Sometimes we tackle other kinds of denial here, since the "methodology" employed by the Holocaust deniers can be employed to "debunk" practically anything, and highlighing this fact now and then is useful.
Various brainwashed Stalin apologists, like Grover Furr (exposed as a liar and an ignoramus here) and Ludo Martens claim, despite all evidence, that the absurd Moscow show trials were real, that the Old Bolsheviks really were reduced to the level of pitiful wreckers and then freely and with gusto confessed their crimes.
The simple fact is that the trials were staged. Some of the evidence for this is provided below. If these neo-Stalinists (who are no better than neo-Nazis, as far as I'm concerned) are wrong on such a trivial matter, they simply cannot be trusted on anything else.
1. From Bukharin's letter to Stalin, 10.12.37:
I can't leave my life without writing these last lines to you because I'm being overwhelmed by the torments that you need to know about.
1. Standing on the brink of an abyss from which there is no return, I give you my dying word of honor that I am innocent of the crimes that I have confirmed in the investigation.
3) I had no "way out" but to confirm and develop the accusations and testimonies of others: or else I would have been "not disarmed".
4) Except for the external moments and the argument 3) (above), I, thinking about what is happening, built up a concept of this kind:
There is some big and bold political idea of general purge a) in connection with the pre-war time, b) in connection with the transition to democracy. This purge captures (a) those responsible, (b) those who are suspicious, and (c) those who are potentially suspicious. They could not do without me here. Some are being neutralized in this way, others in a different way, and others in a third way. The insurance point is that people inevitably talk about each other and forever instill distrust in each other (I judge by myself: how angry I am at Radek, who has babbled about me! and then I myself have gone down this path...). Thus, the leadership has a full guarantee.
For God's sake, don't get me wrong about blaming myself here, even for thinking about myself. I grew up so much out of children's diapers that I understand that big plans, big ideas and big interests cover everything, and it would be petty to put the question of my own person along with the world-historical tasks, lying primarily on your shoulders.
But here I have both the main torment and the main painful paradox.
5) If I was absolutely sure that you think so, I would feel much calmer. Well, well, that's it! You need to, so you need to. But believe me, my heart is poured with a hot stream of blood when I think that you can believe in my crimes and deep down you yourself think that I am really guilty of all the horrors. Then what? Do I myself help a number of people to get deprived (starting with myself!), that is, I do evil! Then it is not justified by anything. And everything gets confused in my head, and I want to shout and bang my head against the wall, because I am the reason for the death of others. What should I do? What to do?
2. From the statement of M. P. Frinovsky to L. P. Beria dated 11.04.1939, attached to the special message of Beria to Stalin dated 13.04.1939, Lubyanka. Stalin i NKVD-NKGB-GUKR "Smersh", 2006, pp. 47-48:
How were those arrested prepared for face-to-face confrontations, and especially face-to-face confrontations, which were conducted in the presence of members of the Government?
The arrested persons were specially trained, first by an investigator, then by the head of the department. The preparation consisted in reading out the testimony given by the arrested person to the person with whom the confrontation was to be carried out, explaining how the confrontation would be conducted, what unexpected questions the arrested person might be asked and how he or she should respond. In essence, there was collusion and a rehearsal of the forthcoming confrontation. After that, the arrested person was summoned by EZHOV or, pretending that he accidentally walked into the investigator's room where the arrested person was sitting and was talking to him about the forthcoming confrontation, asking if he was feeling firm, whether he would confirm and, by the way, inserting that members of the government would be present at the confrontation.
Usually EZHOV was nervous before such face-to-face confrontations, even after talking to the arrested person. There were cases when an arrested person while talking to EZHOV made a statement that his testimony was not true, that it was a lie.
Preparation of the trial of RYKOV, BUKHARIN, KRESTINSKY, YAGODA and others
Actively participating in the investigation in general, EZHOV withdrew from the preparation of this process. Before the trial there were confrontations of the arrested, interrogations, clarifications, in which EZHOV did not participate. He talked to YAGODA for a long time, and this conversation concerned mainly the YAGODA's belief that he would not be shot.
EZHOV spoke several times with BUKHARIN and RYKOV, and also assured them in order to calm them down that they would not be shot in any case.
Once EZHOV talked to BULANOV, at that he began the conversation in the presence of the investigator and me, and ended the conversation alone [with Bulanov], asking us to leave. And BULANOV began to talk at that moment about the poisoning of EZHOV. What was the conversation, EZHOV did not tell me. When he asked [me] to come back, he said: "Hold on well during the process - I will be asking for you not to be shot". After the process, EZHOV always expressed regret about BULANOV. During the shooting EZHOV suggested that BULANOV be the first to be shot and did not enter the room where he was shot.
Undoubtedly, EZHOV was in charge of the need to cover up his connections with the arrested right-wing leaders who were going to a public trial.
As for the poisoning of EZHOV. The idea of his poisoning was put forward by Yezhov himself - day after day stating to all the deputies and heads of departments that he feels bad, that as soon as he stays in the office, he feels some metallic taste and smell in his mouth. After that, he began to complain that his gums started to bleed and his teeth started to loosen. EZHOV began to say that he had been poisoned in his office, and thus inspired the investigators to obtain evidence, which was done with the use of the Lefortovo prison and the use of beatings.
3. From N. Petrov, M. Jansen, "Stalinskij pitomets" - Nikolaj Yezhov, 2008, pp. 155, 156, the results of clandestine obesrvations from the contemporary secret reports:
According to the assistant prosecutor of the USSR G. M. Leplevsky in his private conversation, Vyshinsky almost ruined the whole production:
"You know, Stalin said that the Art theater even from a price list can make an artistic thing, a theatrical production, - in this case the NKVD has prepared a price list, from which the Prosecutor's Office and the court - must make a real production, not in our interest to make from this production a farce with a landlord and nails in eggs. You can't irritate Rakovsky and others, because they can start saying something else.
[Ibid. [TsA FSB. F. 3., Op. 5, D. 953]. L.262]
The defendants were carefully prepared before and during the trial, persuaded and accommodated in every possible way in case of obedience and willingness to follow the script. Thus, Rakovsky told his cellmates after the trial:
"The thesis of my speech at the trial, my last word, I coordinated with the investigators ... Lately everything was at my service up to and including olives" [AP RF. F. 3, Op. 24, D. 456, L. 107.]
Before the beginning of the trial, Yagoda was given a meeting with his arrested wife, Averbakh, and Yagoda was assured that she was free, for this purpose she was re-dressed and combed before the meeting [Ibid.]. And at the very beginning of the investigation, in 1937, when Yagoda still showed intransigence, he was simply beaten. His investigator N. M. Lerner at first did not believe in Yagoda's complaints that he was being beaten, but soon he became convinced of it:
"One day, it was in Lefortovo prison, I was interrogating Yagoda. Yezhov, Frinovsky and Kursky came into my office, and at Ezhov's suggestion I left the office. When some time later I was allowed to come back, I saw a bruise on Yagoda's face under my eye. Showing me a bruise, Yagoda asked me: "Now you believe that I am being beaten" [AP RF. F. 3, Op. 24, D. 456, L. 95.]
4. From the head of the KGB I. A. Serov's note to the Central Committee of the CPSU from 29.06.1956 (in N. V. Petrov, Pervyj predsedatel' KGB Ivan Serov, 2005, pp. 313-315):
After their conviction, Radek and Sokolnikov began, among the other inmates, to assert their innocence and the staging of the entire process. Undoubtedly, this led to the fact that in May 1939 a decision was made to "liquidate" them.
Other convicts in this case, Stroilov and Arnold, who also retracted their testimony, were kept in the NKVD prison in Orel until the autumn of 1941, and on September 11, 1941, by the sentence-in-absence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, passed without any justification, were executed among other prisoners.
The fate of the former head of the Prokopievsky city department of the NKVD Ovchinnikov, who was in touch with Arnold, is also of some interest in this respect.
Ovchinnikov in December 1940 was convicted by the Military Tribunal of the West Siberian district to 10 years of imprisonment. While in custody, he told his inmates about the falsification of the case against Arnold and announced his intention to write a statement about it.
On March 24, 1941, without any additional materials, Ovchinnikov's case was reviewed and he was sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal.
5. From the note of the Commission of the Central Committee of the CPSU, consisting of V. Molotov (Chairman), K. Voroshilov, L. Kaganovich, M. Suslov, N. Shvernik, E. Furtseva, P. Pospelov, A. Aristov, R. Rudenko to the Central Committee of the CPSU, dated 10.12.1956 (in Reabilitatsiya: kak eto bylo, vol. 2, 2003, p. 207):
In reviewing the materials of the remaining trials listed in the present note, the Commission found that the charges of treason, espionage, terror, preparation and execution of the murder of S.M.Kirov, brought against the convicted persons, were not proved by the case materials.
Testimony on the merits of these charges with a confession of guilt was obtained from the convicted persons as a result of the application of illegal methods of investigation to them: deception, blackmail and measures of physical coercion.
[This included the 3 Moscow trials.]
6. From the note by R. A. Rudenko and I. A. Serov to the Central Committee of the CPSU dated 20.11.1957 (in Reabilitatsiya: kak eto bylo, vol. 2, 2003, p. 294):
Levin, Kazakov and Pletnev fully admitted their guilt in court for committing these crimes, but after the conviction, already in 1939, Pletnev, during the interrogation in the NKVD and in his subsequent complaints, stated that his testimonies about the killing of A.M.Gorky and V.V.Kuibyshev were false and were given by him under the physical and moral coercion of the investigators.
7. From the note of the Commission of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU consisting of N. Shvernik (Chairman), A. Shelepin, Z. Serdyuk, R. Rudenko, N. Mironov, V. Semichastny to the Presidium of the Central Committee the CPSU, not later than 18.02.1963 (in Reabilitatsiya: kak eto bylo, vol. 2, 2003, pp. 559, 566, 568, 627, 628).
Later, through the use of illegal methods of investigation (gruelling interrogations, persuasions, threats), similar testimony about the Trotskyist-Zinovievsky clandestine centre was obtained from other arrested persons, and investigators often demanded such testimony on behalf of the party and in the name of the unity of the party. In the course of the investigation, some of the arrested persons retracted their so-called confessions and went on hunger strikes, demanding an objective investigation, but all this was not taken into account. The arrested were forced to sign "statements" prepared in advance by the investigators, the content of which corresponded to the previously received guidelines on the creation of the case of the United Trotskyist-Zinovievsky Center.
Pyatakov and other participants of the "parallel center" were also accused of organizing the terrorist act against Molotov, using for this purpose the accidental car accident that happened to Molotov's car on September 24, 1934 in Prokopievsk. As it is now established, there was no attempt on Molotov's life. The car accident came down to the fact that the car, in which Molotov was driving from the station, drove off with the right wheels into the roadside ditch, tilted down and stopped. None of the people in the car were injured. Molotov moved to another car and drove on. There was no investigation into this fact at the time. It was regarded as negligence on the part of Arnold, who was the head of the garage of the Prokopievsky department of mines. Arnold was reprimanded for this by the party city committee. Soon this reprimand was removed from him. There are reports that Arnold had his reprimand lifted at the direction of Molotov, to whom Arnold wrote a letter.
In 1936, Arnold was arrested by the NKVD and from him they obtained a statement that the car accident was committed intentionally, on behalf of the "Trotskyist center", in order to commit a terrorist act against Molotov. He also confirmed this testimony during the hearing. However, after the trial, in his complaints, and then during the interrogations in the NKVD of the USSR, Arnold retracted his earlier testimony and stated that he had not made any attempt on Molotov's life, and that he had given false testimony about it as a result of coercion from the investigation officers.
Molotov knew that the accusation of some persons in the attempt on his life was false, as he was well aware of all the circumstances of the road accident. However, he took no action to refute the version of the intentional attempt on his life and to rehabilitate the people who were wrongly accused of such a serious crime.
By means of exhausting and, as a rule, night interrogations with application of so-called "conveyor system" and " stands", persuasions, threats and use of agents, which were given provocative tasks, from all accused in the case of "Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center" NKVD structures have achieved full confession of guilt.
After the trial, the NKVD authorities established a thorough undercover surveillance of Sokolnikov, Radek, Stroilov and Arnold in places of detention. According to the agents' reports, all these persons talked about their innocence and told how the trial in their case had been falsified. Sokolnikov and Radek harshly criticized Stalin and spoke about his involvement in the falsification of the case of the "Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center" and other open trials of the time. These classified materials were reported to Stalin.
In May 1939, Radek and Sokolnikov were secretly killed in prisons by former NKVD officers serving their sentences for political and official crimes on behalf of Beria and his deputy Kobulov. As can be seen from the explanations of the former NKVD officials Fedotov and Matusov, during the development of the NKVD operations for these murders, Kobulov, demanding impeccable execution, stressed that they are carried out with Stalin's knowledge.
Stroilov and Arnold were shot in September 1941 among 170 prisoners of the Orel prison by sentence-in-absence of the Military Collegium, passed in accordance with the decision of the State Defense Committee, signed by Stalin. The proposal to shoot the prisoners was made by the NKVD of the USSR in Stalin's name.
The content of some interrogation reports was coordinated with Stalin before they were signed by the interrogated persons. For example, on September 23, 1936, after the confrontations of Sokolnikov with Bukharin and Rykov in the Central Committee of the VKP(b) and the interrogations of Bukharin and Rykov, Vyshinsky sent these protocols to Stalin with the following additions: "If you approve these documents, I will have these documents signed by the appropriate persons. (Materials of the inspection of the case of the Right-Trotskyist Block, vol. 3, p. 48).
A significant role in the entire investigation of the case of Bukharin, Rykov and others was played by the provocative testimony of the arrested Astrov. In particular, Astrov acted as one of the main exposers of Bukharin at the confrontation which was held on January 13, 1937 by Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov, Ordzhonikidze and Ezhov. Some time after the confrontation with Bukharin Astrov was freed from custody, although he confessed to guilt at the time. In his explanations to the KPK of the Central Committee of the CPSU of April 18 and 24, 1961, Astrov reported that the testimony given by him in 1937 was fictitious and was dictated by the NKVD officers (Materials of the inspection of the case of the "Right-Trotskyist bloc", vol. 6, pp. 65-93, 104-128).
It was also established that Radek and Sokolnikov, who "denounced" Bukharin and Rykov, when serving their sentences in prisons, told that they had given false testimony against them (Materials of the inspection of the case of the "Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center", vol. 12, pp. 1-47).
The investigation into the case of Bukharin, Rykov and others was carried out with gross violations of socialist legality, up to and including the application of physical methods of influence to those arrested. In Ezhov's archive, in one of his notebooks, his inscription was found: "Beat Rykov". There is also information that Krestinsky, Yagoda, Pletnev and some other accused were subjected to beatings (Archive of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Ezhov's archive, d. 217; materials of the inspection of the case of "Pravo-Trotskyist bloc", vol. 5, p. 46-54, 138, vol. 8, p. 64, 78).
8. From the decision of the Party Commission under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on the posthumous restoration in the Party of N. N. Krestinsky, 19.07.1963 (in Reabilitatsiya: kak eto bylo, vol. 2, 2003, p. 463):
It turned out that the testimony about his enemy activity was received from Krestinsky by means of cruel tortures that was confirmed by the doctor of Lefortovo prison A.A. Rozenblum.
The rehabilitated member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1917 T. Sapronov N.K. in his statement reported that, being in prison in 1937 and being in Lefortovo prison in the same cell with Krestinsky N.N., whom he knew since 1930 from joint work, he had to be a witness when Krestinsky returned after each interrogation in the cell beaten to death. Leaving prison, Krestinsky requested him, Sapronov, if he survived, to tell when it would be possible that he, Krestinsky, had always worked honestly for the Communist Party and the Soviet government all his conscious life, and if anything happened to him, asked him not to consider him an enemy of the Soviet people.
At the first meeting of the open trial for the right-wing Trotskyist bloc Krestinsky did not admit his guilt in anything, but stated that during the preliminary investigation he "did not voluntarily speak" and therefore gave false testimony about his counter-revolutionary activities, but did not inform the prosecutor about the falsehood of these testimony during the interrogation because he believed that his "statement will not reach the leaders of the party and the government.
9. From the head of the KGB I. A. Serov's note on the trial of the "Anti-Soviet Right-Trotskyist Center" from 07.07.1956, sent to V. M. Molotov on the same date (in Protsess Bukharina. 1938 g. Sbornik dokumentov, 2013, pp. 852-858):
In the course of the investigation of the case against participants in the so-called "anti-Soviet right-Trotskyist bloc", the investigative materials related to them, as well as the undercover developments stored in the KGB under the USSR Council of Ministers, were examined. At the same time, all of the defendants prosecuted in the present case were checked against the State's historical and special archives, where the materials of the tsar's guards and the trophy holdings of German, Polish and French intelligence and counter-intelligence bodies are kept.
All the defendants prosecuted in the present case pleaded guilty to the charges against them. However, the verification revealed that, for the most part, these confessions were coerced and did not reflect the truth.
Thus, RAKOVSKY H. G., having testified about his active participation in the "right-wing bloc" and cooperation with Japanese and English intelligence agencies, after the trial repeatedly declared his innocence and claimed that he was forced to give knowingly false testimony during the investigation. Agent "Anri", who was detained together with RAKOVSKY in the Orlov prison, reported on March 17, 1940 that RAKOVSKY: "completely refutes his guilt, considering everything that was in the process and investigation as a comedy. Sometimes he casually claimed that all his testimony was under pressure" (arch. case No. 300956, vol. 9, p. 181)
Another agent "Dima", who was also in one cell with RAKOVSKY, reported on April 2, 1941, that RAKOVSKY in conversations with him categorically denied his involvement in the right-wing Trotskyist bloc, said that the protocols of his interrogation were falsified and at the same time stated: "I was outraged when ARONSON (investigator) wrote a protocol, which said that we wanted to restore capitalism. Listen," I told him, "that's just illiterate". He threw the crumpled protocol in the face. In general, when I wrote in a different way than they wanted, they always did so..." (Ibid., p. 322)
The former employee of the USSR NKVD Y. A. ARONSON, who was interrogated on July 3, 1956, confirmed that the investigation of RAKOVSKY was indeed conducted in an atmosphere of gross violation of the norms of socialist legality.
After the trial RAKOVSKY, referring to his advanced age and sick state, repeatedly filed applications, in which he applied for clemency. However, the requests of RAKOVSKY were not satisfied.
In this connection, on May 17, 1941, RAKOVSKY said: "I decided to change my tactics: so far I have only asked for clemency, but I have not written about my case. Now I will write a statement demanding a review of my case, describing all the "secrets of the Madrid court" - the Soviet investigation. Let the people, through whose hands all sorts of statements pass, know exactly how our affairs and processes are " cooked up " because of personal political revenge. Maybe I will die soon, maybe I am a corpse, but remember... One day corpses will talk" (arch. case No. 300956, vol. 9, pp. 239-240)
KRESTINSKY in the course of the investigation testified that he was an active participant of the "anti-Soviet right-Trotskyist bloc" and in October 1933, during his vacation abroad, with the assistance of Bessonov, he had a meeting with L. TROTSKY and SEDOV in the city of Meran. During this meeting, TROTSKY, according to KRESTINSKY, gave him a directive for the establishment of the united forces of Trotskyites, right-wing and military conspirators in the Soviet Union, the need for the use of terror, wrecking and sabotage in the fight, as well as for the establishment of agreements with foreign governments to overthrow the Soviet state system.
However, these testimonies of KRESTINSKY do not find confirmation in the operative materials of the foreign section of the NKVD SSSR, which was carrying out undercover surveillance of TROTSKY abroad. There is no data in the NKVD's archive documents on the presence of TROTSKY and SEDOV in Meran, and there is no data on their meeting with KRESTINSKY in general.
BESSONOV, having confirmed during interrogations the fact of the meeting of KRESTINSKY with TROTSKY and SEDOV in 1933 in the city of Meran, stated after the trial that all his testimony was fictitious.
Agent "Blagin", who was kept with the BESSONOV in Solovetsky prison on May 6, 1939, said that BESSONOV reported about the trial in the case of the "anti-Soviet Trotskyist right-wing bloc" as follows:
"The whole trial is a complete fiction of the NKVD, no true crimes were committed by any of the accused ... (arch. case No. 101492, vol. 1. p. 27)
Another agent "Nikitin" on September 29, 1939 reported:
"BESSONOV about the process of the right-Trotskyite center (1938) said that all of it is a complete conspiracy, a very rough falsification. For example, KRESTINSKY took money from the German government back in 1922 and the following years and handed it over to TROTSKY, but that all this is not a counter-revolutionary thing, because according to the Treaty of Versailles Germany could not train military personnel on its territory, it conspired with the Soviet Union to organize several military schools in Kazan and other cities of the USSR, and for this it paid money to the ambassador KRESTINSKY for the People's Commissar of the Military TROTSKY. This was known in the party and Soviet circles of leaders. (arch. case No. 101492, vol. 2, p. 83-84)
On April 29, 1939 agent "Grachev" on the same occasion reported: "Characterizing the process as a mere 'comedy', the inmate BESSONOV said that all that was said at the trial by the accused was forced testimony and in fact no one had plotted anything against the Soviet authorities" (ibid., vol. 1, p.d. 22).
Another witness of the prosecution who testified in the case of the anti-Soviet bloc, former member of the Central Committee of the Party of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries B. D. KAMKOV, as seen from the testimony of the arrested BRYUKHANOV, who was held with him in the same cell, told him:
"All three recent trials were as much blackmail as the previous ones. There is not a single drop of truth in them. Neither ZINOVIEV nor BUKHARIN had any counter-revolutionary conspiracy work. Espionage, diversions, sabotage, terror, killing are all lies fabricated by the NKVD. Testimony was obtained from the accused through torture, blackmail, beatings, threats, threats to kill their families, arrests of wives, etc., by means of physical and mental coercion. At the same time, means of bribery, mollifying of the accused were used, life was promised, etc...". (arch. case No. 967389, separate package).
After the end of the trial of BUKHARIN and others, KAMKOV was tried on charges of joining an illegal terrorist organization in Arkhangelsk and spreading "heinous defamation in connection with the trials of right-wing Trotskyites in prison".
On August 29, 1938, during the consideration of the case in the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, KAMKOV didn't find himself guilty of anything and was sentenced to execution.
This charge was brought against the leaders of the right-wing Trotskyist bloc, including YAGODA, and the well-known doctors PLETNEV D. D., LEVIN L. G., KAZAKOV I. N., former secretary of the USSR NKVD BULANOV, secretary of A. M. GORKY - KRYUCHKOV P.P. and assistant to V. V. KUIBYSHEV - V.A. MAKSIMOV-DIKOVSKY.
All of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. However, the available materials indicate that these confessions are invalid.
Thus, PLETNEV, who confessed during the investigation and in court his guilt in the organization on behalf of YAGODA of killing A. M. GORKY and V.V. KUIBYSHEV, after his conviction on June 11, 1939, appealed to comrade V. M. MOLOTOV with the following statement:
"I was convicted in the case of Bukharin. At the investigation I admitted the charges brought against me, and at the trial I did not deny them. I was defamed. The charge against me is false. My confession was forced. But I did not think it was possible to make this statement in court like Krestinsky. I have been in prison since December 1937. My health has deteriorated dramatically. I am 66 years old. The point on which the accusation was based was a meeting with Yagoda, during which he allegedly threatened me and my family and demanded my participation in the killing of Gorky. This meeting never happened, neither in August, nor in June according to the subsequent version. I only saw Yagoda once in my life during his stenocardy attack. I saw him in a consultative manner. I had no conversations with Yagoda except about his illness. I have been faithful to the Soviet power all my life since October of 17 and under the leadership of the party I gave all my strength and knowledge to my Motherland. Now I am deprived of all this. I swear on all the good things to me of my innocence. I ask for a review of my case. Please allow to interrogate me for this, or give me the opportunity to submit a detailed petition in a closed envelope. (Supervision proceedings #7343-9, p. 6)
3. This statement was sent to Beria by the Secretariat of comrade V. M. MOLOTOV.
Since then, PLETNEV repeatedly made similar requests. With regard to one of them, the former USSR Prosecutor BOCHKOV informed the Secretariat of comrade V.M. MOLOTOV:
"The reasons stated in the complaint of PLETNEV D.A. and, in particular, his retraction of his testimony, are a provocative attack and continuation of enemy work... The review of the case was denied, and D. D. Pletnev was informed about it. (Supervision proceedings, No. 7343-9, p. 26)
The inspection also revealed that the materials on the so-called "poisoning" of EZHOV were completely falsified.
On April 16, 1939, FRINOVSKY testified about it during the interrogation: "NIKOLAEV-ZHURID falsified the case of so-called Yezhov's mercury poisoning with my participation and on Yezhov's instructions. The case was handled by NIKOLAEV personally. Yezhov suggested that he was ill from poisoning, and NIKOLAEV and I took hold of it and under a lot of pressure obtained evidence about it from BULANOV, then from the courier of Yagoda ... and then from Yagoda himself.
NIKOLAEV got a pharmacy can of mercury from somewhere, which he turned into tangible evidence of Yezhov's mercury poisoning. NIKOLAEV also secured the corresponding expert opinion on poisoning. (arch. case No. 975181, vol. 2, p. 62)
The testimony of FRINOVSKY was also confirmed by EZHOV.
The State Special Archive of the USSR found no materials indicating a link between persons in the case and foreign intelligence agencies.
Due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of NKVD employees involved in the case of the so-called anti-Soviet Trotskyist right-wing bloc were subsequently executed, it is not possible to study the situation in which the investigation of this case was conducted.
Nevertheless, even those materials, far from being exhaustive, obtained in the process of inspection, testify to the brutal abuses and provocations, as a result of which confessions of the arrested were obtained.
A number of former employees of the NKVD interrogated in the course of the inspection testified about the existence of such an arrangement in 1937-1938 when the very fact of placement of the person under investigation in Lefortovo prison had already obliged the investigator to beat him up. At night, EZHOV walked through the offices of the investigators together with other senior officials and personally showed how to "get the right" testimony.
The former employee of the NKVD of the USSR Ya. A. ARONSON, who took part in the investigation of the case of the anti-Soviet right-wing Trotskyist block, was interrogated in 1956 and testified about it:
"The period of the end of 1937 and the beginning of 1938, when the investigation of this case was conducted, was a period of the mass beatings of the arrested. I remember when EZHOV often visited the prison, usually at night, and went to the offices of the investigators. His whole conversation usually came down to the following: "Who are you interrogating, what does he give? Give it to him properly!" EZHOV was accompanied by VOLODZIMIRSKY and others, who sometimes immediately showed how to 'give'."
ROSENBLUM A. A., who worked in 1937-1938 as the head of the sanitary unit of Lefortovo prison, was interrogated in 1956, stated:
"While working in the sanitary unit of Lefortovo prison, I saw many arrested people in a serious condition after beatings during the investigation, in particular, I rendered medical assistance to MARYASIN, who was severely beaten during the investigation.
A former NKVD officer BLAT, who tried to commit suicide and who was also severely beaten, was in a very serious condition...
...KRESTINSKY was taken to the sanitary unit in an unconscious state from the interrogation. He was severely beaten, his whole back was a continuous wound, there was not a single live spot on it. As I remember, he was lying in the sanitary unit for three days in a very serious condition.
I visited the YAGODA often. He used to complain about his heart... I saw a big bruise on his face under his eye once."
Other former employees of the NKVD also testified about the beatings of the arrested. Thus, the witness LERNER N. M., who took part in the interrogation of YAGODA, stated on June 2, 1956:
"...YAGODA repeatedly complained to me that he was beaten during interrogations. I did not believe him and told him about it.
Once, it was in Lefortovo prison, I was interrogating YAGODA. EZHOV, FRINOVSKY and KURSKY came into my office, and at the suggestion of EZHOV, I left the office. When, after a while, I was allowed to return, I saw a bruise on YAGODA's face under the eye. When he showed me the bruise, he asked me, "Do you believe I'm being beaten now?" In addition, I personally saw BULANOV with the marks of beatings on the face." The above-mentioned ARONSON also confirmed that he knew about the beatings during the investigation of the arrested RYKOV, SHARANGOVICH and YAGODA, and testified:
"Personally, I myself heard a complaint about the beating from RYKOV. RYKOV had to confront NIKOLAYEVSKY. RYKOV was the first to be brought in, he looked pitiful and depressed. I don't remember exactly, I or LULOV asked him: "What is it, why do you look like this?" RYKOV replied to this, and I remembered it very well: "I am discouraged," and to the following question - why? - he answered, "They beat me".
As the internal prison agent of "BLAGIN" reported, BESSONOV told his cellmates:
"He, BESSONOV, signed the charge against him because otherwise he was threatened with fascist reprisals. While in Lefortovo, he saw former members of the Central Committee who had been beaten during the investigation - here he named PTUHA, a former member of the TsK VKP(b), LAVRENTYEV, a member of the Central Committee and others. KRESTINSKY was severely beaten and wore a plaster bandage during the trial. (arch. case No. 101492, vol. 1, p.d. 27) The above testimony about the beatings of the arrested in the case of the anti-Soviet right-Trotskyite center, of course, does not reveal the whole picture, because this period was characterized by the most rampant violence in the investigation and it was then that the beatings acquired such a character that the cases of homicide during interrogations were not uncommon. [...]
As it is now established, the following were killed during investigations: on October 14, 1937 the head of the Science Department of the TsK VKP(b) BAUMAN K. L., on December 1, 1937 the head of the Political Department of the People's Commissariat of Sovkhozy, the old Bolshevik SOMS K., December 11, 1937 - Employee of the Comintern ANVELT, May 5, 1938 - Deputy Head of UNKVD of the Leningrad Region SOSTE M.Ya., November 9, 1938 - Marshal of the Soviet Union BLYUKHER and others.
It should be noted that the detainees were pushed to self-incrimination and other false incrimination of others not only by direct physical but also by mental violence. Threats of reprisals against relatives, threats of beatings, shouts of the beaten arrested - all this was used by investigators to obtain "confessions". A former investigator ARONSON testified:
“I personally did not apply physical measures to RAKOVSKY, obviously that's why he didn’t testify to me anything about espionage (RAKOVSKY pleaded ”guilty" in espionage to other investigators). I admit that I could apply other measures of influence to him - measures of a mental order: threats against him personally, threats to arrest family members. I remember, in particular, that RAKOVSKY was announced the arrest of his wife, and her fate was made dependent on his testimony. Such was the interrogation system of those arrested, introduced on a mandatory basis by the then leadership of the NKVD of the USSR. ”
Rakovsky himself told in the Orel prison cell as follows about the situation during the investigation into his case, as can be seen from the report by agent "Dima": “... when they make it clear to you from the very first day that you should lie about yourself and about the others, dirty your name and honor, then you are seized by rage, indignation. You begin to fight, to resist, but then, when they tell you, as ARONSON said: “Old man, you will give in, give evidence”, when you are told that your family will be destroyed, that you will be shot, you give up. When they told me that my wife would be put in Lefortovo, I screamed and grabbed my head - it meant that she would die. Fear for the family, the understanding that you are sending it to death, fear and the desire to live, complete hopelessness, and then party automatics, the habit of obeying the party - make you lie and do the devil knows what. All this is a lie, here in all these cases there is not a drop of truth ”, (arch. case No. 300956, vol. 9, p. 321)
Then he said:
“I rode from Butyrki to Lefortovo, and from Lefortovo to Lubyanka. Every night I was waiting for the execution. In Lefortovo, in this terrible prison, where the screams of tortured people were heard, the groans of women, shots during executions and the constant noise of aircraft engines, my claws were suddenly cut off - I realized that they wanted to torture me. Soon they called me at night. I appeared before NIKOLAEV, AGAS and another type who was torturing for them. When I entered, they told me that I was a spy. “Me, a spy?” “Yes, you. And you will tell us about your activities yourself. ” I realized that this is the end, that the only way to salvation is through maximally blaming yourself. This is a dialectic ... Everything went here - the Japanese, the British. I sometimes got confused myself in what I said ”(ibid., p. 322)
BESSONOV, while serving his sentence in prison, categorically denied his guilt, and spoke of the reasons that pushed him to false testimony:
“At first the lieutenant, who was interrogating me, and then the major of state security warned that if I did not give the testimony they needed, they would make a minced meat out of me. And indeed, a few days later I was called late in the evening in a hitherto unknown to me room. There were already 5 lads there, and on the table lay the necessary accessories - a rubber truncheon, gloves, a stick and something else.
The major, rubbing his hands, asked me about the testimony, and when I saw this, I got the wind up a little, because I already knew about the beatings to death ... I decided to lie. Well, thus I became a counter-revolutionary. And the trial was a complete comedy. ” (ibid., vol. II, ld 61)
The convicted doctor PLETNEV vividly reported from prison about the system of beatings, threats, blackmail and provocations. In a statement dated June 8, 1940, he wrote: “For three years I have been suffering from investigation to investigation, from court to court, from prison to prison with my complete innocence ...
... the case of the killing of GORKY and KUIBYSHEV. I turned to you about him, but the investigative apparatus did not allow any talk about this, insisting several times on taking back statements by me, which I did not do.
... the case arose from the testimony of YAGODA, who, according to his personal statement, called me to his place in mid-August 1934 and with threats demanded from me my complicity with Dr. LEVIN in the killing Gorky. To my denial of this fact, from the investigator GERZON there was a beating. I pointed out that this fact could not have taken place, since I was on a business trip from July 20, 1934 to the beginning of October. The next day, with certificates from the passport office ... my words were confirmed and the fact of my alibi in August 1934 was established. Then the investigator said to me: “If the high leadership assumes that you are guilty, then even if you were 100% right, you you will be 100% guilty anyway. ” Threats followed against me, my wife, and finally, an alternative was offered to me by the head of the SPO LITVIN, the head of the investigative unit KAGAN and the investigator GERZON, either, with my stubbornness, life in prison and death in it, or with a “confession”, filing of an application “to clarify” the time of meeting with YAGODA in June 1934 (and I saw YAGODA for the first time in my life in 1935) and 2-3 months after the trial, complete liberation and scientific work - in a word, “repeating the fate of RAMZIN”. This was indirectly confirmed by EZHOV. The result is known. I trusted government bodies so much that I could not even think of the idea of lying and blackmailing by someone, especially a member of the Politburo ... Help me, I am dying innocently. I only ask you to be personally interested, and not to transfer it to the investigative apparatus. Prejudice reigns there. If the NKVD took someone, then he’s guilty. Put yourself for a moment in my position and you will see the whole depth of my suffering. Believe me. I could still say a lot in my defense ... ”(prison personal file, pp. 206-207)
The "processing" of those arrested in the case of the Trotskyist center did not stop day and night. During interrogations, investigators did this, and in the cells there were specially planted people. About one of these people, RAKOVSKY, after his conviction, told his cellmates:
“In Lefortovo, they put LIBERMAN to me... They let me write my statements in the cell. When I brought them, if they didn’t like them, they tore them and threw them in my face. When I consulted with LIBERMAN, my testimonies always satisfied the investigators. He served as a transfer authority, he dictated their will to me, through him I asked for their advice ...
In the end, I didn’t care, because I was lying, and he couldn’t hurt me, but on the contrary, he facilitated my work ”(arch. case No. 300956, vol. 9, p. 324)
Thus, the lives of RADEK and SOKOLNIKOV, formally no less guilty, than their fellow accused from the same case, who even before the arrest of Bukharin and Rykov were witnesses of the prosecution against them, were saved.
From the materials available in the KGB archives, it can be seen that SOKOLNIKOV was transferred from prison to Moscow in autumn 1937 for use as a witness in the upcoming trial of BUKHARIN, RYKOV and others, but was returned back due to his refusal to speak in court.
When Sokolnikov and Radek began to expose the falsity of past trials in prison, they were killed.
How the arrested gave confessions on request of investigators, is clearly visible from testimonies of the former employee of NKVD TSERPENTO P. I.:
"In the summer of 1937 ANTIPOV was interrogated personally by LITVIN... In this record of interrogation it was written that ANTIPOV in September, 1936 received the instruction on creation of the reserve center of right from RYKOV. When this testimony was submitted to RYKOV, RYKOV categorically denied a meeting with ANTIPOV in September, 1936 and insisted that it was in 1932.
Then LULOV in my presence persuaded RYKOV to confirm ANTIPOV's testimony, saying that it was beneficial for him, RYKOV, to testify this way...
During the preparation of the trial of RYKOV, BUKHARIN and others (at the end of 1937), I learned from GLEBOV that now ANTIPOV is writing completely new statements, in which, in particular, he says that the reserve center of the right was established in 1932, at the same time GLEBOV suggested to me to re-interrogate RYKOV in accordance with these new statements.
When I expressed surprise that ANTIPOV managed to circumvent LITVIN, giving him false testimony, GLEBOV told me that there was nothing to be surprised about, because ANTIPOV is such an arrested person, who is ready to give any testimony in any direction.
On GLEBOV's order before the trial I had to persuade RYKOV to admit his first testimony, in which it was said about the creation of the reserve center of the right in 1932, and not 1936." (arch. case No. 982027, vol. 1, pp. 222-223)
As TSERPENTO further testified, RYKOV, signing one of the new versions of "his" testimony, said:
"One advises not to testify about ANTIPOV, while the other (i.e., I) requires evidence against him. I don't know who to listen to. (arch. case No. 982027, vol. 1, pp. 30-31)
As is known, at the first meeting of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR on March 2, 1938, the arrested KRESTINSKY did not confess guilt and renounced the testimony given by him during the investigation. At the same time KRESTINSKY explicitly said that he had not testified voluntarily before and had not retracted his testimony during the investigation only out of fear that his statement would not reach the leaders of the party and the government. (Court report, pp. 54, 58)
This refusal caused disarray among the members of the Military Collegium, and the court adjourned. However, the next day KRESTINSKY confirmed the testimony he had given at the investigation and said that the day before he had allegedly automatically declared his innocence under the influence of a sense of false shame (ibid., p. 146).
The investigation revealed that KRESTINSKY was testifying in the process of investigation being subjected to brutal beatings, and, consequently, his refusal to testify in court had real grounds.
Former employee of the NKVD SSSR ARONSON testified about the circumstances related to the testimony of KRESTINSKY in court:
"I, like many other employees, was present at the trial. At the first meeting, KRESTINSKY withdrew his earlier testimony and pleaded not guilty. This statement caused disarray for Vyshinsky, who was in charge of the process.
During the break, we, the investigators, discussed what had happened and discussed how to get out of this situation. NIKOLAEV (leading the case of RAKOVSKY) then said that he would try to settle the incident. When the defendants were being taken from the court, KRESTINSKY was taken along with RAKOVSKY. The next day, KRESTINSKY confessed guilt and confirmed all his earlier testimony. I think, and so said the investigators afterwards, that Krestinsky was not beaten, but persuaded by RAKOVSKY. They said that RAKOVSKY, who had a great influence on KRESTINSKY, told him something like this: "You have to admit guilt, everybody admits guilt, and a non-repentant will be seen by the court as an unrepentant enemy, and will be shot, while a confession will save your life. The family of the confessed person will not suffer, and if you refuse, they will also be repressed. This has had such an impact on KRESTINSKY that he did not try to retract the evidence given during the investigation until the end of the trial.
RAKOVSKY told the same story in the Orel prison:
"When the trial was going on, the investigators did not leave me, they were encouraging, they talked about the impression that this vile comedy made on me. (arch. case No. 300956, vol. 7, p. 325)
The former NKVD officer LERNER, who was involved in the investigation of the case, was interrogated as a witness in July 1956:
"I did not follow through with the investigation of the YAGODA case, the last 6-8 months I have been dealing with other cases and had no relation to the investigation of the case.
However, when the trial started, obviously, given that I had a good relationship with YAGODA, at the direction of the administration of the People's Commissariat, I was present at the whole trial and during the breaks of the trial I played chess with YAGODA...
During the trial, or rather during the breaks in the process, YAGODA often asked me whether he would be shot or not.
I also know that before the trial, YAGODA was given a date with his wife AVERBAKH. Earlier, at the direction of the People's Commissariat, I repeatedly told YAGODA that his wife was free, although in fact she was arrested.
Therefore, before the date, YAGODA's wife was re-dressed and brought to such a state as to give the impression that she did not come from prison, but as if she was free. For this purpose, a hairdresser was specially invited to visit her, who was cleaning her up, putting on her appropriate clothes and returning her hand-watches that had been taken away from her earlier.
According to the words of the former head of the Leningrad region's UNKVD LITVIN, I know that Yahoda was the last one to be shot, and before that he and Bukharin were put on chairs and forced to watch the execution of the sentence against other convicts".
After the conviction RAKOVSKY told his inmates: "I coordinated my theses at the trial, my last word with the investigators... Lately everything was at my service up to the olives". (arch. case No. 300956, vol. 7, p. 325)
This story by RAKOVSKY is fully confirmed in the archival documents of the NKVD. It is clear from them that such a situation took place not only with regard to the RAKOVSKY, but also with regard to other defendants in the present case.
Thus, in the archival files at RAKOVSKY and GRINKO, typed theses of their future testimony in court were found. When comparing these theses with the testimony given by RAKOVSKY and GRINKO in court, it turned out that they are identical in terms of structure and meaning, and some phrases of them are almost verbatim repeated in the transcript of the trial.
Moreover, the same archival materials also contained drafts of the "last words" of the defendants of RAKOVSKY, RYKOV and GRINKO, and the materials on RAKOVSKY contained even two variants of the "last word" in court.
As it was established by the inspection, the falsification of documents of the investigative case was not limited to the investigation, but also continued in court.
In the archive of the State Security Committee under the Council of Ministers of the USSR a transcript of the court session on the case of the anti-Soviet Trotskyist right-block with various handwritten amendments and inserts was found.
The study of this transcript and its comparison with the official text of the trial transcript shows that the testimony recorded in the court was subsequently changed, and in some cases these changes were in the nature of strengthening and perverting the testimony of the defendants.
In view of the established facts of gross violation of the law during the investigation of the case of the Trotskyist right center both in the process of preliminary investigation and in court, it is also important that all the defendants who survived later withdrew their testimony and told about the process as a falsified investigation and trial. All of them (RAKOVSKY, BESSONOV and PLETNEV) were shot on September 11, 1941 by the verdict of the Military Collegium, which, having grossly violated the law, passed this verdict not only without summoning the accused to court, but even having no case on their accusation.
Thus, as a result of the analysis of all the materials of the case and additional inspection it is possible to assert that the majority of the persons convicted in the present case took an active part in the opposition struggle, but the accusation that in the following years they created the right Trotskyite bloc and carried out organized anti-Soviet activity is falsified and in this part they are subject to rehabilitation.