Sunday, August 25, 2019

Again about the Stalinist deniers: yes, the Moscow trials were staged, duh.

[Update: also see a full debunking of Furr's Katyn book.]

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. 


  1. It gets more interesting when they try to connect Zinoviev & Kamenev to Leonid Nikolaev. Completely ignoring his December 1st confession & Genrikh Lyushkov's Kaizo article (I have a pdf if you don't have it) showing that Nikolaev was a lone gunman.

  2. Also a thing to note is that the eventual retraction of false confessions was the norm - even in such carefully staged trials (where this applies to the survivors, since the other victims were quickly shot).

    In fact, it was pretty much the rule, even in the closed troika sessions. I guess that's just the human nature.

    Somehow, that didn't happen with most Holocaust confessions, even where the perpetrators lived on for many decades afterwards...

    Funny how an actual example of fake justice actually indirectly confirms the Holocaust.

  3. Sergey, since you live in Russia, you have probably heard of Fomenko's New Chronology comedy show. In the light of that, Holocaist "revisionism" isn't all all that bad is it?

  4. Quite odd of Sergey to ignore the fact that Valentin Astrov never recanted his testimony in ether of his two statements published during Perestroika and after the fall of the soviet union!

    Sergey also doesn't mention the fact that we can now confirm that a Bloc of Trotskyites, Zinovievites, and Rightists actually existed. We know this thanks to the fact some materials survived the Trotsky Archive purge.

    Or even that we know Bukharin plotted to assassinate Stalin in 1929 (and admitted this to Stalin via "weasel words").

  5. Since I merely quote documents, the claim that I "ignore" something is simply deceptive.

    None of your red herrings are in any way relevant to the objectively established fact that the trials were staged,:even if every single one of them were true, this wouldn't change the fact that the trials were still staged, as fully established by the documents above.
    So there is nothing to ignore in the first place.
    That Astrov "never recanted his testimony in ether of his two statements published during Perestroika and after the fall of the soviet union" is an outright lie, as follows even from the scarce quotations in Furr's book which you're regurgitating (adding your own deceptions) since the very point of Astrov's articles is to explain how and why his testimony was falsified due to the coercion by the NKVD.
    Astrov in 1993:

    "... in my testimony in the case of the so-called "Right-Trotskyist bloc" I had to stoop to falsifications along the objective statements.
    [About his earlier arrest:] When after the end of the investigation (in April of 1933) I was offered to sign a commitment to inform the NKVD about anti-Soviet statements or actions in my environment, I found no objections and, without anticipating all the possible consequences, took hold of it as the only "thread" available to me, at least somehow linking me to the party I had grown up with since I was a young man.
    Me and my "fellow accused" were sentenced to three years in prison, but one and a half years later the prison was replaced by exile (for me - in Voronezh). In the summer of 1936, I was released to Moscow to submit a competitive manuscript of a history textbook. From the date of S.M. Kirov's murder it was already the second year. In Moscow, I was suddenly summoned to one of the NKVD's senior officials, and he harshly demanded from me information about "terrorist activity of the right". And since even after this information about the terrorists did not come from me, at the end of 1936 I was again arrested and sent to Moscow.
    The newspapers were full of demands for reprisals against "terrorists" during my arrest. I was insistently asked by investigators to testify about "terrorist activity of the right". Returning from interrogations to a solitary cell, I tried to understand the situation around me. The party, I thought, after the murder of Kirov by one of the former Zinovievites, naturally decides to put an end to terrorist sentiments in its ranks; politicians are responsible not only for their actions, but also for their followers ... While remaining a communist internally, I must, of course, comply with party decisions. I still did not meet all the requirements to "tell about the terrorist activity of the right", but I "admitted" that "we, the right" (not excluding myself) and "our leaders" have supposedly accepted, in principle, terrorist methods in the fight against the party leadership in the future when the political situation in the country deteriorates. I did not invent any horrible atrocities such as espionage, Bukharin's involvement in the murder of Kirov, the assassination of Lenin in 1918, plans for the partition of the Soviet Union and similar crimes, which later appeared in the process of "right-wing Trotskyist bloc".
    In the summer of 1937 I was released from prison, but time showed that my sentence was only delayed. In March 1949, I was arrested again and sentenced in absentia to twenty-five years in prison on the basis of the same charges as in the 1930s.
    My "case" was discontinued in 1956. In April 1961, I submitted two letters to the Central Committee of the CPSU to retract my false testimony."

    After Astrov's testimony was reported to Yezhov, he wrote on the report:
    "Release. Leave in Moscow. Give an apartment. Let him work on history."

    1. Astrov in 1968:

      "I did not engage in any counter-revolutionary activity, and everything that contradicts this fact in my testimony at the time was the fruit of subjective exaggerations and " sharpening " of the formulations... A meeting in my apartment in August 1932 with some of my former classmates from the Institute of Red Professorship, with whom I had a sympathy for the right side two years earlier, was misinterpreted by the investigators as a "conference of the counter-revolutionary organization of the right"... At that time, I was not presented with any other evidence from the other defendants; I myself gave in to the persuasion of an investigator who persuaded me to consider my testimony as a "political document against the right", which in fact proves my complete break with counter-revolutionary right-wing opportunism..."

      Also, from a document posted above:

      "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)."

      And from a CPC CPSU 1988 note published in no. 5 of Izvestiya TsK KPSS, 1989:

      "When in 1957 the KPK under the Central Committee of the CPSU considered the issue of his party affiliation, V. N. Astrov in his statements began to assert that no coup d'état and terrorist act by the "right" were prepared, that there were only separate statements against the activities of I. V. Stalin. Being summoned to the CPC during a second investigation in the 60s, Astrov said that the evidence he gave in 1937 against Bukharin was fictitious and dictated by the NKVD authorities.
      Speaking about the situation in 1932-1933, when he and other "right-wing deviators" were arrested, Astrov wrote in 1961: "... They wanted me to "only" reclassify this guilt as "anti-Soviet". I had the right-wing tendency in the past, I was ready to fight against it together with the party, and the party considered the right-wing counter-revolutionaries, and investigators on behalf of the party demanded from me a confession in this regard. It was demanded from me, in fact, by the very TsKK which expelled me from the party...
      All this, together, morally disarmed me, and I signed a statement about the counter-revolutionary nature of the " organization of the rightists ", having received from the board of the OGPU a sentence of 3 years in prison (political isolation).
      If this was the manner in which the investigation was conducted in 1933, then during my second arrest at the end of 1936 it was exacerbated by the sharp escalation of the political situation ...

    2. For the investigation, however, under such conditions terrorism of the right became an irrefutable thesis, which was personally confirmed to me on behalf of the party through the mouth of the People's Commissar himself (he was the secretary of the Central Committee and, if I'm not mistaken, then also the chairman of the Central Control Commission) Ezhov. This confirmation took away my moral incentive to resist the demands of the investigation. It seemed imperative to me that the members of the Central Committee of the party and the Soviet government should be protected by any means from possible attempts on their lives by terrorists who had infiltrated the party, and I testified about the terrorist nature of the right-wing organization, without distinguishing myself from them...

      Having said "a", I had to say "b": I was placed in a confrontation with Bukharin; I confirmed the terrorism of the right and he denied it. Then my fate suddenly changed magically: I was informed that I, on Stalin's personal order, would be released, which happened soon ..."

      Furr makes a dumb argument that since decades later Astrov's, obviously writing from memory, did not mention every single point that was false, is worthy of Mattogno and other Holocaust deniers in its dimness and once again shows Furr's mendacious nature.

      In the end, the confessed NKVD agent Astrov retracted his key confessions in the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s and never retracted the retraction.

    3. That we can "now" confirm that a short-lived, ephemeral and thus wholly inefficient "bloc" existed shows your ignorance since this was known since 1980, from the Trotskyists themselves, no less.

      Rogovin writes about it at some length:

      How this is supposed to confirm the charges of terrorism, espionage, wreckership, poisonings etc. is beyond any rational person. The very Trotsky letter that proved the "bloc's" existence is simply damning to the Stalinist nonsense:

      "The proposal for a bloc seems to me to be completely acceptable. I must make quite clear that we are dealing with a bloc and not a fusion.
      How is the bloc going to express itself? For the moment, principally by the exchange of information. The allies keep us informed about what concerns the Soviet Union, as we do for them about what concerns the Communist International. We should agree on very precise arrangements for correspondence.
      The allies must send us correspondence for the Bulletin. The editors of the Bulletin undertake to publish the documents of the allies. But it reserves the right to comment freely upon them.
      The bloc does not exclude mutual criticism. Any propaganda by the allies on behalf of the capitulators (Grünstein, etc.) will be inexorably, mercilessly resisted by us."

      Oh my, how horrible! Lol.


      And no, we don't "know Bukharin plotted to assassinate Stalin in 1929". We only know that in his one time sympathizer Humbert-Droz' memoir which was published more than 4 decades later the said one-time sympathizer purports to retell a talk with Bukharin in which allegedly "Bukharin also told me that they had decided to use individual terror to get rid of Stalin". No further detail is provided for such an important statement, no guarantee can be given that, despite the source's one-time sympathy for Bukharin, the statement correctly represents what was being told 4 decades earlier, that HD correctly understood the alleged statement of Bukharin, the correspondence of the alleged statement to reality (whether it was referring to an actual plan, whether it was just a verbal venting of frustration without any actual practical intent - which, if the conversation ever took place, would be more likely since why would Bukharin so casually reveal serious plotting - etc.). Moreover, it cannot be even assumed that Humbert-Droz' one-time sympathy to Bukharin is probative, since HD was still welcome in Moscow at the height of the Great Terror in 1937 and 1938, consulted with Dimitrov as to how to propagandize the Moscow trials, and even published a propaganda brochure about the second trial (De la fausse théorie au crime. Reportage sur le procès du centre parallèle trotskiste antisoviétique).

      This single, otherwise uncorroborated, indirect and vague source cannot serve as a basis of knowledge.

      So, all of your red herrings have failed.

    4. How can we really know that what humbert-droz is indirrect and vague? Do you make the claim that the coversation is badly reproduced?

    5. Your comment aboit drozz was perhaps, not enough. Could you explain how do you think that his testimony was vague and indirect?

    6. Could you explain why drozz statement is vague and indirect?

    7. Hello. I'm pretty sure my comment explains in detail why I dismiss this as evidence. It boils down to 3 basic elements:

      1. it's uncorroborated; this is self-explanatory and is the key element;

      2. it is vague as in not concrete enough, without details, compared to the scale of the claim there's precious little information; there's nothing specific about "decided to use individual terror to get rid of Stalin". What exactly was decided upon? Why? Who exactly decided (it is unclear from the context exactly who is meant, except that they would belong to the ZKB faction)? I mean, really, Bukharin just blurted this out and Droz asked no follow-up questions, like it was nothing? By vague I don't mean that the meaning of the claim is unclear. Only that there's no level of detail that is expected.

      3. The source is literally indirect. It's hearsay. I'm not saying that all hearsay is worthless, but it is, intrinsically, a weaker form of evidence.

    8. Look, i don't want to come here as some sort of stalin apologist, and is not that i distrust you, but could you clarify a little more why you said that holmstrom only used radek testimony to prove that radek conspired with trotsky? I don't want to make any statement against you is just that it isn't clear to me what were you trying to say, maybe it was intended to be only directed at snup bolshevick, but i didn't understand it, could you clarify me what were you trying to say?

    9. To add onto what Sergey Romanov said about the Droz statement, if Bukharin and/or his associates in early 1929 had (as Droz claims Bukharin said) "decided to utilise individual terror in order to rid themselves of Stalin," this does nothing to actually prove the Moscow Trials.

      As Isaac Deutscher writes, when Bukharin visited Kamenev in July 1928 he was "terrified, pale, trembling, looking over his shoulders, and talking in whispers. . . Panic made his speech partly incoherent. Without pronouncing Stalin's name he repeated obsessively: 'He will slay us', 'He is the new Genghiz Khan', 'He will strangle us'." This sort of behavior suggests that it'd be easy for Bukharin and/or his associates to "decide" on assassinating Stalin only to throw the idea away during calmer moments as impractical and/or self-defeating.

      More importantly, there's no evidence that Bukharin's associates (let alone Bukharin himself) actually organized assassination attempts in 1929 or in subsequent years. In fact, from what we do know, Bukharin ending up recanting his opposition activity and by 1935 his role in Soviet society had mostly been rehabilitated, even being made editor of Izvestia.

  6. All these are red herrings? They aren't! The evidence you cited to support the assertion of a "staged trial" are either based on Bukharin's lies, Rehabilitation lies or are cut out of context. Three examples; you cited Serov’s 1956 document that itself denies a bloc even existed, you selectively quoted from Frinovskii’s confession (Frinovskii in his confession affirmed the guilt of Bukharin and Rykov -, and you also took Bukharin at his word despite the fact we know he lied to Stalin. Bukharin chose to actively hide the fact that Ezhov was part of the right conspiracy.

    Sergey claims that I am adding my "own deceptions" to what Furr wrote about Astrov's testimony. The wording is completely consistent with what Furr has stated about the matter. Furr has stated on multiple occasions that Astrov "refused" to "retract" his confession.

    As Furr states, "Astrov had to lie" about his 'Falsification'! Astrov also claims he "had to stoop to falsifications along the objective statements." But you omitted the fact that Astrov claimed he wasn't coerced into confessing; "I was not beaten, nor was I tortured, no one even called me 'Thou'." The "sole" falsification he confessed to - as Furr points out - is that the rightists "allegedly" recognized "admissible terrorist methods". And we know this is false.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. On the matter of the bloc, you propagate two lies. A) That the bloc was "short-lived" - something which Broue and Rogovin both failed to establish & B) That it was simply an "information" bloc. To discuss these problems further:

      A) Rogovin doesn't add anything new to the conversation. He simply repeats what Getty and Broue have stated in the 1980s. Rogovin also blindly accepts at face value claims that Trotsky has made.

      Let's talk about Broue and his claim of a "1932 bloc". The source for his claim that the bloc "decayed" is a severe misreading of "L'Humanité, 19 janvier 1935". (p.51) The L'Humanité article he quotes states the opposite! Instead, Safarov's testimony claimed the bloc continued to exist and operated more clandestinely.

      B) You don't discuss the fact that the Trotsky Harvard archive was purged! We know this because of several letters to bloc members are currently missing from the archive, but the mail receipts survived due to carelessness. One example is a message was sent to Radek in 1932, which corroborates his trial testimony. This message based on everything we currently know was most definitely terrorist instructions.

    3. After your lie about Astrov has been established your screeching about "lies" has zero credibility.

      I didn't post Rogovin for his content adding to the conversation, only to demonstrate your apparent ignorance, since your "now" implied some recent find, whereas it's neither recent, nor obscure, and widely used by known authors. If you're not ignorant of that fact, try to learn to formulate your thoughts in a less misleading manner.

      That the bloc was short-lived is clear from the fact that most of its leaders soon got arrested. That is all that is needed to establish this fact. The bloc is in any case irrelevant to the content of my posting.

      There's zero evidence of any terrorist instructions, the laughable propaganda piece you linked to doesn't provide any beyond Radek's testimony - yet Radek retracted his confession after the sentencing and was murdered for it by the NKVD agents.

      I have discussed all the facts relevant to your red herrings in my comments, they are as failed as before.

    4. As an aside, there is a critique of Holmström's arguments (Some Comments on Sven-Eric Holmström’s “New Evidence” Concerning the Hotel Bristol in the First Moscow Trial of 1936) here:

      As for the "several letters to bloc members" [in fact, they had broken with Trotsky years prior] in 1932, J. Arch Getty had a simple explanation: "While the contents of these letters are unknown, it seems reasonable to believe that they involved an attempt to persuade the addressees to return to opposition." There's no reason to assume the letters contained "terrorist instructions," not only because there's no evidence Trotsky ever considered acts of personal terrorism an effective method of political struggle, but also because, again, these were people who had already broken with Trotsky in the past. Why would he entrust not just one, but multiple prominent persons of already dubious loyalty with terrorist instructions in print?

    5. Mike Jone's reply to Holmström contains multiple errors which is worth noting. That aside Holmström's entire argument is based on circumstantial evidence of which not a single scrap is actually new information. It's reliant on the old thesis that "Bristol Cafe" was the missing link that lead to Holtzman 'confusion'. The entire testimony's exposed by the fact we can document that Sedov wasn't in Copenhagen at any time during Trotsky's 8 day stay. Something which Holmström still hasn't found an answer to.

      Also this is true... but its also known that Trotsky's son Sedov attempted to recruit "Tulip" to assassinate Stalin and that Sedov defended "personal terrorism" on multiple occasions. It could be that his father agreed despite his public condemnations in the past. Although this would be a leap.

    6. Yeah the whole "Hotel Bristol/Bristol Café" thing often obscures what you pointed out, that the testimony can be discredited in a much simpler manner.

      Holmström's reply to Jones does point out that the latter made errors over the specifics of the "Hotel Bristol/Bristol Café," although Holmström's counter-arguments on other subjects are weak.

      One I'd like to point out is when he writes: "Jones is in error in claiming that 'Oslo Airport was closed in the winter of 1935.' In reality Trotsky testified, and submitted evidence to the effect, that no 'foreign airplane' had landed at Kjeller Airdrome in December 1935. . . Piatakov might have flown in on a Norwegian airplane; or on a military airplane; or to another airdrome (there were at least two others near Oslo). Or he could have landed at a lake or a fiord."

      Yet the court made no attempt to clarify whether foreign planes had landed in any other nearby airdrome in December 1935 (and in fact rather than do this, Vyshinsky presented a message from the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs stating that "the arrival and departure of airplanes [at the Kjellere Airdrome] is possible also in winter months," which is irrelevant when the airdrome's authorities repeatedly stated no aircraft landed in December.) Nor did the court make any attempt to answer the following questions highlighted by the Dewey Commission: "Did Pyatakov have a Norwegian visa? Did he pass the night in Oslo; if so, in what hotel? How did he succeed in disappearing from the eyes of Soviet officials in Berlin and Oslo? How did he explain his disappearance on his return to Russia? Whom did Pyatakov meet in Trotsky’s house? Did he see Trotsky’s wife? On what precise date did Pyatakov fly from Berlin to Oslo? What name did he use on his German passport?"

      As for your reply, it isn't correct to claim "Sedov attempted to recruit 'Tulip' [aka undercover NKVD agent Mark Zborowski] to assassinate Stalin." Pages 378-380 of Volkogonov's biography of Trotsky note the following:
      * Sedov argued that terrorism did not necessarily contradict Marxism and that, "The whole regime in the USSR depends on Stalin and if he were killed the whole lot would collapse."
      * Sedov declared in February 1937 (amid speaking about the second of the Moscow Trials) that "There's no point in hesitating any longer. Stalin has to be killed." Evidently an emotional outburst.
      * Zborowski wrote that at one point Sedov inquired "if I was afraid of death in general and was I capable of carrying out a terroristic act [i.e. the assassination of Stalin] . . . He then said I was too soft for such a job."

      Sedov expressing the wish that Stalin were assassinated and wondering if a colleague would be capable of carrying it out in a hypothetical situation is different from actively planning to assassinate Stalin and trying to recruit someone to do the job. As Volkogonov concludes, "there is not a single shred of evidence that the Trotskyists carried out or prepared for any high-profile act of terrorism." Their own following inside the USSR was extremely weak, and an actual proposal Sedov once gave to Zborowski (which never got anywhere) was to be sent to the USSR with money and a passport in order to "go to several places at the addresses which we'll give you," i.e. to establish contacts with potential oppositionists inside the country.

    7. Google didn't alert me to your reply. I think a few comments are of warrant:

      On the trip to Oslo, the claim of a Norwegian plane has long been addressed:

      Piatakoff was quite clear that he landed "in" / "near" Oslo. So Holmström's other ramblings don't have to be considered. The fact Piatakoff couldn't identify what airport he landed in is entirely besides the point and the Soviets failure to investigate the incident past requesting knowledge of whether it was possible for a plane show's they didn't take it seriously. You've clearly read Volkogonov's biography of Trotsky and should know that Mark Zborowski claimed that Trotsky had not met with Piatakoff.

      On the matter of Volkogonov's statements it's not really relevant if they could carried out or prepare any acts of terrorism. My claim was that Sedov "attempted to recruit" Tulip - aka Zborowski - to assassinate Stalin which is exactly what he claimed happened on the 23rd... You even quote the statement above.

    8. I'm not claiming Trotsky met with Pyatakov, I'm pointing out that Holmström's arguments, even if one makes concessions to them (e.g. if Pyatakov's evidently fictitious landing was done in "another airdrome"), still leave us with blatant problems that throw doubt on the Moscow Trials narrative.

      As for Volkogonov's statement, I stand by what I wrote: Sedov discussing a hypothetical (whether Zborowski were capable of assassinating Stalin if called upon to do so) is not the same as recruitment for an actual plan. I quoted Volkogonov's statement, but I also quoted him writing "there is not a single shred of evidence that the Trotskyists carried out or prepared for any high-profile act of terrorism."

    9. >I'm not claiming Trotsky met with Pyatakov
      I don't believe I said you did. Specifically addressing Holmström's argument a) Piatakoff was clear he landed in an airport that was located "in" / "near" Oslo - not "a lake or a fiord" - & b) didn't arrive in a Norwegian airplane because only one arrived in December 1935 which had no passengers. I thought that you'd find this all interesting.

      On Volkogonov's statement it doesn't change the content of what was said. Sedov tried recruiting him to do illegal work in June 1936 and did so again February 1938. Regardless we more or less agree that the supposed terrorism did not exist, pressing it past that point doesn't matter too much.

    10. Yo, your last source dosen't work, could you brimg it on once more?
      Could you cite their content

  7. Yes, all of them without exception are irrelevant red herrings since they don't in any way touch upon the objectively established fact that the trials were staged, see the cited documents.

    The Frinovsky confession was obviously partially coerced too (he had to toe to the grand conspiracy line), but it's still evidence about the staging of the trials since it was partially coerced by the Stalinists themselves and it's exactly the staging parts that wouldn't have been willy-nilly added by Beria and his Stalinist henchmen as it wasn't in their self-interest.

    What Serov know or didn't know about the bloc is simply irrelevant to the facts about the staging of the trials listed in his note.

    And with Bukharin, it's the fact of the *retraction* that counts, since the favorite Stalinist line used to be "look, they all confessed and never retracted". This argument very simply cannot be used with Bukharin and others who retracted their confessions.

    Thank you for providing me with examples of Furr's further lies about Astrov, but I was talking about his book, I don't have to watch that nutjob's videos to boot.

    The end result is: the former NKVD agent Astrov, who was first coerced into confessing (there are other methods of confession than torture, and he describes these methods in his statements), and then rewarded for his false testimony (as is amply shown in the comments above), repeatedly retracted his confession throughout the decades and never took the retraction back. You outright lied about him doing that. Simply repeating your initial claim without dealing with the mountain of evidence I provided makes you an even worse liar. Case closed.

  8. Aside from all the other reasons to regard the charges of the Moscow Trials as basically without foundation, the most serious of all is simply the lack of any corroboration whatsoever in the archives of Germany, Japan, Britain, Poland, and other countries accused of recruiting Soviet nationals as agents.

    The frequent response by supporters of the Trials is to claim such documentation was destroyed, and they often point out efforts were made to destroy documentation on the Holocaust, but the comparison makes little sense for two reasons:

    1. Where's the evidence they were destroyed? We have evidence that efforts were made to cover up the Holocaust. Not the Moscow Trials.

    2. Why would these documents be destroyed? Nazi officials had far more important things to worry about in the closing days of WWII than protecting the posthumous reputation of Leon Trotsky (and the reason for other intelligence agencies to destroy their documents is even less apparent.) Furthermore, the Trials claimed that a number of the defendants had collaborated with German intelligence years before the Nazis came to power, yet German archives are totally silent on this as well.

    The other argument is to claim that maybe one day the archives will reveal evidence after all. Which, okay, but that doesn't really work in some cases (e.g. Soviets had pretty much total access to Nazi and Polish intelligence by virtue of the Soviet Army entering said territories) and is about as compelling as claiming that maybe one day Andy Kaufman will announce he was faking his death this whole time.

  9. That too. Schulenburg described the trials pretty objectively in his secret reports and obviously there is not a hint of the acceptance of any of the accusations.

  10. I wonder what you guys think of this blog post? He seems to be a fan of grover furr and North korea. He actually lists stalin society as a source

    1. The first part shows the dishonesty of the author. He points out that in the early 1930s Trotsky really had been open to forming a bloc between his followers in the USSR and former supporters of Zinoviev and the like. He then demagogically claims Trotskyists today "deny" the fact that an "Opposition Bloc" existed. In reality:

      A. This actual, honest-to-god bloc was quickly rendered moot after the NKVD arrested persons belonging to it (Getty and Naumov, "The Road to Terror," 1999, pp. 62-63)

      B. This bloc, from what I recall, isn't even mentioned in the Moscow Trials. Instead imaginary "blocs" and "centres" were concocted by the NKVD and put forth in the Trials, charged with equally imaginary acts of terrorism, sabotage, and espionage for foreign intelligence services and said to involve big names like Zinoviev, Kamenev, Radek, Bukharin, etc.

      As an aside, the author of that page also calls Isaac Deutscher a Trotskyist historian, which is wrong. Deutscher was certainly sympathetic to Trotsky and influenced by him, but (among other things) he considered Stalin a sort of Soviet Cromwell who was advancing and defending the October Revolution by using conservative methods, and whose successors would be able to wash away the "Stalinist" aspects of Soviet life and return to Lenin. Quite different from the Trotskyist argument that Stalin and his successors represented a counter-revolutionary bureaucracy that had to be overthrown by Soviet workers if the gains of October were to be saved.

  11. To add onto what has been said, one of the "evidences" occasionally trotted out by apologists of the Trials are the diaries of Göbbels. It is pointed out that he had written "Stalin got rid of all opposition in the Red Army" and that the execution of Tukhachevsky had strengthened said army. So I decided to locate the quotes in context.

    From the May 8, 1943 diary entry: "The Fuehrer recalled the case of Tukhachevsky and expressed the opinion that we were entirely wrong then in believing that Stalin would ruin the Red Army by the way he handled it. The opposite was true: Stalin got rid of all opposition in the Red Army and thereby brought an end to defeatism."

    From an October 27, 1943 entry: "Our tragic mistake was to believe that Stalin had shown a sign of weakness when he had Tukhachevsky and his companions shot. In truth, he got rid of all opposition. It is a shame that we did not proceed in the same way. We would not have so many difficulties today. The generals on the southern front and in fact a large portion of the army generals have no inner belief in our cause."

    If anything, these entries are damning to the Trials. They suggest the Nazis had nothing to do with the defendants, and that the Great Purges had by Hitler's own estimation weakened the Red Army rather than cleansed it of nonexistent German agents.

    Only years later, when Hitler and Göbbels increasingly distrusted their army's officers, did they conclude (on the basis of seemingly no evidence other than Red Army performance being superior to the Nazis) that the Great Purges must have eliminated "defeatists" in the Soviet ranks. Once again, nothing about Tukhachevsky or the others having collaborated with the Nazis.

    It reminds me of Joseph E. Davies having initially been rather skeptical of the Moscow Trials until the Nazis invaded the USSR, whereupon he concluded: "There were no Fifth Columnists in Russia in 1941—they had shot them. The purge had cleansed the country and rid it of treason." In other words, the guilt of Tukhachevsky and others was retroactively "proved" because of the performance of the Red Army. The extreme weakness of Davies' logic doesn't prevent defenders of the Trials from often resorting to it.

    1. I apologize If this comes off as stupid, but my english is not so good, so I wanted to ask what exactly you find damning about the Goebbels Quotes? What does ,,defeatist" mean here? I think better proof would be the quotes he made in arounf I think beginning 1937 (I believe one was in February 1937) they show that he obviously thinks that the moscow trials are faked, which would be a big indicator to say that the german collaboriation probably never happened, since it ist practically impossible to collaborate with Germany without one of the most Highranking Nazis knowing.

    2. I consider the quotes damning because they indicate Hitler and Göbbels thought the execution of Tukhachevsky and other high-ranking officers would have had disastrous effects on the Red Army. Something that would make little sense if these officers were part of a Nazi-backed plot to overthrow the Soviet system and partition the USSR in agreement with neighboring states.

      Apologists of the Moscow Trials only quote bits where Göbbels was writing how "Stalin got rid of all opposition in the Red Army." This was a judgement made years after the Trials and merely based on his and Hitler's growing suspicion that Germany's officers were unwilling to put up a serious fight against the Red Army, hence the reference to "defeatism." This led them to foolishly conclude the reason the Red Army was fighting so well is because Stalin must have gotten rid of his army's own "defeatists" in 1937-38.

      What's important is not the foolish conclusion Göbbels (and, presumably, Hitler) ended up making in 1943, it's their initial belief that in executing Tukhachevsky and other officers, Stalin was weakening his own army. As you put it, "it ist practically impossible to collaborate with Germany without one of the most Highranking Nazis knowing.."

    3. So I asked a German person I know to track down the 1937 diary entries mentioned by Grau. What follows is a no doubt flawed translation of them into English:

      January 26, 1937: "The show trials in Moscow continue. The accused 'confess' everything. Some secret poison must be given to them. Or be put under hypnosis. Otherwise one can not make sense of it all." After some unrelated sentences he again writes down, "No one can make sense of the Moscow trial anymore. Barbarian land using the methods of Ivan the Terrible."

      February 3, 1937: "13 death sentences in Moscow Show Trial. As expected."

      February 7, 1937: "Strife between Stalin and Army. But one can't make sense of it. Probably one criminal guild standing against the other. Litvinov is supposed to be killed too. This would be quite good. He's a dangerous Jewish intriguer."

      So yes, Göbbels clearly doesn't take the "confessions" seriously and is reduced to guessing that there must have been a falling out between Stalin and the Red Army (a view Hitler himself also apparently held, judging by Göbbels' aforementioned 1943 diary entries.) Evidently both Göbbels and Hitler were as confused by the purposes of the Trials as the rest of the outside world was.

  12. The guy has made even more "articles" "proving" The charges were true and trials accurate. Jesus

    1. It looks like he's rehashing tired old arguments. For example, he states "I strongly recommend everyone interested in the topic to actually read the materials" of the Trials yet goes on to claim that, "The defendants were a group of life-long oppositionists, and life-long professional underground conspirators, with a track record of similar acts." Either this guy never read the Trial transcripts or he has no clue what "acts" the Bolsheviks were involved in under Tsarism.

      For you see, the whole defendants-as-conspirators argument was used by Joseph E. Davies back in the day. It goes like this: the bulk of the defendants operated conspiratorially under Tsarism, ergo it makes perfect sense that they'd go on to carry out assassinations, engage in industrial sabotage, etc., since after all isn't this what conspirators do? Shoot people and blow stuff up?

      In reality the Bolsheviks did not engage in "similar acts" to those claimed in the Trials. They explicitly repudiated individual acts of terror. They tried to organize workers in trade unions and other labor-based organizations rather than imploring them to wreck machinery. Nor did Trotsky (who joined the Bolsheviks in 1917) advocate such acts either before or after becoming a Bolshevik.

      The fact a man calling himself "The Finnish Bolshevik" would claim Bolsheviks engaged in activities "similar" to those charged against the defendants in the Moscow Trials is comical, but it's what happens when one is fixated on defending Joseph Stalin from any and all criticism in order to prepare him for secular sainthood.

  13. By the way, denialists often quote the book 'Comrade X.' Your thoughts?

    1. The book's author (Grigori Tokaev) claimed to have been part of an underground liberal opposition group in the USSR, and that other opposition groups also existed.

      When it comes to the Moscow Trials, Tokaev states that the charges against the defendants were basically nonsense and that confessions were coerced out of them, e.g. he describes one such defendant as "a coward, [who] willingly played his captors' game, possibly imagining that he would thereby escape death. . . [by giving] evidence of a 'united Trotskyist-Zinovievist' movement, which, in fact, had never existed." (pp. 57-58)

      Likewise, he claims (seemingly based on rumors he or his group heard) that Kirov's assassin belonged to an underground group, but he also gives no indication Zinoviev and Kamenev belonged to such a group or had anything to do with Kirov's murder. Investigations conducted under Khrushchev and Gorbachev established that Kirov's assassin was in all likelihood a lone gunman, with no evidence that he operated on behalf of any opposition group.

      The only reason "anti-revisionists" cite the book is in an attempt to pull wool over the eyes of people by acting as if the existence of underground opposition to Stalin somehow validates the claims of the Moscow Trials as to the existence of a massive conspiracy involving Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Tukhachevsky, Yagoda, and many others for purposes of industrial sabotage, assassinations, and agreements with foreign states to partition the USSR and restore capitalism.

      It's also worth nothing that, like some other accounts (e.g. Alexander Orlov), Tokaev seems to rely a fair bit on rumors he heard from someone who knew someone who in turn knew someone, etc., with the result that his account isn't always reliable. For example, he repeats the rumor that Bukharin was "undoubtedly responsible for at least part" of the draft of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, whereas J. Arch Getty uses the Soviet archives to show that wasn't true (see Getty's article "State and Society Under Stalin: Constitutions and Elections in the 1930s")

      In conclusion, Tokaev's book does next to nothing to prop up the validity of the Moscow Trials. The fact underground oppositionists existed could have been surmised already in the 1930s, given the Ryutin affair and Trotsky's own statements that he had followers in the USSR.

    2. (my prior reply contained a typo: "It's also worth nothing that"—I meant to type "noting," not "nothing.")

      An addendum to what I wrote. "Comrade X" is a sequel to the author's "Betrayal of an Ideal." I scanned the latter book earlier this year:

      In that book Tokaev states in regard to Kirov's demise that neither Zinoviev nor his associates "had the slightest connection with the assassination." (p. 246) His depiction of Bukharin is likewise very different from what was claimed in the Moscow Trials, stating that Bukharin in the early 30s had encouraged oppositionists to influence the minds of young workers and peasants "by persuasion and theoretical discussion." Yet by 1934 the group Tokaev belonged to was denouncing Bukharin as having given up the struggle altogether and as "slithering back into the bogs of Stalinism." Tokaev writes the following: "He had urged us to think for ourselves and to try to bring our influence to bear on public matters; now he himself had turned against the views, the faith he had stirred up. . . Soon he was to be arrested, charged with a crime he had never committed, and shamefully put to death." (pp. 167-168 and 284)

      No doubt many of the defendants in the Moscow Trials had a low opinion of Stalin. But to quote Isaac Deutscher, "Had [the defendants in the Trials] been executed merely as men opposed to Stalin or even as conspirators who had tried to remove him from power, many might still have regarded them as martyrs for a good cause. They had to die as traitors, as perpetrators of crimes beyond the reach of reason, as leaders of a monstrous fifth column." (Stalin: A Political Biography, 1967, p. 378) Tokaev's books add weight to Deutscher's judgement.

  14. Denialists often use the book called the great conspiracy against russia by Michael Sayers and Albert E kahn (1946) as a source for their claims that there was a fascist-trotskyist conspiracy. The book seems to take the word of Walter Duranty and Joseph F Davies as truth as well as the Moscow show trails as fact p.144-145.

    1. The book's treatment of the Moscow Trials consists of summarizing parts of the published transcripts and trying to back them up using arguments that were pretty much already common currency among pro-Soviet circles at the time.

      Albert E. Kahn had ties to Soviet intelligence and was secretly a member of the CPUSA, while Michael Sayers was at minimum a "fellow traveler." At the time of the book's publication it was effectively mandatory for members of communist parties across the globe to treat the Moscow Trials as gospel truth (at least in public utterances) and for "fellow travelers" who wanted to remain in the good graces of the Soviet Union and these parties to do likewise. So it's no surprise that authors with such backgrounds, writing a book about efforts by foreign countries to overthrow the Soviet state, would deem it appropriate to include the Trials as "evidence."

      For what its worth, Vijay Singh (one of the editors of Revolutionary Democracy, a "Stalin-did-nothing-wrong" communist journal in India) once posted the following to a Yahoo Groups page back in 2010: "I recall that in the late 1970s I was told by the Indian communist Moni Guha that he had successfully contacted one of the two authors of ‘The Great Conspiracy Against the Sovet Union” (I forget which one) and congratulated him on this book only to be told that the author no longer accepted the correctness of the views expressed in the book." Unfortunately Yahoo Groups was shut down years ago, so I can't link to the message, but Singh can easily be contacted online for anyone who wants verification.


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