From Red Comrades:
This (ON BERIA) is related to Ludo Martens’ book “Another View of Stalin.” It is a critique of his assessment of Beria. The rest of the Martens’ book relies on facts. However oddly, in stark contrast to the rest of the book, the analysis of Lavrenty Beria does NOT show facts at all. Martins has only theories and/or rumor or gossip, which is what Kremlinologists used to create the totalitarian paradigm against all of Soviet society! Why would he believe this or believe Khrushchev?
This is like the Forward to “The Beria Affair,” where the author goes into all the things THE WEST “knew” about what “power” Beria had – and then states that even 4 months after Stalin died, Beria did not make a grab for ultimate power. Yes, Beria did NOT make any such grab and it is evident that had he wanted to make that grab for power, he could have easily done it. So the Western anti-Soviet writers are left to invent a “reason” that this was so. So then, they conclude that Beria didn’t make a grab because he was arrogant. (!?)
Nonsense! This only makes sense if you abide by the totalitarian paradigm of Soviet society, which is blatantly false.
A more logical deduction would be that Beria never considered there to be ANY power grab and was not at odds with his Comrades, at least not at odds in such a big way that he’d grab power and use it against them.
Consider it: Beria had BOTH the NKGB and NKVD under him. With all the rumors and suspicions about Stalin’s death, he could easily have gotten his “rivals” arrested and shot. Therefore, one must also wonder IF THERE WERE ANY rumors or suspicions immediately after Stalin’s death! Surely, if there were, they’d have made their way to the NKVD and the NKVD would have acted on it; at least they’d have arrested the people who found Stalin on the floor.
But WAS Stalin found laying on the floor? Or is that more “after the fact” rumor? And why didn’t Beria do away with his rivals even 4 months after Stalin’s death? Apparently they were NOT his rivals, as the totalitarian paradigmists suggest.
I can’t agree with Martens’ arguments against Beria at all. Anyone investigating a crime would have problems with the way the entire affair was handled.
It was enemies that considered Beria an enemy, enemies that were in fact capitalists, never communists, and who proved this of themselves later on by wrecking collectives that worked well!. There were only THEORIES or ACCUSATIONS against Beria to that effect, primarily based on his desire to return to a NEP-type system for awhile after WWII . Well, Lenin did it after the Civil War for the same reasons Beria wanted to do it after World War II. Accusations are insinuated due to Beria’s desire to keep friendly with the West – who, after all, were ALLIES in WWII. Why not be friendly with allies?
In going along with the idea of Beria that Martens presents, Martens is falling INTO the same totalitarian paradigm that his entire book seeks to dismantle.
Beria did a good job for Stalin, in fact, an EXCELLENT, SUPERB job. Far from wanting to kill Stalin, Beria did everything in his power AGAINST STALIN’S ORDERS to try to prevent Stalin from wandering into mined areas of land during the time Stalin insisted on staying in Moscow in the war. Stalin could have been easily killed: Beria was trying to prevent this. Beria also had MANY occasions to kill Stalin AND get away with it!
Martens cites Thaddeus Wittlin on Beria, but does Martens know to what extent Wittlen INVENTED whole scenes in his book? I do: right out of pornographic books. It’s so lurid that it’s funny to bump into it in the middle of his huge book. PURE, graphic, lurid invention, pure pornography. Fantasy! If Martens is going to believe Wittlin on Beria, why not just believe Robert Conquest on Stalin? Conquest is kinder to Stalin than Wittlin is to Beria!
The data Martens has on Abakumov and Beria is not correct here. Since the creation of two groups, the MGB and the MVD, the MVD being the former NKVD, there was hostility. Ignatiev and Ryumen were Khrushchev’s men. It is possible, as Martens and everyone else seems to believe, that Beria was “the only person” capable of eliminating Stalin’s personal security, but others could have also done it. It is also possible that the personal security was no longer trusted and Stalin ordered it changed. That would go along with the “orders from the top” school of thought. But in this case, they WERE STALIN’S OWN guards and he’d have every right to have them removed. It is NOT possible to believe that Stalin didn’t know they were no longer his security guards! Stalin had good eye-sight!
The totalitarian paradigm presents a dualist image of Stalin: he’s either a diabolical genius or he’s a dull-witted idiot. People who write with a STRONG desire (emotion) to defend Stalin and trash the totalitarian paradigm, often fall right back into the paradigm when they attempt to present Stalin as either a Saint and Genius or a Duped Victim who’s not to blame for anything. And these are the types of people that DO NOT want to make a “cult of personality” out of Stalin? They are doing exactly that with this attitude.
I don’t think we can really know what happened in the end. It ispossible to believe that Stalin’s closest people thought he was sleeping when he lay there sick or unconscious. (Personal proof that this could have happened: I was in a coma, or unconscious at least, unable to be awakened on several attempts, and my dearest friend, someone closer to me than anyone was close to Stalin, thought I was ‘SLEEPING and didn’t want to be disturbed': yet this was the day after I was smacked by a car going 30 mph as I sat at a stop light in my car and was knocked out cold! He thought I was sleeping! He tried to wake me up only a few times and then let me continue “sleeping.”) – So it IS POSSIBLE people thought Stalin was sleeping. Was Stalin really found laying on the floor? Or, as said above, is that just more after-the-fact rumor designed to make something look suspicious? Did he look as sickly as we are told? Or did he look as if he were asleep?
But herein is the puzzle that it seems NO scholar out there can see through: they don’t WANT to see it clearly. The picture presented by ALL sources, pro and con, shows Stalin’s closest, long-time, trusted employees afraid to go into his room!! WHY?? Rybin’s account is no better (“Next to Stalin”) as he’d have Stalin as Saint Josef, while not grasping that his inferences lead one to think that his personal staff were so terrified that they would not even knock on Stalin’s door if they had to. They waited hours, yet they all thought something was wrong when Stalin didn’t come out of his room on time? Or is it that they “remember” thinking something was wrong AFTER they really KNEW something WAS wrong and after they all got it into their heads to get suspicious?
Why didn’t they knock or go in his room? No one has seemed to grab hold of THIS INITIAL data on the fatal day. Long BEFORE Beria was around to see Stalin sleeping ON A COUCH, WHY didn’t anyone ELSE call the damned doctor? THEY found him on the floor! Beria DID NOT SEE Stalin laying on a floor, he saw him on a couch! He looked asleep. This, in any kind of U.S. investigation, even by small-town cops, would incriminate those people RIGHT THERE AT THE TIME long BEFORE Beria or the others were called, if any suspicions were held at all!
I don’t like, and therefore have real criticism for, the tendency of people to trash their own appointed police chiefs, (even if they trash J. E. Hoover* for “doing a good job” against Communists – he was appointed TO DO this! So why blame him?) This smacks of shifting blame, scapegoatism and “the one who appointed him can do no wrong” mentality, it’s the same old cult of personality exculpation rubbish that they claim doesn’t exist! That the people right there that knew Stalin’s habits did NOT go into his room when (IF!) they thought something “was wrong,” is highly suspicious. Stalin was not known to fly off the handle at his maid or anything of that sort! (He welcomed visits from friends and relatives, as many accounts show, or as Svetlana would back up.) The maid couldn’t knock on his door? WHY NOT?
IF there is something fishy about how Stalin died, I doubt the answer will be found by looking at the “obvious suspects” by hashing out theories that make them INTO “obvious suspects” AFTER THE FACT, especially by using the same old totalitarian paradigm! Everyone seems, on this subject, to have a political agenda so they invent suspects when the REAL SUSPECTS are right there, WERE there the whole while, and NEGLECTED to do a damned thing, like call a doctor when THEY found Stalin on the floor! In ANY court of law in the USA, the maid and those right there at the time would have been charged at least with negligence leading to death or “murderous indifference” in Stalin’s death. (By U.S. law, if I find a person I live with laying on a bed apparently not breathing and am unable to wake that person up – if I have a REASONABLE SUSPICION that the person is in need of medical attention and I DO NOTHING – I can be charged with a crime.)
*Re J. E. Hoover. Does anyone doubt there WERE Communists in the USA at the time of the McCarthy witch hunt? EH? SURE there were Reds here. SURE there were atomic spies, too. There even were “Communist Parties” here right out in the open!
From the literature, and here I strongly feel Martens fails too, it is made to sound like NO ONE EVER died in U.S.S.R. except by some political intrigue. Smearing Beria in this manner, after years of loyal service, is no different from what Trotsky said against Stalin, spreading a rumor that Stalin poisoned Lenin! I don’t think this belongs in the book; it’s not political analysis, it’s theory and almost slander. It is also possible that Stalin would have died no matter what was done for him. Cerebral hemorrhage is not a common cold!
With people coming here from the Soviet Union, what would one EXPECT them to say if they ended up here? GOOD NEWS? All one ever gets to read about it are things written either by enemies or defecting spies (some of whom are double agents, to boot). The fact is that Khrushchev was a dictator, things went awful for the economy after he got into power. Whereas people (who do not write books about it) known to me personally that LIVED/WORKED in 1930’s USSR under Stalin and then ended up in the U. S. A. living/working here in the post Roosevelt 1950’s said it FELT the same to be there as it did to be here, with a few minor details about how economic matters are transacted.
The TOTALITARIAN MODEL of Stalin’s Soviet years is permeating. Even revisionists use it, BOTH SIDES use it, and don’t even REALIZE they use it: the example is like how the maid is somehow “too scared” to knock on Stalin’s door even though Stalin was such a friendly guy, or how Beria is “obviously” out to take over the country, but he fails to do this when he certainly could have – but does not do it for some unexplained, mysterious reason – that’s all still totalitarian paradigm.
Check Amy Knight, Beria’s biographer, for an objective view written by a capitalist.
NEW INFO: A must read: “Beria Inside Stalin’s Kremlin” by Sergo Beria. Eye opening and mind blowing information there.