would probably be adequate to the occasion, I smiled, and if I got stuck, these gentlemen would come to my rescue. The more machines the Germans used up in Russia, he added, the more certain and rapid the German defeat, since German production was not as great as supposed. In the first years of the Bolshevik regime, however, few thought of Stalin as a potential leader. I saw his letters, but I cannot easily find the opportunity for interviews.". (148), At the 17th Party Congress in 1934, when Sergey Kirov stepped up to the podium he was greeted by spontaneous applause that equalled that which was required to be given to Stalin. He orchestrated and supervised a 1907 bank robbery in Tiflis that killed 40 people and netted the Bolsheviks more than 340,000 rubles. The Soviet army held out and the Germans were brought to a halt. One of the first to be arrested was Genrikh Yagoda, the former head of the NKVD. According to Kaganovich, he was never the same man again. Churchill, knowing that every day of Soviet resistance postponed a German invasion just that much, made an immediate offer of cooperation and assistance. Thus Trotsky believed in Trotsky, but Stalin believed in Lenin and in the Bolshevik cause and thought of himself as no more than an instrument or "chosen vessel". (61), It was assumed that Leon Trotsky would replace Lenin as leader when he died. In subsequent weeks Roosevelt took a number of steps to implement the offer. We will let loose the floodgates of that sea. (184) However, he did write to Stalin and ask: "Koba, why is my death necessary for you." The new members of the Central Committee, who had been sponsored by Stalin, guaranteed that the vote went against Lenin's testament being made public. Some historians believe that Stalin was telling the truth when he claimed that he had evidence that the army was planning a military coup at this time. By the beginning of 1938, most of the intelligence officers serving abroad had been targeted for elimination had already returned to Moscow. The generally agreed picture was simple. However, it seemed that Stalin was more or less serious. Beria's schemes play a large part in this - he gives Stalin the wrong information but Stalin trusts him." What, then, is the way out? Nikolai Yezhov established a new section of the NKVD named the Administration of Special Tasks (AST). 6 December] 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who ruled the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Any serious investigation would have exposed the Nazi forgery against Tukhachevsky, but Stalin did not order an expert investigation. This resulted in "the standardization of history textbooks and the difficulties faced by authors in their efforts to write new textbooks to the satisfaction of the special commission established by the party's Central Committee to oversee the textbook project." He was always accessible: "I'm ready to help you and receive you," he often replied to requests. In so far as he was able to secure his future position, he started to gather compromising material on Stalin himself.... On 17 November the Politburo decided that enemies of the people had infiltrated the NKVD. (97), During that winter Stalin began attacking kulaks for not supplying enough food for industrial workers. In appearance the accused were well-groomed and well-dressed men with relaxed and unconstrained manners. (151), According to Alexander Orlov, who had been told this by Genrikh Yagoda, Stalin decided that Kirov had to die. As one of the editors of Pravda, he was aware that he was being held partly responsible for what Lenin had described as "betraying socialism". (131), On 31st March, 1933, The Evening Standard carried a report by Gareth Jones: "The main result of the Five Year Plan has been the tragic ruin of Russian agriculture. Some workers could not cope with this pressure and absenteeism increased. The room in which we sat was large, high-ceilinged, and furnished simply almost to bareness. All the candidates were automatically elected but this was another blow to Stalin's self-esteem. The contrasts between Stalin and his predecessor, Vladimir Lenin, were significant. Alan Brook, chief of the British General Staff, was later to say: "I rapidly grew to appreciate the fact that he had a military brain of the very highest calibre. "Oh, I'm sorry," he smiled apologetically. Reasons why Stalin wanted to carry out the economic policies: 1. It is probable that Trotsky and Stalin are equally ambitious, but whereas Trotsky's ambition was personal, Stalin had sublimated his ambition to service of Lenin and the Bolshevik Party, which gave him added strength. Tukhachevsky was found guilty and executed on 11th June, 1937. After my first interview with him in the autumn of 1929 I wrote that he was "the inheritor of Lenin's mantle". Hitler believed that this would give the German Army enough time to take control of the country before the harsh Soviet winter set in. Either we do it or they crush us." Sergo loved the truth. With the Soviet Union unable to use its veto, it was powerless to stop the United Nations sending troops to defend South Korea. Like horseshoes at the head, to the eye or the groin. Hist0riography. Its main goal was to remove Stalin and to change Party policies in the direction of greater democratization, greater consideration for the interests of workers and peasants, and an end to repression within the Party." At Yalta, the decision at Teheran to form a United Nations organization was confirmed. In case of forced retreat of Red Army units, all rolling stock must be evacuated, the enemy must not be left a single engine, a single railway truck, not a single pound of grain or gallon of fuel. Stalin then stopped breathing and although attempts were made to revive him, his doctors eventually accepted he was dead. To show his good faith, Stalin appointed several assistants from the various nationalities within Russia. Lenin made them what they were. For the purpose of executing these plans, a Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre was formed, the leading part in which was played by myself - Zinoviev,and by Smirnov on behalf of the Trotskyites." Even so, he was covering his bets: what could be sent immediately was not necessarily what the Russians were asking for (machine tools, gasoline refineries, explosives plants), and he had not given Soviet requirements priority over all other demands. Himself an ex-prisoner, Stalin knew well that jails and places of exile were the 'universities' of of the revolutionaries. But here, with Stalin, there was no suggestion of this violence and hectic urgency: he was enveloped in his own atmosphere of calm assurance. 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