Stalin and supporters continued this struggle against opposition from other elements in the Bolshevik Party, resolutely but with diminishing chances for success, until Stalin died in March 1953. Lavrentii Beria’s determination to continue this same struggle seems to be the real reason Khrushchev and others murdered him, either judicially, by trial on trumped-up charges in December 1953, or — as much evidence suggests — through literal murder, the previous June.
Beria’s “Hundred Days” — really, 112 days, from Stalin’s death on March 5 1953 to Beria’s removal on June 26 — witnessed the inception of a large number of dramatic reforms. Had the Soviet leadership permitted these reforms to fully develop, the history of the Soviet Union, the international communist movement, the Cold War — in short, of the last half of the 20th century – would have been dramatically different.
The wide circulation and credence given to these stories among Russians of all political camps show that many Russians believe Stalin’s and Beria’s deaths were all too convenient for the nomenklatura. The evidence that Beria, like Stalin, wanted a communist perestroika — a “restructuring,” albeit of political, not economic, power, instead of the capitalist super-exploitation and fleecing of the country that has gone under that name since the late 1980s — is quite independent of any evidence that they may have been murdered.
Source: Grover Furr’s “Stalin and the Struggle for Democratic Reform”
Khrushchev records a discussion with fellow-revisionist Nikolay Bulganin by Stalin’s death-bed on the danger to their plans if the Marxist-Leninist Lavrenty Beria were to become again Minister in control of the. security services:
“‘Stalin’s not going to pull through. . . . You know what posts Beria will take for himself?’
‘He will try and make himself Minister of State Security. No matter what happens, we can’t let him do this. If he becomes Minister of State Security it will be the beginning of the end for us’.
Bulganin said he agreed with me”,
(N. S. Khrushchev (1971): p. 319).
But by the end of June 1953, it had become clear that the efforts to convince the Marxist-Leninists that the exculpation of the doctors had been justified had only been temporarily successful. Headed by Beria, the security forces, under Marxist-Leninist control since the readjustment of portfolios after Stalin’s death, were continuing to inestigate the ‘doctors’ case’.
Clearly, if the revisionist conspirators were to feel safe, Beria and his Marxist-Leninist colleagues in the security forces had to be eliminated as a matter of urgency.
On 10 July 1953, a few days after Beria had been arrested, a leading article in ‘Pravda’ revealed the real reason for that arrest — a reason not disclosed in the report of his ‘trial’ — namely, that he had ‘deliberately impeded’ and ‘tried to distort’ instructions of the Central Committee and the Soviet government designed to clear up ‘certain illegal and abritary actions’ — an obvious reference to the ‘doctors’ case’:
“Having been charged with carrying out ‘the Instructions of the Party Central Committee and the Soviet Government with a view . . . to clearing up certain illegal and arbitrary actions, Beria deliberately impeded the implementation of these instructions and, in a number of cases, tried to distort them”.
(‘Pravda’, 10 July 1953, in: B. Nicolaevsky: op. cit.; p. 147).
Source: Bill Bland’s “The ‘Doctors’ Case’ and the Death of Stalin”
“Stalin was trying hard to limit the damage being done by a revisionist (i.e., Yezhov — WBB). In this situation, Lavrenty Beria was put in this sensitive and critical job. Stalin himself put Beria into this job.
Beria ‘cleansed’ the NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs — Ed.). He placed trusted Bolsheviks in the key positions. As he had personal knowledge from Georgia of who was reliable or not, many of the appointees were from Georgia.
It is accepted by even hostile and anti-Marxist writers that, following Beria’s changes, thousands of prisoners in the camps were released.
Marxist-Leninists are aware that Beria effectively cleared the NKVD of revisionist practices and revisionist personnel”.
(Alliance No. 30 (October 1998); p. 85. 86. 87).
“It was essential to have in charge of the Russian atomic bomb project someone who was an utterly reliable Bolshevik. Stalin ensured that Lavrenty Beria was given this mandate”
(Alliance, No. 30 (October 1998); p. 87).
The chronology of the coups and counter-coups in Georgia makes it clear, in my view, that Beria was a Marxist-Leninist.
Source: Bill Bland’s “On the Coups and Counter-Coup in Georgia”
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?
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!
But a prominent charge regarded Beria’s advocacy of a “unified Germany”. Leading the charge against Ulbricht’s sectarian polices was Beria, who was “indignant when I (Ulbricht) opposed the policy concerning the German question in 1953”: Knight Ibid; p. 192). Several sources point to the significance of this charge:
“The Soviet leadership offers the following reasons for the charges against Beria. . . . ‘ that he advocated the creation of a unified Germany as a “bourgeois, peace-loving nation” (1:162) and the abandonment of East Germany’s status as a separate, socialist state;” [On the Crimes and Anti-Party, Anti-Government Activities of Beria.] Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 2-7 July 1953, from Izvestia CC – CPSU:1991, 1:140-214 & 2:141-208. New Evidence on Beria’s Downfall, by Rachel A. Connell.
“New accounts confirm that Beria did want to trade German reunification for neutralization.” ‘New Evidence on the East German Uprising of 1953; ”Paper #3: Reexamining Soviet Policy Towards Germany During the Beria Interregnum, “Cold War History Project” by James Richter.
2 thoughts on “Writings on the Role of Lavrenty Beria”
There is a lot of interesting material on Beria in his son’s biography:
Sergo Beria: “Beria My father”, Edited by Francoise Thom, , Duckworth, London, 2001.
Indispensible reading for those trying to understanding the role of Beria.
Beria is the key that unlocks the door. The pieces of the puzzle are there. Solve it. This would be a profound contribution to Marxism-Leninism. I do not believe ANY of our greats have really been able to satisfactorily answer the Beria question. We can run in circles forever or we can eat of the tree. Hoxha is a link, but is he the key link? Could it be Beria. The man who answers this will define Marxism-Leninism in the decades to come. Of this I am convinced. I exchanged communiques with the author as a younger Marxist-Leninist. As I am in my 70s, I am too old to take on this task. I can only leave this torch, in the form of this provocation, to another, younger, nimbler mind.