VICTORS WRITE HISTORY
What the 21st century will call them [acts which could be considered treasonous] will depend on who are the victors. The victors always write the history books.
Strong, Anna L. The Soviets Expected It. New York, New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 122
AID TO GREEK GUERILLAS
Second Meeting of Hoxha with Stalin
In conclusion, I mentioned to Comrade Stalin the threats the external enemies were making towards Albania.
He listened to me attentively and, on the problems I had raised, expressed his opinion:
“As for the Greek people’s war,” he said among other things, “we, too, have always considered it a just war, have supported and backed it whole-heartedly. Any people’s war is not waged by the communists alone, but by the people, and the important thing is that the communists should lead it.”
Hoxha, Enver. With Stalin: Memoirs. Tirana: 8 N‘ntori Pub. House, 1979.
Here [Greece] we meet another “left” criticism of Stalin, similar to that made about his role in Spain but even further removed from the facts of the matter. As in the rest of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the Communist had led and armed the heroic Greek underground and partisan fighters. In 1944 the British sent an expeditionary force commanded by general Scobie to land in Greece, ostensibly to aid in the disarming of the defeated Nazi and Italian troops. As unsuspecting as their comrades in Vietnam and Korea, who were to be likewise “assisted,” the Greek partisans were slaughtered by their British “allies,” who used tanks and planes in all-out offensive, which ended in February 1945 with the establishment of a right-wing dictatorship under a restored monarchy. The British even rearmed and used the defeated Nazi “Security Battalions.” After partially recovering from this treachery, the partisan forces rebuilt their guerrilla apparatus and prepared to resist the combined forces of Greek fascism and Anglo-American imperialism. By late 1948 full-scale civil war raged, with the right-wing forces backed up by the intervention of U.S. planes, artillery, and troops. The Greek resistance had its back broken by another betrayal, not at all by Stalin, but by Tito, who closed the Yugoslav borders to the Soviet military supplies that were already hard put to reach the landlocked popular forces. This was one of the two main reasons why Stalin, together with the Chinese, led the successful fight to have the Yugoslav “Communist” Party officially thrown out of the international Communist movement.
Franklin, Bruce, Ed. The Essential Stalin; Major Theoretical Writings. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1972, p. 34
STALIN INSISTS ART REFLECT REALITY
Fifth Meeting of Hoxha with Stalin
Some days after this meeting, on April 6, I went to the Bolshoi Theatre to see the new opera ‘From the Depths of Heart’ which, as I was told before the performance, dealt with the new ”life in the collective farm village. That same evening Comrade Stalin, too, had come to see this opera. He sat in the box of the first floor closest to the stage, whereas I, together with two of our comrades and two Soviet comrades who accompanied us, was in the box in the second floor, on the opposite side.
The next day I was told that Stalin had made a very severe criticism of this opera, which had already been extolled by some critics as a musical work of value. I was told that Comrade Stalin had criticized the opera, because it did not reflect the life in the collectivized village correctly and objectively. Comrade Stalin had said that in this work life in the collective farm had been idealized, truthfulness has suffered, the struggle of the masses against various shortcomings and difficulties was not reflected, and everything was covered with a false lustre and the dangerous idea that everything is going smoothly and well.
Hoxha, Enver. With Stalin: Memoirs. Tirana: 8 N‘ntori Pub. House, 1979.
The great idea is to confer upon the writer (while at the same time enlarging the scope of his work), the mission of setting out, as clearly as possible, the scientific and moral evidences of socialism–but without paralyzing literary activity by pinning it down exclusively to political propaganda. This application of the social sense to creative work implies the definite abolition of “art for art’s sake,” and of individually selfish art with its narrowness and its pessimism.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 207
SU DICTATORSHIP SAVED THE SU AND THE CAPITALIST DEMOCRACIES
Had the USSR been a political democracy of the Western type during the past 20 years, had its people been permitted to choose what was soft, easy, and pleasant, rather than what was hard, painful, and necessary, the Soviet Union would not exist today. Its destroyers would also, in all likelihood, have destroyed the independence of Britain and the freedom of America as well, for the military collapse of Russia would have rendered the victors invulnerable and invincible. Dictatorship has been the price of survival for the USSR and for the United Nations.. Herein lies its justification — except in the eyes of those who are conccerned only with the propriety of means and never with the primacy of ends, or with the eternal verities to the exclusion of the tough tasks of the day, or with the virtues of national suicide under unrestricted freedom as against the vices of national survival by way of coercion.
Schuman, Frederick L. Soviet Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1946, p. 326
Had nazi and Japanese forces effected a junction in India in 1942, the defense of Russia and Britain, and prospectively of America, would have become all but impossible.
Schuman, Frederick L. Soviet Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1946, p. 559
In World War II Russia saved the west by defeating the fascist powers.
Grey, Ian. Stalin, Man of History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979, p. 7
SU DID NOT SOCIALIZE EASTERN EUROPE WHEN IT COULD HAVE
What is surprising is not that so-called “totalitarian” methods of winning friends and influencing people were displayed in these lands during and after their liberation, but that dictatorial devices were not employed more extensively. Moscow had the power (at the risk, to be sure, of a rupture with the Atlantic Powers) to give unqualified support to Communist groups and to Sovietize this whole vast region. With judicious moderation, it refrained from doing so. In no case did its program precipitate civil war within the lands freed by the Red Army, despite widespread resentment at requisitions by Soviet troops who lived off the land.
Schuman, Frederick L. Soviet Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1946, p. 526
Soon, it became clear that none of the ruined nations of East Europe could hope for reconstruction loans from Washington, unless they remade their governments to suit the USA. To some extent they were willing to do this. Bulgaria changed its cabinet at Washington’s order and postponed an election when America protested its form. All of the East European nations hoped for American loans and were willing to make adjustments. They offered industrial concessions to foreign capital; they were ready to postpone socialism, as Lenin did in the days of NEP. Nor did Moscow object to this; Moscow was not at all anxious to take on the economic problems of East Europe, in addition to her own. If these lands could get American loans by concessions to capitalism, Moscow was not disposed to interfere.
In the first years after victory– Moscow handled affairs in East Europe with a loose hand. Americans supposed the arriving Red Army would at once “sovietize” these eastern nations, nationalize industry, collective farms. American correspondents were amazed to discover that the Red Army did not even stop King Michael’s jailing of Communists; they called it Romania’s affair. When I was in Poland in 1945, it was “treason” to urge collective farming, lest this alienate the peasant. Moscow intended to have “friendly nations” on her border but many of Moscow’s acts in 1945-46–the long tolerance of King Michael’s brutally reactionary regime in Romania, the lack of Russian support to Communists fighting in Greece, the calling off of Bulgarian elections because of an American protest, the acceptance of three Poles from London into the Warsaw cabinet–indicated that Stalin would make many concessions in East Europe to keep his wartime friendship with Britain and the United States.
Strong, Anna Louise. The Stalin Era. New York: Mainstream, 1956, p. 108
I visited Rumania after the Russian occupation. All the government authorities and the common people testified to the fact that Russia gave freedom to the democratic elements in Rumania to govern themselves.
I also visited Finland. An election was held after the Russians had freed it from the Germans. As far as I could find out, no one charged that the election had been influenced by the Russians. The electoral results showed the Finnish Communists to be in the minority. Similarly in Hungary and Austria, the Soviets permitted governments to be formed which are not communist by any stretch of the imagination.
Davis, Jerome. Behind Soviet Power. New York, N. Y.: The Readers’ Press, Inc., c1946, p. 99
Stalin does not wish to have a Communist government set up in the occupied areas now. He would prefer a liberal democratic coalition of elements friendly to Russia–officials who would not be secretly plotting war against either Poland or the Soviet Union [as did the Germans].
Davis, Jerome. Behind Soviet Power. New York, N. Y.: The Readers’ Press, Inc., c1946, p. 102
What, then, does the Soviet Union want in the countries which surround her?
First of all, friendly governments. Russia would prefer not to have communist governments now, but does not object to communist control if that is the genuine desire of the majority of the population of the country concerned. I saw an example of this last in the Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, now Soviet Republics. On my visit there I found that the workers and peasants, who make up a majority of the population, were all in favor of being part of the Soviet Union. The middle classes wanted to be independent, but admitted that they had an oppressive dictatorship before the present government. The propertied classes wanted to do away with Soviet rule so that they could get back their factories and property. Every person I met, without exception, preferred the Republics to the German occupation. These countries prospered after they became Soviet republics, and it is likely that popular support for the present status will increase rather than lessen.
Davis, Jerome. Behind Soviet Power. New York, N. Y.: The Readers’ Press, Inc., c1946, p. 103
…But I can till you something about what it was like when the Red Army conquered Rumania and from this you may… be able to piece together a pattern of a destiny soon to unfold throughout the Balkans.
In Dorohoi and Botosani, two prefectures in Rumanian Moldavia which had been held by the Russians since April, 1944, I talked to mayors and to village officials, to trade unionists and to farmers, to Jewish refugees from Antonescu’s concentration camps and to a Rumanian chief of police, to representatives of several large American business organizations and to a mother superior in a Rumanian convent.
All these people, some with satisfaction and others with regret, agreed on one thing: they said the Russians had not instigated any revolutionary movements. They said the Red Army had observed the Molotov declaration with disciplined correctness–and we saw the declaration posted wherever the hammer and sickle flew.
There appeared to be no open effort by the Red Army to propagandize the masses in favor of communism or socialism. Pictures of the King and Queen and of the late Dowager Queen Marie still hung on the walls of official buildings, while Stalin’s portrait was strangely absent, except in offices of the Red Army. On the surface of things, nothing suggested that the inhabitants did not enjoy a degree of liberty which, considering that Rumania was still a country at war against Russia, was astonishing. In fact, many of the Rumanians apparently wanted to fight on the winning side now. The handsome young Russian commandant of Dorohoi told me that peasants were coming to him every day, asking to enlist in the Red Army.
“The loyalty of the population is remarkable,” said he. “Men wish to become soldiers and women wish to join up as nurses. We have to refuse as politely as we can.”
Snow, Edgar. The Pattern of Soviet Power, New York: Random House, 1945, p. 28
…Will Russia put her dearly won understandings with Britain and America in jeopardy by attempting to establish paramountcy of Communism? I was speculating about this one day with an elderly Communist, and this is what he said: “If any one had told me a few years ago that there would be no revolution in Eastern Europe after this war, I would have called that man crazy. But that’s the way it is now. Russia above all wants stability in this part of the world and where the Red Army goes there will be no revolution.”
It seemed true enough, if you applied traditional Marxist definitions of a working-class revolution. In the liberated lands beyond Soviet borders one saw no proletarian uprisings of the conventional pattern. There were no open exhortations to workers to overthrow the bourgeoisie; no demands for a “workers and peasants dictatorship”; no open denunciations of capitalism; no extravagant prophecies of an early Communist or socialist Europe. The familiar terminology of class warfare seemed almost to have disappeared from the lexicon of Europe’s Leftists. If the Kremlin was fostering revolution it was doing so with a hand heavily gloved in velvet, and it was pointing rather than pushing.
…”But no one can say that the Comintern or the Soviet government is bolshevizing these countries,” he [a loyal follower of Stalin] rejoined.
Snow, Edgar. The Pattern of Soviet Power, New York: Random House, 1945, p. 59
At the same time, however, Stalin managed to establish and to obtain his allies sanction for two principles, both very hazy, by which political life in the Russian zone was to be guided. One was that he should be free to intervene against pro-Nazi and fascist parties and groups and to establish a democratic order in the countries neighboring Russia. The other was that the Governments of those countries should be ‘friendly to Russia’. For the first time Stalin applied these principles to the Polish issue, which stood at the center of allied diplomatic activity throughout the last part of the war. His purpose was to prevail upon the western allies that they should abandon the Polish government in London, on the ground that it was neither democratic nor friendly to Russia…. Apart from the fact that he undoubtedly believed that what he did served a profoundly Democratic purpose, the strength of his argument was in the fact that the Polish Government in London had indeed been a motley coalition of half-Conservative peasants, moderate Socialists, and of people who could not by any criterion, ‘eastern’ or ‘western’, be labeled democrats. The core of its administration consisted of the followers of the Polish dictators Pilsudski and Rydz-Smigly. More important still, the members of that Government, democratic and anti-democratic, were, with very few exceptions, possessed by that Russophobia which had been the hereditary propensity of Polish policy, a propensity enhanced by what the Poles had suffered at Russian hands since 1939. In truth, of all Polish parties, only the Communists were friendly to Russia’.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 520
The question must be asked whether Stalin, while he was bargaining for his zone of influence, already contemplated putting it under exclusive Communist control. Had the scheme of revolution been in his mind at the time of Tehran or Yalta? Had it finally taken shape at the time of Potsdam? His detractors as well as his apologists concur on this point, for both want us to see an extremely shrewd and far-sided design behind his actions. Yet Stalin’s actions show many strange and striking contradictions which do not indicate that he had any revolutionary master-plan. They suggest, on the contrary, that he had none. Here are a few of the most glaring contradictions. If Stalin consistently prepared to install a Communist government in Warsaw, why did he so stubbornly refuse to make any concessions to Poles over their eastern frontier? Would it not have been all the same to him whether, say, Lvov, that Polish-Ukrainian city, was ruled from Communist Kiev or from Communist Warsaw? Yet such a concession would have enormously strengthened the hands of the Polish left. Similarly, if he had beforehand planned revolution for eastern Germany, why did he detach from Germany and incorporate into Poland all the German provinces east of the Neisse and the 0der, the acquisition of which even the Poles themselves had not dreamt? Why did he insist on the expulsion of the whole German population from those lands, an act that could not but further embitter the German people not only against the Poles but also against Russia and communism. His claim for reparations to be paid by Germany, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Finland, understandable as it was in view of the devastation of the Ukraine and other Soviet lands, could not but have the same damaging effect on the Communist cause in those countries. This was even truer of Stalin’s demand for the liquidation of the bulk of German industry. Already at Teheran, if not earlier, he had given notice that he would raise that demand; at Yalta he proposed that 80 percent of German industry should be dismantled within two years after the cease-fire; and he did not abate that demand at Potsdam. He could not have been unaware that his scheme, as chimerical as ruthless, if it had been carried out, would have entailed the dispersal of the German working-class, the main, if not the only, social force to which communism could have appealed and whose support it might have enlisted. Not a single one of these policies can by any stretch of the imagination be described as a stepping-stone towards revolution. On the contrary, in every one of those moves, Stalin himself was laboriously erecting formidable barriers to revolution. This alone seems to warrant the conclusion that even at the close of the war his intentions were still extremely self-contradictory, to say the least.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 536
Mikolajczyk reports a curious conversation with Stalin in August 1944. Not without peasant-like slyness, the Polish politician tried to sound Stalin on his plans for Germany, and told him that German prisoners, captured by the Poles, allegedly expressed the hope that after the war Germany would embrace communism and, as the foremost Communist state, go on to rule the world. Stalin, so Mikolajczyk reports, replied indignantly that ‘communism fitted Germany as a saddle fitted a cow’. This contemptuous aphorism undoubtedly reflected his mood. It harmonized so perfectly with the whole trend of his policy vis-a-vis Germany, it was so spontaneous, so organic, so much in line with what we know of his old disbelief in western European communism, and it accorded so much with all that he said and did in those days, that it could not have been sheer tactical bluff.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 537
Early in 1947, he still hesitated whether he should carry to its conclusion the ‘revolution from above’ in eastern Europe, where he still tolerated non-Communist parties in the governments and allowed some scope to capitalist interests.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 581
Since the Allied Control Commissions had been established in the ex-Nazi satellite states of Rumania and Bulgaria as well as Hungary, Soviet control over these states was only to be 75-25, while Britain (“in accord with the USA”) would enjoy 90-10 control in Greece.
Rose, Lisle Abbott. After Yalta. New York: Scribner, 1973, p. 15
At this stage, to avoid the charge of a Communist takeover, Stalin took care to see that the governments formed, with Soviet approval, were coalitions of radical and peasant parties with Communists holding key ministries, such the Ministry of the Interior responsible for the police. In the case of Hungary, four non-Communist parties were represented and Communists held only two ministerial offices. In Bulgaria a similar coalition had been formed under the umbrella of the Fatherland Front.
Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Knopf, 1992, p. 895
In the first two years after the war, only Yugoslavia and Albania could be described as single-party Communist states, although even here the name was avoided in favor of the People’s Front and Democratic Front. The governments of the other five– Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria–were all coalitions. In two cases at least ( Czechoslovakia and Hungary) they were genuine coalitions in which several parties with their own organizations and very different views combined to carry out a short-term radical program with such reforms as the redistribution of land. When elections were held in Czechoslovakia in May 1946 and Hungary in November 1945 they were generally regarded as fair, producing a Communist success in the first case with 38 percent of the vote, and a Communist defeat in the second, with 57 percent for the Small Farmers’ party.
Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Knopf, 1992, p. 928
… and it was security infinitely more than any ideological considerations which determined Stalin to create in Eastern and part of Central Europe a “friendly” cordon sanitaire, in place of that hostile cordon sanitaire which had been set up by the Western powers at the end of the First World War.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 56
Finland, which no longer represented any danger to the Soviet Union after the Second World War, continues to be a Western-type democracy to this day, and so does Austria. It has even been suggested by one American historian that Stalin would have been perfectly satisfied if half a dozen ” Finlands” could have been set up in Eastern Europe. But this was scarcely possible in a country like Poland, with its long tradition of Russo-phobia, nor very easy in countries like Romania and Hungary, once the Cold War, with its challenge to Russia’s “sphere of influence,” had got going in earnest–which it did from the very moment the Second World War had ended.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 56
He [Stalin] also denied–and this was characteristic of 1946–that there were “totalitarian police states” in the East European countries–Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria were governed by “a bloc of several parties ranging from four to six, and the more or less loyal opposition parties can take part in the government….”
Obviously, Stalin was not on very solid ground here, but to keep in with the West he had been anxious since the war to meet the Western powers at least part of the way. He had not–not yet–tried to impose all-communist governments on the Eastern countries, and at that time he valued the East/West coexistence as symbolized by Czechoslovakia and Finland. Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, as ex-fascist powers, had to be dealt with rather more “vigilantly,” but even here pro-forma appearances were still being kept up, as they were in the very special case of Poland. If Yugoslavia was the most extremely communist country of the lot it was, in fact, against Stalin’s wishes.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co., 1971, p. 113
For the present  Hungary was a strange amalgam of people’s democracy and bourgeois democracy, and American imperialism had not yet given up hope a winning her over and turning her into an anti-Soviet base.
… there were still many strongholds of “bourgeois democracy” in Hungary. A large part of industry and most of trade was still in private hands. The kulaks, dodging their duties, were supplying the black market. Many of the civil servants were still pre-war, and had served under Horthy. Clerical reaction was still very strong, as were the reactionary and pro–fascist parties in parliament, and there were right-wing anti–communist elements among the government parties.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co., 1971, p. 323
One of the troubles with the Hungarian CP had been that some of its older members had imagined that the experiment of 1919 would be resumed with the help of the Red Army, and that a Soviet Hungary would now be firmly set up. It took some time to explain to them that there could be no question of restoring the dictatorship of the proletariat, and that a people’s democracy, in which the CP cooperated with other progressive forces, was something quite different.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co., 1971, p. 324
Communism was triumphant and its leaders celebrated their victory. A technical point, however, had to be clarified. No one had yet explained how the new communist states were to be fitted into a Marxist-Leninist scheme of historical stages. Stalin had insisted that they should remain formally independent countries (and he discouraged early proposals for them to be simply annexed to the USSR as had been done with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 517
On 28 January 1945 Stalin said, “We have no wish to impose anything on the other Slavic peoples. We do not interfere in their internal affairs. Let them do what they can. The crisis of capitalism has manifested itself in the division of the capitalists into two factions– one fascist, the other democratic. The alliance between ourselves and the democratic faction of capitalists came about because the latter had a stake in preventing Hitler’s domination, for that brutal state would have driven the working class to extremes and to the overthrow of capitalism itself. We are currently allied with one faction against the other, but in the future we will be against the first faction of capitalist, too.
Dimitrov, Georgi, The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949. Ed. Ivo Banac. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2003, p. 358
Perhaps we are mistaken when we suppose that the Soviet form is the only one that leads to socialism. In practice, it turns out that the Soviet form is the best, but by no means the only, form. There may be other forms–the democratic republic and even under certain conditions the constitutional monarchy….
Dimitrov, Georgi, The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949. Ed. Ivo Banac. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2003, p. 358
On 7 June 1945 Stalin proposed that they declare categorically that the path of imposing the Soviet system on Germany is an incorrect one; an anti-fascist democratic parliamentary regime must be established. The Communist Party proposes a bloc of anti-fascist parties with a common platform. Don’t speak so glowingly of the Soviet Union, and so on.
Dimitrov, Georgi, The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949. Ed. Ivo Banac. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2003, p. 372
On 6 December 1948 Stalin said to some Communist East European leaders, “In your country, where the working-class seized power not by means of an uprising but with help from outside–with the help of the Soviet army, in other words–the seizure of power was easier; you can do without the Soviet form, going back to the model of Marx and Engels– i.e., the people’s democratic parliamentary form. We are of the opinion that you can do without the Soviet regime. In your case, you will be able to carry out the transition from capitalism to socialism by means of a people’s democracy. The people’s democracy will play the role of the dictatorship of the proletariat….
As long as there are antagonistic classes, there will be dictatorship of the proletariat. But in your country, it will be a dictatorship of a different type. You can do without a Soviet regime.
Dimitrov, Georgi, The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949. Ed. Ivo Banac. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2003, p. 451
US STOLE SOME ISLANDS IN VIOLATION OF THE UN CHARTER
At the same time, however, the U.S.A. was already hatching plans to take over the protectorates of the Marian, Carolingian and Marshall Islands in Micronesia–which in due course they did, thus breaking the U.N. Charter with an act of flagrant imperialistic robbery.
Gromyko, Andrei. Memoirs. New York: Doubleday, c1989. p. 121
GROMYKO JUSTIFIES THE HELP GIVEN TO HUNGARY
Let me say something about the events that took place in Hungary in 1956. I was not yet Foreign Minister, but I was informed about the upheaval being experienced by a friendly country that had taken the path to socialism.
I must emphasize as strongly as I can that the help given to Hungary by the Soviet Union was absolutely justified.
Gromyko, Andrei. Memoirs. New York: Doubleday, c1989. p. 231
GROMYKO EXTOLS MOLOTOV’S ROLE IN THE GOVT
Unquestionably, Molotov occupies a special place in the history of Soviet diplomacy. While continuing to hold a series of senior party jobs, he took over as Foreign Commissar from Litvinov in 1939, was succeeded as Foreign Minister–the title of post of commissar having been changed to minister in 1946–by Vyshinsky in 1949, and then held the post again from 1953 to 1956. He was in effect second in command throughout the Stalin period.
Of course, the main guidelines of foreign policy were determined by the Politburo, but even there Stalin’s opinion was decisive, and he left Molotov responsible for dealing with a number of issues involving other countries. In the U.S.A., Britain, and other Western countries Molotov was regarded as a ‘hardliner’ in foreign policy, but in fact he was no harder than the party and its Central Committee.
Gromyko, Andrei. Memoirs. New York: Doubleday, c1989. p. 313
US TRIES TO DICTATE PEACE IN ASIA AND DETERMINE EAST EUROPE GOVTS
In the East, Washington not only took sole charge of the armistice with Japan, freezing both Russia and China out of the arrangements, but made supplementary terms with the Japanese generals, by which they kept on fighting the Chinese Communists until America’s $300 million airlift could bring Chang Kai-shek’s troops north to accept the surrender. In the West, Washington ordered Bulgaria to add to her cabinet some men of America’s choice, if she wished to be recognized. The Russians were astounded. “We don’t tell France, Belgium, or Holland to change their cabinets,” they said.
Strong, Anna Louise. The Stalin Era. New York: Mainstream, 1956, p. 107
SU TOOK BACK AFTER WWII TERRITORY THAT WAS THEIRS
Insult seemed added to injury when American commentators more and more grudged Russia “the great territory grabbed in the war.” To Russians, this was their own territory, lost in the first world war, only partially regained in the second. The Russians had lost or ceded 330,000 square miles in the first war, and regained 250,000 square miles in the second, a net loss of 80,000 square miles, which roughly covered the territory ceded to Finland and Poland.
Strong, Anna Louise. The Stalin Era. New York: Mainstream, 1956, p. 111
SU REVIVES AFTER WWII BY INTEGRATING EASTERN EUROPE NOT EXPLOITING IT
Let me illustrate by an anecdote. Ten years ago, I met a Czech in Moscow; he had come to make an economic treaty with the USSR. I asked him what truth there was in the American claim that Moscow exploited the East European lands. He replied: “when we deal with the Chiefs of Soviet industry, they bargain for their prices and we bargain for ours. They are tough bargainers. But if they press too hard then Gottwald takes it up with Stalin for a ‘political settlement,’ and says the terms will ruin us…. Then Stalin gives us help.”
Strong, Anna Louise. The Stalin Era. New York: Mainstream, 1956, p. 127
Patrascanu accepted the armistice in the name of the King, and under the circumstances the terms seemed surprisingly moderate. Rumania had to pay an indemnity of $300 million, no more than that imposed on Finland. She lost no territory and earned a chance, by joining in an alliance with Russia, of getting back her prewar control of Transylvania, which Hitler had handed over to Hungary’s Admiral Horthy. Patrascanu seemed to think he had made a fair bargain.
Snow, Edgar. The Pattern of Soviet Power, New York: Random House, 1945, p. 41
To speed up reconstruction and to raise the standard of living he had to draw on the economic resources of other nations.
In theory he could do that in three different ways. He might have asked the western allies, especially United States, for assistance. In the heyday of the alliance there had been much talk of American loans to Russia and of Russo-American trade. But amid the tensions and conflicts that developed later, the vistas of economic co-operation faded. Stalin must, anyhow, have been reluctant to bring his country to that position of relative dependence in which any debtor inevitably finds itself vis-a-vis his creditor. His choice was practically limited to two methods, one essentially nationalist, the other revolutionary. The nationalist method consisted in the imposition of tribute on the vanquished nations, the dismantlement and transfer to Russia of their industries, the levying of reparations from their current output, and the direct use of their labor. The revolutionary method, promising to bear fruit more slowly but more permanently, consisted in the broadening of the base on which planned economy was to operate, in an economic link-up between Russia and the countries within her orbit. The gradual integration into the system of planned economy of several small and medium-sized countries, most of which had been industrially more developed than Russia before the ’30s, promised to quicken the tempo of Russia’s as well as of their own reconstruction. The first condition of that integration was that communism should be in power in the countries concerned.
We have seen that the two policies, the nationalist and the revolutionary, clashed on crucial points. Stalin did not, nevertheless, make a clear-cut choice between the two; he pursued both lines simultaneously; but whereas the nationalist one predominated during the war, the revolutionary one was to gain momentum after the war.
… He now replaced his socialism in one country by something that might be termed ‘socialism in one zone’.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 551-552
STALIN CONVENED THE 1952 PARTY CONGRESS
In 1952 Stalin called us together and suggested that we should convene a party Congress.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 276
KIM IL SUNG STARTED THE KOREAN WAR NOT STALIN
Nevertheless, Stalin decided to ask Mao Tse-tung’s opinion about Kim Il Sung’s suggestion. I must stress that the war wasn’t Stalin’s idea, but Kim Il Sung’s. Kim was the initiator.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 368
I’m telling the truth now for the sake of history: it was the initiative [to start the Korean War] of Comrade Kim Il Sung, and he was supported by Stalin and many others–in fact, by everybody.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 144
It was not Stalin’s initiative, but he supported Kim Il Sung. Although I blame Stalin for all the crimes he committed, on this I am with him. If I had had to make a decision, I would also have given my consent to Kim. This was a question of the internal affairs of Korea. It was only natural that the people of Korea were fighting then, and are still fighting, to become a unified, socialist Korea.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 145
Throughout 1949 the Soviet Union delivered weapons and other military equipment to North Korea at an intense pace, each consignment personally approved by Stalin. The North probed the South to test the strength of its defenses. They crossed the border and conducted ‘reconnaissance in force’. Following one such sortie, Shtykov [the Soviet Ambassador to North Korea] received a threatening telegram from Stalin, dated October 27, 1949: ‘You were forbidden to advise the government of North Korea to undertake active operations against the South Koreans without permission of the Center… You failed to report the preparation of major offensive actions by two police brigades and in practice you allowed our military advisers to take part in these actions…. We require an explanation.
Volkogonov, Dmitrii. Autopsy for an Empire. New York: Free Press, c1998, p. 153
A key document is a special report from Shtykov to Stalin dated January 19, 1950:
“On the evening of January 17… Kim Il-sung declared that when he had been in Moscow, Comrade Stalin had told him he should not invade South Korea; if the army of Syngman Rhee were to invade the North, then it would be right to make a counter offensive against the South. But since up to this time Syngman Rhee has not started an offensive, it means that the liberation of the people of the southern part of the country continues to be delayed.
Volkogonov, Dmitrii. Autopsy for an Empire. New York: Free Press, c1998, p. 154
The Korean communist leader Kim Il-Sung went to Moscow in March 1949 and requested a large increase in assistance so that he might attack the South. Stalin refused, advising the Korean comrades to get on with their preparations but to fight only if invaded.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 553
TITO PUSHED THE HUNGARIAN INVASION
We reported to Tito on why we had come and confronted him with our decision to send troops into Budapest. We asked for his reaction. I expected even more strenuous objections from Tito than the ones we had encountered during our discussions with the Polish comrades. But we were pleasantly surprised. Tito said we were absolutely right and that we should send our soldiers into action as quickly as possible. He said we had an obligation to help Hungary crush the counterrevolution. He assured us that he completely understood the necessity of taking these measures. We had been ready for resistance, but instead we received his wholehearted support. I would even say he went further than we did in urging a speedy and decisive resolution of the problem.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 421
KHRUSHCHOV AND STALIN WRESTLE WITH THE EAST GERMAN PROBLEM
Meanwhile, Walter Ulbricht and our other comrades in the GDR were facing serious troubles directly stemming from the ambiguous status of West Berlin. Berlin was an open city, which posed two problems: First, there was the problem of people crossing from East Berlin into West Berlin. The GDR had to cope with an enemy who was economically very powerful and therefore very appealing to the GDR’s own citizens. West Germany was all the more enticing to East Germans because they all spoke the same language. An East German with adequate professional qualifications had no difficulty finding a job if he moved to West Germany. The resulting drain of workers was creating a simply disastrous situation in the GDR, which was already suffering from a shortage of manual labor, not to mention specialized labor. If things had continued like this much longer, I don’t know what would have happened. I spent a great deal of time trying to think of a way out. How could we introduce incentives in the GDR to counteract the force behind the exodus of East German youths to West Germany? Here was an important question–the question of incentives. How could we create conditions in the GDR which would enable the state to regulate the steady attrition of its working force?
The second problem was the problem of the West Berliners’ easy access to East Berlin. Residents of West Berlin could cross freely into East Berlin, where they took advantage of all sorts of communal services like barbershops and so on. Because prices were much lower in East Berlin, West Berliners were also buying up all sorts of products which were in wide demand–products like meat, animal oil, and other food items, and the GDR was losing millions of marks.
Of course, even if we had a peace treaty, it wouldn’t have solved these problems because Berlin’s status as a free city would have been stipulated in the treaty and the gates would have remained open….
The GDR’s economic problems were considerably relieved by the establishment of border control between East and West Berlin. Comrade Ulbricht himself told me that the economy of the GDR immediately began to improve after the establishment of border control. The demand for food products in East Berlin went down because West Berliners were no longer able to shop there. This meant that the limited supply of consumer products was available exclusively to the citizens of East Berlin….
Of of course there were some difficulties. The East Berliners who had jobs in West Berlin were suddenly out of work. But there was never any problem of unemployment. On the contrary, most of the people affected were construction workers, who were very much needed in East Germany. They were all given jobs suitable to their qualifications….
If the GDR had fully tapped the moral and material potential which will someday be harnessed by the dictatorship of the working-class, there could be unrestricted passage back and forth between East and West Berlin. Unfortunately, the GDR–and not only the GDR–has yet to reach a level of moral and material development where competition with the West is possible. The reason is simply that West Germany possesses more material potential and therefore has more material goods than the GDR…. If we had at our disposal more material potential and had more ability to supply our material needs, there’s no question but that our people would be content with what they would have and they would no longer try to cross over to the West in such numbers that the drain has become a major threat to a state like the GDR.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 454-456
When the two German republics were being formed, West Berlin became a stumbling block and destroyed relations among former allies as well as between the East and the West. The West began to step up subversive efforts inside the GDR, using West Berlin as a base. This was fairly easy for the West to do because Germans were used against Germans. The usual problems of language, of a strange culture, and of outward appearance of agents did not exist as the West looked for agents to send into the East. Besides, there used to be unrestricted travel and communication between the two sides. The borders were open borders. Of course, this meant that the German Democratic Republic also had the opportunity to send agents against the Federal Republic of Germany, but the Western countries took the most advantage of the situation.
Therefore, the issue of how to combat Western influence arose. The best and most logical way to fight it was to try to win the minds of the people by using culture and politics to create better living conditions. That way people would really have the opportunity to exercise free choice.
However, given the conditions that developed in the two German states, there was no real freedom of choice to speak of. That is because West Germany was richer, with more industrial potential, more natural resources, and more production capacity. It was hard for East Germany to compete.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 163
Moreover, West Germany was supported by the United States’ industrial and financial might. The GDR was fighting not only against the opportunities that existed within West Germany, but also against the added material incentives of the United States.
The West’s goal was to turn West Berlin into what is called a mirror of Western life, a showcase for the capitalist world, in order to attract the people of East Berlin into resisting the steps toward socialism being taken in the GDR. These tactics might have seemed perfectly acceptable: let each person make up his or her own mind. There was no contradiction in this. It was a war for people’s minds, not an armed conflict. In fact, we Communists also wage a war for people’s minds all over the world when we demonstrate the advantages of the socialist system of production and when we talk about how socialism is a more democratic system that gives more opportunity to the people. Socialism makes better use of the resources accumulated by the people and provides better distribution of riches among the people.
Yet if you looked at the situation that way, the picture was not quite right. The GDR’s natural resources and its production capabilities were significantly less than those of West Germany. West Germany had the support of the United States, a rich country that you could say had robbed the entire world and grown fat off the first and second world wars. Thanks to more than one war, the United States had expanded its production capabilities. The Soviet Union, by contrast, had suffered more than any other country in the war and had a greater need than any other for the basic necessities: food, clothing, and housing. The Soviet Union’s cities and towns, its technology, its machine-building factories and steel mills, and its housing had all been destroyed.
The Soviet Union never had a chance to compete fairly, to pit its material resources against those of the West. While the Soviet Union bled during World War II, the United States prospered and developed its power.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 164
For this reason, after the war the Americans had accumulated enormous military resources, including clothing and rations. When they reduced the size of their own armed forces they threw their surpluses to West Berlin and West Germany. In this way the competition was uneven from the very start.
The historical role of Marxist-Leninist teachings and the opportunities these teachings afford the working people of all countries are understood only by the most forward-looking segment of society, the most advanced portion of the working-class and intelligentsia. Unfortunately, at a certain stage, ideological issues are decided by the stomach, that is, by seeing who can provide the most for the people’s daily needs. Therefore, the attraction of one or the other system is literally decided by the shop windows, by the price of goods, and by wages. In these areas, of course, we had no chance of competing with the West, especially in West Berlin, where capitalism gave handouts to sharply contrast the material wealth of West Berlin with the living conditions in East Berlin.
Also, dividing a single people, making them live under different sociopolitical conditions, created enormous difficulties. West Germany had the chance to make itself more appealing, especially to professionals such as engineers, doctors, teachers, and highly skilled workers. This category of people was particularly attracted to move to the West. Naturally, workers tended to follow their employers.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 165
By 1961 an unstable situation had been created in the GDR. At the time, there was an economic boom in West Germany. West Germany needed workers badly and lured them from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Yugoslavia, and other countries. Numbers of the intelligentsia, students, and people with higher education, left the GDR because West Germany paid office workers more than they were paid in the GDR and other socialist countries. The question of whether this or that system is progressive ought to be decided in political terms. However, many people decide it in the pit of their stomach. They don’t consider tomorrow’s gains but only today’s income– and today West Germany industry pays you more.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 168
Walter Ulbricht even asked us to help by providing a labor force. This was a difficult issue to face. We didn’t want to give them unskilled workers. Why? Because we didn’t want our workers to clean their toilets. I had to tell Comrade Ulbricht: “Imagine how a Soviet worker would feel. He won the war and now he has to clean your toilets. It will not only be humiliating–it will produce an explosive reaction in our people. We cannot do this. Find a way out yourself.”
What could he do? He had to appeal for stronger discipline; but they still kept on running away because qualified workers could find better conditions in West Germany.
I spoke to Pervukhin, our ambassador in Germany, about the establishment of border control. He gave me a map of West Berlin…. I asked Pervukhin to share the idea with Ulbricht…. Ulbricht beamed with pleasure. “This is the solution! This will help. I am for this.”
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 169
Of greater interest to me personally were the opportunities I had of observing life in Berlin. In West Berlin a great deal of the rubble and ruins which I had seen in 1945 had been cleared way, and instead of half-demolished houses there were now open spaces with paved streets going through them, which still bore their former names on signposts, but new buildings were going up and the less damaged houses were being restored. Familiar shops and large stores had been reopened in temporary premises; there were many flourishing restaurants and bars; theaters had been rebuilt and were well attended. Street traffic was normal, and people were going briskly about their business. West Berlin was still very much alive.
East Berlin was a sad contrast. War damage had probably been no greater than in West Berlin, but the pace of restoration was infinitely slower. With the exception of one long street, the Stalin Allee, consisting of blocks of newly-built houses in the Soviet style, it looked as if the war had ended overnight. On every hand stood streets of ruined houses and shells of churches and large public buildings. At night the streets were badly lighted compared with the brilliantly illuminated streets of the West. Traffic was meager, and people moved about in a listless way…. It was a depressing picture, and immediately revealed the difference in living conditions between the two zones.
Birse, Arthur Herbert. Memoirs of an Interpreter. New York: Coward-McCann, 1967, p. 226
Nowhere was the conflict of the powers more intense than in Germany; and nowhere was it more sharply focused than in Berlin. There the contrast between American affluence and Russian destitution was brutally exposed for everyone to see. While the United States and Britain were already pumping economic aid into western Germany, Russia was still draining the resources of East Germany which she needed for her reconstruction. It was only too easy for anti-Russian propagandists to present this outcome of the war, and of long and complex preceding historic developments, as the test of the opposed socio-political systems; and to a claim that western capitalism brought prosperity and freedom while Russian Communism could live only by spoliation and slavery.
Of that condominium [the joint condominium over Germany] hardly a trace was now left: Stalin had refused the western powers any say in the conduct of East German affairs just as they had denied him any share in the control of western Germany…. In the spring of 1948 the issue was brought to a head. The western powers, anxious to hasten the economic rehabilitation of their parts of Germany, proposed to introduce a currency reform under which the old depreciated Mark was to be replaced by a new one. The reform put a seal upon Germany’s division; and it posed at once the question of Berlin’s currency. Russia could not allow the city to become financially incorporated into West Germany; nor could the western powers permit it to be financially absorbed by East Germany. If two different currencies were to circulate in Berlin, the result would be a chronic conflict, for while a growing volume of goods in the West was bound to assure the stability of the new Mark, the value of the eastern currency would be undermined by a continued scarcity of goods. To forestall this, Stalin ventured a desperate gamble. He ordered a blockade of those sectors of Berlin that were held by the Americans, the British, and the French. Soon all traffic heading for West Berlin, whether by land or by water, was brought to a standstill.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 588-589
STALIN ATTACKS MAO FOR RELYING ON PEASANTS ONLY AND NON-MARXISM
Stalin was always fairly critical of Mao Tse-tung. He had a name for Mao, and it describes him accurately from a purely Marxist point of view. Stalin used to say that Mao was a “margarine Marxist”.
When Mao’s victorious revolutionary army was approaching Shanghai, he halted their march and refused to capture the city. Stalin asked Mao, “Why didn’t you take Shanghai?”
“There’s a population of 6 million there,” answered Mao. “If we take the city, then we’ll have to feed all those people, and where do we find food to do it?”
Now, I ask you, is that a Marxist talking?
Mao Tse-tung has always relied on the peasants and not on the working-class. That’s why he didn’t take Shanghai. He didn’t want to take responsibility for the welfare of the workers. Stalin properly criticized Mao for this deviation from true Marxism. But the fact remains that Mao, relying on the peasants and ignoring the working-class, achieved victory. Not that his victory was some sort of miracle, but it was certainly a new twist to Marxist philosophy since it was achieved without the proletariat. In short, Mao Tse-tung is a petty-bourgeois whose interests are alien, and have been alien all along, to those of the working class.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 462
On 10 February 1948 Stalin said, “I also doubted that the Chinese could succeed, and advised them to come to a temporary agreement with Chiang Kai-shek. Officially, they agreed with us, but in practice, they continued mobilizing the Chinese people. And when they openly put forward the question: Will we go on with our fight? We have the support of our people. We said: Fine, what do you need? It turned out that the conditions there were very favorable. The Chinese proved to be right, and we were wrong.
Dimitrov, Georgi, The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949. Ed. Ivo Banac. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2003, p. 443
SU BUILT UP AUSTRIAN ECONOMY AFTER THE WAR
Like Germany, Austria was divided up between the United States, England, France, and the Soviet Union. And, like Berlin, Vienna was divided into zones.
We owned things in Austria. We had factories, and we were running them. We set up management systems and established an economic network among the factories. They probably belonged to German capitalists, but we confiscated them and assumed ownership.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 73
Austria was a first step for us, a demonstration that we could conduct negotiations and conduct them well…. Austria became a neutral country.
So we celebrated a great international victory. It was the European debut for a country bumpkin, and it did us a lot of good. The bumpkin had learned a thing or two. We could orient ourselves without directives from Stalin.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 80
STALIN WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR GOMULKA’S IMPRISONMENT
In connection with Gomulka’s imprisonment, I cannot agree that Stalin was responsible. I knew for a fact, I heard it from Stalin, that he did not order Gomulka’s arrest; on the contrary, he even voiced doubts about the arrest. He trusted Gomulka.
After Gomulka was restored to power, relations between our two countries improved. Anti-Soviet slander began to die out, and for this Gomulka needs to be recognized. He was in a very good position; you might say, he had suffered. He had been in prison several years and people said it was at Stalin’s request, although I categorically deny that in this case.
Schecter, Jerrold. Trans & Ed. Khrushchev Remembers: the Glasnost Tapes. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990, p. 116
MOLOTOV SAYS CHURCHILL WAS THE SMARTEST 100% IMPERIALIST
MOLOTOV: I knew them all, the capitalists, but Churchill was the strongest, the smartest among them. Of course he was a 100 percent imperialist.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 45
To my mind, Churchill, as an imperialist, was the cleverest among them.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 47
“…And Churchill? Churchill is the kind who, if you don’t watch him, will slip a kopeck out of your pocket. Yes, a kopeck out of your pocket! By God, a kopeck out of your pocket! And Roosevelt? Roosevelt is not like that. He dips in his hand only for bigger coins. But Churchill? Churchill–even for kopeks.”
He underscored several times that we ought to beware of the Intelligence Service and of English duplicity, especially with regard to Tito’s life. “They were the ones who killed General Sikorski in a plane and then neatly shot down the plane–no proof, no witnesses.”
Djilas, Milovan. Conversations with Stalin. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962, p. 73
Churchill was an imperialist to the core.
Goebbels was the first one to use the “iron curtain.” It was often used by Churchill, that’s for sure.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 59
The overriding truth is that Churchill is an imperialist to the core of his being–which indeed Churchill was, unabashedly so–and could never understand how important it is for me, Roosevelt, to respect Stalin’s wishes and views wherever possible because of the need of the U.S. and the USSR to co-operate in the postwar world to wipe out imperialism, colonialism, and other forces antagonistic to democracy.
Nisbet, Robert A. Roosevelt and Stalin. Washington, D.C. : Regnery Gateway, c1988, p. 67
MOLOTOV JUSTIFIES DECLINING MARSHALL PLAN AID
There was much turmoil. But if Western writers believe we were wrong to refuse the Marshall Plan, we must have done the right thing. Absolutely. We can prove it now as easily as two times two is four. At first we decided in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to propose to all the socialist countries that they participate; but we quickly realized that was wrong. The imperialists were drawing us into their company, but as subordinates. We would have been absolutely dependent on them….
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 62
MOLOTOV AND STALIN SUPPORT THE CREATION OF ISRAEL
MIKHAILOVICH: One point is not clear to me…. In the formation of the state of Israel, the Americans were opposed.
MOLOTOV: Everyone objected but us–me and Stalin. Some asked me why we favored it. We are supporters of international freedom. Why should we be opposed if, strictly speaking, that meant pursuing a hostile nationalist policy? In our time, it’s true, the Bolsheviks were and remained anti-Zionist. We were even against the Bund, though it was considered to be a socialist organization. Yet it’s one thing to be anti-Zionist and antibourgeois, and quite another to be against the Jewish people…. Otherwise we favored a separate Israeli state. But we remained anti-Zionist.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 65
Israel has turned out badly. But Lord Almighty! That’s American imperialism for you.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 66
This seems mainly to have been due in part at least to his current maneuvers to use Israel, whose statehood he had been the first to recognize, against the West.
Conquest, Robert. Stalin: Breaker of Nations. New York, New York: Viking, 1991, p. 291
I have met Israelis who received military training in the Soviet Union, certainly with Stalin’s approval. But Stalin later abandoned the Jewish policy advocated by my father [Beria], which he had supported at the outset.
Beria, Sergo. Beria, My Father: Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001, p. 208
The Jewish Committee continued [after the death of Mikhoels], and Stalin would be the first to recognize Israel.
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 574
As Israel defended itself against an invasion by five Arab armies, Stalin authorized arms supplies through Czechoslovakia, an infusion of substantial support that proved essential to Israel’s success in the war.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 40
MOLOTOV SAYS MAO WAS NEVER A MARXIST AND HAD IMPRACTICAL IDEAS
I talked with Mao and then suggested to Stalin that he receive him. He was a clever man, a peasant leader, a kind of Chinese Pugachev. He was far from a Marxist, of course–he confessed to me that he had never read Marx’s Das Kapital….
When I was in Mongolia talking with the Chinese ambassador–he was nice to me–I said, “You want to create a metals industry quickly, but the measures you have planned–backyard blast furnaces–are improbable and won’t work.” I criticized the Chinese, and our people reproved me later. But it was such obvious stupidity!… Backyard blast furnaces to produce worthless metals–nonsense.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 81
CHOU EN-LAI WAS PRACTICAL AND CLEVER BUT NO THEORIST
I had to deal with Chou En-lai. He was a courteous, well-read man, a practical worker rather than a theorist. But very clever.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 82
MOLOTOV SPOKE AGAINST TITO BUT NO ONE SUPPORTED HIM
In 1953-54 I spoke out [against reconciliation with Tito’s] Yugoslavia at the Politburo. No one supported me, neither Malenkov nor even Kaganovich, though he was a Stalinist! Khrushchev was not alone. There were hundreds and thousands like him, otherwise on his own he would not have gotten very far. He simply pandered to the state of mind of the people. But where did that lead? Even now there are lots of Khrushchev’s….
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 83
MOLOTOV SAYS TITO IS A PETTY-BOURGEOIS OPPOSED TO SOCIALISM
Tito is not an imperialist, he is a petty bourgeois, an opponent of socialism.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 84
STANDARD OF LIVING IS HIGHER IN SOCIALIST EASTERN EUROPE THAN THE SU
MOLOTOV: I agree with you (Golovanov) that the standard of living in the socialist countries (of Eastern Europe) is higher than ours, but by 1 1/2 times, not twice ours…. I believe the standard of living is higher in the socialist countries; they consume more meat, have more footwear per capita. As to how much, I assume one and half times more. But I also believe this serves our interests. Take another example. Our Baltic peoples live at a higher level than Muscovites. We need this. It is a policy that is in keeping with the interests of Moscow.
Central Asia has rapidly industrialized in the period of Soviet power and the standard of living of its people raised to approximate Southern European levels. This contrasts sharply with the acute differential between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the colonial character of whose relationship with the U.S. is manifested in a much lower standard of living.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 295
STALIN GETS SERIOUS ABOUT BUILDING AN ATOMIC BOMB
Stalin was fascinated by the potential of the bomb. In late October 1942, he had suggested that the plan for our offensive to surround the Germans at Stalingrad be called Uranium.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 203
On July 20th, 1945, 10 days after the information on the imminent explosion of the American nuclear bomb was reported to Stalin, he made up his mind to set up the Special State Committee on Problem No. 1, making it a more powerful, Politburo committee. On August 20th, 1945, two weeks after the Americans dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, we once again reorganized our atomic project. Beria was appointed chairman of the new Special State Committee.
[Footnote] By upgrading it to the status of a Politburo committee, under the aegis of the Communist party, Stalin stressed the urgency of its task and increased its power to complete the bomb.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 202
Meetings were usually in Beria’s study; heated discussions erupted from time to time. I remember Pervukhin, deputy prime minister, indignantly reprimanding and attacking Voznesensky, a member of the Politburo and his superior, for his reluctance to consider allocations of supplies of nonferrous metals for the needs of chemical processing plants that were engaged in the project. I had always assumed that members of the bureaucratic structures were subordinated to each other in accordance with their status. A member of the Politburo was always beyond criticism, at least by a person in a lower rank. It was not so in the special committee, where Politburo members and key ministers behaved almost as equals. It also startled me that Pervukhin was Beria’s deputy in this committee, in which Voznesensky & Malenkov, members of the Politburo and far outranking Pervukhin, were ordinary members.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 204
For me, Kurchatov remains a genius, the Russian Oppenheimer, but not a scientific giant like Bohr or Fermi. He was certainly helped by the intelligence we supplied, and his efforts would have been for naught without Beria’s talent in mobilizing the nation’s resources.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 211
STALIN’S ATOMIC DIPLOMACY
Just as Fuchs enabled us to determine that the United States was not ready for nuclear war against the Soviet Union, Penkovsky told the United States that Khrushchev was not prepared for nuclear war against the United States.
Stalin pursued a tough policy of confrontation against the United States when the Cold War started; he knew he did not have to be afraid of the American nuclear threat, at least until the end of the 1940s. Only by 1955 did we estimate the stockpile of American and British nuclear weapons to be sufficient to destroy the Soviet Union.
That information helped to assure a communist victory in China’s civil war in 1947-1948. We were aware that President Truman was seriously considering the use of nuclear weapons to prevent a Chinese communist victory. Then Stalin initiated the Berlin crisis, blockading the Western-controlled sectors of the city in 1948. Western press reports indicated that Truman and Attlee, the British Prime Minister, were prepared to use nuclear weapons to prevent Berlin’s fall to communism, but we knew that the Americans did not have enough nuclear weapons to deal with both Berlin and China. The American government overestimated our threat in Berlin and lost the opportunity to use the nuclear threat to support the Chinese nationalists.
Stalin provoked the Berlin crisis deliberately to divert attention from the crucial struggle for power in China. In 1951, when we were discussing plans for military operations against American bases, Molotov told me that our position in Berlin helped the Chinese communists. For Stalin, the Chinese communist victory supported his policy of confrontation with America. He was preoccupied with the idea of a Sino-Soviet axis against the Western world. Stalin’s view of Mao Tse-tung, of course, was that he was a junior partner. I remember that when Mao came to Moscow in 1950 Stalin treated him with respect, but as a junior partner.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 210
HISS WAS NOT A PAID OR CONTROLLED SOVIET AGENT
One of the officials we had established confidential relations with was Alger Hiss, a member of the American delegation. I had the feeling that Hiss was acting under the instructions of Hopkins. In conversation, Hiss disclosed to Oumansky, and then Litvinov, official U.S. attitudes and plans; he was also very close to our sources who were cooperating with Soviet intelligence and to our active intelligence operators in the United States. Within this framework of exchange of confidential information were references to Hiss as the source who told us the Americans were prepared to make a deal in Europe.
On our list of psychological profiles, Hiss was identified as highly sympathetic to the interests of the Soviet Union and a strong supporter of postwar collaboration between American and Soviet institutions. However, there was no indication that he was a paid or controlled agent, which I would have known or would have been marked.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 227
TIMASHUK’S LETTER REGARDING THE DOCTOR’S PLOT
It is generally believed that the Doctors’ Plot began with a hysterical letter to Stalin accusing Jewish doctors of plans to murder the leadership by means of maltreatment and poisoning. The notorious letter of Lydia Timashuk, a doctor in the Kremlin PolyClinic, was written and sent to Stalin not in 1952, just prior to the arrest of the doctors, but in August 1948. To her letter, which charged that Academician Vinogradov was maltreating Zhdanov and others and caused Zhdanov’s death, Stalin’s reaction had been: “Absurd.” Her letter remained on file for three years without action and was only dug up at the end of 1951….
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 298
STALIN PROMOTES ZHUKOV
Zhukov continued to be commander of the military districts in Odessa and Siberia, and in 1952 Stalin made him a candidate member of the Central Committee.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 314
MOLOTOV’S WIFE WAS CAUGHT UP IN THE ANTI-ZIONISM EFFORT
What startled me most was that Zhemchuzhina, Molotov’s wife, had maintained clandestine contacts through Mikhoels and Jewish activists with her brother in the United States. A letter to her brother dated October 5th, 1946, before she was arrested, was purely Communist in outlook but otherwise nonpolitical…. In her testimony she had denied that she had attended a synagogue service in Moscow in March 1945 devoted to Jews who had died in the war. Four independent witnesses placed her there. The diplomatic corps was also represented. Surely Molotov encouraged her to go because it was useful to have American observers see his wife there after the Yalta conference, but as she was his wife, his instruction was oral, without record. Later, she did not want to implicate him so she denied that episode, but it was used against her and against him in the anti-Semitic campaign and in ousting him from power.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 343
In February 1949 the initiative for the arrest of Molotov’s wife came not from Stalin but from people who were competing for his succession.
Beria, Sergo. Beria, My Father: Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001, p. 169
EAST GERMAN RIOTS CAUSED BY DISAGREEMENT IN GOVT
Ulbricht, together with other GDR leaders, was called to Moscow in early June 1953, and we informed them of our policy, approved by the Presidium on June 12….
While I did not attend the meeting with the East German delegation–at which Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, Molotov, Semyonov, and General Grechko (commander of Soviet troops in Germany) were present–I later learned that Ulbricht strongly disagreed. Therefore, Beria, Malenkov, and Khrushchev decided to remove him.
The outburst of strikes and riots that occurred on June 17 may have resulted from the rebel leaders thinking that the government could not respond. Another theory is that Ulbricht provoked the uprising by refusing to meet the demand for increased pay for the striking workers. I believe both factors were involved.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 365
STALIN IS VERY UPSET WHEN GOES OUT AND SEES THE WAR’S DESTRUCTION
He [my father] went south in the summer of 1946 on his first vacation since 1937. He traveled by car…. The procession stopped in towns along the way…. My father wanted to see for himself how people were living. What he saw was havoc wrought by the war on every side.
The housekeeper Valechka, who accompanied my father on all his journeys, told me recently how upset he was when he saw that people were still living in dugouts and that everything was still in ruins. She also told me how some party leaders who later rose very high came to see him in the south and report on agricultural conditions in the Ukraine. They brought watermelons and other melons so huge you couldn’t put your arms around them. They brought fruits and vegetables and golden sheaves of grain, the point being to show off how rich the Ukraine was.
Alliluyeva, Svetlana. Twenty Letters to a Friend. New York: Harper & Row, 1967, p. 189
STALIN DID NOT BELIEVE THERE WAS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE FOR A DOCTOR’S PLOT
The “case of the Kremlin doctors” was underway that last winter. My father’s housekeeper told me not long ago that my father was exceedingly distressed at the turn events took. She heard it discussed at the dinner table. She was waiting on the table, as usual, when my father remarked that he didn’t believe the doctors were “dishonest” and that the only evidence against them, after all, was the “reports” of Dr. Timashuk. Everyone, as usual, remained silent.
Alliluyeva, Svetlana. Twenty Letters to a Friend. New York: Harper & Row, 1967, p. 207
The sensational episode of the “Doctors Case” is also put on Stalin’s shoulders. The theory is that Stalin wanted to get rid of the doctors and thus, get rid of Beria. This was not the truth at all. The newspaper “Russian Vestnik” printed my interview with the journalist Leontiev. When you read this interview, you can see by which methods the “comrades-in-arms” of Stalin tried to take over the government.
LEONTIEV: Rybin, please tell us, how the “Doctors episode” came on the scene. How come the KGB was involved in medicine?
RYBIN: In 1952, Stalin was not feeling well. To take medicines, Stalin did not like to indulge in this, and did not altogether believe in them, knowing full well that sometimes there are side effects on the organs of a person. The difficulty of doctors is that sometimes they do not make a proper diagnosis. There are many cases of a wrong diagnosis, since each person has a different organism that does not always behave the same when taking medicine….
LEONTIEV: Dr. Timashchuk, did she work with the KGB? Why did this doctor write a letter to you? How were the relations between doctors and the KGB?
RYBIN: Doctor-cardiologist Timashchuk did not work with the KGB, but she analyzed the situation in the Kremlin with the doctors correctly, how these doctors are treating the government personnel. Thereafter, she brought this material, in which the KGB got interested in her revelations. This was not a spy, not a complaint, but actual research into the prescriptions and diagnostic analysis of what the Kremlin doctors were doing…. What made this Soviet patriot, Dr. Timashchuk, suspect what was really going on?
In 1945, Shcherbakov died; in 1948, Zhdanov; in 1949 Dimitrov; in 1952 Choibalsan. Before, on personal command by Yagoda, Menzhinsky was “cured” and Gorky and his son were also “cured.” All this pointed to the problem that all was not well with the “Kremlin doctors.” I, during the 1930s, was working in the Secretariat of Ordjonikidze, who was also ailing with an irregular heartbeat. The head of the Secretariat, Semushkin, called in the doctors. Dr. Levin also “cured” Menzhinsky and Gorky. That Ordjonikidze shot himself –is only a legend.
LEONTIEV: But why did the KGB get involved with the doctors of medicine?
RYBIN: This was caused by an observation of Dr. Timashchuk, who was concerned about the health and life of our government leaders. Putting her on the pedestal was the work of our press in 1952. The high death rate of the leadership of our country was a signal that all was not well in the Kremlin with the doctors! This situation made the KGB very wary and concerned.
In August of 1952, a very important meeting on this problem was held, in which I took part. Some persons immediately demanded the arrest of the doctors, pointing to the facts already established as to the guilt of some diagnosticians and wrongly prescribed medicines… tied into the sudden death of Dimitrov. Others suggested that a loyal Commission be appointed to look into this question thoroughly… composed of impartial doctors and medical experts. Only then should this question be decided upon and steps taken to remedy the situation and sentence the guilty doctors. During this heated debate, the calm voice of the Government Security Organ, Vlasik, Major General, stated the following: “All the diagnostic machinery, apparatus used by the Kremlin doctors, should be analyzed, looked into by experts. We found out that the apparatus was in order.” Could Vlasik present such a statement, if Stalin was only interested in the wholesale arrest of all the Kremlin doctors? Of course not. But the diagnosis by some doctors was suspect.
Rybin, Aleksei. Next to Stalin: Notes of a Bodyguard. Toronto: Northstar Compass Journal, 1996, p. 87-89
LEONTIEV: Was there any reaction on the part of Stalin to this “Doctors Case”?
RYBIN: Colonel Tukov stated, “Once, Stalin in the car as we were riding, asked, ‘ ‘what must we do? They died one after another, Shcherbakov, Zhdanov, Dimitrov, Choibalsan, but before this, Menzhinsky…Gorky…. It is impossible that this should happen… that one after another, State leaders die so quickly! It looks like we must replace the old doctors in the Kremlin and get younger doctors to take their place.’
I replied, “Comrade Stalin, older doctors have more experience, practice, while younger ones are still green without practice.”
“No, we must replace them. There are too many things that are unexplainable, too many complaints from families. The NKVD demands the arrest of these doctors which ‘cured’ Dimitrov, Zhdanov, and others?”
Rybin, Aleksei. Next to Stalin: Notes of a Bodyguard. Toronto: Northstar Compass Journal, 1996, p. 91
According to Sudoplatov, who at that time headed one of the departments of the MGB, Stalin was extremely critical of the “Doctors’ plot” case as prepared by Ryumin, regarding it as primitive and unconvincing. Ryumin was removed on Stalin’s orders and transferred to reserve duty on 14 November 1952.
Medvedev, Roy & Zhores Medvedev. The Unknown Stalin. NY, NY: Overlook Press, 2004, p. 32
“I am not sure at what point she [Valya Istomina] was promoted to housekeeper. Nor do I know how much he could trust her and tell her, although she told me once that he said to her that he didn’t believe that the doctors plot was actually a plot, that the doctors had been set out, they were innocent.
Richardson, Rosamond. Stalin’s Shadow. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994, p. 247
STALIN FORESAW A RAPID RECOVERY OF GERMANY
Someone expressed doubt that the Germans would be able to recuperate within fifty years. But Stalin was of a different opinion. “No, they will recover, and very quickly. That is a highly developed industrial country with an extremely qualified and numerous working-class and technical intelligentsia. Give them 12 to 15 years and they’ll be on their feet again. And this is why the unity of the Slavs is important.”
Djilas, Milovan. Conversations with Stalin. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962, p. 114
SU DID NOT FORCE SOCIALISM ON EASTERN EUROPE BUT IT AROSE INTERNALLY
The common notion in the capitalist world that the countries of Eastern Europe had a kind of regimented socialization thrust upon them by Soviet bayonets is, of course, a myth, again based ultimately on the bourgeois view of the workers as robots. True, as the Soviet armies, in pursuit of the Nazi armies, moved through Eastern Europe, this very action involved the overthrow of the pro-Nazi governments, in, for example, Rumania and Bulgaria. Revolt would have come anyway, however, once the Nazi political power behind those governments crumbled. And it is true also that in some of these nations Soviet representatives later helped–as they should have–to develop socioeconomic bases for socialist construction. The real power and initiative, however, had to come from, and did come from, the peoples of those countries themselves. Furthermore, in two of these nations, Albania and Yugoslavia, the Soviet armies were not directly involved. The revolutions there arose almost entirely from internal actions. In Yugoslavia, for instance, a partisan army of 80,000 was mustered to fight the German invasion; by the end of the war this army and grown to 800,000 and was holding down more German divisions than the combined U.S.-British forces in Italy. Furthermore, Yugoslavia before the war had had a strong Communist Party, with a bloc of deputies in the national parliament. And Czechoslovakia had had powerful Socialist and Communist Parties from the 1920s on.
In short, in many of these countries there had been a considerable socialist-oriented political movement, which, although suppressed by the Nazis, managed to survive and form a core when the Nazi and native reactionary forces were defeated. For instance, in Bulgaria, one of the most economically backward of these countries–a poor, partly feudal nation in contrast to capitalist Czechoslovakia–the Communist Party in 1932 elected 19 of 35 members to the city council of Sofia. When the Nazi dictatorship was overthrown, following the war, an election was held by “direct, secret, and universal suffrage” (according to the Statesman’s Yearbook for 1955), in which the anti-fascist Fatherland Front of Communist, Socialist, and peasant parties won 364 seats to the opposition’s 101. Clearly this movement grew mainly out of the situation within Bulgaria. We might note, too, that in Czechoslovakia in 1946, the Communist Party won 38 percent of the vote in a national election.
Cameron, Kenneth Neill. Stalin, Man of Contradiction. Toronto: NC Press, c1987, p. 99
Nor did Stalin yet give any clear impression that he would sponsor revolution in the countries of the Russian zone. Communist propagandists there spoke a nationalist and even clerical language. King Michael of Romania was left on his throne; and he was even awarded one of the highest Russian military orders for his part in the coup in consequence of which Rumania had broken away from Germany. The Soviet generals and the local Communist leaders did honor to the Greek Orthodox clergy in the Balkan countries. In Poland they courted the Roman Catholic clergy. There was no talk yet of socialization of industry. Only long overdue land reforms were initiated.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 519
The old Bolshevism, in other words, believed in revolution from below, such as the upheaval of 1917 had been. The revolution which Stalin now carried into eastern and central Europe was primarily a revolution from above. It was decreed, inspired, and managed by the great power dominant in that area. Although the local Communist parties were its immediate agents and executors, the great party of the revolution, which remained in the background, was the Red Army. This is not to say that the working classes on the spot did not participate in the upheaval. Without their participation the venture would have been only a flash in the pan. No revolution can be carried out from above only, without the willing cooperation of important elements in the nation affected by it. What took place within the Russian orbit was, therefore, semi-conquest and semi-revolution. This makes the evaluation of this phenomenon so very difficult. Had it been nothing but conquest it would have been easy to denounce it as plain Russian imperialism. Had it been nothing but revolution, those at least who recognize the right of the nation to make its revolution–a right of which every nation has made use–would have had no scruples in acclaiming it. But it is the blending of conquest and revolution that makes the essence of ‘socialism in one’s zone’.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 554
SU AIDED RATHER THAN EXPLOITED EASTERN EUROPE AFTER WWII
As a result of dislocations from the war, particularly in those economies already at a low, partly feudal level, all possible assistance was needed to move the whole bloc of nations toward socialism. And this the USSR, although devastated by the war, provided as best it could, giving both economic aid and political assistance; within the bloc the better-off nations, such is Czechoslovakia, aided the weaker ones. In 1949 the whole bloc formed the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). That these efforts soon paid off is clear from the economic figures. For instance, Hungary, which had produced a yearly average of 600,000 tons of steel in the years 1936-38, produced 1,540,000 in 1953. It has, as we have noted, been contended that Stalin used these nations as virtual colonies to supply raw materials for the USSR. But although the USSR certainly needed all the help it could get, there is no evidence of a colonial-like exploitation. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that the USSR often gave material and professional aid that it could well have used itself. The relationship in essence was that of the proletarian alliance that Stalin had earlier described, a relationship between a socialist country and a group of countries trying to move toward socialism.
Cameron, Kenneth Neill. Stalin, Man of Contradiction. Toronto: NC Press, c1987, p. 100
In Poland and Hungary the Communist-inspired land reform fulfilled, perhaps imperfectly, a dream of many generations of peasants and intellectuals. All over eastern Europe the Communists, having nationalized the main industries, vigorously promoted plans for industrialization and full employment such as were beyond the material resources and the wit of native ‘private enterprise’, notoriously poor in capital, skill, and enterprise. With fresh zeal and ambition they took to hard educational work, trying to undo the age-old negligence of previous rulers. They did much to calm nationalist vendettas and to promote cooperation between their peoples. In a word they opened before eastern Europe broad vistas of common reform and advancement. It was as if Russia had imparted to her neighbors some of her own urge for trying out new ways and methods of communal work and social organization. It ought perhaps to be added that, considering the vastness and the radical character of the upheaval, it is remarkable that Stalin and his men brought it off not without terror, indeed, not without indulging in a long series of coups, but without provoking in a single country within the Russian orbit a real civil war, such as that waged in Greece.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 535
It is the Soviet Union that has supplied the heavy machinery, modern equipment, raw materials, that have permitted the so rapid industrialization of the People’s Democracies and the so rapid rise in the living standards of their peoples. It is the USSR that has sent them Soviet technicians, not to spy on them in the old Western tradition, not to take over their economies like the Nazi and American “experts,” but to help them to train their own advanced technicians in the most modern techniques perfected in the Socialist Soviet Union.
Soviet long-term credits have been used by the People’s Democracies to obtain from the Soviet Union metallurgical, chemical, machine-building materials. The USSR has sent them whole large-scale modern industrial installations–machine-tool factories, power plants, hydro-electric stations. With the help of Soviet equipment, the People’s Democracies are now able, themselves, to produce heavy and complex industrial goods previously imported, to manufacture many machines for the first time in their history, including the machines that will lay the basis for the development of socialist agriculture.
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 183
While the most rapid improvement in economic conditions, social welfare and cultural development has generally occurred in the Asiatic Republics of the USSR, the various European national minorities, especially those of the Baltic Republics and the Jews have achieved the highest level of economic development and social welfare in the entire USSR. The three Baltic Republics, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, are respectively the wealthiest of all Republics. In 1970, the average income in rubles per capita for the three republics was 1500–13 percent higher than in the Russian Republic….
During pre-1917 Czarist rule, and its independence period before 1940, Lithuania was a relatively backward, largely agricultural economy. Since it became part of the Soviet Union its rate of industrial output has been the most rapid of all the Republics, increasing 54 times between 1940 and 1978, compared to 20 times for the Soviet Union average and 17 times for Russia proper.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 72
Economically, in general, the European republics have fared very well under Soviet power. Six of them have had a more rapid rate of industrialization than has Russia proper, and two of them less rapid; three of them are more developed than the Russian Republic, and five somewhat less developed. In general, there is no evidence that the economic relationship between the non-Russian European Republics and the Russian Republic is either exploitative, or of a type in which industrial production is concentrated in Russia. All eight European national minority Republics appear to have derived considerable benefit from their association in the Soviet Union.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 74
STALIN AIDED ALBANIA WHILE KHRUSCHOV STABBED HOXHA IN THE BACK
In this situation, the Albanians, although relying mainly on their own efforts, at first received some help from Yugoslavia, but aid from the USSR became of major importance when difficulties developed with Yugoslavia. And it was forthcoming. In 1947 Albania entered into a trade agreement with the Soviet government. By 1951, 57% of Albania’s foreign trade, imports and exports, was with the USSR. Albania was able to import machinery, chemicals, textiles, and building materials while exporting the products of its mining and oil industries. Soviet assistance was given for the construction of industry in all areas, including oil. And trade agreements were also made through COMECON. Hoxha paid particular tribute to Stalin for this aid (1948): “We owe the extension of our light and heavy industry to the great aid of the Bolshevik Party, to Comrade Stalin and the Soviet state, who helps us unsparingly in this respect as in all other respects.” But with the death of Stalin in 1953 and the subsequent rise of Khrushchev, the situation began to change, and Hoxha wrote:
“However, in this field of our relations and contacts with the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, too, we very soon saw the first signs that things were no longer going as before. There was something wrong, there was no longer that former atmosphere, when we would go to Stalin and open our hearts to him without hesitation and he would listen and speak to us just as frankly from his heart, the heart of an internationalist communist. More and more each day, in his successors, instead of communists, we saw hucksters.”
Cameron, Kenneth Neill. Stalin, Man of Contradiction. Toronto: NC Press, c1987, p. 100
Certainly in the relations of the USSR with Albania or of Stalin with Hoxha, there is no hint of Soviet exploitation. In fact, just the contrary. The atmosphere in the interviews, as Hoxha indicates, was warm and friendly; Stalin’s interest in the Albanian people and their construction of socialism, sincere; and the trade and other economic agreements were of mutual benefit. There is no reason to believe that this was not generally true of Stalin’s relationships with the communist leaders of other nations, although, of course, there were exceptions…. What has happened is that Stalin’s differences with other leaders have been played up, often in a malicious gossip-column style, as by Djilas, and the basic comradeship pervading these relations has been obscured. That Stalin made mistakes is true, and indeed, inevitable. However, they were not his alone but of the leadership of the International, and there is no evidence that anyone else could’ve done better. In fact, when we consider Trotsky’s narrow leftism and Bukharin’s “thesis” that world capitalism had “stabilized” itself–on the brink of the Great Depression–it is clearly fortunate for the world proletariat that in these years the International had Stalin’s guiding hand behind it.
Cameron, Kenneth Neill. Stalin, Man of Contradiction. Toronto: NC Press, c1987, p. 102
STALIN CARRIED OUT SENSIBLE COLD WAR PREPAREDNESS
Our armed forces after the war weren’t weak–they were strong in spirit. But unless supported by good equipment and the latest armaments, their spirit would quickly evaporate. We had to assess the situation soberly.
Stalin drew the correct conclusion: he saw that the reactionary forces of the West were mobilizing against us, that they had already accumulated hundreds of atomic bombs, and that the prospect of a military conflict with the United States was all too possible and not at all encouraging for our side.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 62
Although the new western regions were not adequately prepared for defense, the first echelons of the forces of the western military districts were transferred to them and joined by other units still in the formative stages. Stalin ordered a strong fortified line to be built along the new border, just as there was along the old one.
Medvedev, Roy. Let History Judge. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989, p. 742
STALIN WANTED TO HEAL WITH THE POLES THE RUSSO-NAZI TREATY WOUND
Stalin was especially pleased that we had been able to help the Poles; he knew our assistance would make good marks for us with the Polish people. The treaty of 1939 had deeply wounded the Poles, and the wound was still fresh. Stalin wanted to do everything he could to heal that wound as soon as possible. Naturally, he didn’t say so to me outright, but I could sense what he was thinking.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 193
STALIN TELLS CHURCHILL HE WANTS ELECTIONS IN POLAND TO HEAL THE WOUNDS
Stalin wrote to Churchill that elections were the only way to solve the problem of what political course Poland would follow.
…The elections were a success for us and a failure for Churchill. The essence of his policy had been to promote Mikolajczyk to a position from which he could determine both the internal and foreign policies of the Polish state. When the results were in, however, Mikolajczyk’s party had been defeated. The Polish Workers’ Party and the parties allied with it received an absolute majority of the votes.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 194-196
ALBANIAN ECONOMIC POLICY WAS SUCCESS WITHIN STALIN’S LINES
The Editor [of this book, Jon Halliday] says, “Overall, Albanian economic policy has been a success, within rather rigid traditional Stalinist lines. Food self-sufficiency, in particular, has allowed the state considerable political leeway.”
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 13
VYSHINSKY TELLS HOXHA THAT TITOISM IS NOT SOCIALISM
“The object of this meeting,” said Vyshinsky in general outline, “is to exchange our experience and reveal our joint knowledge about the betrayal of the Yugoslav Titoites, about their undermining activity against our countries, parties and socialism, and to define the method of combating and unmasking their deviation which is dangerous for communism in general and for the Yugoslav Communist Party and socialism in Yugoslavia in particular.”
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 119
[Vyshinsky said to Hoxha,] “…Their activity is identical with the activities of the Trotskyites, Bukharinites and agents of world capital whom we have unmasked in our trials.”
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 120
“Stalin personally criticized Tito for this impermissible act which he wanted to commit against you,” said Vyshinsky.
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 122
HOXHA DESCRIBES THE CHANGES OF THE CHINESE LINE FROM ANTI TO PRO TO ANTI MARXIST
… This Mao’s theory of 100 flowers, widely proclaimed in May 1956 by Lu Dingyi, constituted the Chinese variant of the bourgeois-revisionist theory and practice about the “free circulation of ideas and people”, about the co-existence of a hotch-potch of ideologies, trends, schools and coteries within socialism. (It turned out later that Mao’s utterly revisionist decalogue “On the Ten Major Relationships” belongs precisely to this period of the “spring” of modern revisionism.)
Many a time later I have turned back to this period of history of the Communist Party of China, trying to figure out how and why the profoundly revisionist line of 1956 subsequently seemed to change direction, and for a time, became “pure”, “anti-revisionist” and “Marxist-Leninist”. It is a fact, for example, that in 1960 the Communist Party of China seemed to be strongly opposing the revisionist theses of Khrushchev… . It was precisely because China came out against modern revisionism in 1960 and seemed to be adhering to Marxist-Leninist positions that brought about that our Party stood shoulder to shoulder with it in the struggle which we had begun against the Khrushchevites.
However, time confirmed…that in no instance, either in 1956 or in the ’60s did the Communist Party of China proceed or act from the positions of Marxism-Leninism.
In 1956 it rushed to to take up the banner of revisionism, in order to elbow Khrushchev out and gain the role of the leader in the communist and workers’ movement for itself. But when Mao and his associates saw that they would not easily emerge triumphant over the patriarch of modern revisionism, Khrushchev, through the revisionist contest, they changed their tactic, pretended to reject their former flag, presented themselves as “pure Marxist-Leninists”, striving in this way to win those positions which they had been unable to win with their former tactic. When this second tactic turned out no good, either, they “discarded” their second, allegedly Marxist-Leninist, flag and came out in the arena as they had always been, opportunists, loyal champions of a line of conciliation and capitulation towards capital and reaction.
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 183
HOXHA DESCRIBES THE UNDERMINING OF HUNGARY
As was becoming apparent, Hungary had many weak points. There the party had been created, headed by Rakosi, around whom there were a number of veteran communists like Gero and Munnich, but also young ones who had just come to the fore, who found the table laid for them by the Red Army and Stalin. The “construction of socialism” in Hungary began, but the reforms were not radical. The proletariat was favored, but without seriously annoying the petty-bourgeoisie. The Hungarian party was allegedly a combination of the illegal communist party (Hungarian prisoners of war captured in the Soviet Union), old communists like Bela Kun and the social-democratic party. Hence this combination was a sickly graft, which never really established itself….
I have been closely acquainted with Rakosi and I liked him…. Rakosi was an honest man, an old communist and a leader in the Comintern. His aims were good, but his work was sabotaged from within and from without. As long as Stalin was alive everything seemed to be going well, but after his death the weaknesses in Hungary began to show up.
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 187
HOXHA TOLD SUSLOV THAT IMRE NAGY WAS A TRAITOR
“He [Imre Nagy] is a traitor,” I told Suslov, “and we think that you are making a great mistake when you hold out your hand to a traitor.”
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 192
HOXHA SAYS SUSLOV WAS A DEMAGOGUE
… Suslov was one of the greatest demagogues of the Soviet leadership.
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 199
HOXHA ARGUES WITH KHRUSCHOV ABOUT WHO IS A MARXIST
“You Albanians astound me,” he [Khrushchev] said, “You are stubborn.”
“No,” I said, “we are Marxists.”
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 208
HOXHA SAYS KOSYGIN IS A REVISIONIST MUMMY
We walked away from that revisionist mummy [Kosygin].
Hoxha, Enver. The Artful Albanian. London: Chatto & Windus, 1986, p. 233
TIMASHUK SAYS SHE SAID ZHDANOV’S HEART WAS BAD BUT THE DOCTORS IGNORED HER
[Letter from Dr. Timashuk to the Presidium of the 23rd Communist Party Congress, March 31, 1966, asking to have her name cleared of any responsibility for the “Doctors’ Plot”]
Zhdanov died on August 30, 1948. The results of the postmortem examination, performed…by the pathologist Fedorov, confirmed the diagnosis of myocardial infarction that I had put forward while the patient was alive, but which the professors had rejected.
Koenker and Bachman, Eds. Revelations from the Russian Archives. Washington: Library of Congress, 1997, p. 128
Perhaps nothing could have saved Zhdanov’s life, but the intent of this August 31 meeting in Moscow appears to have been to achieve a unanimous medical opinion to deflect Timashuk’s criticism, rather than to deal with the concrete facts of his illness.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 36
Zhdanov ‘s doctors never exhibited the sense of urgency while he lived that they showed now on his death.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 63
Stalin charged that Vlasik did not verify the Timashuk letter in order to protect Yegorov. Yegorov and Vlasik were drinking buddies, as Maslennikov noted in his testimony, and their friendship may well have gone beyond this.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 163
In early 1949 she [Timashuk] wrote once more to Kuznetsov. Again she received no reply. The implication was obvious: Kuznetsov took no interest in saving Zhdanov’s life.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 208
STALIN TRIES TO GET ALONG WITH THE WEST AFTER WWII
At Dumbarton Oaks the Soviet government had demanded that the republics of the Soviet Union should be founding members [of the United Nations], each with a vote. Britain and the United States had questioned this demand as excessive. Now in Yalta, Molotov announced that the Soviet government would be content if three of the republics–namely, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, and Lithuania–or at any rate two became founding members. On these and several other major issues Stalin showed his readiness to compromise.
Grey, Ian. Stalin, Man of History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979, p. 413
POLISH UNDERGROUND FOUGHT THE SU BUT ITS LEADERS WERE TREATED LENIENTLY
In January 1945 the Armija Krajowa [Polish underground] was converted into an underground army on the orders of the Polish government in London. General Okulicki headed this Polish underground which waged guerrilla war against Russians in Poland. The London government and the church in Poland worked to intensify anti-Russian feeling. In the early postwar months the Polish underground assassinated more than 100 Red Army officers and men. Indeed Alexander Werth, who was one of a large group of Western press correspondents who visited Poland at this time, witnessed a special anti-Russian demonstration, staged for their benefit by the underground, in which two unfortunate Russian soldiers were shot outside their hotel. In March, Okulicki and 15 other underground leaders were arrested and taken to Moscow. An outcry was aroused in the West.
On his arrival in Moscow Hopkins interceded with Stalin on behalf of the Polish underground leaders. In June 1945 they were tried in Moscow for assassinating Red Army personnel and were given lenient sentences.
Grey, Ian. Stalin, Man of History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979, p. 428
TITO WAS THE HERO OF THE SUBVERSIVES AND RIGHTISTS
Nevertheless, there have established themselves in every corner of the Soviet Empire groups of “bourgeois nationalists,” “revolutionary democrats,” “Bukharinists” and “true Communists,” who have gone to earth; the most vital of these in terms of resistance are the “bourgeois nationalists” and nationalist Communists, whom in a general way we might call Titoists…. But the example of Marshall Tito has been a powerful psychological stimulus. If anybody since the annihilation of the Bukharinist opposition has earned the highest order for anti-Stalinist achievement, it must be the leadership of the Yugoslav Communist Party, and it is to Marshall Tito that any wind which in the Soviet Communist Party may blow up from the Right owes its inspiration.
Tokaev, Grigori. Betrayal of an Ideal. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1955, p. 210
STALIN TELLS THOREZ TO HIDE THEIR WEAPONS RATHER THAN SURRENDER THEM
Soon after the liberation of France, the leader of the French Communist Party, Maurice Thorez, came to Moscow and asked Stalin when they met:
“De Gaulle is demanding that the resistance fighters hand in their weapons to the authorities. What shall we do?”
“Hide your weapons!” was the response of the leader of the peoples. “It may happen we will need your help.”
Berezhkov, Valentin. At Stalin’s Side. Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Pub. Group, c1994, p. 310
STALIN SAYS HE DOES NOT KNOW WHY THE WIVES OF PARTY LEADERS ARE IN PRISON
And so, although Molotov still remained a Politburo member, his wife, whom he, of course, loved, found herself in the Lubyanka prison. As far as is known, Molotov had the guts to ask Stalin why Paulina had been arrested. Stalin answered tongue in cheek:
“I haven’t the slightest idea, Vyacheslav. They have put all my relatives in prison, too.”
It was true. Almost all the relatives of Stalin’s first wife, Svanidze, and his second spouse, Alliluyeva, were either in prison are had been shot. Molotov had nothing to answer to the quip of his all-powerful boss. All the more so since the wives of our president, Kalinin, and Stalin’s main assistant, Poskryobyshev, were also in prison.
Berezhkov, Valentin. At Stalin’s Side. Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Pub. Group, c1994, p. 340
SOVIET ALLIES WANT A BIGGER PIECE OF EASTERN EUROPE AFTER WWII
The fact that the President and Prime Minister were keen to discuss Eastern Europe at length, while saying nothing about Western Europe, gave Stalin justified grounds for concern. When he raised the issue of the Fascist regime in Spain, he was met by incomprehension. The Western Allies expressed concern over the position in Bulgaria and Romania, but saw nothing wrong in giving help to one side in the Greek civil war that had flared up. At times Stalin felt he was talking not to allies but long-standing rivals who wanted a bigger piece of the pie they had all had a hand in baking. And he was not mistaken.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 501
STALIN CALLS OFF ATTACKING NORTHERN JAPAN IN 1945
On the eve of the Soviet campaign against Japan, Stalin ordered Vasilievsky, commander of Soviet forces in the Far East, not only to liberate the southern half of the island of Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, but also to occupy half the island of Hokkaido to the north of a line between the towns of Kusiro and Rumoi, deploying two infantry divisions, one fighter and one bomber wing. When Soviet forces had reached the southern half of Sakhalin, on August 23, 1945 Stalin ordered the demarcation of the 87th Infantry Corps for a landing on Hokkaido. This order had not yet been carried out when, on the 25th, southern Sakhalin was already liberated. Stalin paused: what would he gain by a landing? It would probably spoil his already deteriorating relations with the Allies. He canceled the order for the landing on Hokkaido. The Far East chief of headquarters staff, General Ivanov, passed on his instructions: ‘In order to avoid conflict and misunderstanding with our Allies, the launching of any ships or aircraft in the direction of Hokkaido is strictly forbidden.’
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 502
COST TO THE SU OF WWII
Voznesensky, who was a candidate member of the Politburo, had a deeper awareness than any full member of that body of the enormity of the task [assessing the war damage and what recovery would entail]. Stalin had long had ambivalent feelings about him, recognizing that he was undoubtedly the ablest of the entourage, but finding his independence and his tendency to utter brusque judgments unacceptable. Nevertheless, at the February 1947 plenum of the Central Committee he surprised everyone by making Voznesensky a full member of the Politburo.
Voznesensky’s summary, and a first report compiled by the Extraordinary State Commission on the damage caused by the Nazis, enumerated 1710 towns and townships destroyed, 70,000 villages and hamlets burned to the ground –albeit many of them by Soviet hands–32,000 factories blown up or rendered unusable, 65,000 kilometers of railway track destroyed, around 100,000 collective and state farms laid waste, along with thousands of machine and tractor stations, 25 million people were homeless and were now sheltering in dugouts, barns or cellars. The direct cost of the invasion was assessed at about 700 billion rubles, at pre-war prices. In effect, the country had lost 30 percent of its national wealth. The people’s standard of living was the lowest imaginable.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 504
STALIN LOWERS CONSUMER PRICES IN 1949 WHICH HELPED THE ELDERLY GREATLY
During his anniversary year , on the other hand, Stalin introduced a measure that is still popular with elderly citizens who can recall it. He reduced prices on a range of consumer goods: 10 percent off bread, flour, butter, meat and meat products and wool, 28% off vodka, 20 percent off toiletries and bicycles, 25 percent off television sets and 30 percent off clocks and watches. Prices in restaurants, tea-rooms and other public eating places were to be reduced correspondingly.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 517
POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE SU AFTER WWII WAS PRETTY GOOD AND STABLE
[After the war] the country had quickly licked its wounds. The internal situation appeared to be secure. No one was making oppositional speeches. The national solidarity around the political leadership, embodied in Stalin, was real. International relations seemed stable. The party’s ideological influence was undivided.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 523
BOTH SIDES WANTED TO TAKE OVER ALL OF KOREA
After elections in South Korea on May 10, 1948, legislative and executive bodies were created, and on Aug. 25 of the same year elections took place in North Korea. Two states came into being, thus artificially dividing the Korean nation in two. Soviet troops withdrew from the North to be followed by the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the South. Each side believed that in each case the government was supported by a majority of the population. Unfortunately, it seems clear that the conflict arose because each side wanted to extend its authority over the entire peninsula.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 540
STALIN AGREED TO A KOREAN COMPROMISE TO END THE WAR
Stalin acknowledged that the only way out of the stalemate was by some form of compromise. Agreement was reached, however, only in July 1953, six months after his death.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 541
SU AND THE US BOTH GOT 3 VOTES IN THE UNITED NATIONS
Heads of governments, ministers, ambassadors had haggled for months over the Ukrainian and Byelorussians votes, as if the future of the peace had really hung on them. At Yalta, Stalin obtained what he wanted. But even from his own viewpoint he gained nothing except perhaps the satisfaction of a capricious ambition, because, as a quid pro quo he agreed that the United States should also have three votes in United Nations a right of which the United States was not to avail itself.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 527
Stalin at Yalta capitulated to American designs for the United Nations, reducing his claim from 16 seats to 3 and stating repeatedly that he would support any claim put forth by Washington for parity. The Soviet leader appeared to accept the American formula for use of the veto power in the Security Council.
Rose, Lisle Abbott. After Yalta. New York: Scribner, 1973, p. 24
STALIN SEES NO POSSIBILITY OF SOCIALIZING GERMANY AFTER THE WAR
Had he [Stalin] reckoned on the chance of a Communist revolution in Germany he would have seen no need for the punitive peace he advocated.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 538
When, at last, they hoisted the red flag over the ruins of the Reichstag, this was to symbolize the triumph of revolutionary Russia over Germany, not the triumph of revolution in Germany.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 539
MANY SOVIET LEADERS OBJECTED TO PRESERVING CAPITALISM IN LANDS THEY FREED
The editorial silence of the Moscow Press about the civil war in Greece and the extraordinary moderation of the French and Italian Communists may have puzzled many a Bolshevik; but these were still relatively remote affairs. What was going on nearer home, in the Russian-occupied countries, was much more vital. To the occupying troops, at least to many politically minded officers and men, and to active members of the party and the Komsomol at home, it must have been an intolerable thought that the capitalist order should survive in the lands that the Red Army alone had freed–and at what prodigious cost!–from the Nazis. Should they, the people who had, in spite of all recent traditionalism, been bred on and for socialism, now become the guardians of capitalism there?–they asked themselves. Of that same capitalism which had ushered Europe into the Nazi era and which, if allowed to recover, would again lead Europe to nothing better, because nazism and fascism had not been just accidental aberrations of European history, but had expressed the very nature of capitalist society in extremis. That they, the victors, should now preserve an order from which they had experienced nothing but hostility, and could expect nothing but hostility, was not only unnatural to them–it would have been the most miserable anti-climax to their great ‘war of liberation’.
Stalin could not ignore such moods. At first he apparently wished to meet them half-way only. He sponsored the idea of the ‘peoples democracy’. The order to be established in the countries neighboring with Russia was to have been neither capitalist nor socialist, it was to stand between the two. In the light of later events it has often been assumed that the slogan was but dust thrown in the eyes of the bourgeoisie, and that Stalin had from the outset aimed at sovietization. Yet the concept of a people’s democracy, as distinct from the Soviet system and the proletarian dictatorship, was for a time taken very seriously by the leaders of the Communist parties; and it was earnestly discussed by leading Russian political theorists. Stalin himself, it will be remembered, had been brought up on the notion of a system that was to have been neither fully capitalist nor socialist. This had been the idea behind the formula of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, to which he had stuck until 1917, and which he had put forward again in 1925-27, in the debate over the Chinese revolution. Towards the end of the war and some time later that idea was apparently back in his mind.
From his viewpoint, the main justification for the intermediate system, with which he was experimenting, was the chance that this would help to preserve the condominium of the ‘Big Three’. This hope was to be dashed. The ‘people’s democracy’ had too much of the revolutionary flavor and it bore its maker’s stamp all two distinctly to win the approval of the western powers. It generated all the tension and friction with Stalin wanted to prevent. This suggested to him that the western powers were out to reinstall the old anti-Russian parties and groupings on Russia’s borders and eventually to squeeze Russia out of Europe. That this should be their intention appeared equally plausible to the Russian traditionalist and to the Bolshevik. Exactly so had the western powers after the Napoleonic wars been eager to deny Russia the position of influence she had just gained….
That the controversies between Russia and her allies widened and grew bitter, Stalin inclined more and more to give up his experiments with the intermediate regimes and to reduce the ‘people’s democracy’ to a mere facade for the Communist monopoly of power.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 542-543
ALLIED POWERS COULD NOT AGREE ON WHAT SYSTEM WAS TO PREVAIL IN GERMANY
The longer they were to stay on, performing the functions of a German government, which in the absence of any German government they had to do, the more would each occupying power be inclined to mould in its own image the economic and political life of its part of Germany. It was as unnatural for the officers of the Soviet military administration to administer a capitalist economy in eastern Germany as it was for their counterparts of the American military government to reorganize western Germany on Socialist lines. Thus, the prolonged presence of the allied armies in Germany tended to split the country economically and politically as well as militarily.
… The conclusion which Stalin must have drawn from the behavior of the allies was that they had reconciled themselves to a position in which they were to have no influence on matters concerning eastern Germany. That Russia was to have no influence on western Germany became evident when the western powers categorically rejected the proposals, repeatedly made by Stalin and Molotov, for Russia’s participation in control over the economy of the Ruhr.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 545
SU MADE RAPID INDUSTRIAL ADVANCEMENTS AFTER WWII
On February 9, 1946, in an ‘electoral’ speech, he [Stalin] proclaimed the first post-war Five-Year Plan and outlined the major purposes of ‘three or more Five-Year Plans’….
To many, this ambitious program seemed unreal. The workers to whom Stalin was appealing were hungry–urban consumption had shrunk to about 40 percent of what it had been in the very lean year of 1940. In the coal-mines of the Donetz Basin men were still pumping water out of the shafts; every ton of coal brought up to the pithead had to be cherished. The steel mills, rattling with wear and tear, turned out only 12 million tons of ingot, a fraction of the American output. Engineering plants were worked by adolescent semi-skilled labor. People were dressed in rags; many were barefoot. It seemed almost a mockery to urge them to ‘catch up’ with United States. Yet the USSR was to attain the major industrial targets Stalin had set; and it was to do so ahead of time. The coal-mines yielded 500 million tons a year after 12 years only. The output of oil was stepped up to 60 million tons after nine years. And the steel industry produced its 60 million tons at the end of the 1950s. Within the same period the production of cement, and industrial construction, expanded more than four times; the industrial use of electricity per worker increased three-times; and the output of machines and machine tools was raised seven or eight times. THE GREATER AND THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THIS ADVANCE WAS MADE IN THE LAST YEARS OF THE STALIN ERA.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 573
At most, reparations, in whatever form they were taken, can hardly have done more than help to offset the looting and destruction to which Russia had been subjected by the Germans and their allies during the war. The postwar reconstruction, like the evacuation of factories and workers and the remarkable increases in productivity during the war, was above all due to the efforts of the Soviet people themselves.
The huge country was still so disorganized in 1945 and 1946 that, despite the fall in arms production, overall industrial production also fell, and the food situation was so bad that there was famine in the Ukraine and other areas. But after 1946 the targets of the fourth Five-Year Plan were exceeded in all the main industries except textiles, footwear–and, of course, agriculture. The Ukraine, which had suffered more heavily than any other part from the destruction of its industries, was able to report by 1950 that its flooded mines were restored and the great Dnieper dam rebuilt, while its output of coal, electricity, and the products of its metallurgical and engineering industries had risen above the levels of 1940, the last full year of peace. Since the productive capacity of the Urals and Siberia had not been interrupted and continued to grow, this meant that the overall figures were well above those for 1940.
This result had been achieved by a concentration of investment (88 percent) in heavy industry and the production of capital goods. Consumer goods, housing, and food (the second in particular) remained in short supply. Between 1947 and 1952 there was a surprising and very welcome improvement in real wages for workers (peasants always excepted)–43 percent over the figure for 1940–but still too little to spend them on, a poor distribution system, and waiting lines a familiar feature of Soviet life.
Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Knopf, 1992, p. 948-949
POST WWII AGRICULTURAL SITUATION WAS TERRIBLE & MORE WIDESPREAD THAN 1921 FAMINE
Simultaneously, the foundations of Russia’s nuclear industry were laid. This undertaking claimed a large part of Russia’s reduced resources. The capital invested in all branches of industry between 1946 and 1950 was as large as all the investments made in the 13 years of the pre-war investment drive, from 1928 up to the moment of the nazi invasion. As always, Stalin was bent on developing heavy industry and armament plants; he set extremely modest targets for consumer industries; and even these were not attained. And it was once again on a most shaky agricultural foundation that the huge construction rested. During the war, after the enemy had seized the nations richest granaries, farm output in the rest of the country fell to less than half of normal. The first post-war harvest yielded in the whole country not more than 60 percent of pre-war crops. The reserves were exhausted; many cattle had been slaughtered; machines and tractors were in poor repair; and there were not enough of them; and even the stocks of seed had been either depleted or completely eaten up. Nor was there enough labor available to bring under the plough fields that had lain fallow for years.
Such was the situation when, in 1946, a terrible drought hit the country. This was, as an official announcement put it, the worst disaster agriculture had suffered for over half a century, since 1891. It was far more widespread than the droughts and storms of 1921 that had destroyed all crops in the Volga lands and had brought to 36 million peasants a famine that led to outbreaks of cannibalism. People listened to this announcement with a shudder, for the calamity of 1891–an event which hastened the decline of Tsardom–had haunted popular memory ever since. The crisis of 1946 revealed and aggravated the rickety condition of the entire agricultural structure. The collective farms were in a state of semi-dissolution. The peasants cared more for the tiny plots they still owned privately than for the fields they owned in common;…
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 574
Worst of all was the condition of agriculture. In the last four years of Stalin’s rule the average grain harvest amounted to only 80 million tons–it was 95 millions in 1940 and 86 millions in 1913. The cattle stock was also less than in 1913. And so, although the government confiscated or bought at less than nominal prices nearly half the grain crops, the feeding of the urban population was exposed to terrible hazards. The city dwellers consumed less than half a pound of meat and a quarter pound of fat per week. The farms lacked manpower, tractors, machinery, transport, and fertilizers.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 602
WEST SEEKS TO REDUCE SOVIET GAINS IN EASTERN EUROPE AFTER WWII
It was an open secret that American influence had been active and decisive in bringing about the exclusion of the Communists [from the French and Italian governments]. Presently, General Marshall, the American foreign secretary, launched his Plan, offering American economic assistance to all governments whose countries were struggling with the poverty and chaos bequeathed by war. The Plan appealed greatly even to Communists in eastern Europe. Stalin himself must have hesitated for a moment; and before the end of June he dispatched Molotov and a large number of experts to Paris to ascertain what benefit, if any, the Plan might hold out to Russia. It turned out that to obtain aid the Soviet Union was required, in the first instance, to draw up a balance sheet of its economic resources; and, according to the Soviet experts, the Americans attached to the aid conditions that would hamper the USSR in its economic planning, and the governments of eastern Europe in nationalizing their industries. Moreover, the Americans were now determined to rehabilitate the economy of western Germany and disregard Russian, Polish, and Czechoslovak claims to German reparations.
Stalin could not but reject these terms. He could not agree to submit to the West a balance sheet of Soviet economic resources, in which he would have had to reveal Russia ‘s appalling exhaustion and the frightful gap in her manpower that he was concealing even from his own people. And he was not only bent on disguising Russia’s weakness; he was afraid of American economic penetration into eastern Europe and even into Russia which might have given an impetus to all anti-Communist forces there and promoted counter-revolution. He decided to close eastern Europe to western penetration.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 582-583
SU HAD TO KEEP LARGE MILITARY AFTER WWII TO DETER US NUCLEAR THREAT
Meanwhile, the United States had demobilized; its people had clamored for a return of the troops from Europe; and its generals and diplomats had relied on their nuclear monopoly to assure them lasting superiority vis-a-vis Russia . The assumption that Russia , unable to break that monopoly in the near future, would have to yield to American pressure also underlay the Truman Doctrine. Stalin countered by his determination to break the American monopoly at any cost and as soon as possible. But before he could achieve this, he had reduced his armed forces from 11 1/2 million men to less than three million. From the beginning of 1948 he began to increase the size of this military establishment until he had in the early 1950s, more than 5 1/2 million men under arms. That this mobilization was a tremendous drain on the Soviet economy and its manpower is obvious. But Soviet superiority in conventional arms was the only answer Stalin could give to American nuclear supremacy. He staved off any possible threat of a nuclear attack on Russia by an implied counter-threat of a Soviet invasion of western Europe, an invasion the powers of the North Atlantic Alliance would not be in a position to stop. Thus the bogy the West had invoked to justify the Truman Doctrine–the Red hordes threatening Europe –assumed some reality; but it did so only in consequence of the proclamation of the Truman Doctrine. Stalin had no intention of moving his armies beyond the agreed demarcation line in Europe . But he established a relative equilibrium of power, or, to use a term that became fashionable later, a balance of deterrents. At this early stage the balance was attained between two different elements of military force, nuclear weapons on the one hand and conventional ones on the other.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 584
STALIN REACTS TO EJECTION OF MARXISTS FROM WESTERN GOV’TS BY DOING THE SAME
Behind his military shield Stalin accelerated the revolution in eastern Europe. If America ‘s economic power enabled Washington to exercise an indirect and discrete political control over its western European allies, Russia could prevail in eastern Europe only by means of direct political control and naked force. The impression which the offer of Marshall Aid had made even in eastern Europe showed how favorable the ground there was for American penetration. The remnants of the Polish, Hungarian, and East German bourgeoisie and large parts of the individualistic peasantry were praying for the nuclear annihilation of Russia and Communism. The working classes were starving. Counter-revolution could still rally considerable strength. True, in Yugoslavia , Czechoslovakia , and Bulgaria Communism was still overwhelmingly popular; but in the rest of eastern Europe it was weak or, at least, unable to hold its ground by its own strength. Stalin now resolved to establish it irrevocably; and so, while the Communists were being ejected from the governments of Italy and France , he saw to it that the anti-Communists should be squeezed out of the governments of eastern Europe and–suppressed. He installed the single-party system all over the Soviet sphere of influence.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 585
CONSUMERS AND CONSUMER INDUSTRY WERE IN BAD SHAPE AFTER WWII
The basic sectors of the Soviet economy, having reached their pre-war level of output in 1948-49, rose 50 percent above it in Stalin’s last years. The modernization and urbanization of the Soviet Union was accelerated. In the early ’50s alone its urban population grew by about 25 million. Secondary schools and universities were giving instruction to twice as many pupils as before 1940. Out of the wreckage of the world war the foundations had been relaid for Russia ‘s renewed industrial and military ascendancy, which was presently to startle the world.
Yet the miseries of Russian life remained almost as shocking as they had been during the primitive accumulation of the 1930s and were even more unbearable. The mass of the people were living on cabbage and potatoes; were dressed in rags; and were housed in wretched hovels. While the most advanced machine-tool plants of the USSR were as efficient as those of the USA , it’s grossly under-developed consumer industries were at least half a century behind. The Soviet citizen consumed less than one-third, perhaps even less than 1/4, of the goods the American enjoyed. With the continuous swelling of the urban population, the housing situation was desperate. It was quite common in capital cities for several families to share a single room and kitchen.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 601
STALIN GAVE IN TO THE ALLIES BUT KNEW WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE
Stalin, playing from terrible weakness, decided to bluff his way out by a show of calm, self-assurance, and power. He had already withdrawn, under Anglo-American pressure, from northern Persia which his troops had occupied on the basis of a war-time agreement with Britain . He had failed to obtain a naval base in the Turkish Straits, the prize that Russia ‘s western Allies had always promised her in war and denied her in peace. It now looked as if those Allies were seeking to reduce or to eliminate Russian influence from the Balkans and eastern Europe as well….
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 581
Stalin had repeatedly halted at the very brink of armed conflict with his ex-allies. He had stopped at the Turkish Straits; he had stopped in Persia ; he had stopped before attacking Tito with armed force; he had stopped before turning the blockade of Berlin into ultimate disaster. It was not so clear how far he was prepared to go in the conflict engendered by the Korean War. ‘Does he still know where to stop?’ the men around him now wondered.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York : Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 624
ROSA KAGANOVICH IS A FRAUD
Koba has a new passion: the sister…. Perhaps she will tone down his anti-semitism…. Kaganovich is said to be shocked by the affair. His sister is very fond of power….
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich. Notes for a Journal. New York: Morrow, 1955, p. 159
It means that the “outflanking” moves against Alliluyeva continue, and that the odds are on Rosa Kaganovich….
Alliluyeva came to see me. She told me Mossina had been banished to the Urals and reproached me for not having vouched for her. I suggested that she should have approached the Party’s district committee, or Melnikov at the city committee. She replied that she had a long talk with Koba and asked him to intervene. Koba said in reply, “Comrade Litvinov, her immediate superior, has refused to vouch for her. In these circumstances I cannot interfere…” She left crying. I had never seen her in such a state. She said that if anything happened to Mossina she wouldn’t survive it. She had told this to Molotov…. The motive behind Molotov’s intrigue is quite clear. Rosa Kaganovich is said to have been very friendly with him in 1929 at Piatigorsk in the Caucasus, where they were both on a cure…. If she has an affair with Koba too we shall have adopted that Austrian aboriginal custom described in an ethnological study which I once read in London.
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich. Notes for a Journal. New York: Morrow, 1955, p. 169
And Rosa Kaganovich has become Georgian…. She is learning the Georgian language….
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich. Notes for a Journal. New York: Morrow, 1955, p. 280
From Rosa Kaganovich-Stalin, his third wife, I [Hutton] obtained further confirmation of her husband’s character,…
Fishman and Hutton. The Private Life of Josif Stalin. London: W. H. Allen, 1962, p. 12
As a teenager, Svetlana became even more like her dead mother and she was adored by everyone. She showed great affection for her step-mother Rosa (both Svetlana and Vasili called her “Mamochka”–Mummy),…
Fishman and Hutton. The Private Life of Josif Stalin. London: W. H. Allen, 1962, p. 80
This vitally and personally concerned Stalin, because he had married Rosa Kaganovich, sister of his protege, Lazar, and was, therefore, a member of the Kaganovich family.
Some four and a half years earlier, Molotov had brought Stalin and Rosa together, and soon after the death of his second wife Alliluyeva, he had married Rosa.
Fishman and Hutton. The Private Life of Josif Stalin. London: W. H. Allen, 1962, p. 114
… According to various rumors published under glasnost, Stalin and his wife had quarreled bitterly the evening before her death at a reception given by Voroshilov. Stalin either had killed her or drove her to suicide by his rudeness. These rumors date back to 1932, and there is no way of corroborating them. The same is true with regard to Stalin’s alleged liaisons (for example, with Rosa Kaganovich); they seem to belong to the realm of fantasy.
Laqueur, Walter. Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations. New York: Scribner’s, c1990, p. 152
His [Kaganovich] sister is–or was–an intimate of Stalin’s, not an unimportant point.
Gunther, John. Inside Europe. New York, London: Harper & Brothers, c1940, p. 541
Rumors had other candidates as his lovers in the late 1930s; it was even said that he secretly married again. The person said to have been his wife was named as Rosa Kaganovich. This allegation was peddled by the German Nazi media. Supposedly Rosa was Kaganovich’s beautiful sister. It was a pack of lives. Kaganovich had only one sister, Rakhil, who died in the mid-1920s.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 436
“There was a rumor that he remarried, to Rosa Kaganovich. But he couldn’t; twice his marriages had ended in tragedy, and that was enough. He would not try again.”
Richardson, Rosamond. Stalin’s Shadow. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994, p. 133
Statement of the Kaganovich Family: The fall of the USSR has revealed that a number of ‘authoritative’ works on the Soviet Union published in the West are in actual fact forgeries. In 1987 the United States publisher, Morrow, published a book by one Stuart Kahan under the title ‘Wolf of the Kremlin: First Biography of L.M. Kaganovich, the Soviet Union’s Architect of Fear”.
The following are our particular observations and disproofs to the whole set of materials displayed in the book.
The author claims that LMK supposedly placed his sister by Stalin’s side as a home doctor and at the same time, according to the author’s expression, as the “dictator’s wife”, and with her assistance to several Politburo members the step-by-step poisoning of Stalin was carried out. All this is a wicked calumny.
The absurdity and falsity of this version is proved by the fact that LMK’s only sister, by mistake named in the book as Rosa (her name was Rachel), died in 1926 and was buried in Kiev at the Baykov Cemetery. She was married, and she brought up five children. She had never been a doctor, she never went either to Arzamas, or to Nizhny Novgorod or Moscow, so she could not have taken part in the actions so zealously ascribed to her by the author (pp. 238-245). It goes without saying that the dialogue described in the book (pp. 219-223) which supposedly LMK had with his already late sister is fictitious.
THUS SPAKE KAGANOVICH by Feliks Chuyev, 1992
STALIN SAYS MAO UNDERSTANDS MARXISM WELL
[In 1950] All the members of the Instantsia were present…. Stalin took the floor and declared that Mao had a profound understanding of Marxism.
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich. Notes for a Journal. New York: Morrow, 1955, p. 313
STALIN ADHERES TO THE POST WWII AGREEMENTS BUT HIS SUPPORTERS OBJECT
Churchill and Truman adhered religiously to the Yalta Agreement, as did Stalin, but Molotov, Bulganin, Khrushchev, and the rest of their followers were determined to end Stalin’s “appeasement of the Anglo-American Imperialists.”
The ambitious Molotov supported by Bulganin, Khrushchev and others, tried to force on Stalin a more aggressive attitude, but Stalin managed to convince his lieutenants the time was not ripe for risking conflict with the Western Powers.
Fishman and Hutton. The Private Life of Josif Stalin. London: W. H. Allen, 1962, p. 158
STALIN WAS LESS HARD TOWARD THE WEST AFTER WWII THAN HIS SUPPORTERS
Despite a show of truculence Stalin was determined to avoid war. He called a meeting [in 1948] of all his closest associates, to try to retrieve the situation [the Berlin blockade]. He had never whole-heartedly agreed with Molotov’s foreign get-tough policy, but he had not intervened too strongly in the Molotov-Bulganin moves, because he was not against the Allies’ feeling the Soviet’s strength. But, he had from time to time and unknown to the Allies intervened, and one of his personal directives had been that the air-corridor was never to be closed and that Allied aircraft were not to be pursued.
Fishman and Hutton. The Private Life of Josif Stalin. London: W. H. Allen, 1962, p. 171
PRAVDA ARTICLE CONTENDS THE DOCTOR’S PLOT IS REAL
As published by Pravda on Jan. 13, 1953…. The full text of the story follows:
“Some time ago agencies of State Security discovered a terrorist group of doctors who made it their aim to cut short the lives of active public figures of the Soviet Union through sabotage medical treatment.
Documentary evidence, investigations, the conclusions of medical experts, and the confessions of the arrested have established that the criminals who were secret enemies of the people, sabotaged the treatment of patients and undermined their health.
Investigation established that the participants in the terrorist group, taking advantage of their positions as doctors and abusing the trust of patients, by deliberate evil intent undermined patients’ health, deliberately ignoring the data of objective examination of the patients, made incorrect diagnoses which did not correspond to the true nature of their illnesses, and then doomed them by wrong treatment.
“The criminals confessed that, taking advantage of Comrade Zhdanov’s ailment, incorrectly diagnosing his illness and concealing an infarct of his myocardium, they prescribed a regimen contraindicated for this serious ailment and thereby killed Comrade Zhdanov. Investigation established that the criminals likewise cut short the life of Comrade Shcherbakov by incorrectly employing strong drugs in his treatment, prescribing a regimen which was mortal to him and thus brought him to his death.
The criminal doctors sought above all to undermine the health of leading Soviet military personnel, to put them out of action and to weaken the defense of the country. They sought to put out of action Marshal Vasilevsky, Marshal Govorov, Marshal Konev, General of the Army Shtemenko, Admiral Levchenko and others, but arrests disrupted their evil plans, and the criminals did not succeed in attaining their aim.
It has been established that all these murderer-doctors…were enrolled by foreign intelligence services as hired agents.
[On Jan. 13, 1953 Pravda stated], Most of the participants in the terrorist group (Vovsi, Kogan, Feldman, Grinshtein, Etinger, and others) were connected with the international Jewish bourgeois nationalist organization “Joint,” established by American Intelligence for the alleged purpose of providing material aid to Jews in other countries. In actual fact this organization, under the direction of American Intelligence conducts extensive espionage, terrorist, and other subversive work in many countries, including the Soviet Union. The arrested Vovsi told investigators that he had received orders “to wipe out the leading cadres of the USSR”–received them from the USA through the “Joint” organizations, via a Moscow doctor, Shimeliovich, and the well-known Jewish bourgeois nationalist Mikhoels.
Other participants in the terrorist group (Vinogradov, Kogan, Yegorov) proved to be old agents of British Intelligence.
Deriabin, Peter. Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. Washington [D.C.]: Brassey’s, c1998, p. 102-104
“In this way, and it was then already clear to me [Vovsi] that the name ‘Jewish Antifascist Committee’ was only a smokescreen under which Jewish nationalists realized their anti-Soviet, nationalistic goals; and this fact that the Committee directed to the US various kinds of information about the Soviet Union directly shows that he [Mikhoels] essentially served the interests of Zionist circles in the US.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 271
STALIN ORDERED SECRET POLICE ARRESTED WHO WITHHELD INFO ON ZHDANOV’S DEATH
With one exception, Soviet media have yet to disclose that seven of Abakumov’s deputy ministers went to jail with him in August 1951, that the head of his personal bodyguard detail and dozens of Sled-Chast’ [the MBG unit to investigate especially important cases] officers were arrested later, or that the arrests resulted from Stalin’s discovery of information being withheld from him on allegations about the cause of Zhdanov’s death. It was Stalin who ordered the arrests, and it was Stalin who set free the single deputy minister whose arrest has been made public under glasnost. The deputy minister was Pitovranov, but glasnost has not revealed the actual reason for Pitranov’s release:…
Deriabin, Peter. Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. Washington [D.C.]: Brassey’s, c1998, p. 176
TITO CAN THANK THE RED ARMY FOR THE LIBERATION OF YUGOSLAVIA
For what could be more distorted than a picture of the liberation of Yugoslavia from Axis occupation and of building socialism in Yugoslavia apart from and “independent” of the USSR?
Could the Yugoslav national-liberation movement ever have taken the form that it did and reached the proportions it did, if the main Nazi forces had not been contained and then driven back and defeated by the Red Army?
Could the Yugoslav Partisan forces that were scoring such successes in the hills and forests ever have driven out the Nazis from the main cities without the Red Army? Would Belgrade and other great Yugoslav cities have been freed without the Red Army?
The Soviet troops of the Second and Third Ukrainian Fronts crossed the rivers Drava and Tisza in the latter half of 1944, liberated Serbia and the Vojvodina and on October 20, 1944, fighting alongside the First and Twelfth Corps of the Yugoslav People’s Liberation Army, liberated Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital.
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 28
Was it not the Soviet Union that sent in without delay, and despite the devastation of its own territories, food and economic aid of all kinds in the most critical period in 1944-45, when the West was still trying to extort from Yugoslavia political concessions in return for food for its starving population?
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 29
CONTRARY TO TITO’S CLAIMS THE SU DID NOT EXPLOIT EASTERN EUROPE AFTER WWII
The Titoites proclaim that the “satellite Cominform states of Eastern Europe” have allowed themselves to become the “victims of Soviet imperialism.” Yugoslavia, “heroically led by Tito, has escaped from the red net,” while the other countries of Eastern Europe “groan under the Soviet yoke.” “The Soviet Union,” proclaim the Titoites, “tried to stop the industrialization of Yugoslavia and of the satellite states.” Let us now turn the light of facts and figures on to the countries of People’s Democracy, which have remained in peace, friendship, and close economic relations with the USSR and with each other. We know what the Titoites claim, let us now seek the truth.
The People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe– Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, Albania–existed in the two decades between the wars as semi-colonies of the Western capitalist states. They were deprived of heavy industry. They exported mainly foodstuffs and industrial raw materials. Their economies were unbalanced, lop-sided, developed according to the needs of Western capitalism and not to the needs of their own people. Foreign capital dominated their economies. The masses of their people–workers, peasants, professional people, those who did the useful work–lived in the most dire poverty in countries of great potential wealth, but whose resources were either untapped and undeveloped or developed in the interests of the rich of the Western capitalist world. Theirs, in those years between the wars, was the same hard fate as that of the peoples of Yugoslavia.
Western capitalism owned and controlled the material resources of these countries. In Poland, foreign capital (principally British, French and German), invested in the different branches of industry, made up from 50 to 85 percent of the total invested capital according to the industry. More than half the Industrial shares in Bulgaria were, before liberation in 1944, held by foreign capitalists. British, French, German, and American capital dominated the main industries of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Rumania. In Albania the whole financial and credit system was controlled by a few Italian, British and American monopolies. An enormous tribute was extracted every year from these lands. Between 1922-44 in Bulgaria, for instance, 20 percent of the total national income during that period, went to capitalists abroad.
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 176-177
Never has any anti-Soviet slander been more false than the Titoite–Wall Street cry that the Soviet Union tries to prevent the industrialization of the People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe! A study of the facts shows that exactly the reverse is true [under Stalin in the postwar period]. The Titoite tactic, like that of Goebbels, is to turn truth on its head!
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 181
CAPITALISTS WANTED TO REINSTALL THE SAME RIPOFF SYSTEM IN EAST EUROPE AFTER WWII
…industrialization remained impossible under Western imperialist domination. Non-Communist economists who honestly examine the post-war developments in Eastern Europe are bound to admit this:
“What Eastern Europe primarily needed was the Industrial Revolution, and without the shift in the European balance of power resulting from Soviet victory it would never have come. Western Europe, so far as it was interested in Eastern Europe at all, was interested in keeping it backward as a source of cheap food and cheap labor…. Had the Western powers been able to influence the course of events [after the Second World War], they would have put back into power the same kind of Governments which existed before, and whose failure led to fascism.” (Dr. Doreen Warriner, Lecturer at the London School of Slavonic Studies, in Revolution in Eastern Europe, 1950)
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 182
MAO DOES NOT THINK YOU CAN BE A LEFTIST IF YOU HAVE NEVER SUFFERED
Looking at his nephew, Mao added the harsh judgment: “You grew up eating honey, and thus far you have never known suffering. In the future, if you do not become a rightist, but rather a centrist, I shall be satisfied. You have never suffered, how can you be a leftist?”
Spence, Jonathan D. Mao Zedong. New York: Viking, 1999, p. 157
STALIN’S POST WWII DEMANDS WERE REASONABLE AND MODERATE
The president’s achievement was the more remarkable when one recalls that the most substantial victory which American diplomacy won at Yalta–save that of Soviet commitment to the United Nations Organization–had to be kept a secret. Stalin agreed to enter the war against Japan no later than three months after the defeat of Germany and for limited concessions. Roosevelt was aware of Stalin’s Asian demands as early as 1943 and was impressed with their modesty, for they simply involved the restoration of possessions and privileges taken by the Japanese from the Russians in the war of 1904-1905. At Yalta Stalin told Roosevelt that if Russian conditions for entry into the Pacific war “were not met it would be very difficult to explain to the Russian people why they must go to war against Japan.” So the bargain was struck. In return for the promised Soviet entry Roosevelt and Churchill (who was not a party to the Asian discussions) agreed that Russia should have restored to it southern Sakhalin, Dairen, and Port Arthur, plus joint operating rights with the Chinese of the two major Manchurian railroads. In addition “the Kurile islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union.”
Rose, Lisle Abbott. After Yalta. New York: Scribner, 1973, p. 24
Then came the problem of Peace. Hard as this was to Europe and America, it was far harder to Stalin and the Soviets. The conventional rulers of the world hated and feared them and would have been only too willing to see the utter failure of this attempt at socialism. At the same time the fear of Japan and Asia was also real. Diplomacy therefore took hold and Stalin was picked as the victim. He was called in conference with British Imperialism represented by its trained and well-fed aristocracy; and with the vast wealth and potential power of America represented by its most liberal leader in half a century.
Here Stalin showed his real greatness. He neither cringed nor strutted. He never presumed, he never surrendered. He gained the friendship of Roosevelt and the respect of Churchill. He asked neither adulation nor vengeance. He was reasonable and conciliatory. But on what he deemed essential, he was inflexible. He was willing to resurrect the League of Nations, which had insulted the Soviets. He was willing to fight Japan, even though Japan was then no menace to the Soviet Union, and might be death to the British Empire and to American trade. But on two points Stalin was adamant: Clemenceau’s “Cordon Sanitaire” must be returned to the Soviets, whence it had been stolen as a threat. The Balkans were not to be left helpless before Western exploitation for the benefit of land monopoly. The workers and peasants there must have their say.
Statement by W.E.B DuBois regarding COMRADE STALIN on March 16, 1953
DESPITE DEVESTATION THE SU EMERGED FROM WWII AS THE 2ND STRONGEST NATION
The destruction of the war years had been devastating, yet the Soviet economy stood up to the strains of the war and the Soviet Union emerged as a superpower, surpassed only by the United States in military and economic strength.
Medvedev, Roy. On Stalin and Stalinism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 142
ROOSEVELT SUPPORTS MOVING THE PRUSSIANS OUT OF EAST PRUSSIA
The President [Roosevelt] said he thought we should make some arrangements to move the Prussians out of East Prussia the same way the Greeks were moved out of Turkey after the last war; while this is a harsh procedure, it is the only way to maintain peace and that, in any circumstances, the Prussians cannot be trusted.
Sherwood, Robert E. Roosevelt and Hopkins. New York: Harper, 1948, p. 710
STALIN JUST WANTS A FRIENDLY POLISH GOVT THAT WILL NOT SERVE THE GERMANS
[In meetings between Stalin and Harry Hopkins at the end of May 1945 Stalin stated]: it may seem strange although it appeared to be recognized in United States circles and Churchill in his speeches also recognized it, that the Soviet government should wish for a friendly Poland. In the course of 25 years the Germans had twice invaded Russia via Poland. Neither the British nor American people had experienced such German invasions which were a horrible thing to endure and the results of which were not easily forgotten. He said these German invasions were not warfare but were like the incursions of the Huns. He said that Germany had been able to do this because Poland had been regarded as a part of the cordon sanitaire around the Soviet Union and that previous European policy had been that Polish Governments must be hostile to Russia. In these circumstances either Poland had been too weak to oppose Germany or had let the Germans come through. Thus Poland had served as a corridor for the German attacks on Russia. He said Poland’s weakness and hostility had been a great source of weakness to the Soviet Union and had permitted the Germans to do what they wished in the East and also in the West since the two were mixed together. It is therefore in Russia’s vital interest that Poland should be both strong and friendly. He said there was no intention on the part of the Soviet Union to interfere in Poland’s internal affairs, that Poland would live under the parliamentary system which is like Czechoslovakia, Belgium, and Holland and that any talk of an intention to Sovietize Poland was stupid. He said even the Polish leaders, some of whom were communists, were against the Soviet system since the Polish people did not desire collective farms or other aspects of the Soviet system. In this the Polish leaders were right since the Soviet system was not exportable –it must develop from within on the basis of a set of conditions which were not present in Poland. He said all the Soviet Union wanted was that Poland should not be in a position to open the gates to Germany and in order to prevent this Poland must be strong and democratic…. He said it was contrary to the Soviet policy to set up Soviet administrations on foreign soil since this would look like occupation and be resented by the local inhabitants.
Sherwood, Robert E. Roosevelt and Hopkins. New York: Harper, 1948, p. 899
STALIN ALLOWED MULTIPLE PARTIES IN EASTERN EUROPE CONTRARY TO CHURCHILL CLAIMS
Churchill wanted war [in 1946]. He denigrated Russia’s East European allies. What he said about the current regimes in Poland, Hungary, etc., was “not only slanderous but vulgarly tactless,” since those countries had exemplary democratic regimes–more so, in fact, than Great Britain. In England the Labor Party was in power, with other parties “deprived of the right of participation in government,” whereas in Poland, for example, Socialist, Peasant, and many other parties had joined in government coalitions with the Communists. “And that is called by Churchill totalitarianism, tyranny, the police state.” As before, Stalin was a great master of logic. To be sure, the Communists played a leading role in the People’s Democracies, but they deserved it.
Ulam, Adam. Stalin; The Man and his Era. New York: Viking Press, 1973, p. 639
Czechoslovakia was ruled by a coalition which, though headed by the Communist Party, left considerable scope for free political life. Elsewhere–except in Yugoslavia, where the local Communists on their own were eager to mold their country in the Soviet image–shreds of democratic freedoms persisted, and the more strenuous Soviet policies, such as forced collectivization, had been avoided.
Ulam, Adam. Stalin; The Man and his Era. New York: Viking Press, 1973, p. 659
…in Czechoslovakia a Soviet-controlled regime did not come into being until 1948. After three years of a more or less normal, Western-type parliamentary democracy.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 53
STALIN WAS A BETTER LINGUIST THAN MARR
To give the Devil his due [when it came to Stalin’s dispute with Marr as to whether language is part of the superstructure or, on the contrary, of basic social relations], most professional linguists would wholeheartedly agree with Stalin: Marr had written a lot of nonsense; his followers bullied and persecuted linguists who tried to point this out.
Ulam, Adam. Stalin; The Man and his Era. New York: Viking Press, 1973, p. 716
Nevertheless it must be admitted that Stalin’s contribution to the linguistics debate had on the whole a positive affect.
Medvedev, Roy & Zhores Medvedev. The Unknown Stalin. NY, NY: Overlook Press, 2004, p. 218
STALIN SAID HE WOULD LIKE VOZNESENSKY TO BE HIS SUCCESSOR
On several occasions Stalin emphatically and openly remarked that he considered Voznesensky to be his most appropriate successor as head of the government.
Medvedev, Roy & Zhores Medvedev. The Unknown Stalin. NY, NY: Overlook Press, 2004, p. 55
It was Malenkov who wanted the heads of Kuznetsov and Voznesensky, not because he saw in them the successors of Stalin but because he resented the support they enjoyed….
Voznesensky was not a target, originally, but as he supported the Leningraders he went down with them. Malenkov used his Leningrad origin in order to condemn him along with the rest, deceiving Stalin on this point. The latter thus abandoned Voznesensky despite his regard for him.
Beria, Sergo. Beria, My Father: Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001, p. 216
STALIN TOOK POLITICS OUT OF SCIENCE AND VIEWED IT OBJECTIVELY
In 1991-93 two researchers from the Institute of History and the Institute of the History of Natural Science and Technology, Yesakov and Rossiyanov, found the original document [Lysenko’s report with Stalin’s handwritten corrections] in the archives and published an analysis of what Stalin had written. It should be noted that Stalin did a good job as an editor, improving Lysenko’s text, modifying the stridency and softening the anti-Western tone, and he also removed the false dichotomy between Soviet and Western science….
Stalin removed the word “Soviet” from the title of the report [which was On the Situation in Soviet Biological Science]; in his view, “On the Situation in the Biological Sciences” was a more correct formulation of the subject in question. All 49 pages had been examined meticulously. He struck out the second section of the report, “The False Basis of Bourgeois Biology,” and where Lysenko had claimed that “any science is based on class,” Stalin wrote: “ha, ha, ha…and mathematics? and Darwin?”….
Throughout the text, Stalin crossed out the term “bourgeois.” For example, “bourgeois world view” became “idealist world view”; “bourgeois genetics” became “reactionary genetics.”
…Stalin’s changes and additions to the text signaled a decisive departure from the doctrine that had dominated all the debates during the 1920s and 1930s–that science was based on class. He clearly had been influenced by the enormous advances in nuclear physics in the United States and Britain as well as the subsequent creation of the atomic bomb. By the end of the war Stalin had come to realize that progress in science and technology was less a matter of ideology than a question of substantial material support for scientists.
Medvedev, Roy & Zhores Medvedev. The Unknown Stalin. NY, NY: Overlook Press, 2004, p. 195
COLD WAR BEGAN IN 1917 NOT 1945
When one examines carefully the origins of the Cold War, one almost inevitably comes to the conclusion that it began not at some relatively recent date, but simply in 1917, the year the Soviet regime was established in what had been the Tsar’s Russian empire.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 37
CONDITIONS AFTER WWII WERE PRETTY BAD & AGGRESSION DEFINITELY WAS NOT CONSIDERED
No one who lived in Russia in 1946 and 1947 could take the threat of Russian “aggression” seriously. Not only did the country have ahead of it a vast reconstruction program which it had to carry out without much outside help; but living conditions were getting not better, but worse than they had been during the last stages of the war and in 1945.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 148
The truth is that in 1946-47 both Eastern and Western Europe were in dire need of food–and everything else.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 196
MARSHALL PLAN AID HINGES OR EXPELLING COMMUNISTS FROM THE GOVTS
The political purpose of Marshall Plan Aid–and no one even pretended that it was pure charity–was that Western Europe should put its house in order along pro–American and more or less free-enterprise lines, and eliminate the Communists from public affairs, or at any rate greatly reduce their influence. It was very largely in anticipation of large-scale American aid that both French and Italian governments, soon after the proclamation of the Truman Doctrine, eliminated their communist ministers on one pretext or another. That this was one of the conditions on which aid would be given had already been made perfectly obvious. When Leon Blum went to Washington in 1946 to borrow some money, it was made quite clear to him that France could expect far more, and on better terms, if there were no more communists in her government.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 257
The serious trouble started on 5 Jun 1947 when US Secretary of State George Marshall announced economic assistance to European countries which had suffered from Nazi aggression. Marshall intended to undermine Soviet hegemony over the countries of Eastern Europe by providing them with American financial help. The Marshall plan was tied to the geopolitical objectives of the USA and these included the drastic reduction of the USSR’s power in Europe. Even Varga, who had suggested the possibility of a parliamentary road to communism in Europe, saw the Marshall plan as a dagger pointed at Moscow. Moderation in Soviet foreign policy came to a halt. Thus began the Cold War, so called because it never involved direct military conflict between the USSR and the USA.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 504
Soviet retaliation against the American initiative was not long in coming. In September 1947 a conference of Communist parties was convoked in Poland. The organizational objective was to form an Informational Bureau (or Cominform) to coordinate communist activity in the countries of eastern Europe as well as in Italy and France. As relations worsened with the USA, Stalin withdrew permission for a diversity of national transitions to communism. The call was made for an acceleration of communisation in eastern Europe; and, in western Europe, the French and Italian parties were reprimanded for their reluctance to drop their parliamentary orientation
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 506
First to form an overt military alliance was the capitalist camp. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) came into existence in April 1949.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 507
In 1936 there had been an Anti-Comintern Pact; in 1949 an Anti-Cominform Pact had been established in all but name.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 507
STALIN DID NOT SET OUT TO DESTROY TITO BUT TRIED TO GET ALONG WITH HIM
Although it is perfectly true that Stalin had an instinctive dislike of Tito, his [Tito] independence, his self-glorification, his insufferable way of treating Stalin almost as an equal, I think it is quite obvious that the Yugoslav story that Stalin had made up his mind long before the actual breach of June 1948 to “destroy” Tito, that the Cominform was merely a “trap” into which the Yugoslav leaders were to fall, etc., is contradicted by the facts. Until January 1948, Stalin was extremely anxious to keep Yugoslavia and Tito inside his East European empire, and the Soviet press praised and flattered Yugoslavia far more than any other country, except the Soviet Union itself.
Werth, Alexander. Russia; The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co.,1971, p. 400
US USED ATOMIC BOMB NOT FOR MILITARY REASONS BUT TO INTIMIDATE THE SU
It emerges clearly from the Potsdam Conference that the Americans would have used the atomic bomb on Japan even if military circumstances had not required this: they wanted to intimidate the Soviet Union and put a break on its appetite in Europe.
Beria, Sergo. Beria, My Father: Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001, p. 119
“War is barbaric,” reflected Stalin, “but using the A-bomb is a super barbarity. And there was no need to use it. Japan was already doomed!” He had no doubt that Hiroshima was aimed at himself: “A-bomb blackmail is American policy.”
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 502
I do not recall the exact date, but after the end of one of the Potsdam Conference meetings, Truman informed Stalin that the United States now possessed a bomb of exceptional power, without, however, naming it the atomic bomb.
As was later reported abroad, at that moment Churchill pinned his eyes on Stalin’s face, eager to observe his reaction. However, Stalin did not betray his feelings and pretended he saw nothing special in what Truman had said. Both Churchill and many other British and American commentators subsequently surmised that Stalin had probably failed to fathom the significance of the information received.
In actual fact, on returning to his quarters after this meeting Stalin in my presence told Molotov about his conversation with Truman. Molotov reacted immediately: “They are trying to bid up.”
“Let them. I’ll have to talk it over with Kurchatov [Director of Soviet atomic development] today and get him to speed things up.”
I understood they were talking about the development of the atomic bomb.
It was clear already then that the US government was going to use the atomic bomb for reaching its imperialist goals from a position of strength. This was corroborated on August 6 and 9. Without any military need whatsoever, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs on the peaceful and densely-populated Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Zhukov, Georgi. Reminiscences and Reflections Vol. 2. Moscow: Progress Pub., c1985, p. 449
STALIN DID NOT KILL ZHDANOV
If Stalin had really wanted to murder Zhdanov, it would not have taken five heart attacks over years but a quick injection. Zhdanov’s widow and son were convinced he was not killed: “Everything was simpler,” Yury recalls. “We knew his doctors well. Father was very ill. His heart was worn out.”
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 580
JEWISH NATIONALIST DOCTOR, ETINGER, ADMITS HE KILLED SHCHERBAKOV
…when Ryumin was summoned to the Central Committee to receive his official reprimand, he used the occasion to present his “note” that was then embellished through 11 drafts into the letter to Stalin.
Dated July 19, 1951, this letter deserves to be reproduced in full.
To Comrade Stalin from the Senior Investigator of the MGB of the USSR, Lieutenant Colonel, Ryumin.
“In November 1950, I was commissioned to conduct the investigation in the case of the arrested doctor of medicine, professor Etinger….”
At the interrogation, Etinger acknowledged that he was a confirmed Jewish nationalist and in consequence of this bore hatred toward the Party and the Soviet government.
…Further, speaking in detail about his hostile activity, Etinger acknowledged that when he was commissioned to cure Comrade Shcherbakov in 1945 he acted so as to shorten his life.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 115
STALIN SUPPORTS RYUMIN
In the March 1953 letter to Beria, Ignatiev recalled these portentous words of Stalin from the summer of 1952:
“I have continually said that Ryumin is an honorable man and a communist, he helps the [Central Committee] uncover serious crimes in the MGB, but he, the poor fellow, has not found support among you and this is because I appointed him despite your objections. Ryumin is excellent, and I demand that you listen to him and take him closer to yourself. Keep in mind–I don’t trust the old workers in the MGB very much.”
Naumov and rent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 135
As a reward for his [Ryumin] faithful service Stalin admonished Ignatiev that he must “take Ryumin closer to himself.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 206
Stalin said: “I have always said that Ryumin is an honorable man and a Communist, he helps the Central Committee uncover serious crimes in the MGB, but he, poor fellow, has not found support among you and this is because I appointed him despite your objections. Ryumin is excellent, and I demand that you listen to him and take him closer to yourself.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 207
On the 18th of March 1953, Ryumin offered his first confession in which he claimed that Yegorov worked at the order of Kuznetsov, who was a paid American agent.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 324
ABAKAMOV WAS GUILTY OF HIDING AND NOT INVESTIGATING CRIMES
According to this document, the Central Committee appointed a commission, consisting of Malenkov, Beria, Shkiryatov, and Ignatiev, to “verify” Ryumin’s charges. Their verification, which was concluded by July 4, produced five allegedly inarguable “facts”:
1. The Jewish nationalist Etinger was arrested in November 1950, and, without any pressure confessed that during the treatment of Comrade Shcherbakov, he had a terrorist intention toward him and took practical measures in order to shorten his life. Consequently, the Central Committee concluded, a “conspiratorial group” undoubtedly existed among the doctors dedicated to murdering Kremlin leaders, which Abakumov refused to investigate.
2. In August 1950 one Salimanov, the former general director of “Vismut,” was arrested; and despite the fact that he had betrayed the fatherland, Abakumov hid the case from the Central Committee.
3. In January 1951 the participants of a Jewish anti-Soviet youth organization were arrested. Despite the fact that they had “terrorist plans” against the leaders of the party and the government, Abakumov concealed their terrorist designs from the Central Committee by falsifying the protocols of their interrogation.
4. The MGB “crudely violated” the procedures established by the Central Committee for reporting the interrogations of prisoners by means of composing so-called general protocols based on interrogation notes and draft memoranda, instead of truthfully transmitting all that a prisoner might have said.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 137
Abakumov’s crime was that he protected Kuznetsov and the Jews by not revealing the extent of their crimes, by conducting a “superficial” investigation that would not disclose the full dimensions of the threat to the USSR. The Jews were protected because the few members of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee were nothing but scapegoats for an immense Jewish plot against the government. By eliminating individual scapegoats, Abakumov allowed the underground to continue to flourish.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 311
ETINGER ADMITS A CONSPIRACY TO MURDER HIGH SOVIET OFFICIALS WHICH ABAKAMOV HID
The Central Committee “decree” [of July 11] stated:
The Central Committee has concluded that the testimony of Etinger deserves serious consideration. Among the doctors there undoubtedly exists a conspiratorial group of individuals intending through medical treatment to shorten the life of leaders of the party and the government.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 138
Ryumin took charge… [producing] signed confessions from Likhachev and Leonov acknowledging that Etinger had confessed to murdering Shcherbakov and that Abakumov had in fact conspired with the enemy to conceal the confession.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 146
EVIDENCE PROVES SHCHERBAKOV WAS MURDERED BY DOCTORS
On October 29, 1952, Ignatiev wrote to Stalin that a special medical examination of Shcherbakov’s heart had been completed in the summer of 1952 by an elite group of medical examiners, which confirmed the charges against the doctors. The internal organs of all deceased Soviet government leaders were customarily preserved in the Kremlin, and Shcherbakov’s heart was among them, kept in a jar of formaldehyde during the previous seven years [he died in1945]….
This expert commission secretly “investigated the heart, studied the history of the illness and the analysis and protocols of the autopsy of the body of Comrade Shcherbakov. In addition to this, another group of medical experts had been appointed in April 1952 to verify the drug prescriptions ordered by the doctors who had cared for Shcherbakov. Both commissions came to the same conclusion that the medical treatment of Comrade Shcherbakov had been “criminal.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 193
On October 29, 1952, the day he [Kitaev] sent his memorandum to Stalin, the MGB managed to extract a full confession from Busalov, the former chairman of the department of surgery of Yaroslavsky Medical Institute and former Head of the Kremlin Hospital before Yegorov. He, too, had participated in the treatment of Shcherbakov and had been responsible for recruiting Etinger for the case. Busalov confessed that:
“Lang behaved criminally, he did not attribute serious significance to the illness of Shcherbakov and did not want to think about the danger threatening the patient… As a rule, Lang supported Etinger….
Prescribing an active regime to Shcherbakov did not accord with the functional condition of the patient’s heart, Etinger, Lang, and Vinogradov shortened the life of Shcherbakov.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 196
VOVSI ADMITS HE AND KREMLIN DOCTORS SET OUT TO KILL SOVIET LEADERS
A cousin of the great actor and head of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee, Solomon Mikhoels, murdered in 1948, Vovsi had been the chief therapist of the Red Army. His confessions would soon lead the investigation to a consideration of the military, thus potentially widening the net of terror and purges. Because of his connection to Mikhoels, who had gone to America on his famous trip in 1943, Vovsi was particularly useful in demonstrating that American intelligence directed the actions of the entire conspiracy. On November 25, 1952, Vovsi told his interrogators that he wanted to make a full confession and “set out everything in order.”
…”Yes, we had a terrorist group. In this group were doctors including a number of Jewish nationalists–Kogan, Borisovich, and Temkin, Yakov Solomonovich….
“I, Vovsi, was the inspiration of the group. The terrorist group from the group of Kremlin doctors Temkin, Kogan, and myself was nationalistic, formed as an enemy to Soviet power, from the first; that is, before the participants had decided to use in their struggle against Soviet power these extreme means such as terror by means of criminal methods of treatment with the aim of destroying the health of leading workers….
I earlier confessed that Shimeliovich gave the first directions, approximately in 1948. From that time, without question, we set out on subversive work, intending to shorten the lives of specific leading workers.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 212
The interrogators wanted to know for whom Shimeliovich worked….
“I [Vovsi] am convinced that all the nationalistic work of the ringleader of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee, hiding under this name its subversive work against the Soviet state, was directed by Anglo-American imperialistic circles.”
…But this was not enough. For whom did Vovsi himself work?
“The Anglo-American bourgeoisie, which was actually our boss. Such is the logic.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 213
[Vovsi continued] “Shimeliovich gave me clearly to understand that the criminal work of specific leaders of the Jewish Antifascist Committee was directed by imperialist circles in the US.
The best proof of this declaration might be the information that Shimeliovich collected about the Soviet Union…. I [Vovsi] can’t deny the fact that I provided Shimeliovich with espionage information.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 215
On November 14, 1952, Vovsi, for instance, told the investigators the following:
“Thinking it all over, I came to the conclusion that despite the rottenness of my crimes, I must disclose the terrible truth to the investigation of my villainous work conducted with the aim of destroying the health and shortening the life of specific, leading state workers of the Soviet Union….
Having become one of the executors of these rotten criminal plots, I must in the first instance talk about myself…
I am an opponent of Soviet power. In the postwar years my hostility and hatred to the Soviet order gained strength.
From my enemy motives, from my hatred toward the leaders of the party and the Soviet government, I turned to the profession of medicine not to improve their health but to destroy it, to shorten the lives of specific, leading Soviet and party workers.
This was accomplished using the rottenest and most villainous means. I strove to accomplish my criminal objectives by means of incorrect, depraved methods of treatment, not observing prophylactic measures during treatment or the detection of the illness, and even by means of covering up the criminal activities of other doctors that were known to me.
…Knowing all my responsibility for my villainous activity, and aiming to cover up the traces of my crimes I had recourse to various kinds of tricks.”
He then confessed to having mistreated Andreyev with a cocaine solution while conspiring with both Yegorov and Vinogradov.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 250-251
“During interrogation, Vovsi and Kogan confessed that both of them, being Jewish nationalists, supported enemy ties with the leaders of the Jewish nationalist underground, operating under the cover of the Jewish Antifascist Committee.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 265
Unceasing rounds of new interrogations of the doctors and MGB operatives ensued after this December 4 decree. Vovsi, Vinogradov, and Yegorov admitted everything their persecutors put before them.
… and eventually Vovsi confessed:…
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 271
Vovsi had already confessed to ties with Mikhoels, the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee, and the Joint. This was an important confession because it demonstrated that the Jews, through the JAC, were connected with what had been alleged to be a definite American intelligence organization, the Joint. At his trial, Fefer, one of the members of the JAC, stated that, “The Joint is a bourgeois Zionist organization.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 307
VINOGRADOV ADMITS HE ENDANGERED THE HEALTH OF SOVIET LEADERS
I [Vinogradov] don’t deny that my anti-Soviet convictions, my tie with Etinger and other enemies of Soviet power, whom I have already named, speaks to my treatment of the leaders of the party and the Soviet government. I did not show concern for their health and this question didn’t bother me.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 232
SOME JEWS ADMIT WORKING AS ZIONISTS TO EFFECT SOVIET GOVT POLICY
Doron, Itkin, and Palkin were heads of important departments; Broverman was deputy to Abakumov. Together they supposedly exchanged nationalist views, spoke about Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel, discussed ways of penetrating all the “chinks” of Soviet life in order to influence policy. Why? Because “by their history the Jews were chosen to rule over the world.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 254
SHVARTSMAN SAYS ABAKUMOV KNEW HE & ZIONIST BROVERMAN COOKED ABAKUMOV’S BOOKS
Broverman became famous for “cooking” the documents sent by Abakumov to the Central Committee. He was so skilled at this that his office became known affectionately as “Broverman’s Kitchen.” He cut and pasted dates, facts, testimony, correcting protocols to fit Abakumov’s instructions, embellishing, providing more “colorful representations,” sometimes, according to Shvartsman, going so far as to leave out essential information such as that the prisoner confessed to “terrorist plans and preparations.”
…”But really,” Grishaev [an MGB interrogator] asked him [Shvartsman], “didn’t Abakumov know of your and Broverman’s nationalistic, convictions?”
“Of course, Abakumov saw that both Broverman and I were Jewish nationalists.” Shvartsman explained that Abakumov allowed Broverman and himself to supervise preparation of the protocols of the investigation into the Jewish Antifascist Committee.
“This means that Abakumov, knowing you to be a Jewish nationalist, entrusted the protocols of the interrogation of the Jewish nationalists to you?”
“So it happened,” Shvartsman replied. In the end, he [Shvartsman] confessed that his impression was that “Abakumov, for some reason, was well-disposed to individuals of Jewish nationality. But after this event, I was finally convinced that he wanted to mask criminals in the ranks of the Jews.” Just as Abakumov had covered up Etinger’s confessions, he was now accused of having shielded Jews throughout the Ministry of Security in their quest for influence and ultimate domination of the Soviet government.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 255-256
SHVARTSMAN ADMITS HE AND ZIONIST PLOTTERS TRIED TO KILL MALENKOV SEVERAL TIMES
When Grishaev asked Shvartsman [a leading Jewish member of the MGB] whether he had had any terrorist intentions of his own, Shvartsman readily acknowledged that he had: “In 1948 the nationalists active under the protection of the Jewish Antifascist Committee were crushed, and because of this I decided to commit a terrorist act against Malenkov.”
“What practical measure did you undertake for the realization of your enemy plan?” Grishaev asked.
“In August 1950, I knew that together with Leonov and Komarov, I would have to go on an official mission to Sochi for the drafting and composition of important documents with the Head of the Soviet government who took His vacation in the South. Supposing that Malenkov would be on vacation at the same time as the Head of the government, I decided to use this occasion to commit the terrorist act.”
“Practically speaking, I intended to realize my enemy plot, in accordance with circumstances…. With this aim I took with me from Moscow a personal weapon–the pistol Valter.”
“You have in mind the pistol, “Valter” Number 777602, that was confiscated from you during the arrest?”
“Yes, I wanted to use this pistol.”
Nothing came of this “terrorist” plot. Over the 10 days in which Shvartsman was in Sochi, the right moment never seemed to present itself for shooting Malenkov. Shvartsman claimed that he tried again in 1951 to shoot Malenkov. Again nothing came of the plot. Abakumov, Shvartsman testified, was a co-conspirator, and he concluded this interrogation ominously:
“As I remarked earlier, I knew Abakumov since 1938. From this period, we became participants of a conspiracy directed against the interests of the Russian people.
In order to fully characterize this conspiracy, to speak about its aims, and in addition to name all of the participants and to show their ties with foreign intelligence, I must begin with the leading link of the conspiracy and name names that the investigation would think I was naming with a provocational intent.”
Shvartsman did provide Grishaev with the names of many additional Jewish accomplices that enabled the MGB to extend the “plot” throughout the length and breadth of the security organs.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 258-259
BROVERMAN SAYS HE FORGED/FALSIFIED DOCUMENTS ABOUT CATCHING SPIES FOR ABAKUMOV
In his November 27, 1952, interrogation Broverman [deputy head of the Secretariat of MGB] spoke openly about his activities as a forger and falsifier of security documents.
“Thus in 1945 with Palkin, the former head of department “d” of the MGB, and with Utekhin, the former head of the First Directorate of, and with Leonov, the head of the Investigative Unit for Especially Important Cases, at Abakumov’s order, I fabricated a photo album sent to the Central Committee about the subversive work of White emigre organizations active in Manchuria….
I must say that the majority of documents, photocopies of which were placed in the album, related to the 1930s and had nothing to do with 1945. However, Abakumov, wanting to create an impression that the counterespionage organs of “SMERSH” were successful in allegedly completely destroying the White emigre organizations and had seized their documents about their activities in the period of the second world war, ordered us to glue dates onto the documents found in the album.”
“This made it possible for Abakumov to hide from the Central Committee the unsatisfactory situation concerning the search for spies and the authors of anonymous enemy documents.”
“Deceiving the party and the government, Abakumov and we, his associates, hid from the Central Committee the unsatisfactory situation in the MGB and the criminal collapse of the work in the Chekist organs.”
“Who directed your subversive work?” Grishaev wanted to know.
“On whose behalf Abakumov acted, I have no idea,” Broverman told Grishaev. “I executed the criminal orders of Abakumov; I had no other bosses.”
Though he could not tell who, other than Abakumov, directed his subversive work, he was able to provide the investigation with a long list of individuals who were so directed. He named 14 members of the MGB as his close associates in this conspiracy. Most were Jewish. All were immediately arrested.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 260-262
BROVERMAN SAYS SHVARTSMAN WAS KNOWN TO HIM AS A VICIOUS JEWISH NATIONALIST
“I [Broverman] must say that for several years Shvartsman had already been known to me as the most vicious Jewish nationalist contriving criminal affairs in the organs of state security.
In conversation, Shvartsman and I often poured out our hearts to each other and maliciously slandered the existing Soviet order.
We spoke with scorn about Russians and other nationalities and in every way elevated Jews for their alleged outstanding intelligence and abilities.
Enveloped by the nationalistic poison, we agreed to the blind conviction that Jews by virtue of their alleged special qualities of intelligence were called by history itself to rule the world.
As an example that demonstrated our thinking, we referred to the American Jews who dared to penetrate the sphere of management and political life of the country and directed both foreign and domestic politics of the USA.
In connection with this Shvartsman declared, and I supported this, that the Jews living in the Soviet Union should take as their example the American Jews.”
Broverman’s “confession” was made November 27, 1952. Obviously the investigation was coordinating the testimony of key witnesses.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 262-263
GOGLIDZE TOLD STALIN OF DOCTORS OUT TO KILL SOVIET LEADERS
On November 24, 1952, Goglidze, who had taken over the investigation of the doctors after Ignatiev became ill, wrote to Stalin:
“The investigation established that Yegorov and Fedorov [a pathologist]–were politically and morally rotten people; Maiorov [Zhdanov’s physician] –came from a manor house circle symbol: Vinogradov –in the past was affiliated with the SR’s [Social Revolutionaries]; Vasilenko [chief therapist of the Kremlin hospital] –since 1922 hid his expulsion from the party for deviation from party discipline, and connected with him, the Jewish nationalist Karpai (arrested) [head of cardiographic unit of Kremlin hospital] –all of them composed the hostile group, active in the Polyclinic of the Kremlin hospital, that strove to cut short the lives of leaders of the party and government through medical treatment.”
“This enemy, terrorist group of physicians worked exactly as did physicians of the people in the past– Pletnev and Levin, insidiously killing Kuibyshev, Menzhinsky, Gorky, and his son, Peshkov. They– Yegorov, Vinogradov, Vasilenko, Fedorov, Maiorov, and Karpai conducted terrorist activity by means of prescribing to the patients such treatment that ruined their health, complicated the illness, and led to their demise.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 265
SEVERAL DOCTORS ADMIT WORKING TO KILL ZHDANOV
“Yegorov, Vinogradov, Vasilenko, Maiorov and Fedorov acknowledged that they formerly were enemies of the party and Soviet state; that they, making use and the illness of Comrade Zhdanov, in premeditated fashion prescribed for him a categorically contraindicated active regime, they provoked a grave heart attack and in this way killed him.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 265
GROUP OF TERRORISTS DOCTORS WERE WORKING IN THE KREMLIN
“In this way, by means of the collected verifying documents and the confessions of the prisoners it has been established that in the [Kremlin hospital] a group of terrorist doctors was active– Yegorov, Vinogradov, Vasilenko, Maiorov, Fedorov, Lang, and Jewish nationalists, Etinger, Vovsi, Kogan, and Karpai, who strove through medical treatment to cut short the life of leaders of the party and the government.”
…With the exception of Karpai, the doctors had by this point all confessed to murder.
…The Jews in combination with traitorous Russians had fooled the government for many years, but at last they had been caught….
On December for, 1952, the Central Committee issued its declaration:
“Having been apprised of the information of the MGB concerning sabotage in the doctor’s plot, the Presidium of the Central Committee of the party has confirmed that in the [Kremlin hospital] a group of criminals has been acting for a long time; the former heads of the [Kremlin hospital] Busalov and Yegorov entered this group; doctors Vinogradov, Fedorov, Vasilenko, Maiorov, Jewish nationals Kogan, Karpai, Etinger, Vovsi, and others were also a part.”
…”Documentary facts and the testimony of the arrested have established that the enemy group was tied to English and American embassies, worked at the direction of American and English intelligence and had the goal of committing terrorist acts against the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet government.
…Under the weight of the evidence, the participants of the groups have confessed that to commit sabotage they established incorrect diagnoses of illnesses, prescribed and implemented incorrect methods of treatment and by these measures brought their patients to their deaths. The criminals have confessed that by these means they were successful in killing Zhdanov and Shcherbakov….
As far back as 1948 the MGB had at its disposal signals that manifestly spoke of the unsatisfactory situation in the Polyclinic. Dr. Timashuk turned to the MGB with her declaration in which on the basis of her electrocardiograms she confirmed that the diagnosis of Comrade Zhdanov was incorrectly established and did not correspond to the facts of the inquiry, and that the prescribed treatment for the patient did him harm. If the MGB would have conscientiously investigated this exceptionally important statement, it certainly would have prevented the villainous murder of Comrade Zhdanov. It would have exposed and liquidated the terrorist group of doctors. This did not happen because the workers of the MGB dealt criminally with the case, putting the declaration of Comrade Timashuk into the hands of Yegorov who was a participant in the terrorist group.
…Further in 1950, the former minister of state security, Abakumov, having direct facts about medical wrecking, having received from the MGB the results of the investigation of the case of the arrested Dr. Etinger of the [Kremlin hospital], concealed this from the Central Committee of the party and curtailed the investigation into the matter.”
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 265-268
Vinogradov finally confessed to Zhdanov’s murder only on February 12,  but on February 18 at a face-to-face encounter between Karpai and Vinogradov, Karpai continued to refuse to admit any guilt…. By now, Vovsi was clearly cooperating, as had Yegorov, Vinogradov, Vasilenko, and Maiorov. Of the doctors originally arrested only Karpai refused.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 296
ABAKUMOV AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE ARRESTED AND RYUMIN TAKES OVER
In July 1951, Minister of State Security Victor Abakumov was removed from his post and arrested. Right after that, the leaders of the investigative unit for especially important cases turned up in the cells of the Lefortovo prison. Many investigators who had been involved in the JAC case were dismissed from the MGB. Direction of the investigation fell to Ryumin, the new chief of the investigative unit for especially important cases.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. xv
SOME PEOPLE ADMIT BEING IN A ZIONIST/AMERICAN ANTI-SOVIET ORGANIZATION
Only Fefer and Teumin fully admitted their guilt, [to being in a Zionist/American inspired plot against the SU] whereas Lozovsky, Markish, Shimeliovich, and Bregman refused to plead guilty to anything; the others pled guilty “in part.” Once the testimonies began, the defendants were permitted to make lengthy statements and to cross-examine each other, an aspect of the trial that resulted in moments of high drama, particularly when outspoken defendants like Lozovsky and Shimeliovich challenged Fefer.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 55
PRESIDING OFFICER: Defendant Teumin, in the indictment you are accused of engaging in espionage and being an active nationalist, while in 1946 you passed along classified materials to Goldberg. Tell us, did you, under Lozovsky’s orders, review and correct articles for the Jewish Anti–Fascist Committee that were sent to America?
TEUMIN: …it had been firmly established that I had nothing to do with the Jewish Antifascist Committee, except for providing it with organizational and technical assistance in planning a rally. Lozovsky and my direct supervisors can confirm this.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 435
IMPORTANT PEOPLE ARE SPIED ON BY THE US GOVT
“To my knowledge,” Sullivan [assistant to J. Edgar Hoover] recalled, “we never had a surveillance on Eleanor Roosevelt because it wasn’t necessary. It was not necessary because we had informants–many informants–in the circles in which she traveled.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 301
Eleanor Roosevelt was not the only prominent member of the administration to attract the special attention of J. Edgar Hoover. Though he’d once refused to investigate Wendell Willkie or tap Farley, during FDR’s last two terms in office the FBI Director, with the chief executive’s approval, conducted highly confidential investigations of the vice-president of the United States, the under secretary of state, and the wife of the president’s closest adviser.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 306
What Hoover didn’t tell [vice-president] Henry Wallace was that…he [Hoover] was monitoring many of the vice-president’s telephone conversations, by tapping the wires of his closest friends and associates, including his secretary; that he was also opening their mail and photographing letters Wallace himself had written; or that, even while on official trips, the vice-president was kept under surveillance.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 307
HOOVER INSTITUTED CENSORSHIP
Hoover was not only determined to manipulate the news, deciding what the public should or should not know; he also altered history, in the process exacting revenge against one of his most hated enemies, “that Jew in the Treasury,” Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
During his nearly dozen years as secretary of the treasury (1934-45), Morgenthau kept a daily diary, which included not only his own recollections of events but also verbatim transcriptions of his meetings and telephone calls. Moreover, as a member of FDR’s “inner cabinet,” he was privy to the behind-the-scenes activities of most of the rest of the government. According to the historian Jason Berger, it would be difficult to overstate the importance of the Morgenthau diaries to scholars of the New Deal era. As “the only source of daily happenings in Washington,” Berger notes, “they are a researcher’s dream.” For writers ranging from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., to Ted Morgan, they had been an indispensable source of raw history.
On leaving office, Morgenthau had given his papers to the National Archives for safekeeping until such time as he decided to make them public. On learning, in 1951, that Morgenthau was discussing publication of the diaries, Hoover struck.
“It was a very covert operation,” a senior agent who headed the raiding party has recalled, “damn covert. There were five of us, and we were all sworn to absolute secrecy. We even left the Washington field office by various devious routes. And we’d go in [an out-of-the-way room at the National Archives] at different times so no one would know five agents were in that room. And we were the only ones who had a key.”
Their only equipment, which they carried in their brief cases, was scissors. “We literally went through [the diary] with scissors, cutting out any references which would be unfavorable to Mr. Hoover or the FBI. They were just physically excerpted right out of the diary itself. Our job was to cut out everything which, even by innuendo, might indicate that Mr. Hoover had feet of clay. The pages were then retyped and renumbered so that there would be no indication that anything was missing. The whole operation took several weeks. What they left behind for the historians who followed was a history of the New Deal years as approved by J. Edgar Hoover.
Although he was not personally involved, the senior agent heard from the Bureau grapevine that President Roosevelt’s papers had been similarly “sanitized.” According to librarians at the Franklin Roosevelt library at Hyde Park, NY, many FBI reports are missing. And still others have been changed. In 1976 Tim Ingram, an investigator for a House subcommittee chaired by Bella Abzug, discovered that a number of FBI documents at Hyde Park did not match FBI carbons of the same correspondence which were obtained by committee subpoena or under the Freedom of Information Act; whole paragraphs and pages were missing from the Hyde Park copies, indicating that these, supposedly the originals, had been edited and then retyped and re-signed. At the time this was done, Hoover had no way of knowing that one day the FBI’s own files would be made public, although he knew the Roosevelt papers would be.
It is possible that other presidential libraries have also been sanitized.
Since the 1950s the FBI has assigned a permanent staff to the National Archives, to determine what FBI and Justice Department records will be retained, made public, withheld from examination, or destroyed.
Nor, it would seem, did Hoover overlook his former place of employment, the Library of Congress.
The Supreme Court justice, and Hoover nemesis, Felix Frankfurter also kept a set of diaries. When Joseph Lash edited them for publication, he noted, “In addition to Frankfurter’s [own] excisions from the Diaries, some sections were stolen after the justice’s papers were turned over to the Library of Congress.” To which Lash, who had his own reasons for distrusting J. Edgar Hoover, couldn’t resist adding, “Some day the Federal Bureau of Investigation may recover them.” Among the items missing from the Frankfurter papers was the only copy of a speech the justice had written, but never delivered, criticizing the director of the FBI.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 389-390
AMERICAN LEFTISTS ARE ILLEGALLY ROUNDED UP AND DEPORTED
The Federation of the Union of Russian Workers was made up, in its entirety, of Russian immigrants. Its platform, adopted in 1907, welcomed “atheists, communists, and anarchists.” But after the 1917 revolution most of its radical founders had returned to Russia. According to Coben [the biographer of Attorney General Palmer], “A few members continued to give radical lectures and distribute revolutionary propaganda; but by 1919 the organization served chiefly as a social club for the lonely and an educational institution for the ambitious.”
The chosen date [for it to be raided], Nov. 7, 1919, was the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
The raids occurred at 8 p.m., local time, in 12 different cities. In Manhattan, BI agents, assisted by the New York Bomb Squad, descended en masse on the Russian People’s House, at 133 East 15th Street. The union occupied only one room in the building; except for a small cafeteria, the rest were classrooms, where subjects such as English and citizenship were taught. But all were raided.
The people on the ground floor were the most fortunate. They weren’t thrown down the stairs.
According to the New York Times, “A number in the building were badly beaten by the police during the raid, their heads wrapped in bandages testifying to the rough manner in which they had been handled.
Altogether 33 men were taken to the immigration office on Ellis Island. Some 150 others had been set free. However, the Times noted, “Most of them also had blackened eyes and lacerated scalps as souvenirs of the new attitude of aggressiveness which had been assumed by the Federal agents against Reds and suspected Reds.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 83
The port was New York; the ship, the Buford, a decrepit troop transport ancient even when the United States obtained her from the British during the Spanish-American War. Her destination was Russia, via Finland. And her cargo consisted of “249 blasphemous creatures who not only rejected America’s hospitality and assailed her institutions but also sought by a campaign of assassination and terrorism to ruin her as a nation of free men,” according to the New York Times, or, as other papers put it, “249 anarchists.” Actually there were only 51 anarchists–184 of the passengers were members of the Federation of the Union of Russian Workers, picked up in the November raids, while the other 14 were aliens who had been convicted of the moral turpitude of being public charges….
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 85
The secret sailing of the Buford had been rushed so that the aliens could not appeal their cases in court. Because of this–and also because the ship sailed at 4:15 on a cold December morning–the bon voyage party was not large, consisting of J. Edgar Hoover, Flynn [head of the BI], Caminetti [Commissioner of Immigration], various Army officers, and several members of the House Immigration and Naturalization Committee. No friends or relatives were present. Most of the deportees were so hastily rounded up that they weren’t able to obtain adequate clothing for the winter voyage, while dozens of families remained behind without any means of support. Some of the wives did not hear for days what had happened to their husbands.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 86
Apparently convinced that the Constitution did not apply to aliens–or citizens, for that matter–Burke [Chief assistant to the BI Chief] in his instructions violated one after another of its provisions.
In addition to raiding the meeting halls, agents were to search the residences of party officials and to seize all literature, books, papers, membership lists, records, and correspondence, plus “anything hanging on the walls.” (The walls themselves were to be sounded and, if believed hollow, broken down.) “I leave entirely at your discretion as to the methods by which you gain access to such places,” Burke instructed. “If, due to the local conditions of your territory, you find that it is absolutely necessary for you to obtain a search war for the premises, you should communicate with the local authorities a few hours before the time of the arrests.”
Anyone apprehended was to be searched immediately. There was no mention of informing them of their rights, or even an assumption that they had any.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 91
Nineteen twenty was an election-year, and began accordingly. The state’s attorney of Cook County, Illinois (a Republican), did not wish the Attorney General of the United States (a Democratic presidential hopeful) to reap all the glory in the great Red hunt, so he conducted his own Communist raids, in Chicago and its environs, on New Year’s Day, 24 hours before the federal raids were scheduled to occur.
Although the figures would be much disputed, apparently upwards of 10,000 persons were arrested. Of that number, all but about 4000 were released after a few days, either because they were American citizens or because there was not even a red card to prove their party membership. Of those remaining in custody, more than half had been arrested without warrants. In many cases, the warrants were obtained only after the arrests had been made. As for search warrants, they were practically never used.
In New York City some 700 persons were seized. According to the Times, “Meetings open to the general public were roughly broken up. All persons present–citizens and aliens alike without discrimination–were arbitrarily taken into custody and searched as if they had been burglars caught in the criminal act. Without warrants of arrest men were carried off to police stations and other temporary prisons, subjected there to secret police-office inquisitions commonly known as the ‘third-degree,’ their statements written categorically into mimeographed question blanks, and they were required to swear to them regardless of their accuracy.'”
Although this became almost standard procedure, there were variations. In Seattle, according to the testimony of an immigration inspector, Justice Department agents didn’t bother to search out radicals and match them with the warrants; “they went to various pool rooms, etc. in which foreigners congregated, and they simply sent up in trucks all of them that happened to be there.” In Boston some 300 men were chained together and paraded through the streets to Deer Island in Boston Harbor, where conditions were so intolerable that one man dove five stories to his death and another had to be committed as insane. In Detroit 800 persons were held six days in a small, airless corridor on the top floor of the Federal Building, with a single clogged toilet and only occasional water and food.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 93
“Revolution Smashed,” read the front-page headline of the New York Times, while its editorial page heaped praise on the attorney general. Featured prominently in all the papers was BI Chief Flynn’s claim that the raids had been necessary to smash an imminent uprising.
If the claim was true, the revolutionaries were amazingly ill prepared. What Flynn didn’t tell reporters was that in searching hundreds of meeting places and residences, the agents found only four guns (three of them rusty pistols confiscated in an antiques shop) and no dynamite. Four “bombs” were found in Newark. Despite their owners’ claim that they were bowling balls, the raiders took one look at them and, seeing no holes, hastily immersed them in buckets of water. None of the agents had ever heard of the game boccie.
In the aftermath of the raids, J. Edgar Hoover stayed busy. In addition to making sure that the Justice Department had an agent at each of the immigration hearings, he barraged Caminetti with memos, urging either that no bail be permitted or that it be set at an unmeetable amount, such as 10 or $15,000. Allowing the aliens out on bail, where they could contact their lawyers, “defeats the ends of justice,” Hoover argued. Also, he contended, if kept in custody, they would be unable to propagandize.
Propagandizing was much on Hoover’s mind. Initially there had been little public outcry, probably because two to three weeks passed before most of the prisoners were allowed to see their families or attorneys, while friends who went to the jails and other detention centers looking for them were arrested also.
[Footnote:] Palmer later justified these secondary arrests by asking who would be friends with a radical other than another radical.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 94
AMERICAN SECRET POLICE COMMIT ILLEGAL ACTS
Hoover and Garvan organized a propaganda section within the GID [General Intelligence Division]. The forerunner of the FBI’s vast Crime Records publicity mill, it supplied newspaper and magazine editors with packets containing carefully edited samples of the most inflammatory radical literature; metal plates with prepared articles, editorials, and cartoons endorsing Palmer’s anti-Red crusade; plus a personal letter from the attorney general in which he offered to furnish the editors ” with details, either general or in specific cases.”
Palmer’s offer to open the files of still-unresolved cases to favored newsman was in itself an illegal act; it apparently bothered him no more than it did the FBI’s Crime Records Division in future years.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 94
The reaction was slow in coming, but when it came it grew in momentum. As more details of the raid became known, a number of church groups and civic organizations protested the harsh treatment accorded the prisoners. “I was sent up to New York later by Assistant Attorney General Garvan and reported back that there had been clear cases of brutality in the raids,” Hoover told the writer Fletcher Knebel in a Look interview 35 years later, at which time he also admitted, “They arrested a lot of people that weren’t Communists.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 95
But there do exist several other memos, to Caminetti, in which Hoover urged that aliens be held even if there was no proof of radical affiliation, on the chance that evidence be uncovered at some future date “in other sections of the country.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 96
… according to Hoover, Louis Post [Assistant Secretary Labor, in the Matter of Deportation of Aliens] claimed “that the Department Of Justice had broken all the rules of law in its activities against the Reds and… that these acts were committed with the knowledge and approval of the Attorney General.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 97
It was now Attorney General Mitchell Palmer who was under fire. And it did not let up. On May 25 the National Popular Government League released its study of the raids, in the form of a 67-page pamphlet, which began:
“For more than six months, we, the undersigned lawyers, whose sworn duty it is to uphold the Constitution and the Laws of the United States, have seen with growing apprehension the continued violation of that Constitution and breaking of those Laws by the Department of Justice of the United States Government.”
There followed a carefully researched catalog of illegal acts committed during and after the raids, documented with sworn affidavits and photographs. Yet it was not the contents which gave the pamphlet its greatest impact but its sponsor and signers.
The League was a prestigious urban reform group that not even the GID would have dared call radical; the 12 signers of the pamphlet included some of the most illustrious figures in American jurisprudence.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 98
By June 1920 it appeared that the Red scare, if not over, was at least on the wane, while few were any longer defending the hundreds of illegal acts authorized by the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 101
Dated October 18, 1924, and directed to William Donovan, assistant attorney general, Criminal Division, from J. Edgar Hoover, acting director of the Bureau of Investigation, the memorandum’s key paragraph read:
“It is, of course, to be remembered that the activities of the Communists and other ultra-radicals have not up to the present time constituted a violation of the Federal statutes, and consequently, the Department of Justice, theoretically, has no right to investigate such activities as there has been no violation of Federal laws.”
Despite the qualifying phrases, Hoover had been forced to admit, on paper, that most of his actions as head of the GID had been illegal.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 136
By 1942 the FBI was committing so many illegal acts that the “do not file” system had to be expanded to hide their paper trail.
In early December 1941, while still temporary director of censorship, Hoover asked the telegraph and cable companies– Western Union, RCA, and ITT–to delay the transmission of all messages to some half dozen countries for 24 hours, so that they could be copied and examined by the FBI. This “drop copy” program didn’t end with the war. As James Bamford notes in his book The Puzzle Palace, it only grew. “By the fall of 1946, the FBI was covertly obtaining, direct from the cable companies, cable traffic to and from some 13 countries.” With only brief interruptions, the FBI continued to read foreign cables both to and from the United States until at least 1975.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 281
These were not the only targets. Even though the USSR was now an ally, the Bureau’s interest in the American Communist party continued unabated, and it was only one of a large number of “domestic subversive organizations” which interested the FBI. Break-ins were also used in ordinary criminal cases, such as bank robberies, kidnappings, and hijackings. Though any evidence thus obtained was inadmissible in court, there were usually ways around this. Often a break-in provided leads to other evidence which was admissible. Also, knowing in advance exactly what they would find upon entering a home or business, agents had little trouble concocting enough “probable cause” to persuade a judge to issue a search warrant. If all else failed, they could always create a “reliable informant.”
“Surreptitious entries” and “black bag jobs” were headquarters terms. In the field the SAs [special agents] usually called them “bag jobs.” “But they were never “burglaries,” one former assistant director heatedly explained “because nothing was taken.”
Usually nothing was–except information. Often something was left: a listening device. And, although former FBI officials are loath to discuss it, sometimes, in very special cases, break-ins were used to plant incriminating evidence which would then be “discovered” during a court-authorized search.
Because of this procedure it isn’t possible to determine exactly how many break-ins the FBI committed. Queried on this point by the Church committee, the FBI responded, “Since there exists no precise record of entries, we are unable to retrieve an accurate accounting of their number”; however “at least 14 domestic subversive targets were the subject of at least 238 entries from 1942 to April 1968.
These figures are suspect for a number of reasons. Perhaps the best was supplied by Swearingen, a former SA with 25 years service. “I myself actually participated in more than 238 while assigned to the Chicago office,” Swearingen stated. “The Chicago office committed thousands of bag jobs.” This was only one field office.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 283-284
Buggings, wiretapping, break-ins, mail opening, and telegraph and cable monitoring–these were only some of the illegal acts which, adopted under the guise of “wartime necessity” and found to be highly useful shortcuts, became standard, albeit secret, investigative tools of Hoover’s FBI.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 287
Emboldened, Hoover decided to test McGrath [the new Attorney General] to see how far he could go, and asked the attorney general to approve the installation of microphone surveillances involving trespass. McGrath responded that he couldn’t give his approval, because to do so might violate the Fourth Amendment, but he didn’t say Hoover couldn’t do it, so the FBI went right on committing break-ins to plant its bugs.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 393
As far as is known, no postmaster general was ever officially informed that the FBI was opening mail. Most did know that the FBI was collecting “mail covers,” copying addresses off envelopes, which was deemed legal, but they left the details to their subordinates, usually the chief postal inspector and his assistants, and even they were unaware of the immense scope of the FBI’s spying–that the Bureau ran eight separate programs, one lasting 26 years, which resulted in the opening of millions of pieces of mail. But for Hoover even this wasn’t enough. On learning, in 1957, that the CIA had its own mail-opening program (HTLINGUAL) which had been in operation for five years, the FBI Director blackmailed the agency into sharing its “take.”
The closest possible liaison was also maintained with the Internal Revenue Service, again on the lower, working levels, although at least some of the IRS commissioners did know what was going on. Beginning in the Eisenhower administration, and continuing well into that of Lyndon Johnson, there is no evidence that any FBI requests for tax returns were ever refused. On the contrary, during the Bureau’s COINTELPROs, the counterintelligence programs which began during the Eisenhower era, the IRS supplied the FBI with tax information on well over a half-million people and more than 10,000 organizations, many of which were “targeted” for investigation or audit not because of any suspected criminal activity but simply for the sake of harassment.
To Hoover, as to Machiavelli, knowledge was power, and the chief source of that knowledge was, and remained throughout his long tenure as director of the FBI, his informants, who infiltrated every part of the federal government.
Name a bureau or department or regulatory agency or office, William Sullivan [a Hoover assistant] once said, “and we had one or more informants in it, usually a lot more.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 412
…In August 1956 Hoover authorized the first of what would grow into 12 separate COINTELPROs, counter intelligence programs whose aim was “to disrupt, disorganize, and neutralize” specific chosen targets.
The COINTELPROs were a huge step across the line separating investigations from covert action. Like all counter-intelligence, these programs had as their stated goal nothing less than the destruction of enemies, be they individuals or ideologies.
The tactics weren’t new; agents had been using many of them since the 1940s. The change was that Hoover now felt so secure in his power that he could grant official sanction to actions which went well beyond the law.
The first target was the Communist Party USA.
[Footnote]: The second COINTELPRO, against the Socialist Workers party, was almost as extensive, resulting in hundreds of surreptitious entries and thousands of other illegal acts.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 442
In January 1959, entirely on his own and without officially opening a security investigation, J. Edgar Hoover ordered FBI agents to burglarize the SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference] offices. It was the first of 20 known break-ins between that date and January 1964. According to a Justice Department study after Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, “Some of these entries had as one purpose, among others, the obtaining of information about Dr. King.”
It would be standard operating procedure–and more to the point, considering the unlikelihood that damaging materials were lying around the premises–for the Bureau to take these opportunities to install bugs. Certainly, wiretaps were installed. Former Assistant Director Sullivan later admitted that the FBI “had been tapping King’s telephone in Atlanta since the late 1950s.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 501
With the announcement on May 3, 1972 [right after Hoover’s death] that the new FBI director would be an “outsider” and not “one of us,” the activity became even more frenetic. It was CYA time. There wasn’t an assistant director, or a special agent in charge, who didn’t have some documents that he didn’t want to have to explain.
But there were oversights. “Do not file” memos that were filed, or put in special folders and forgotten…. A nearly complete record of “surreptitious entries” committed by the New York field office between 1954 and 1972 remained, unshredded and unburned….
Hoover’s FBI had generated so much incriminating paper that it was impossible to destroy it all.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 728
AMERICAN SECRET POLICE RETALIATE AGAINST THOSE WHO CHALLENGE THEIR ILLEGALITIES
The corruption of the Harding administration was revealed in bits and pieces, few of which seemed significant in the themselves. But Thomas Walsh, the senior senator from Montana, thought he discerned a pattern, particularly in the leasing of the Elk Hills, California, and Teapot Dome, Wyoming, oil reserves. The more bits and pieces Walsh collected, the more “coincidences” he found, and the more he thought the Senate should investigate.
Walsh discussed the matter with his friend Burton Wheeler, Montana’s newly elected junior senator, who agreed something smelled bad. But Wheeler was itching for a fight of his own. What if he took on Attorney General Daugherty and his Department of Easy Virtue?
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 118
It would, they agreed, be a hell of a fight, a pair of ” Montana boys” against more or less the entire administration. The odds didn’t bother them–both would have been uncomfortable if they hadn’t been the underdogs–and they’d fought, and won, just such a battle before, breaking the Anaconda Copper Mining Company’s domination of the state.
Information on their intentions quickly reached Daugherty, and counter-measures were taken. Even before the hearings began, BI Chief Burns sent three special agents to Montana to dig up any dirt they could find on Wheeler. The fourth man, employed by the Republican National Committee, went along to do the same job on Walsh.
Back in Washington, Bureau agents placed the two senators, their families, and their friends under surveillance. Wheeler would recall, “Agents of the Department…stationed men at my house, surrounded my house, watched persons who went in and came out, constantly shadowed me, shadowed my house, and shadowed my wife.”
They also, according to evidence presented before the committees, tapped telephones, intercepted mail, broke into offices and homes, and copied correspondence and private papers, looking for anything which might be used for blackmail.
[Footnote]: In addition to Wheeler and Walsh, at least two other senators (Robert LaFollette and Thaddeus Caraway) and one representative (Roy Woodruff) got the same treatment. All five had dared criticize the Justice Department.
Burns tried to frame Wheeler with the standard props, a woman and a hotel room. That he failed proved only that Wheeler had been forewarned. That he tried proved Burns knew his man. He knew Walsh, too, and didn’t bother trying.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 119
Even after the hearings were under way, Burns and Hoover did not let up. Immense pressure was exerted on possible witnesses in both the Teapot Dome and the Justice Department probes. Many fled the country, or as Wheeler put it, “simply disappeared,” while “some witnesses who co-operated with the committee were notified that their employment with the government was terminated.”
Samuel Hopkins Adams recalled such a case. One of the Bureau’s female employees was served with a committee subpoena. Given a choice between testifying or receiving a contempt citation, she testified. “The next day,” according to Adams, “she received a letter from J. Edgar Hoover…peremptorily demanding her resignation.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 120
AMERICAN SECRET POLICE RIDDLED WITH BAD PEOPLE
Leaving the White House after his confirmation by the Senate, the new Attorney General, Stone, asked a policeman, “Where is the Department of Justice?” Had the wind been right, he wouldn’t have needed to ask. “When I became Attorney General, “Harlan Fiske Stone later recalled, “the Bureau of Investigation was… in exceedingly bad odor.” But so was the rest of the Justice Department, he quickly discovered. Although he was determined that [the Current BI Chief], Burns, would have to go, other matters had priority and it was a month before he called the BI chief into his office.
In the interim, he jotted down notes on what he thought wrong with the Bureau: “filled with men with bad records…many convicted of crimes…organization lawless…many activities without any authority in federal statutes…agents engaged in many practices which are brutal and tyrannical in the extreme…Felix Frankfurter says key to my problem is men… I agree.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 124
HOOVER BECOMES DICTATOR OVER THE SECRET POLICE
… the president [FDR] signed still another executive order, extending civil service to most of the departments of the federal government. Hoover, supported by Attorney General, Cummings, fought to keep the Bureau of Investigation exempt. Promotion should be based on ability, Hoover argued, not seniority. Also, he stated quite bluntly that he would resign before being forced to accept Communists and other undesirables. Although the battle raged over many years, hearings, and court decisions, Hoover eventually succeeded in keeping the Bureau civil service exempt.
This meant that he could hire or fire, promote or demote, anyone he chose, without having to justify his actions or have them subject to review. Few others, no matter how high in government, had such unlimited power. J. Edgar Hoover would retain and use it until the day he died.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 156
Far stronger was the response of Collier’s magazine. In its August 19, 1933, issue, Ray Tucker, its Washington bureau chief, ridiculed Hoover and his immature gumshoes and gave advice on how easy it was to shake their “tails.”
“Despite all this burlesque and bombast,” Tucker continued, “there is a serious and sinister side to this secret federal police system. It had always been up to its neck in personal intrigue and partisan politics.” Under Hoover, Tucker charged, this miniature American Cheka [a slander of the Cheka] was run in a Prussian style as Hoover’s “personal and political machine. More inaccessible than presidents, he kept his agents in fear and awe by firing and shifting them at whim; no other government agency had such a turnover of personnel.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 158
With an arrogant disregard for the criticisms of the past, J. Edgar Hoover had resurrected the despised GID, complete with indices and lists of alleged subversives. He hadn’t even changed the name.
Nor was this all he had done. Though he kept its existence secret from Congress, and the public, Hoover had also–on his own initiative and without any statutory authority–set up a Custodial Detention list, of persons to be rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps, should the need arise. The list included–in addition to “both aliens and citizens of the United States [of] German, Italian, and Communist sympathies”–radical labor leaders, journalists critical of the administration, writers critical of the FBI, and certain members of Congress.
[Footnote]: although Hoover ordered the preparation of the list on November 9, 1939, it was not officially designated the Custodial Detention list until June 15, 1940. Periodically revised to include new enemies, it was later renamed the Security Index (SI) and the Administrative Index (ADEX), and it eventually spawned such other specialist lists as the Reserve (or Communist) Index, the Agitator Index, and the Rabble Rouser Index.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 213
ROOSEVELT AND HIS ATTORNEY GENERAL SET UP PROCEDURE TO SMEAR THOUSANDS
Franklin Roosevelt suggested Dies [Chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee] meet with Attorney General Jackson to see if something could be done to eliminate such misunderstandings. Dies did meet with Jackson, and a deal was struck. The committee agreed not to publicize any information it might obtain until after it had been cleared by the Department of Justice, so as not to interfere with any secret FBI investigations. In return, the Department of Justice agreed to furnish the committee with information on cases which it felt could not be successfully prosecuted.
Thus FDR, and his liberal Attorney General Robert Jackson, set up the machinery which would be used, in the coming years, to smear thousands upon thousands of Americans.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 241
AMERICANS KILL SUBVERSIVES WHO HAVE NOT ACTUALLY DONE ANYTHING
On June 20, 1942, two days after George Dasch [a German agent landed on Long Island by a German submarine] surrendered to the FBI in Washington, Ernst Burger [another German agent landed by the same submarine] and two other members of the [same Long Island group] were arrested in New York City. Burger [like Dasch] also proved cooperative. Acting on the information he provided–which included descriptions, real names, cover names, and a list of possible contacts–the Bureau was able to track down and apprehend all four of the saboteurs who had also landed near Jacksonville, Florida, [from another submarine] arresting the last member of the group in Chicago on June 27.
It was a tremendous accomplishment. Exactly two weeks after the Long Island landing, all eight of the German agents were in custody. They hadn’t even had time to commit a single act of sabotage.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 290
It was a quick trial. As Attorney General Francis Biddle put it, “It was obvious that the reliance of the public on their government would be immeasurably strengthened if these would-be saboteurs were disposed of promptly.” It took exactly one month to try the eight men, find them guilty, sentence them to death, and execute six out of the eight, by electrocution, in the District of Columbia jail.
The public first learned of the verdict, and the deaths, in a brief presidential statement issued a few hours after the last execution took place. Acting upon “a unanimous recommendation, concurred in by the attorney general and the judge advocate general of the Army,” the president had commuted the sentences of two of the men, the statement said.
“The commutation directed by the President in the case of Burger was to confinement at hard labor for life. In the case of Dasch the sentence was commuted by the President to confinement at hard labor for 30 years.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 292
AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM AND JUDGES ARE ROTTEN
And ex parte communication–private contact between a judge and only one side of a legal proceeding–is forbidden under Canon 3A (4) of the American Bar Association’s Code of Judicial Conduct, adopted in 1972. However, in 1951, when the above took place [during the Rosenberg case], such conduct was not prohibited. It was, however, considered permissible only in case of an extreme emergency (such as a death threat). There was no emergency, extreme or otherwise, in this and the numerous other ex parte conversations Kaufman held with the prosecution.
[Footnote]: Judge Kaufman [judge in the Rosenberg case] was “dying” to preside over “the trial of the century” and, learning this, Roy Cohn [assistant to Joe McCarthy] had gone straight to the clerk in charge of assigning judges to criminal cases and pulled the right strings. Cohn also said that he and Judge Kaufman had secretly communicated throughout the trial. He claimed, “Kaufman told me before the trial started that he was going to sentence Julius Rosenberg to death.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 422
[Footnote]: Cohn later claimed that he persuaded Kaufman to give Ethel Rosenberg the death sentence. In The Autobiography of Roy Cohn, written with Sidney Zion, Cohen states, “Judge Kaufman has said that he sought divine guidance in his synagogue before deciding upon the sentences. I can’t confirm or deny this. So far as I know, the closest he got to prayer was the phone booth next to the Park Avenue Synagogue. He called from that booth to a phone I used, behind the bench in the courtroom, to ask my advice on whether he ought to give the death penalty to Ethel Rosenberg. We often communicated during the Rosenberg case in this manner.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 425
Humphreys, who was known has “the Camel” or “the Hump,” was the legal tactician of the Chicago syndicate and one of the mob’s greatest political fixers. And it was from Humphrey’s own words that J. Edgar Hoover found the solution to an old mystery: how the former Attorney General, and current Supreme Court justice, Tom Clark had been bribed to grant parole to the four Chicago Mafia leaders in 1947.
Never one to let modesty get in the way of a good story, Humphreys admitted having masterminded the fix, observing that the attorney general had been “100 percent for doing favors,” but that after the parole scandal broke, “you couldn’t get through for nothing.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 457
HOOVER WAS A CROOK
In reality, the FBI Recreational Association [FBIRA] was a slush fund, maintained for the use of Hoover, Tolson, and their key aides. It was also a money-laundering operation, so the director would not have to pay taxes on his book royalties. The FBI director’s charity went right back into his and other pockets. According to William Sullivan, who oversaw the writing of Masters of Deceit–by FBI agents, on public time, as many as eight agents working full-time on the book for nearly six months–Hoover “put many thousands of dollars of that book…into his own pocket, and so did Tolson, and so did Lou Nichols [another Hoover aide].”
Hoover published two other books: A Study of Communism, with Holt, Rinehart & Winston, in 1962, which sold approximately 125,000 copies and earned the FBI director close to $50,000; and J. Edgar Hoover on Communism, with Random House, in 1969, which sold about 40,000 copies and whose total earnings have never been made public. Again, these were written by FBI employees–it was a standing joke among the agents that the Director not only didn’t write his own books; he hadn’t even read them–and again, to avoid paying taxes, he laundered the royalties through the FBI Recreational Association.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 448
As will be documented in a subsequent chapter, one of the deepest and darkest of all the FBI’s secrets was that America’s No. 1 law enforcement officer was himself a crook.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 449
[Forcefully delivered in the U.S. House of Representatives the following words came from Representative Cornelius Gallagher of New Jersey]: “Mr. Speaker, this is corruption at its worst and its central figure is J. Edgar Hoover. It is he whose unchecked reign of absolute power has intimidated this Congress to the extent that a serious question has not been asked about his management of the FBI for 10 years–maybe longer. He has become the American Beria, destroying those who threaten his empire, frightening those who should question his authority, and terrorizing those who dissent from his ancient and anachronistic view of the world.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 588
Strange things happened after J. Edgar Hoover died.
Discovering that the former special agent [Carpenter] had also been Hoover’s gardener and houseman might have prompted curiosity about what other services the late director had had performed at public expense. For example, the Exhibits Section (basically the Bureau’s carpentry shop, which designed and constructed courtroom mock ups, training aids, and the like) had channeled thousands of dollars into improvements on Hoover’s home. Some, such as the burglar alarms and the 10-foot stone wall which closed off the backyard, could be justified as necessary security, but not the new front portico, fishpond, flagstone courtyard, sidewalks, Astroturf, landscaping, sun deck, bar, liquor cabinet, recreation room murals, valet, ornamental tables, stereo, speakers, cabinets, and wallpaper, or the annual paint job, or the powerful fan that Exhibits had installed in Hoover’s kitchen because the Director had once mentioned that he did not like the smell of bacon frying. The Exhibits Section also built special gifts each year for the director’s birthday and service anniversaries, maintained all his electrical appliances, and kept men on call 24 hours a day in case his TV went out.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 725
Questions about the misappropriation of government time, money, equipment, and services would inevitably lead to the sensitive subject of what had really happened to the royalties from the director’s best-selling books, the profits from the sale of their movie rights, and ABC’s per-episode payments for the TV series “the FBI,” and would almost certainly bring attention to the tax-exempt FBI Recreational Association, the Imprest Fund, the Confidential Fund, the Library Fund, and the Special Agents Mutual Benefit Association.
Altogether, thousands of dollars were missing, misused, misappropriated, and/or unaccounted for.
One of the special agents who handled Hoover’s and Tolson’s taxes once told William Sullivan that if the truth about the director’s stock purchases, oil well leases, and income tax returns ever came out, Mr. Hoover would spend the rest of his life on Alcatraz. He said it in such a way, Sullivan recalled, as to indicate that he feared he’d probably be occupying an adjoining cell.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 726
The chief casualty was the reputation of J. Edgar Hoover, already badly battered by the 1975-76 revelations of the Church committee. That the director of the FBI, Mr. Law Enforcement himself, the man most often voted America’s most respected public official, had been a petty thief during most of his years in office seemed to shock the public more than the 15-month-long probe into FBI wiretaps, bugging, burglaries, COINTELPROs, and other illegal acts.
“It was, as corruption goes,” the Los Angeles Times editorialized, “pretty piddling stuff, almost embarrassingly so. But that’s not the point. The point is that the most powerful law-enforcement official in the world, who would severely discipline or fire underlings for the least infraction of the FBI’s rigid rules of personal conduct, could not himself resist the temptation to embezzle from the public purse with routine and unblushing regularity. And because Hoover was corrupt, some of those around him in the upper echelons of the Bureau felt that they too had the right to be corrupt.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 746
FBI AGENTS ARE THE BIGGEST OF THE MOBSTERS
In April 1963 [an FBI agent attending the funeral of a crime boss] was jumped by 4 mourners and badly beaten [outside the funeral home].
The incident, which was unprecedented, had major repercussions. Hoover passed down the word that the agents were free to reciprocate.
All over the United States crime families discussed this sudden, astonishing turn of events…and agreed there should be no recurrence. But mob leaders in Youngstown, Ohio, didn’t get the message. The agents overheard them discussing which of their three available hit men to use to kill an FBI agent they particularly disliked. Some 20 of the area’s biggest and baddest-looking agents barged into the Mafia chieftain’s penthouse apartment, “accidentally” knocked over expensive vases, dropped cigarettes and still-lit matches on the Oriental carpets, urinated on a favorite potted palm. “You may have three hit men,” they told him, “but Mr. Hoover has thousands.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 530
AMERICAN LEADERS SPY ON THEIR OWN SUBORDINATES AND HIGH OFFICIALS
Saturday morning the Kissinger aide Col. Haig came to Sullivan’s office and requested wiretaps on four people, three National Security Council staff members and an assistant to the Secretary of Defense. The request was made on “the highest authority,” Haig stated (by which Sullivan presumed he meant Kissinger or the president), and involved “a matter of most grave and serious consequences to our national security.”
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 635
[Later] when Sullivan suggested to Haig that the taps had failed in their purpose–there was still no clue as to the source of the New York Times leak– Haig, after checking with Kissinger, insisted the taps be kept on, so “a pattern of innocence” could be established.
In all there would be 17 wiretaps, ranging in duration from five weeks to 21 months, the longest being that of Morton Halperin, who was tapped for a year and a half after he left the NSC and no longer had access to classified documents. Those tapped included seven NSC staff members, four newsman, two White House advisers, a deputy assistant secretary of state, a State Department ambassador, a brigandier general with the Defense Department, and one of Nixon’s speech writers. Henry Kissinger ordered 14 of the wiretaps, John Mitchell two, and H.R. Haldeman one.
[Footnote]: those tapped were: Morton Halperin, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, NSC; Daniel Davidson, NSC; Brigandier General Robert Pursley, Department of Defense; Richard Sneider, NSC, Richard Moose, NSC; Henry Brandon, London Sunday Times; Hedrick Smith, New York Times; John Sears, White House; William Safire, presidential speech writer; Marvin Kalb, CBS News; Ambassador William Sullivan, State Department; William Beecher, New York Times; Richard Pederson, State Department; Winston Lord, NSC; Tony Lake, NSC; and James McLane, White House.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 637
By putting taps on two of their closest aides, Henry Kissinger was able to spy on defense Secretary Melvin Laird and Secretary of State William Rogers.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 638
From the start, there was an “atmosphere of duplicity.” Here was the president of the United States [Nixon], asking for a comprehensive report on intelligence-collecting methods that could be used against domestic radicals, and sitting across the table from him were the nation’s four intelligence chiefs, not one of whom saw fit to inform him that most of these techniques were already being used against the same groups. They just silently sat there– Hoover, Helms, Gayler, and Bennett–each with his own secrets. Nixon didn’t know about the CIA’s mail-opening program, or the FBI’s COINTELPROs, or the NSA’s monitoring of domestic telephone calls, or the DIAs planting informants among campus groups.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 653
The Kissinger wiretaps were one of the most closely held secrets of the FBI. Within the Bureau itself, only the Director, Sullivan, and those who worked on the taps were aware of their existence.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 695
US HAS ADOPTED THE RUTHLESS METHODS OF THE BRITISH & THE NAZIS TO FIGHT SOCIALISM
It is above all American imperialism that has become the main employer of all the filthy methods of labor espionage, not only against its own progressive organizations, but against working-class and progressive movement’s throughout the world. All that was most cunning in British imperialist methods and most ruthless in the methods of the Gestapo has been taken over by the American state.
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 57
It is no secret that the main target of the British Secret Service, whether “foreign” or “other,” is the movement of the working-class and the working people for socialism and peace.
Far from being foreign to British traditions, the use of spies and provocateurs against the labor movement is part of the long tradition of the British capitalists, and has been brought by them to a fine but very ugly art.
But if it was in Britain that the employment of spies and provocateurs against the labor movement was first developed on a large-scale; if such activity was taken a stage further by the fascist Ovra and Gestapo; it is American imperialism that has now inherited and carries forward all that is worst and most disgusting in this ugly art. The use of spies, provocateurs, informers has become an integral part of the “American way of life.”
In 1798 Edward Livingston, friend of Thomas Jefferson, denounced in these prophetic words the Alien and Sedition Acts about to be enacted by the Federalist Administration of President John Adams:
“The country will swarm with informers, spies, debators, and all the odious reptile tribe that breed in the sunshine of domestic power…. The home of the most unsuspected confidence, the intimacies of friendship, or the recesses of domestic retirement afford no security. The companion whom you most trust, the friend in whom you confide, the domestic who waits in your chamber, are all tempted to betray your imprudent, unguarded follies; to misrepresent your words, to convey them, distorted by calumny, to the secret tribunal where jealousy presides, where fear officiates as accuser, and suspicion is the only evidence that is heard.”
And yet how mild and moderate are these stern words of warning when compared to the actual conduct of the corrupt and reactionary American police state in the last 30 years [1920 to 1950]. The “reptile tribe” of spies and stoolpigeons, complemented by a corrupt and brutal police, has become part of the daily life of contemporary America….
It is in the hysterical witch-hunting campaign that followed the First World War that we first make acquaintance with America’s stoolpigeon king, J. Edgar Hoover, present head of the FBI. In October 1918, the U.S. Congress, on the crest of a witch-hunting wave, passed the Deportation Act, ostensibly to be used against aliens. In the following year was created the infamous “Radical Division” of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover.
Soon we see the Division in action. In the words of Attorney-General Palmer himself, we see the establishment of:
“a card index system, numbering over 200,000 cards, giving detailed data not only upon individual agitators connected with the ultra-radical movement, but also upon organizations, associations, societies, publications, and special conditions existing in certain localities.”
With the aid of provocateurs and police stooges, a terror campaign was launched against the labor and progressive movement. Towards the end of 1919 (see Albert Kahn’s High Treason) the Assistant Chief of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation, Frank Burke, dispatched a highly confidential directive to Federal Agents throughout America, informing them that the Department was about to carry out a series of raids in an all-in roundup of “Communists” and “Radicals.” They were ordered to mobilize all their stoolpigeons “within Communist groups” to make every effort to arrange for these organizations to hold meetings on the designated night. As Burke put it:
“If possible you should arrange with your under-cover informants to have meetings of the Communist Party and the Communist Labor Party on the night set…. This, of course, will facilitate in making the arrests.” (Albert Kahn’s High Treason, p. 1)
Throughout the whole preceding spring and summer plans had been worked out for this anti-labor “offensive.” Hundreds of spies, special agents and stoolpigeons had been sent into labor and progressive organizations. Justice Department spies were ordered not only to watch out for “subversive” literature but in a number of cases printed it themselves and then had it seized in police raids.
The offensive culminated in the great raids of June 1920, when in one swoop, on June 2, more than 10,000 arrests were made in 70 cities. Agents played a major role in the preparation of the “offensive”:
“The action, though it came with dramatic suddenness, had been carefully mapped out, studied, and systematised…. For months, Department of Justice men, dropping all their work, had concentrated on the Reds. Agents quietly infiltrated into the radical ranks…and went to work, sometimes as cooks in remote mining colonies, again as steelworkers, and when the opportunity presented itself, as agitators of the wildest type…. Several of the agents, ‘under-cover’ men, managed to rise in the radical movement and became, in at least one instance, the recognized leader of the district….” (New York Times, March 1, 1920)
During this whole period the Bureau of Investigation of the Department Of Justice worked in the closest collaboration with the labor espionage organizations of the great American corporations–two weapons of the same class against the same class enemy. The Commission of Inquiry of the Inter-Church World Movement stated in its report of the steel strike of 1919:
“Federal immigration authorities testified to the commission that raids and arrests, for ‘radicalism,’ etc., were made especially in the Pittsburgh District on the denunciations and secret reports of steel company ‘under-cover’ men, and the prisoners turned over to the Department of Justice.” (Quoted in High Treason, page 37)
A Federal Agent in the Pittsburgh area, giving evidence to this Commission, declared that “90 percent of all the radicals arrested and taken into custody were reported by one of the large corporations, either of the steel or the coal industry.”
The agents and provocateurs organized by the imperialist state to develop a spy scare and a witch-hunt against “the Reds” were used for the attack on all militant trade unionists, and indeed on all liberals, democrats, lovers and defenders of democracy and peace.
The American state, true to the capitalist tradition, combined its covert penetration of and spying on the labor movement from inside with open police repression from outside. The Gestapo did not have to go beyond the confines of Western democracy to learn its methods. In 1929, President Hoover appointed a National Commission on Law Enforcement and Observance, headed by George Wickersham, former Attorney-General and Wall Street partner of another Republican president. This is how Mr. E. J. Hopkins, veteran police reporter and investigator for the Wickersham Commission, summed up in his book, Our Lawless Police, the findings of this authoritative Commission:
“In various cases which occurred between 1920 and 1930, the Wickersham Commission found that suspected persons had been starved, kept awake many days and nights, confined in pitch-dark and airless cells; had been beaten with fists, clubs, black-jacks, rubber hoses, telephone books, straps, whips; beaten on the shins, under the knee cap (at the point of the patellar reflex), across the abdomen, the throat, the face, the head, the shoulders, above the kidneys, on the buttocks and legs; kicked on the shins, the torso and in the crotch; had had their arms twisted, the testicles twisted and squeezed; had been given tear gas, scopolamine injections and chloroform; had been made to touch corpses and hold the hands of murdered persons in morgues; that women had been lifted by their hair; in one case, a man had been laid flat upon the floor and lifted repeatedly by his organs of sex.
This in modern America between 1920 and 1930, in the 15th decade of the Constitution and for the purpose of obtaining a ‘voluntary’ confession of guilt.”
In 1937 there took place in the USA the famous hearings on the question of civil liberties and labor espionage before the subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor of the United States Senate, popularly known as the La Follette Civil Liberties Committee. The complete text in some 30 or so volumes was published by the American Government (not at a popular price).
Amongst the witnesses called was Mr. Blankerhorn, industrial economist in the National Labor Relations Board, who for 20 years had studied the question of labor espionage. This gentleman furnished the Committee with a list of agencies whose profitable business it was to supply stoolpigeons to capitalist employers to spy on, disrupt, corrupt, and compromise the trade unions in their plants and factories. As of April 1936, there were 230 such agencies employing something like half a million stoolpigeons and spies at the average price of $175 per spy per month. Three of the biggest agencies, Pinkerton’s, Burns, and Thiel, hired out between them 40,000-135,000 agents. During the hearings, General Motors officials, for instance, testified that between January 1934 and July 1936 alone they had paid out $995,000 to Pinkerton’s Agency alone. One labor leader reported to the investigating committee that he never “knew of a gathering large enough to be called a meeting and small enough to exclude a spy.” “The known total of business firms receiving spy services from these agencies,” reported the Commission, “is approximately 2500. The list as a whole reads like a bluebook of American industry.”
Unwilling employers and embarrassed agency heads were forced to produce to the Committee records, catalogs, tariffs of their agents and informers. All the craft and craftiness of U.S. advertising had been employed in boosting their own particular brands of spies. “You have a union–we’ll bust it. You want spies we have the best.” Here is a typical letter from the Foster service to a prospective client:
“First, I will say that if we are employed before any union or organization is formed by the employees, there will be no strike and no disturbance. This does not say there will be no unions formed, but it does say that we will control the activities of the union and direct its policies, provided we are allowed a free hand by our clients.
Second, if the union is already formed and no strike is on or expected to be declared within thirty or 60 days, although we are not in the same position as we would be in the above case, we could–and I believe with success–carry on an intrigue which would result in factions, disagreements, resignations of officers, and general decrease in membership.”
Posing as active trade unionists hundreds of these stoolpigeons wormed their way into leading positions in the CI0, AFof L, and the Railroad Brotherhoods–the three main U.S. trade union organizations. And once they had won those positions they use them for disruption. An agent elected secretary of the AF of L Typewriter Workers’ Branch in Hartford, Connecticut, “succeeded” in reducing its membership from 2500 to 75 in one-year. Here is a short extract from the testimony of a Pinkerton agent–Barker.
SEN. LA FOLLETTE: Mr. Barker, as a result of your experience as an undercover operator, informant, and spy, what is your impression about the effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness, of this labor espionage work in breaking up or preventing unions, genuine labor unions, from organizing?
MR. BARKER: It is very effective, especially in the local to which are belonged…. One time at Lansing-Fisher they were almost 100 percent organized. And finally it went down to where, as I said, there were only five officers left.
SEN. LAFOLLETTE: You attribute that to undercover operations?
MR. BARKER: Yes; I do.
The training given by the agencies to their agents is very revealing. Here are a few extracts from a 24-page Correspondence Course of Training for an Industrial Operative from the National Manufacturers’ Syndicate:
From the First Instruction Sheet:
“Our work is most honorable, humanitarian, and very important, and must be recognized as such.”
From the Second Instruction Sheet:
“It is very plain that in order for us to be successful we must conduct our work in an invisible manner, as the ordinary worker, in his ignorance, is apt to misunderstand our motives if he knows of our presence and identity in the plant.”
From the Third Instruction Sheet:
“The rules and regulations of our organization exclude even one’s close friends and families from any knowledge as to details of any assignment a representative may receive.”
From the Fourth Instruction Sheet:
“Remember we are unalterably opposed to all cliques, radicalists, and disturbing elements who try to create discontentment, suspicion, and unfriendliness on the part of the workers towards the employers….
“As our representative you must find out first of all who are the dissatisfied ones; then cultivate their friendship and win their confidence.
“You must be prepared to throw overboard your moral scruples. You must be hard. You must lie easily and often… you must be slippery, shrewd, sharp, sneaky….”
Is it a far step from the work of these agencies and agents, outlined in such detail in the LaFollette Report, to the work of sending agents and spies into the working-class organizations of other countries? Here is the training-ground for Intelligence Operations against the working people of other countries, especially in the lands where the workers rule….
Nor is it a long step to the witch-hunts, spy scares, purges, developing fascism–to the USA of 1950. Take, for example, the trial of the 11 Communist leaders. Of the 13 witnesses for the prosecution, two were “regular” FBI agents, 10 FBI undercover agents or embittered renegade Communists. There were no other witnesses.
Klugmann, James. From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951, p. 64-70
MCCARTHY ERA EXHIBITED THE WORST US POLITICAL REPRESSION
The McCarthy era was a bad time for freedom in America. Encompassing far more than the brief career of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, it was the most widespread episode of political repression in the history of the United States.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998
PEOPLE IN US TRIED FOR THEIR LITERATURE NOT FOR ACTUAL DEEDS
These trials [the trials of socialists, Wobblies, and anarchists opposed to WWI] foreshadowed the anticommunist prosecutions of the Cold War in both their procedures and their outcomes. In the IWW cases, for example, the government, as it was later to do in prosecuting the CP, based its case almost entirely on the organization’s literature, rather than on its activities.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 54
Still, the government did have to come up with some more positive evidence that Communists espoused the violent overthrow of the state. It found it in the party’s bookstores. Political trials, because they often deal more with words than deeds, can sometimes be literary affairs. In the Smith Act case, because it involved “teaching” as well as “advocating,” was especially dense with texts. They included the most incendiary passages in the works of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and other communist heavies….
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 195
US GOVT OFFICIALS SUPPRESSED PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF THE LAW
There were parallels as well between the outrages that accompanied the Palmer raids and those that took place during the McCarthy period. These similarities were no accident; they occurred because it was not possible either in 1919 or in 1949 to clamp down on political agitation without seriously compromising freedom of speech and the rights of individuals. It was, after all, not against the law to call for a proletarian revolution or, later, to be a Communist. This lack of a clear statutory prohibition against what they wanted to suppress tempted officials like Hoover to operate in the murky area at the margins of legality. Undoubtedly, they sometimes went over the edge, either because they exceeded their own authority or because laws they were trying to enforce did not forbid the activities they considered illegal.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 58
The first raids took place on November 7, 1919, the second anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. The main target was a left-wing immigrant group, the Union of Russian Workers, but Hoover and his men also picked up Emma Goldman and a few other top anarchists. Neither the violence that accompanied the raids nor such violations of civil liberties as beatings and warrantless arrests diminished the apparent popularity of the measures.
The newly formed communist parties were the targets of the second roundup. Undercover agents got orders to call meetings for the night of January 2, 1920, to facilitate the raids. Again, there were massive violations of human rights and due process. Somewhere between 6000 10,000 people were arrested in New York, Boston, Detroit, and 30 other cities, often without a warrant. As a result, although the raids netted most of the nation’s leading communist aliens, they also picked up nondeportable citizens and such innocent bystanders as the curiosity seeker in Newark who was arrested because he “looked like a radical.” Some of the detainees were beaten and others were held without hearings for weeks and even months, often in dangerously overcrowded facilities.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 59
So, too, did the illegal behavior and injustice that suffused so much of what happened. The process of destroying Communism seriously deformed American politics. Countersubversion was not good for democracy. The basic illegitimacy of the project tainted everything it touched. From the FBI’s illegal break-ins to the secrecy of the entertainment industry’s blacklists to the ACLU board’s refusal to except its members rejection of an anticommunist referendum, every public and private institution that fought communism resorted to lies and dirty tricks. The hypocrisy was corrosive, laying the foundation for the widespread cynicism and apathy that suffuses contemporary political life.
Nor has the blatant disregard for the rights of individuals that characterized the anticommunist crusade necessarily vanished from the scene. It may in fact have intensified. Certainly during the 1960s, the brutal repression practiced against such dissenting organizations as the Black Panthers built upon the foundations laid during the McCarthy era. And it remains unclear, for example, whether the police state apparatus that J. Edgar Hoover and his allies tried to put into place has been entirely dismantled. During the 1980s, the Bureau was still engaging in COINTELPRO-type operations against opponents of the Reagan administration’s foreign policy in Central America. National security, now as then, still cloaks this kind of illegitimate activity.
The contempt for constitutional limitations that McCarthyism bred among its perpetrators has also continued to fester within the American polity. It was, after all, HUAC’s most famous alumnus, Richard Nixon, who mounted a COINTELPRO-type of offensive against the very structure of the American government during the Watergate years. Nixon owed his career to the anti-communist crusade. He won elections by red-baiting and gained a national reputation by pursuing Alger Hiss. His political success conveyed respectability on the illicit practices he and his allies employed. By the time he reached the White House, the secrecy and deceit that had marked his early triumphs had become routine. He snooped on aides and rivals, authorized dirty tricks against domestic opponents, and illegally bombed a country (Cambodia) with which the United States was not at war. These crimes were far more serious than the offense artifacts that someone like Clinton Jencks was charged with during McCarthy era.
Nixon’s subversive activities were not merely the excesses of an out-of-control politician. They had been nurtured in a system that, from the 1940s on, had justified the illegitimate use of state power against the supposed enemies of the state. Nixon simply identified himself with the state and carried on business as usual. Watergate was, thus, the logical result of the tendency to insulate affairs of state from the Constitution. During the McCarthy era, that tendency nullified the First Amendment; during Watergate it overrode much of the rest of the Constitution. Though Nixon was forced from office, there was no repudiation of the mentality that tempted him to break the law in the name of some greater national purpose.
The equally illegal Iran-Contra operation reveals how deeply engrained that propensity for criminal behavior had become. Ronald Reagan’s top advisers–and possibly the president himself–knowingly contravened Congress’s express prohibition on supplying arms to the Nicaraguan Contras and funded the operation by an illegal deal to trade arms for hostages in the Middle East. Like Nixon, they tried to cover it up. And like the protagonists of the McCarthy era, they tried to justify it in terms of national security. To the extent, then, that the secret and illegal use of state power for illegitimate purposes became routinized during the McCarthy era, it is clear that the anticommunist crusade contributed to the undermining of respect for lawful procedures at the very highest levels of government. Ultimately, it may well be that the sleaziness McCarthyism introduced to American politics constitutes its main legacy.
… the process through which McCarthyism came to dominate American politics is infinitely replicable. The demonization of politically marginalized groups and the use of state power to repress them goes on all the time, as does the willingness of so many important individuals and institutions to collaborate with the process.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 413
With the advent of war [World War I] anything German became anathema. Teaching of the language was banned in most schools; Beethoven & Bach disappeared from symphony programs; sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage. The fact that most brewers were of German nationality was used by the Anti-Saloon League and its intemperate allies to help push the 18th Amendment through a few more state legislatures, enough to make prohibition inevitable. The suppression of the International Workers in the World (IWW) was given new impetus with the charge (belatedly disproven) that the union had “enemy funding.” With the passage, in quick succession, of the Espionage Act (1917), the Sedition Act (1918), and the Alien Deportation Act (1918), pacifism became disloyalty, complaints about wages or working conditions were called “seditious utterances,” and neighborhood quarrels or ballroom brawls were elevated to the level of treason.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 70
The May 1917 Selective Service Act required that all males between the ages of 21 and 30 register for the draft. Convinced that many young men had failed to sign up, and aware that a number of others had deserted once they were inducted, Secretary of War Newton Baker and Attorney General Gregory gave Bureau of Investigation Chief, Bielaski, permission to conduct a number of small experimental “roundups” in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Boston. Pleased with the results, Bielaski decided to try something more ambitious. On Sept. 3, 1918, 35 BI agents, 2000 American Protective League [a kind of right wing vigilante group] operatives, an equal number of military personnel, and several hundred policeman fanned out over New York City, Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Newark. At bayonet point, they confronted men on street corners and streetcars and yanked them from barber chairs, theaters, pool halls, hotel lobbies, and offices, demanding that each produce either a draft-registration card or a birth certificate proving him too young or too old for the draft. Those who didn’t happen to be carrying such documentation, the majority, were herded into hastily constructed “corrals” and held until their status was determined. Overly enthusiastic–the New York catch included a 75 year old cripple on crutches–the raiders arrested far more than had been provided for, and many were confined in standing-room-only quarters without food, water, or sanitary facilities for up to two days.
[Footnote]: Exactly how many “slackers” were apprehended remains unclear. BI Chief Bielaski having issued various contradictory figures. In his final report he claimed that out of 50,000 arrested, 1,505 had been inducted into military service and 15,000 referred to their draft boards. However, one of his assistants injudiciously admitted that out of every 200 arrests, 199 were clearly mistakes.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 71
It was O’Brian [a progressive Republican from Buffalo, New York, and special assistant to the Attorney General for war work] who prosecuted the most important Espionage Act cases, including that of the Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs, who was given a ten-year sentence for an antiwar speech in Canton, Ohio (O’Brian argued that the pacifist’s utterances were not the “free speech” mentioned in the First Amendment).
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 74
ROOSEVELT WAS QUITE REPRESSIVE WHEN HE WANTED TO BE
Nonetheless, at those moments when Communists and their allies created problems for his administration, Roosevelt had few reservations about repressing them, especially if they interfered with national security or his own political career. He was not a civil libertarian. He was more than willing to spy on, harass, or prosecute any group or individual that opposed his policies. Though he had refused to send the army into San Francisco to put down the maritime strike of 1934, he was quite prepared to throw its leader Harry Bridges out of the country a year later. At times, especially when the CP turned against his foreign policy, the president could be quite ferocious.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 87
CPUSA LEADER WAS SENTENCED UNJUSTLY
Recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by forcing the party’s leader [Browder] to serve out the remainder of his patently unfair sentence, Roosevelt released him from prison on May 16, 1942, on the grounds that it “will have a tendency to promote national unity.”
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 103
LITTLE EVIDENCE AGAINST THE ROSENBERGS
Because the Venona documents were too highly classified to be produced at a trial, the government had to build its case against Rosenberg on other evidence–of which there was little.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 177
ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WAS COMMITTED TO CONVICT THE ROSENBERGS
The government’s evidence against the Rosenbergs was not overwhelming, but given the political atmosphere in the spring of 1951 the guilty verdict was probably inevitable. Nonetheless, the prosecution left little to chance and fixed the case. Not only did it encourages witnesses to embellish their testimony, but it also colluded directly (and illegally) with Judge Kaufman to ensure that he would impose the death penalty.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 178
McCarthyism functioned along a spectrum that extended from such relatively minor damages as the withdrawal of a judgeship from Alger Hiss’s lawyer to the judicial murder of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 305
TRIAL AGAINST CPUSA LEADERS WAS UNJUST AND RIGGED
The defense attorneys challenged the government’s entire case. Time and again they questioned the admissibility of the books and articles that Budenz, Philbrick, and the other government witnesses were introducing. Most of these works had been written long before the passage of the Smith Act and were hardly representative of the party’s current thinking. Nor were the selections an accurate sampling of the CP’s basic philosophy. But Judge Medina overruled each objection.
Medina was hardly an unbiased arbiter…. Not surprisingly, he handled the party’s lawyers and their clients with overt hostility, treating their objections as delaying tactics and openly baiting both attorneys and witnesses…. It was not a decorous proceeding.
Nor was it a fair one. Whether through bugs or informers, the FBI got inside information about defense strategy that it passed to the prosecutors. In the courtroom, Medina cut off cross-examinations when they appeared to be damaging the government witnesses and he refused to let the CP present the same kind of evidence that the prosecution had. The government used the judge’s bias to good advantage….
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 198
MCCARTHYISM WAS ACTUALLY HOOVERISM BECAUSE THE FBI RAN IT ALL
Had observers known in the 1950s what they have learned since the 1970s, When the Freedom of Information Act Opened the Bureau’s files, “McCarthyism” would probably be called “Hooverism.” For the FBI was the bureaucratic heart of the McCarthy era. It designed and ran much of the machinery of political repression, shaping the loyalty programs, criminal prosecutions, and undercover operations that pushed the communist issue to the center of American politics during early years of the Cold War.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 203
Though the bureau often tried to hide its tracks, the evidence that remains makes it clear that the FBI was the single most important component of the anti-communist crusade and the institution most responsible for its successes–and its inequities.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 239
McCarthy was more flamboyant than his fellow crusaders, but the dishonesty, opportunism, and disregard for civil liberties that he practiced were commonplace within the rest of the anticommunist network.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 265
“McCarthyism” was, from start to finish, the creation of one man, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. New York: Norton, c1991, p. 380
THE FBI WAS HIGHLY POLITICAL AND BIASED
It would be hard to exaggerate the importance Hoover and his men placed on maintaining the FBI’s reputation as a professional, nonpartisan investigating agency. That perception was the key to its power. By insisting that it was above political considerations, the Bureau insured that it would receive support from all constituencies and that few restrictions would be placed on its activities. That image, of course, was a myth. Far from being an impartial agency that simply looked for facts, the Bureau had a very definite political agenda that it sought to implement in any way it could. And many of the FBI’s activities went far beyond what it was authorized to do.
In order to maintain its reputation, therefore, the Bureau had to devote considerable resources to concealing what it was doing.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 218
FBI WORKED HARD TO HIDE ITS CRIMES
The public occasionally caught glimpses of these activities. In 1945, just as the government was preparing its case against the journalists and officials involved in the leaking of classified documents to the left-wing magazine Amerasia, one of the defendants discovered that FBI agents had illegally entered his apartment…
The materials, which described contacts between Americans and Russians, contained nothing that endangered the United States but quite a lot that embarrassed the FBI. They showed that the Bureau was improperly concerned about people’s political activities and had investigated and wire-tapped a wide range of private citizens,….
Never again. The FBI immediately took steps to prevent a recurrence. It intensified its efforts both to protect its files and to ensure that they would no longer reveal evidence of its agents’ misdeeds. Actually, the Bureau had long been doctoring its records to conceal unauthorized investigations and unlawful practices. Some files were intentionally written to be opaque, others were altered or destroyed. In still other cases, agents simply did not report illegal activities like break-ins to their superiors or, when they did, used complicated filing procedures to hide that information. In response to the Coplon trial, Hoover created even more misleading filing procedures and developed ways to ensure that information about his agency’s more questionable activities would not come in court.
The FBI’s damage containment was not limited to falsifying its records, however.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 222
When it became clear that the administration was not going to act, the National Lawyers Guild mounted its own investigation. It analyzed the FBI materials that had been released at the Coplon trial and issued a report in January 1950 noting the illegalities of the Bureau’s operations and again calling on Truman to investigate. “On a strictly numerical basis,” the National Lawyers Guild report concluded, “the FBI may commit more federal crimes than it ever detects.”
Many of those crimes had been committed against the National Lawyers Guild. The Bureau had a protracted vendetta against the Guild. From 1940 on, FBI agents routinely burglarized its offices and planted illegal wire taps on its phones and on those of its leading members…. the FBI’s buggings and burglaries ensured that it had full information about the Guild’s strategy.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 223
The Bureau used more intrusive and often illegal methods to keep track of what the people it was investigating did outside the public eye. It rifled through their trash, intercepted their mail, broke into their homes and offices, and planted illegal microphones and wiretaps. These procedures seem to have been routine. Almost every FBI file I saw contained some evidence of an illegal break-in, trash cover, or electronic surveillance.
Illegal entries were common. Between 1947 and 1951 the FBI burglarized the National Lawyer Guild’s Washington offices at least 14 times. The Communist party’s New York headquarters was broken into so routinely that, as one agent later noted, it had been “burgled more than a fur company in the Bronx.”
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 225
FBI USES DIRTY TRICKS IN COINTELPRO
In the mid-’50s the FBI began to use its undercover operations for harassment as well as information gathering. To a large extent, this switch, which was formalized by the August 1956 creation of the Counter-intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, as it was called, was just a codification and intensification of what the Bureau was already doing. Prompted by a series of recent Supreme Court decisions that had thrown out many of the government’s cases against the CP, Hoover and his men decided to use dirty tricks instead of criminal prosecutions to neutralize the party. Informers were to become agents provocateurs, to spread rumors and promote dissension within the ranks. “Snitch jackets,” falsified documents that created the suspicion that someone was an FBI informer, were planted on party stalwarts. There were also leaks to the media, anonymous letters, IRS audits, attempts to get people fired, and disruptions of public activities by encouraging building owners to cancel meetings…. As with so many of the FBI’s other countersubversive activities, COINTELPRO was secret and unauthorized.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 227
MILITARY PEOPLE WERE TREATED UNJUSTLY
Enlisted men charged with disloyalty and threatened with less than honorable discharges did not always get hearings; and, if they did, were not always told what they were accused of. Sometimes they were not even notified of the outcome of their hearings. The Army had gotten so much negative publicity when it reversed the favorable decisions of a few hearing panels that it simply stopped telling servicemen what those panels had decided. The individuals involved could appeal, but blindly, since they would not know until the moment of their discharge whether or not they have been cleared.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 278
INFORMERS WERE USED ILLEGALLY BY THE FBI
At the insistence of the FBI, which was, of course, hiding its dirty laundry as well as protecting its informants, the identities of informers were invariably withheld. Even the loyalty boards that handled these cases did not get this information. Often all they knew was that the material on which they based their judgments came from, in the Bureau’s terminology, a “reliable” source….
The injustices involved were obvious. Without knowing the source of the charges against them, employees who were trying to disprove them could not effectively counter those allegations and demonstrate their falsity.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 279
Few loyalty panels gave employees a chance to confront witnesses against them. Though they recognized that the failure to let people confront their accusers did, in the words of Seth Richardson, the first head of the Truman administration’s Loyalty Review Board, “give rise to most serious questions in the minds of the general public,” they refused to do so. In their eyes, national security overrode fair play. The 1956 report of the Defense Department’s personnel security officials presents the argument in a typically apocalyptic fashion. “No American welcomes the necessity for the non-disclosure of sources of information. But a necessity it is. The necessity is real because the conspiracy is real. The struggle is for the survival of a whole nation. Without the confidential informant that struggle could not be successful.”
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 280
The federal attorneys who built their cases on the testimony of professional informers like Matusow may have suspected that these people embellished their stories, but it was so hard to find any usable evidence against Communists that the prosecutors shut their eyes to the perversions of justice that their reliance on such witnesses entailed.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 349
FAIR HEARINGS INVOLVING SERIOUS TOPICS WERE DENIED
In its 2-1 decision early in 1950, the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals ruled, as it and other tribunals were doing in similar employment cases (and in deportation cases as well), that because losing a job was not a criminal punishment, Bailey had no right to a fair hearing.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 281
POLITICS RATHER THAN SECURITY RAN THE LOYALTY PROGRAM
Since the communist threat, such as it was, diminished even as the security measures that were being taken to counter it increased in severity, it was obvious that politics, not security, drove the nation’s loyalty programs. Such had been the case from the start.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 287
SUPPRESSION OF FREE PRESS IN USA
… Instead, the government took on the China Daily News and its directors.
The paper’s ostensible crime was that it ran ads for the banks that handled these remittances [money sent back by American Chinese to their relatives in China], these ads serving, so the prosecution claimed, as “the instrument used by these defendants…to aid and assist Communist China.” The paper’s real crime had occurred on its editorial pages, where it continued to support the mainland regime and offer Chinese Americans a more nuanced perspective on East Asia than that of Chiang Kai-shek. Prosecuting it for trading with the enemy long after it had halted the illicit advertisements was simply a useful way to silence what the government called “nothing more than a mouthpiece for Communist China in this country.”
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 377
OUSTER OF CPUSA MEMBERS DRAMATICALLY WEAKENED THE LABOR MOVEMENT
Labor’s rupture with the left hastened its transformation from a movement to a bureaucracy. The radical organizers who had built and sustained the CIO were ousted, replaced by less imaginative individuals with neither their predecessors’ vision nor their drive. Labour also lost its political independence. It operated as a junior partner within the American system, seeking higher wages and benefits for its members and foregoing any attempt to push for major social and economic change…. The passage of the Taft-Hartley Act was only part of a larger corporate effort to destroy the legitimacy and power of American unions. Nonetheless, the ouster of its left-wingers weakened the labor movement by limiting its options and depriving it of just those elements that might have offered a stronger defense of collective action.
The Communists and their allies were, after all, labor’s most militant voices. Their ideology encouraged them to champion workers against bosses. They understood how capitalism operated and were often willing to challenge management at every level. They were, for example, among the first labor leaders to raise such crucial issues as deindustrialization and runaway plants. In addition, because they recognized the importance of retaining the loyalty of their rank-and-file members, they tried to create a broader community that would keep those members involved with the union. A typical left-wing local, like the one Harold Christoffel organized at Allis-Chalmers, ran dances, held classes, and aggressively pursued grievances. Moreover, as long as the CP retained a presence, its opponents also had to work the grassroots.
Once the left-wingers were gone, organized labor lost its dynamism. It became more centralized, corrupt, and distant from its members. Not surprisingly, those members responded in kind. They lost interest in their unions, stopped going to meetings, and no longer viewed belonging to a union as central to their own identity. That apathy forced the labor movement to rely on federal intervention instead of the support of its own members. When the political climate became hostile to organized labor, as it did during the Reagan administration, the AFL-CIO was blindsided.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 382
NOTED PEOPLE ARE BLACKLISTED UNJUSTLY
By the time Paul Robeson became the first person barred from American television early in 1950, the most charismatic black actor and singer of his generation had already become a nonperson.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 397
The anti-communist crusade and the black list that it imposed ended Hollywood’s brief flirtation with the real world and ensured that the fledgling television industry would never even begin one.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 398
MEDIA IN MCCARTHY ERA WAS STERILE AND ESCAPIST
McCarthyism did, thus, reach the screen,…
Equally conservative, though less obviously political, were the messages that the ordinary genre films of the period purveyed: the good guy/bad guy polarization of the Westerns, the unthinking patriotism of the war movies, the global triumphalism of the Bible epics, and the constricted sexuality of the romantic comedies. Hollywood was selling an escapist oeuvre that indirectly sanctioned the ostensibly homogenized society of Cold War America by keeping blacks, workers, and uppity women off the screen.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 398-399
Most of the entertainment that reached the nation’s living rooms during the 1950s supported the status quo. Quiz shows celebrated capital accumulation. Westerns and crime stories offered simplistic morality tales that got resolved by violence. Sitcoms reinforced traditional gender roles. And what passed for documentaries were often recycled World War II propaganda films produced by the armed forces. The news was equally oversimplified and militaristic. Except when they handled special events like the Army-McCarthy hearings, networks rarely had the resources to cover stories live. They usually relied on government briefings and official footage, especially when dealing with warfare and foreign policy. Public affairs programming was predictably bland. The networks consciously decided not to run editorials in order to avoid controversy. Though television inherited talk-show panels from radio, it narrowed the range of opinions expressed on them. Moreover, the conviviality that suffused these programs trivialized the issues they dealt with and reinforced the notion that Americans had nothing to disagree about.
Not much has changed. Though the mass media did open up slightly during the 1960s, the patterns of institutional restraint and self-censorship established during the McCarthy era are still around. So, too, are the limitations on the range of issues that receive exposure.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, c1998, p. 400
ROSENBERGS WERE NOTHING MORE THAN MINOR COURIERS
Semyonov was the case officer of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after Ovakimian recruited them. The Rosenbergs were never more than minor couriers and were never involved with our major networks, but their later arrest had global repercussions.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 177
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were recruited by Ovakimian, our resident in New York, in 1938. The irony is that the Rosenbergs are portrayed by the American counterintelligence service as the key figures in delivering atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, but actually they played a very minor role. They were absolutely separate from my major networks gathering atomic secrets.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 213
I first learned of the arrest of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1950 from a TASS report. I was not concerned about it. This might strike some as odd, but it is important to note that as well as being responsible for the thousands of fighters behind German lines during the war, we had hundreds of agents in the United States, not including illegals, sources, and informers. As the director of Department S., I was familiar with our personnel, though not with any but their most important sources; the Rosenbergs were not important or significant sources of information. It occurred to me that they might have been related to our intelligence operations, but they were not major players in my atomic intelligence networks. I considered the whole affair to be routine business.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 213
The involvement of the Rosenbergs in atomic spying was the outcome of our efforts to utilize any and all possible sources of information, but the Rosenbergs were never a significant source. They were a naive couple overeager to cooperate with us, who provided no valuable secrets. I said that I was completely unaware of their providing technological information of high value to Semyonov. They were spies recruited by Ovakimian who worked for us because of their ideological motivations. Their contributions to atomic espionage were minor.
It was clear from the very beginning that the case had acquired a political character far out a proportion to their actual role as spies. More important than their spying activities was that the Rosenbergs served as a symbol in support of communism and the Soviet Union. Their bravery to the end served our cause, because they became the center of a worldwide communist propaganda campaign.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 216
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