These are more excerpts to contribute to an all-around analysis of Beria and his role. I will point out that all these quotes come from a single source and as such should be taken with a grain of salt and not taken as the “final word” on these matters.
— Espresso Stalinist
BULGANIN: All these facts tell us that Beria was acting on the principle of: the worst things are, the better things are for him.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 46
BAGIROV (Candidate Member of the Presidium of the Central Committee): Beria–this chameleon, this most evil enemy of our Party, our people–was so cunning and adept that I personally, having known him for some 30-plus years before his exposure by the Presidium of the Central Committee, could not see through him, could not draw out his true enemy nature. I can only explain this as my excessive gullibility, and the dullness of my Party and Communist vigilance toward this double-dealer and scoundrel. This will be a serious lesson for me, too.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 78
MALYSHEV (Member of the Central Committee): For example, I, as a minister, have worked under the leadership of several comrades–Comrade Molotov, Comrade Kaganovich, and Beria. I must say, that each time you go to report on some matter to the comrades, you go with different feelings. You go to comrade Molotov with one feeling–we know that he is a strict leader, demanding, but whenever you go to him you know that there will be no hasty decisions, adventurist decisions, if you made a big and serious mistake you will never be struck at because of his mood. Then there’s comrade Kaganovich–a sometimes hot tempered fellow, but we know that he does not bear grudges. He’ll erupt, but it quickly passes and he makes the right decision. Beria is another thing. We minister’s knew that you would enter his office a minister, but who you would be on return–you didn’t know. Perhaps a minister, or perhaps you’d land in prison. This was his method: “A knock on the head”–and you’d come out staggering. In one word, Beria’s leadership style was the crude style of a dictator, no Party spirit. And speaking of Party spirit, I worked under Beria during the war, in charge of tanks,… and I was convinced that he never had any Party spirit.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 83
MIKOYAN: A few days before his death the late Ordzhonikidze, in a private conversation with me said “I don’t understand why Stalin doesn’t trust me. I am completely loyal to him, I don’t want to fight with him, I want to support him, but he doesn’t trust me. Beria’s schemes play a large part in this–he gives Stalin wrong information, but Stalin trusts him.”
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 110
SHATALIN (Secretary of the Central Committee): In the light of materials we now have on Beria, it is absolutely clear that presenting the Doctor’s Affair was useful only to him and his protectors. He wanted to use this incident to make points as a humanitarian and brave initiator. What does this rogue care for the interests of the State.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 119
VOROSHILOV: However, the question reasonably arises, why was this subject able to freely work in Party leadership and government for so long, without being exposed sooner, why did he have such a great authority, and hold such high Party and State positions? The question is entirely legitimate.
First and foremost,… Beria is an insidious and cunning enemy, a consummate adventurist, schemer, who knows how to skillfully worm his way into the trust of a leader, who can hide his base plans for a long time and wait for the proper moment. He witnessed the daily life of the great Stalin. Together with all of us he knew that Stalin, as the result of intense work, often fell sick in recent years, obviously this circumstance to a certain extent was the basis for Beria’s vile tactics. He waited in the hope that sooner or later Stalin would be no more. As the facts have now shown, after the death of Stalin this adventurist was counting on the speedy realization of his criminal plans against the Party and the State. That’s why he was in such a hurry after the death of Stalin, or perhaps he was being hurried….
In all these characteristics of his, Beria feared Stalin, he ingratiated himself with Stalin, but skillfully, in his own way; he would whisper all manner of disgusting things, would completely confuse him. And we could tell just by Comrade Stalin’s mood, when we met either for business or other reasons, we could all feel whom Beria had been “whispering” against that day.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 143
ANDREYEV: It was only lately, in the German question, and in other questions, that we saw his bourgeois degeneracy.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 155
ANDREYEV: And Beria, of course, at times did great work, but this was work done for a disguise, and in this was the difficulty of exposing him. He created himself a halo, that, for example, during the war he was during enormous work, etc., he was blackmailing in the name of Comrade Stalin. He was difficult to expose.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 157
TEVOSYAN (Member of the Central Committee): Yesterday, we learned from the speech of Comrade Kaganovich that this scoundrel Beria protested against referring to Comrade Stalin–along with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin–when speaking about the teachings which guide our Party. That’s how far this scoundrel went.
Stickle, D. M., Ed. The Beria Affair. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992, p. 159