The Soviet Union is the only country in the world in which it is a crime for any person to give or receive any “direct or indirect privileges on account of race or nationality” and where any preaching of “race or national exceptionalism or hatred or contempt” is punishable by law. This was a ” fighting point” enshrined in the Soviet Constitution, which was adopted after the rise of Hitler Germany across the border. Acts of race prejudice are severely dealt with in the Soviet Union. Ordinary drunken brawls between Russians may be lightly handled as misdemeanors, but let a brawl occur between a Russian and a Jew in which national names are used in a way insulting to national dignity, and this becomes a serious political offense.
Strong, Anna L. The Soviets Expected It. New York, New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 40
“At bottom every Jew is a Bolshevik!” was the constant theme of Rosenberg’s tirades.
Sayers and Kahn. The Great Conspiracy. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1946, p. 117
The idea of of a holy crusade against Soviet Russia dominated all of Rosenberg’s writings.
Sayers and Kahn. The Great Conspiracy. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1946, p. 118
The official Communist Party and Soviet attitude toward anti-Semitism, or indeed toward any stirring up of racial animosity, is one of uncompromising hostility.
Chamberlin, William Henry. Soviet Russia. Boston: Little, Brown, 1930, p. 228
How much discrimination there was against Jews in educational institutions is hard to tell. It was never general but certainly there was some. It was evasive and struggles always developed against it. My best friend felt for a time undermined in her university job, because she refused to yield to the anti-Semitism which seemed to be promoted by the Party secretary at the university. One day she came home exultant. “Now I know the party doesn’t stand for anti-Semitism,” she said. “They removed A… He was in charge of universities here for the Central Committee, and was behind much of this anti-Semitism.”
Strong, Anna Louise. The Stalin Era. New York: Mainstream, 1956, p. 112
…The comment frequently made that the hostility of the Party leaders to the Opposition minority was partly due to the fact that most of the Opposition leaders are Jews is unjustified on grounds of race prejudice….
Jews are not discriminated against in public employment, and most employment is public. Anti-semitism is expressed rather in social slights, sometimes in open insults. But offenders may be, and are, arrested and tried in the courts, which universally penalize them.
Baldwin, Roger. Liberty Under the Soviets, New York: Vanguard Press, 1928, p. 76
Reference is occasionally made to the arrest and exile of Zionists as an expression of anti-semitism in Russia. Numbers of Zionists have been exiled, it is true, but only in political cases involving either Zionist Socialists opposed to the Communist regime, or Zionists alleged to have connections with bourgeois agencies or individuals abroad. Since the Zionist movement is essentially bourgeois, and dependent on friendly relations with Great Britain as the power controlling Palestine, those connections have been inevitable.
Baldwin, Roger. Liberty Under the Soviets, New York: Vanguard Press, 1928, p. 77
The Communist Party is officially opposed to Zionism, and no Communist may be a Zionist.
Baldwin, Roger. Liberty Under the Soviets, New York: Vanguard Press, 1928, p. 78
You see, Zionism and anti-Semitism are blood brothers. Both are reactionary and inimical to the interests of the working class. It sometimes happens that people of non-Jewish nationality trip up on this slippery ground and slide either toward favoring the Zionists, who are reactionaries, or toward becoming anti-Semites, who are equally reactionary.
Talbott, Strobe, Trans. and Ed. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little Brown, c1970, p. 202
I met all sorts of Jews in the Soviet Union, and, being interested in Jewish questions, I discussed matters with them exhaustively. The amazing tempo of production calls for men, hands, and brains: the Jews willingly harnessed themselves to this process, and thus assimilation made further progress there than anywhere else in the world. I met Jews who said to me: “For many years I have never given a thought to the fact that I am a Jew; it was only your questions which reminded me of it again.” I was moved by the unanimity with which the Jews I came across emphasized how completely they felt in harmony with the new state. Formerly they had been despised, persecuted, without a calling, their life without meaning, Luftmenschen rootless people of the air; now they were peasants, workers, intellectuals, soldiers, all deeply grateful for the new order.
Feuchtwanger, Lion. Moscow, 1937. New York: The Viking Press, 1937, p. 82
The Bolsheviks did not tolerate on their territory overt manifestations of anti-semitism, least of all pogroms, for they well realized that anti-semitism had become a cover for anti-communism.
Pipes, Richard. Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1993, p. 101
The Sovnarkom is said on July 27, 1918, to have issued an appeal against anti-semitism, threatening penalties for pogroms.
Pipes, Richard. Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1993, p. 111
In addition, there were few genuine Russians among the moderate Socialists–most of them were Jews or Georgians, whereas the overwhelming majority of the Bolsheviks were pure Russians. ‘Somebody among the Bolsheviks remarked jestingly that since the Mensheviks were the faction of the Jews and the Bolsheviks that of the native Russians, it would become us to make a pogrom in the party.’ Anti-semitism could hardly be read into this heavy jocular aside, because nobody had been more blunt than Koba in the condemnation of racial hatred.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 91
Immediately after the Bolshevik revolution expressions of anti-Semitism became a crime. In July 1918, the Council of People’s Commissars called for the destruction of ‘the anti-Semitic movement at its roots’ by forbidding ‘pogromists and persons inciting to pogroms’. In 1922, the Russian Criminal Code forbade ‘agitation and propaganda arousing national enmities and dissensions’ and specified a minimum sentence of one year’s solitary confinement (and ‘death in time of war’) as punishment. In 1927, the Russian Republic passed legislation outlawing the dissemination, manufacture, or possession of literature calculated to stir national and religious hostility….
During the Civil War and throughout the 1920s there was an active official government campaign against anti-Semitism. Incidents involving and actions taken against were frequently reported in the Soviet press. In this period the Party published over 100 books and brochures opposing anti-Semitism.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 88
For two years following the Bolshevik takeover, new laws against anti-Semitism helped to prevent overt attacks on Jews…. By the end of the 1930s, Jews had assumed prominent roles throughout Soviet society, particularly as party activists, editors, and journalists and as leaders of industrial enterprises and cultural institutions.
…The visibility of Jews was noticeable enough to complicate relations between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 34
STALIN WAS AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM
Stalin was surrounded by Jewesses–from Polina Molotova and Maria Svanidze to Poskrebysheva and Yezhova.
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 267
Stalin has repeatedly condemned, along with other forms of race prejudice, anti-semitism. Russia has steadily been building a society which is free of the dangerous germs of race hate. Jews, as well as all others, are free to live where they wish, go to universities and technical schools, and secure any job for which they are fitted. Since the Jews were a scattered people and could not properly preserve their language and culture when a minority among other groups, the District of Biro-bijan, a fertile area as large as Holland and Belgium combined, has been established for those who wish to live there.
Davis, Jerome. Behind Soviet Power. New York, N. Y.: The Readers’ Press, Inc., c1946, p. 73
Stalin was not an anti-Semite, as he is sometimes portrayed. He appreciated many qualities in the Jewish people: capacity for hard work, group solidarity, and political activeness. Their political activeness is unquestionably higher than average.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 192
This makes me believe that humor directed at any nationalist group was pleasing to Stalin, and that he was neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Muslim, only opposed to any nationalist enclave of power.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 295
To the end Stalin maintained that he opposed Jews who were Bundists, or religious activists, or ‘cosmopolitans’, or secessionists, or Zionists, or agents of American-Israeli organizations, but was not against Jews as such. On the contrary he had provided them with the Jewish autonomous region (in an inhospitable corner of Siberia, which attracted only a few thousand hopeful immigrants).
Conquest, Robert. Stalin: Breaker of Nations. New York, New York: Viking, 1991, p. 290
Stalin’s attitude was unequivocal. Personally free from crude racial prejudice, he was wary of openly offending against the party canon which was hostile to anti-Semitism. Jews were quite prominent in his entourage, though far less so than they had been in Lenin’s. Litvinov stood for over a decade at the head of the Soviet diplomatic service; Kaganovich was to the end Stalin’s factotum; Mekhlis was the chief political Commissar of the army; and Zaslavsky and Ehrenburg were the most popular of Stalin’s sycophants.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 605
Yet, while Hitler’s Armies were advancing, the Soviet authorities did their best to evacuate the Jews from the threatened areas, even though in some towns–the case of Taganrog was notorious–the Jews, disbelieving the warnings about what awaited them under Nazi occupation, refused to budge. With Stalin’s authorization, a Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, headed by well-known personalities was formed; he called upon the Jews of the West to support the Soviet Union…. Jews serving with the armed forces fought bravely, were decorated, and promoted even to the highest ranks. But qua Jews they were not accorded any merit…. After the war Soviet citizens guilty of collaboration with the Nazis and of Jew-baiting were punished as traitors.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 606
Koba too does not like Jews, but in my opinion he understands the absurdity of anti-Jewish measures.
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich. Notes for a Journal. New York: Morrow, 1955, p. 54
Trotsky also saw an obvious anti-Semitic orientation in the Moscow trials, at which a disproportionately high number of the defendants were Jewish. At the first show trial, 10 (out of 16) of the defendants were Jews, at the second, 8 (out of 17). Trotsky felt that it was particularly monstrous that, of the terrorists supposedly sent by him into the USSR, who were simultaneously working for the Gestapo, all, as if by selection, turned out to be Jews. In all this, Trotsky saw an attempt by Stalin to exploit the anti-Semitic moods that still existed in the country in the struggle against the Opposition.
The statements by Trotsky were met with indignation abroad not only by pro-Stalinists but also by bourgeois-liberal Jewish circles. Thus the famous American Zionist activist, Stephen Wise, explained his refusal to participate in the commission to investigate the Moscow Trials by the fact that Trotsky was not acting in good faith by raising the Jewish issue in connection with these trials. “If his other charges,” declared Wise, “are as unsubstantiated as his complaint on the score of anti-Semitism, then he has no case at all.”
Rejecting Trotsky’s statements about the continued existence of anti-Semitism in the USSR, B. Z. Goldberg, a journalist who had contributed to the New York newspaper, Der Tog wrote: “In order to beat Stalin, Trotsky considers it right to make Soviet Russia anti-Semitic…. Is this the truth, Mr. Trotsky? Is it honest to write this when it is not true?… We are accustomed to look to the Soviet Union as our sole consolation as far as anti-Semitism is concerned…. It is therefore unforgivable that Trotsky should raise such groundless accusations against Stalin.”
For many years, accusations that Stalin was anti-Semitic were refuted not only by foreign Jewish circles, but by members of the Russian emigration. The Israeli historian Nedava reports that even in 1952, that is at the culmination of state anti-Semitism in the USSR, Kerensky told him that in the Soviet Union anti-Semitism had long since been eradicated, and that statements about the existence of anti-Semitism there were invented by supporters of the Cold War.
Rogovin, Vadim. 1937: Year of Terror. Oak Park, Michigan: Labor Publications, 1998, p. 154
Also he [Stalin] retained Dzerzhinsky as an ally in the coming struggle for power. Dzerzhinsky, as a Pole naturally hated Russians, and he was not warm towards the Jews. An association with a Georgian was not intolerable to him and he felt that Stalin must naturally share his own antipathies. In the latter surmise he was wrong, for Stalin has no racial prejudices.
Graham, Stephen. Stalin. Port Washington, New York: Kennikat Press, 1970, p. 58
I wondered how Stalin, being [allegedly–Ed.] anti-semitic, could have two Jewish secretaries: Mekhlis and Kanner.
Bazhanov, Boris. Bazhanov and the Damnation of Stalin. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, c1990, p. ___w59
It was said later that Stalin was hostile to Kapler because he was Jewish, but when this was happening that did not matter.
Beria, Sergo. Beria, My Father: Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001, p. 150
As I have said, my father [Beria] did not believe that Stalin was anti-Semitic, even after his struggle against Trotskyism. He had many Jewish friends…. In 1947 he sent Kaganovich to the Ukraine because of the virulent anti-semitism which had developed there and which risked discrediting the USSR, whereas Khrushchev encouraged these anti-Semitic tendencies in the Party in the Ukraine. Calculation governed all of Stalin’s actions. He realized that the Jews were needed in that period. Mekhlis [a Jew] was for a long time his personal secretary, and became editor of Pravda before being given charge of propaganda in the Army and, finally, charge of State Control. Stalin kept him close to himself and retained his services for years.
Beria, Sergo. Beria, My Father: Inside Stalin’s Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001, p. 211
When they gathered at his apartment for Svetlana’s 11th birthday on 28 Feb 1937, Yakov, Stalin’s gentle Georgian son, brought Julia, his Jewish wife, for the first time.
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 268
On the other hand, most of the women around him and many of his closest collaborators, from Yagoda to Mekhlis, were Jewish. The difference is obvious: he hated the intellectual Trotsky but had no problem with the cobbler Kaganovich….
Stalin was aware that his regime had to stand against anti-Semitism and we find in his own notes a reminder to give a speech about it: he called it “cannibalism,” made it a criminal offense, and regularly criticized anti-Semites. Stalin founded a Jewish homeland, Birobizhan, on the inhospitable Chinese border but boasted, “The Tsar gave the Jews no land, but we will.”
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 305
Stalin then attacked anti-Semitism: he [Stalin] had lately insisted that Jewish writers must have their Semitic names published in brackets after their Russian pseudonyms. Now he asked the surprised Committee: “What’s this for? Does it give pleasure to someone to underline that this man is Jewish? Why? To promote anti-Semitism?”
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 623
[Footnote]: Yet Stalin still remembered his loyalest retainer Mekhlis [a Jew], who had suffered a stroke in 1949. Now dying at his dacha, all he longed for was to attend the 1952 Congress. Stalin refused, muttering that it was not a hospital but when the new Central Committee was announced, he remembered him. Mekhlis was thrilled–he died happy and Stalin authorized a magnificent funeral.
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 627
Simonov, then editor-in-chief of Literaturnaiia Gazeta, a major organ for literary affairs, was present at a Politburo meeting on February 26, 1952,…when the list of candidates for the Stalin prizes were presented for consideration to Stalin. Next to certain names, Simonov recounted, were other names in brackets. In each case the bracketed name had a noticeably Jewish appearance such as ” Rovinsky.”
Stalin was irritated. “Why does it say Maltsev, but in brackets “Rovinsky”? For what purpose? For how long will this continue?…..” he demanded. “Why is this being done? Why are two names being written?” Stalin appeared offended. He proceeded to instruct his amazed audience: “If a man chose a literary pseudonym–that’s his right. We’re not speaking about anything other than elementary decency… But apparently someone thought to underline the fact that this man had a double name, to underline that he was a Jew. Why would you underline this? Why would you do this? For what purpose instill anti-semitism? Who needs this?”
According to Simonov, Stalin’s comment astounded the important literary and government figures who attended the February meeting and had an impact on Soviet literary society. News of this incident spread by word-of-mouth in upper echelon cultural circles, the effect of which was to distance Stalin himself from the crude anti-Semitic campaign still underway that was the cause of the parentheses in the first place. It made people think twice about their own accusations. How could ordinary citizens expose Jews as Jews if Stalin himself could not support such invidious considerations?
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 201-202
In 1943 the Jews were useful to him [Stalin], and he sent Mikhoels and others to America to raise money and goodwill for the Soviet war effort; in 1947, he supported the establishment of the state of Israel and allowed, if unwillingly, his daughter to marry Morozov a Jew.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 217
As early as September 1948 he [Ehrenburg] publicly demonstrated his support for Stalin’s view of the State of Israel, in his Pravda article, “The Union of the Snub-nosed”. Ehrenburg argued that the charge of anti-semitism, discrimination, and the suppression of the rights of Jews in the Soviet Union was nothing more than malicious fabrications by enemies of the Soviet order. He argued that Israel was nothing but a bourgeois state, incompetent to decide the Jewish question; nor could it unite Jews around the world.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 306
The Hungarian Jew Karl Pauker commanded Stalin’s personal security detail for a time in the 1930s and used to shave the dictator with an open razor….
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 33
Once in power, Stalin…found it opportune to denounce anti-Semitism, as in his famous statement to the Jewish Telegraph Agency in January 1931: “Anti-Semitism is an extreme expression of racial chauvinism and as such is the most dangerous survival of cannibalism.” In the 1920s and 1930s, Stalin permitted Jewish settlements to flourish in the Crimea, supported the creation of a secular Yiddish culture, and established a Jewish autonomous region in Birobidzhan to rival Palestine for the allegiance of Jewish masses inside and outside the country. He was once reported saying, “The czar gave the Jews no land. Kerensky gave the Jews no land. But we will give it.” Stalin, it seemed, was ready to help the Jews become a “normal” national minority with a territory of their own.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 33
[In replying on January 12, 1931 to an inquiry by the Jewish News Agency in the United States Stalin stated] Anti-semitism, as an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism.
…Anti-semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle. Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-semitism.
In the USSR anti-semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under USSR law active anti-semites are liable to the death penalty.
Stalin, Joseph. Works. Moscow: Foreign Languages Pub. House, 1952, Vol. 13, p. 30
Dzhughashvili’s comments were later used against him as proof of anti-semitism. They were certainly crude and insensitive. But they scarcely betoken hatred of all Jews–or indeed of all Georgians. He, a Georgian, was repeating something that a Russian Bolshevik had said about Russians and Jews. For many years into the future he would be the friend, associate, or leader of countless individual Jews.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 77
Stories also surfaced that Stalin made anti-semitic remarks in private. Against this is the incontrovertible fact that Jews were among Stalin’s friends and associates before and after the Great War.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 101
In the light of his continued association with Jewish friends, it would be difficult to call him an anti-semite;
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 326
He did not refuse to allow Jewish people the right to cultural self-expression after the October Revolution; indeed his People’s, Commissariat for Nationalities’ Affairs gave money and facilities to groups promoting the interests of Jews. Within his family he had opposed his daughter’s dalliance with the Jewish film-maker Kapler. As a father, he had much reason to discourage Svetlana from having anything to do with the middle-aged, womanizing Kapler.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 568
His campaign against “rootless cosmopolitanism” cannot be automatically attributed to hatred of Jews as Jews. He moved aggressively against every people in the USSR sharing nationhood with peoples of foreign states. The Greeks, Poles, and Koreans had suffered at his hands before the Second Were War for this reason. Campaigns against cosmopolitanism started up when relations between the Soviet Union and the USA drastically worsened in 1947. At first Jews were not the outstanding target. But this did not remain true for long. A warm reception was accorded by 20,000 Jews to Golda Meir at a Moscow synagogue in September 1948 after the foundation of Israel as a state. This infuriated Stalin, who started to regard Jewish people as subversive elements. Yet his motives were of Realpolitik rather than visceral prejudice .
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 568
Stalin’s attitude toward this growing anti-Semitism was one of friendly neutrality. But matters went so far that he was forced to come out with a published statement which declared, “We are fighting Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev not because they are Jews, but because they are Oppositionists,” and the like.
Trotsky, Leon, Stalin. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1941, p. 399
When speaking at a session of the Moscow City Soviet (Council) on November 6, 1941, Stalin said, “The reactionary Nazi Party with their brutal anti-Jewish pogroms are no better than the Russian tsarist regime that allowed the Black Hundred pogroms.”
Korolyov, Anatoly. Soviet Jewish Doctors Dissected Hitler, Novosti, Russian News and Information Agency, 7/5/05.
Furthermore, Stalin’s inner circle included four Jewish ministers (people’s commissars): Lazar Kaganovich, Boris Vannikov, Semyon Ginzburg and Isaak Zaltsman. These men were responsible for the railroads, ammunition, military construction and the tank industry.
Korolyov, Anatoly. Soviet Jewish Doctors Dissected Hitler, Novosti, Russian News and Information Agency, 7/5/05.
And, Stalin, what can be said about him?
I [Kaganovich] will tell you something about Stalin. There are Stalin’s statements on this question that anti-semitism is criminally punishable. He was not an anti-semite. But life is such a paradox that all his opponents were Jews. Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky… what could he do if all his enemies were Jews?
Then he was very scrupulous and careful by nature on political and nationality matters.
THUS SPAKE KAGANOVICH by Feliks Chuyev, 1992
Both Dovator and Kreizer excelled as Soviet military commanders and are applauded in the memoirs of Stalin’s most famous marshals. Both were among the highest Jewish officers in Stalin’s armies….
Colonel-General Dragunsky, who was wounded four times during the war and achieved fame as a tank commander, told me that during the war more than a hundred generals of Jewish ancestry served in the Red Army. This figure is also mentioned in an official booklet, Jews in the USSR–Figures, Facts, Comment, published in Moscow in 1982. The existence of these generals complicates the conventional impression of Stalin as anti-Semite. A look at Red Army rosters shows that many soldiers who were members of minorities, including Jews, Georgians and Armenians, were able to climb to the top of the ladder of command.
Axell, Albert. Stalin’s War: Through the Eyes of His Commanders. London, Arms and Armour Press. 1997, p. 115
On the subject of anti-Semitism, the three generals had almost identical views. They hadn’t encountered bigotry in the military; all the men they mixed with in the Army were impervious to prejudice. Dragunsky said that after the Berlin operation was completed in mid-1945 only a handful of military persons were awarded the country’s highest decoration–the Gold Star Hero Medal. ‘I, a Jew, was one of those few. Stalin himself approved the order, knowing I was a Jew.” According to Dragunsky, political indoctrination in the Army had weeded out bigotry.
Axell, Albert. Stalin’s War: Through the Eyes of His Commanders. London, Arms and Armour Press. 1997, p. 117
…some of the best-known Soviet war correspondents were Jews, such as Ehrenburg and Grossman, both of whom wrote highly acclaimed novels. Meanwhile, there was the presence of over 100 Russian Jews who attained the rank of general in Stalin’s army.
Axell, Albert. Stalin’s War: Through the Eyes of His Commanders. London, Arms and Armour Press. 1997, p. 118
SET UP TERRITORY FOR THE JEWS
Small industries were already starting in the Jewish autonomous territory.
Strong, Anna L. The Soviets Expected It. New York, New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 94
The region’s [Birobidjan] chief destiny is to become an industrial district producing consumer goods for the whole Soviet far east, a task which especially fits the capacities of the great belt of Jews that live on the Soviet Union’s western borders. (Since Hitler’s invasion, many Jewish refugees have gone to Birobidjan.)
Strong, Anna L. The Soviets Expected It. New York, New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 95
The Union knew another way [to treat the Jews]. It has assimilated the greater part of its 5 million Jews, and it has placed at the disposal of the remainder a vast autonomous territory [District of Biro-bijan] and the means for its colonization, thereby creating for itself several millions of active and intelligence citizens, fanatically devoted to the regime.
Feuchtwanger, Lion. Moscow, 1937. New York: The Viking Press, 1937, p. 82
And now today in the Biro-Bidjan territory one sees a proper town with schools, hospitals, government buildings, and a theater, and one can travel there from Moscow in the through coach of an express. Although the Plan provides for the immigration of more than 100,000 Jews over the next three years, the authorities have to maintain strict supervision, so numerous are those willing to immigrate.
Feuchtwanger, Lion. Moscow, 1937. New York: The Viking Press, 1937, p. 86
Tens of thousands of Jewish refugees were also shipped into the interior of the USSR in what seems to have been a rough and inefficient manner, causing many complaints to go abroad. Theirs was a somewhat different case. They were people without homes or jobs in the new territories. They had fled thither to escape from Hitler and were clogging the housing facilities of cities and towns along the Soviet border. They were given about nine months to find jobs; failing this, at a moment when the Nazi menace was growing, they were deported to other areas where jobs were available. When Hitler’s forces later marched into Lvov and all the surrounding territories, basic deportees may have been glad that they had been shipped away.
Strong, Anna L. The Soviets Expected It. New York, New York: The Dial press, 1941, p. 170
… Jews were given priority in evacuation from areas about to be overrun by the Nazi invaders. Virtually all Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust (250,000) survived by fleeing to the Soviet Union and being evacuated East. In the immediate post-World War II period, Yiddish culture thrived in the USSR. The Jewish State Theatre continued to prosper in Moscow; a tri-weekly paper, Aynikayt, was published, also in Moscow; between 1946 and 1948 110 books were published in Yiddish. The Soviet Union was the first country to accord diplomatic recognition to Israel.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 89
GOOD JOB UNITING MANY NATIONALITIES
The greatness of this achievement in human association can hardly be exaggerated. To bring into being a multinational State uniting races which for centuries had been at each other’s throats, inflicting pogroms and enslaving each other; races which were largely illiterate, steeped in superstition, and engulfed in abysmal ignorance, was daring in the extreme. Every nation became free to speak it’s own language, have its own schools, form its own government, and exercise its own clearly-defined right to federate or withdraw from the federation…. The boundaries of the republics and other autonomous regions are but the demarcation lines of authority in essentially national matters….. And as class oppression vanishes, national oppression vanishes also. Every nation has the “right” to separate itself from the Union, but none is likely to wish to exercise that “right” when it’s economic and social existence and national freedom are tightly bound up with union.
Murphy, John Thomas. Stalin, London, John Lane, 1945, p. 147
Every nationality in the union was allowed full linguistic autonomy and what might have seemed a dangerously lavish degree of cultural and political autonomy. Thus the Jews, who had remained alien expatriates under Tsardom, received a small autonomous area with the promise of an independent Republic if and when the number of the population concentrated at any one point should justify the augmented status.
Duranty, Walter. Duranty Reports Russia. New York: The Viking Press, 1934, p. 215
For in practice 2 rules are followed in regard to the Soviet national system. First, the power is progressively restricted to “proletarian elements” of the population–the workers and poor peasants, whether industrialized or not. Second, 95 percent of the political leaders are communists, and what is more, it is an almost invariable rule that the national Communist Party secretaries and their most important district subordinates are either Russians or members of a different nationality from the people around them.
It must be admitted also that the Bolsheviks adhere with remarkable steadiness to their creed of communist equality irrespective of race or color, which assures the members of former “subject” people’s opportunities to rise to the highest central positions and removes any feeling of racial inferiority.
Duranty, Walter. Duranty Reports Russia. New York: The Viking Press, 1934, p. 215
Stalin’s thesis began by demonstrating the already proven fact that the misrule of the Czars and their treatment of the subject peoples as inferior beings, had been one of the main factors in the rapid disintegration of the old Empire. “If we fall into this error of Great Russian superiority, we shall suffer a similar fate,” insisted Stalin, “but if we go to the other extremes advocated by the Mensheviks and certain European Socialist parties, and divide the new State into a number of separate entities on an ethnological basis only, we shall weaken ourselves vis-a-vis the capitalist states of Europe and eventually be defeated piecemeal in a future war.” Between these twin dangers Stalin steered the Soviet ship on a middle course.
In his suggested plan the right of secession from the Soviet republic was granted to each one of the Constituent States should its people prefer to rule themselves rather than live under the aegis of the Bolshevik party. While it remained part of the USSR, each nation was to have its own elected assembly, which would exercise complete authority in the local concerns of the population; only in decisions as to foreign policy were the Assemblies subordinate to the Central Authority. No attempt was made to Russianize the peoples of the different nations, cultural traditions were to be perpetuated in the new schools, already spreading into the most backward provinces.
By these means Stalin confidently maintained that the centuries-old antipathy between the subject peoples and their Russian oppressors could eventually be destroyed.
The wisdom of this fundamental contribution to the creation of the USSR has now been proved to the hilt. Whereas in the half-century before October, 1917, national uprisings against the Central Government had occurred with unfailing regularity, under Bolshevik rule not one widespread effort has been made by any one of the peoples to escape from the Federation of Soviet Republics. This is in itself a great achievement and will in the future be recognized as one of Stalin’s most far-reaching contributions to world progress, as each succeeding year piles proof on proof of the sound foundation upon which the Soviet State has been constructed.
Without Stalin’s foresight, Japan would unquestionably have established a puppet kingdom in Eastern Russia at the same time as she annexed Manchukuo; but for the solidarity of the Stalin constitution Hitler might have found support among the Ukrainian people such as he found among the rabid nationalist minorities which brought Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and France under a foreign domination. Perhaps even these misbegotten offspring of the Versailles agreement would have achieved a lasting stability, if they had originated in the same free choice which created the Soviet state.
Cole, David M. Josef Stalin; Man of Steel. London, New York: Rich & Cowan, 1942, p. 56
This federation at first was loosely organized. Regional autonomy expressed itself in a variety of flexible forms. Some of these local governments retained their own foreign offices; others issued their own money. Each nationality received the amount of freedom which its workers and peasants demanded. The Communists relied on the pressure of mutual economic interests to bring and hold these peoples together, once capitalist exploitation, the source of their bitterness, was removed.
Strong, Anna Louise. This Soviet World. New York, N. Y: H. Holt and company, c1936, p. 80
In the West it is not realized that after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Ukraine received a certain autonomy within the Soviet Union that went further than any sovereignty it had ever enjoyed under Austrian, Polish, or Tsarist rule. Unlike those in other republics, Ukrainian Communist rulers were always regarded in Moscow as influential junior partners, and cooperation with the enormous republic was considered crucial to the stability of the entire state. That is why the Ukraine retained all the attributes of an independent state: education in the native language, traditional arts and literature, its own Politburo (which was enjoyed by no other republic), its own membership in the United Nations, all of which were unthinkable under other dominations.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 259
But a Georgian is a Georgian. A Ukrainian is a Ukrainian. They are no more Russians than you or I are.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 89
This dogma of racial liberation, this unfettering, combining with that of social liberation, with the slogans of peace, land, and the control of production by labor, and welding together national aspirations and Socialism, had the effect of giving considerable impetus to the preparations for the October Revolution. The attitude taken up by the Bolsheviks with regard to the problems of nationalities brought them the sympathy of everyone, without bringing about the national secessions that some people expected. And there, once again, far-seeing wisdom, in its intrepid thoroughness, completely triumphed. “If Kolchak and Denikin were beaten,” wrote Stalin, “it is because we have had the sympathy of oppressed nations.”
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 93
Soviet Russia is performing an experiment without parallel anywhere in the world in organizing the co-existence of a number of nations and tribes within a single proletarian state on a basis of mutual confidence and voluntary and fraternal goodwill. Three years of Revolution show that this experiment has every chance of success.
Stalin, Joseph. Stalin’s Kampf. New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, c1940, p. 204
Perhaps Stalin and the rest of us exaggerate the degree to which he succeeded in taming the national minorities with his compromise, but he seems to a gotten what he wanted, and so have his successors. So far , there has been no Yugoslavia, Poland, or Hungary within the USSR. Stalin certainly believed that the creation of the new Soviet brotherhood and supra-national patriotism in a giant industrial state was better than the murderous communal strife of Tsarist days, or the establishment of dozens of squabbling, economically impotent, little new countries. And the strength of the national minorities, nearly half the population of the USSR, had been harnessed, without crippling concessions to any nationalism, to his real purpose–the industrial and military drive for power.
Randall, Francis. Stalin’s Russia. New York: Free Press,1965, p. 233
Stalin’s own contributions to the whole discussion [of keeping the nationalities together] have never been made public and still remain inaccessible in a secret Stalin fond in the Presidential Archive. Particularly after 1991 there has apparently been a reluctance to reveal how well Stalin understood the potential danger of disintegration, given certain constitutional preconditions. He was less optimistic than others about the spread of revolution in the West, believing on the contrary that there was a need to make preparations in order to be in a position to repel aggression.
Medvedev, Roy & Zhores. The Unknown Stalin. NY, NY: Overlook Press, 2004, p. 267
Every nationality in the union was allowed full linguistic autonomy and what might have seemed a dangerously lavish degree of cultural and political autonomy. Thus, the Jews, who had remained alien expatriates under Czardom, received a small autonomous area with the promise of an independent republic if and when the number of the population concentrated at any one point should justify the augmented status.
At first sight such an arrangement might seem to foster a spirit of petty nationalist and racial antagonism and universal disintegration–that is the exact opposite of what the Bolsheviki are trying to achieve. In a heterogeneous capitalist State–the British Empire, for instance–liberty given minor nationalities must have had a centrifugal effect, but in the USSR the Communist party acts as a cement to bind the whole mass together and permit the facile exercise of central control.
…The strictness of the party discipline does the rest, and, although there have been cases of regional friction and sporadic difficulty, the system on the whole seems to work more smoothly than any organization of a heterogeneous State yet devised by man.
…It must be admitted also that the Bolsheviki adhere with remarkable steadiness to their creed of Communist equality irrespective of race or color, which assures the members of former “subject” peoples opportunities to rise to the highest central positions and removes any feeling of racial inferiority.
Stalin is a Georgian, Trotsky a Jew, Rudzutak a Lett, Dzershinsky was a Pole. These men offer salient examples for Communists of every nationality in the USSR. It is thus clear that the Soviet federal system, while reinforcing nationalism, did not sacrifice cohesion and centralized direction.
Duranty, Walter. “Stalinism Solving Minorities Problem” New York Times, June 26, 1931.
RIGHT OF SECESSION IS UNQUALIFIED
This right of secession is unqualified in the 1936 Constitution, whereas its exercise was subject to approval by all the Republics under the 1924 Charter. The right to secede has never been formally granted in any other true federation. The assertion of such a right in United States precipitated the Civil War.
Schuman, Frederick L. Soviet Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1946, p. 310
It was Stalin who, in April 1917, reported on the national question at the Conference of the Bolshevik Party…. Stalin proposed the adoption of the conception recommended during the Tsarist regime. The theory was accepted, not without a struggle; a fairly powerful opposition came from Pyatakov, and a certain number of delegates, against the clause establishing the right of nations to independence, even to the length of separation; the possible consequences of this clause frightened them.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 92
STALIN FIRMLY OPPOSED SECESSION BY NATIONALITIES
The Georgian Mensheviks were in favor of the secession of Georgia from Russia. Stalin was naturally in favor of the autonomy of the Caucasian peoples in language and administration, but he was a fanatical opponent of the breaking up of the Russian Empire, and consequently of the secession of Georgia.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 28
What is certain is that Stalin was instinctively opposed to any splitting of Russia into its national components.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 54
Stalin, needless to say, was entirely in agreement with Lenin that these populations [the minority peoples] should only be granted their apparent national independence if they accepted the Soviet regime, the regime of the dictatorship of proletariat.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 59
Comrade Stalin combated the federalist tendencies of the bourgeois nationalists, which the Mensheviks shared. He argued that the victory of the proletariat demanded the unity of all workers, irrespective of nationality, and that national partitions must be broken down and the Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Polish, Jewish and other proletarians closely amalgamated as an essential condition for the victory of the proletariat all over Russia.
Yaroslavsky, Emelian. Landmarks in the Life of Stalin. Moscow: FLPH, 1940, p. 40
LENIN FIRMLY OPPOSED NATIONALISM
Lenin was as far as could be from being a nationalist. It is quite clear that at that time he regarded any national feeling as a narrowness, a sort of superstition, almost as morbid…. It may be that he also felt that it would be inexpedient for him as a Russian, a member of the dominant nation, in whose name the other peoples were oppressed, to carry out this work himself. Stalin, on the other hand, was not a Russian but a member of a people subjugated by the Russians. Both from the political and the propagandist point of view it would be much more effective if he dealt with this subject. He seemed, indeed, to be the very man for the job…. With his knowledge and experience, Stalin was obviously the very man that was wanted. He had had years of experience through his political activity and his agitation among the motley nationalities of the Caucasian towns, and he must have been very successful in mastering the nationalities problem; for the Bolshevik organizations composed of the various nationalities had chosen him again and again as their delegate at various congresses and conferences.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 29
But Lenin himself, with his personal revulsion against any shade of nationalism….
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 30
To him [Lenin] nationalism, Russian nationalism included, was just an obsession, as senseless as any other superstition, and, after all, that is [as] intelligible.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 56
STALIN CHOSEN BY LENIN TO HEAD NATIONALITIES ISSUE
The first part of the work is undeniably of permanent value. It was concerned with finding a universally valid definition of the concept Nationality. That problem Stalin solved brilliantly.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 30
This first considerable work of Stalin’s bears all the marks of his character. The first part shows already in the still young Stalin an extraordinary exactitude of thought. His analysis of his subject is exemplary, the logic of the steps in his argument is faultless, and his formulations are models of precision.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 36
A People’s Commissariat for Nationalities, that is to say a ministry, was set up within the government, to deal with the questions of national minorities. Stalin was regarded from the first as the Party’s expert on this subject, and became the Commissar.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 48
In Cracow in 1912 Stalin unquestionably made a very good impression on Lenin…. Lenin’s regular visitors in exile, whether at Cracow or Zurich, were almost all intellectuals. Stalin, when he met him, shoemaker’s son and pupil of a seminary (which to Lenin meant a man virtually without education), was naturally regarded by Lenin, consciously or unconsciously, as a representative man of the masses. But Stalin was already well-read and energetically educating himself, and in conversation with him Lenin found that though he was a man of the lower class Stalin was able to discuss any political matter with him on equal terms. Indeed, there was one subject on which this young man could give information to the party leader, for all the latter’s wide knowledge and experience. Stalin could not only tell him much that was of great interest about the real working-class environment, but, as a representative of a national minority, could tell him about the psychology of those minorities, about which Lenin knew next to nothing. Lenin had never lived in any part of Russia inhabited by a non-Russian population. Stalin was the first representative he had met of the masses of a non-Russian people under Russian rule, and he had much that was new and impressive to tell him. Thus it is not surprising that in a letter to Maxim Gorky Lenin described Stalin as a ‘remarkable Georgian’.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 102-103
…when they took power in 1917, they made Stalin, Commissar of Nationalities, in charge of the problems of non-Russian peoples in the new state.
Strong, Anna Louise. The Stalin Era. New York: Mainstream, 1956, p. 15
Stalin was an expert on nationalities and was therefore the head of this department for a period of six years under Lenin; he was thus dealing with one of the two main problems of the revolution…. The country which we today call the USSR…gives every one of its constituent peoples as much liberty in regard to its language as Switzerland gives to each of its 22 little cantons. In this respect Russia is actually modeled on Switzerland.
Ludwig, Emil, Stalin. New York, New York: G. P. Putnam’s sons, 1942, p. 71
Yenukidze states, “…Stalin wrote a great deal on the national question. On this question, in particular, he is undoubtedly after Lenin the most competent theoretician in our party.
Life of Stalin, A Symposium. New York: Workers Library Publishers, 1930, p. 94
If a Leninist nationalities policy is not pursued now, republics might secede from us. We have colossal experience in this regard…. It was none other than Lenin who made the appointment to one of the most important posts of the time, People’s Commissar of Nationalities. He appointed Stalin to head up this ministry!
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 194
On most matters, though, he [Stalin] agreed with Lenin; and Lenin for his own part badly needed Dzhughashvili’s contributions on the national question. Whereas the Mensheviks had several theorists who wrote about the nationalities in the Empire, the Bolsheviks had only Dzhughashvili. No wonder Lenin warmed to him.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 93
STALIN WARRED AGAINST ISLAM FORCING WOMEN TO WEAR VEILS [BURQA]
There came also a sharp conflict with Islam; for Stalin now attempted to make an end of the old forms of existence even in that fanatically Mohammedan region. Particularly sanguinary, and accompanied by many murders, was the campaign for the equality of rights of women. Women who allowed themselves to be persuaded by the communist agitators to throw away the veil were murdered almost without exception by their fellow villagers.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 177
STALIN UNITED A LARGER AREA THAN THE CZARS EVER CREATED
In the matter of foreign relations it is obvious that Stalin will leave behind him a great and splendid realm. If we consider him simply as a Russian statesman, and apply the old historical measure of values to his life’s work, he is actually, in the nationalist sense, the greatest Russian statesman in all history. He is not only won back for Russia all that the Russian Tsars were compelled to cede at the beginning of this century, but has secured almost all the territories claimed by the Tsars since Catherine The Great. All that was ceded to Japan by the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, after the defeat in the Russian-Japanese war, was Russian again, with a little added. The Karelian Isthmus, conquered by Peter the Great but ceded to Finland at the beginning of the last century, has been recovered by Stalin. The Baltic provinces, and Bessarabia, lost in 1918–Volhynia and western White Russia, Lithuania and Vilna–in a word, the 1914 frontier, has been won back and extended. Of the old Russia, only two small districts on the Russo-Turkish frontier, Kars and Ardahan, ceded to the Turks in 1919, are missing. The Russian revolution voluntarily renounced Congress Poland. It is Russian once more; and Eastern Galicia, the northern Bukovina, and Carpatho-Ukraine, the regions for which Russia fought in 1914-17, regions which had never been under Russian rule, are now Russian.
The dream of all the Tsars has been attained, all the ‘Five Russias’ are united under a single sceptre: Great Russia, Little Russia (Ukraina), White Russia, Red Russia ( Galicia), and sub-Carpathian Russia. For the first time in history, all the eastern Slavs are united in a single realm. It was the ambition of all the rulers of Russia, attained by none –until now, by Stalin.
Nor is that all. Since the 18th-century Russia had regarded herself as the protector of all the Slavs. Panslavism provided the modern ideology for that claim. Now the inclusion of all Slav States under Russian leadership and guidance has been achieved. During the war Stalin resuscitated Panslavism as a political instrument, and actually created organs for that policy, such as the Committee of the Slav Peoples, in Moscow, and the Pan-Slav Congresses.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 391-92
In the Far East, too, Stalin has fulfilled the political ambition of the Tsars. The small region of Tannu Tuva, quietly striven for by Russian policy during the last 20 years of the Tsardom, with no apparent prospect of wresting it from Chinese sovereignty, is today Russian territory. The Tsars also laid claim to Mongolia; Stalin has made it a vassal State….
While Russia’s 1914 frontier has not been reached in the Middle East, and the old Russian dream of dominance of the Dardanelles has still not been fulfilled, the Stalinist foreign policy has at least attained more than even the Treaty of San Stefano of 1877, which was subsequently revised to Russia’s disadvantage at the Congress of Berlin. Russia is now, in any case, at the gates of Byzantium.
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 393
STALIN DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB WITH THE NATIONALITIES DEPT.
… no such comprehension prevailed in Russia, where at least 80 adults out of every hundred could neither read nor write, living and dying according to the customs and practices of their ancestors, customs which had scarcely altered since the Middle Ages.
This was the situation which Stalin faced in 1921, with the additional handicap of having no assistants of outstanding ability, no officials except those trained in the tradition of the Romanovs, for whom the subject peoples had been merely a source of revenue and cannon fodder. There was no spectacular fanfare, no trumpetings and self-advertisement about the way Stalin set about his task. Trotsky had already discovered an easy way to recruit staffs by the simple expedient of offering jobs to the displaced officials of the old regime, who were at least able to muddle through without making too obvious errors. How valuable these “hired Bolsheviks” really were was later revealed, for when Trotsky’s prestige fell and his influence grew correspondingly weaker, his assistants and confidants had no compunction in transferring their allegiance to whoever could guarantee their salaries.
This was not Stalin’s way; by careful hand-picking the Commissariat for Nationalities slowly acquired a staff whose qualities and technical achievements made their department justly famous as the most efficient of the multitude of bureaus and subcommittees which were generated by the early years of reconstruction.
Cole, David M. Josef Stalin; Man of Steel. London, New York: Rich & Cowan, 1942, p. 55
We find Stalin in the years before the World War developing the exact definition of “nation” as a “historically evolved, stable community of language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a community of culture.”
Strong, Anna Louise. This Soviet World. New York, N. Y: H. Holt and company, c1936, p. 77
No matter what has been said about the Soviet Union, it has never exploited the small national groups within its boundaries. Where, under the Tsar, a thousand hates and animosities were kept at fever pitch, equality has brought harmony and eager co-operation. Today there is no country which has less racial discrimination than the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin devised and carried out the policy which not only provides a humane and admirable example for the world, but which also has made the Soviet Union internally strong.
Davis, Jerome. Behind Soviet Power. New York, N. Y.: The Readers’ Press, Inc., c1946, p. 72
In a number of republics, rather large groups of enemies of the Soviet state were revealed…. No one mastered the national question, no one organized our national republics more sagaciously than Stalin. The formation of the Central Asian Republics was entirely his doing, a Stalinist cause! He skillfully mastered the matter of borders and the very discovery of entire nations…. I regarded and still regard him as having accomplished colossal and difficult tasks that were beyond every one of us in the party at that time.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 196
About 10 years ago, in very solemn circumstances, Stalin observed that although the main basis of the Soviet Republic was the alliance of the workers and the peasants, the subsidiary basis of the Republic was the alliance of all the different nationalities existing in Russia….
And today he is looked upon as the man who understands it most thoroughly in the whole Union.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 88
“The Declaration of the Peoples of Russia” was one of the first legislative Acts of the Soviet Government. Conceived and drawn up by Stalin, it enacted:
The equality and sovereignty of all the peoples of Russia. The right to do what they wished with themselves, even to the extent of separation and the formation of independent States. The suppression of all national (Russian) and religious (Greek Orthodox) restrictions and privileges. The free development of national minorities and of racial groups finding themselves in the territory of the former Russian Empire.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 94
But the men of October, who succeeded in bringing about their Revolution in the midst of an extremely diversified juxtaposition of races and of countries–and one into which, moreover, long traditions of oppression had in many cases inculcated an exaggerated idea of nationalism, these men, for the first time in history, put forward a reasonable and serious solution of this age-old antagonism all over the planet, a logical formula which combined the two irreducible essentials, national individuality and practical federation, and placed patriotism not against but in Socialism.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 96
Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that; he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance; nor did he let attack drive him from his convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were correct. As one of the despised minorities of man, he first set Russia on the road to conquer race prejudice and make one nation out of its 140 groups without destroying their individuality.
Statement by W.E.B DuBois regarding COMRADE STALIN on March 16, 1953
…under Stalin’s “nationalities policy” the Uzbeks, Tadjiks, Bashkirs, Kazahks and the rest became equal partners of the Russians and Ukrainians. Better still, the Soviet regime took special pride in improving the lot of these backward people, and making them feel genuinely grateful to the Russians: and it is, of course, perfectly true that if, under the Tsarist regime, as much wealth as possible was pumped out of the Russian “colonies” of Central Asia, the Soviets pumped wealth and money into them. If there was, at times, resistance, even violent resistance, against the Soviets in Central Asia, it was not for economic reasons, but almost exclusively for religious reasons, the Soviets’ atheism being wholly unacceptable to certain traditional Moslem communities.
Werth, Alexander. Russia: The Post-War Years. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co., 1971, p. 40
He [Stalin] maintained that if ever the message of Marxism was to be accepted in the borderlands of the former Russian empire, it had to be conveyed in languages which were comprehensible and congenial to the recipients. The idea that Stalin was a “Great Russian chauvinist” in the 1920s is nonsense. More than any other Bolshevik leader, including Lenin, he fought for the principle that each people in the Soviet state should have scope for national and ethnic self-expression.
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 202
During his 10 months sojourn abroad Stalin wrote a brief but very trenchant piece of research entitled “Marxism and the National Problem.”
Trotsky, Leon, Stalin. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1941, p. 154
PERCENTAGE OF JEWS AS REVOLUTIONARY LEADERS IS HIGHER THAN OTHER GROUPS
That the Jews supplied both leaders and rank-and-file members of the revolutionary movement in greater proportion than the Russians or any of the other races which inhabited the Tsarist Empire is undeniable and quite natural, in view of the systematic and merciless policy of anti-Semitic repression and discrimination which the Tsarist Government applied,….
Chamberlin, William Henry. Soviet Russia. Boston: Little, Brown, 1930, p. 225
…the fact that the number of Jews in the upper and middle ranks of the Soviet bureaucracy is considerably in excess of their proportion in the population….
Chamberlin, William Henry. Soviet Russia. Boston: Little, Brown, 1930, p. 226
…But the percentage of Jews in the Communist Party is only slightly higher than their percentage in the population. In the Soviet Parliament of 531 members, there were only 20 Jews in 1927.
Baldwin, Roger. Liberty Under the Soviets, New York: Vanguard Press, 1928, p. 75
Lenin knew that Rykov was a right-winger and not very reliable with respect to the party. But he was a good economist, and Lenin had promoted him to the position of chairman of our main economic center,…
Although Rykov was in favor of including the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries in the government, he had never openly opposed the October Revolution, as Kamenev had. Another consideration was that a Russian be the head of the government. At that time Jews occupied many leading positions, though they made up only a small percentage of the country’s population….
There were many dubious people in the guise of Leninists.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 120
Almost all the Mensheviks were Jews. Even among the Bolsheviks, among the leaders, there were many Jews…. Lenin criticized the main Menshevik theoreticians, and they were Jews without exception.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 121
They say the Jews made the Revolution, not the Russians.
Well, hardly anyone believes that. True, in the first Soviet government and in the Politburo, Jews constituted the majority.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 191
Many of Stalin’s men had Jewish wives: Voroshilov, Andreev, Rykov, Kirov, Kalinin…. There is an explanation. Oppositionist and revolutionary elements formed a higher percentage among Jews than among Russians.
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 191
In 1933 the internal passport system was introduced, and Jews were identified as a national group, even though they had no republic to be their homeland. In every major ministry at this time, Jews held top positions.
Sudoplatov, Pavel. Special Tasks. Boston: Little, Brown, c1993, p. 288
In his [Ivanov-Skuratov] article “The Question of the Role of Aliens in the Victory of Soviet Power” he writes:
“… In the early 30s the number two man in the party after Stalin was Kaganovich and his fellow tribesmen [i.e., Jews] gathered the most important commissariats into their hands–Litvinov the Foreign Affairs Commissariat, Yagoda the NKVD, Yakovlev the Commissariat of Agriculture; Gamarnik, and after him Mekhlis, the Political Directorate of the Red Army.”
… It is common knowledge of course that not only the Bolshevik party but all the Russian revolutionary parties–including the Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Anarchists, and Anarcho-Communists–had a disproportionately large number of Jews, Latvians, Lithuanians, Georgians, Armenians, Finns, Poles, and other “aliens” (i.e. non-Russians) in their membership.
Medvedev, Roy. Let History Judge. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989, p. 557
[Said in 1926] I couldn’t help smiling at the threat; Soltz, the head of the Central Control Commission, is the son of the Rabbi of Vilna.
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich. Notes for a Journal. New York: Morrow, 1955, p. 27
Young Jews furnished a large number of the cadres in revolutionary parties and organizations. Jews had always played an important role in the leadership of these parties. The Bolshevik party was no exception to this rule, and almost half its Central Committee were Jews.
Bazhanov, Boris. Bazhanov and the Damnation of Stalin. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, c1990, p. 143
Finally, Mekhlis, a native of Odessa and, although a Jew, a favorite of the supreme leader’s. Mekhlis was, at various times, editor-in-chief of Pravda, the people’s commissar of state control, and the head of the political administration of the Red Army, with a rank of colonel general.
Laqueur, Walter. Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations. New York: Scribner’s, c1990, p. 176
Jewish intellectuals and workers were disproportionately active in the revolutionary movement in the Russian Empire. In 1922, Jews represented 5.2 percent of Communist Party membership (about five times their percentage of the population). From the late 1920s through to World War II the proportion of Jews in the party was about 4.3%.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 88
Jews have the highest representation in the Communist Party of any other Soviet nationality. In 1965, 80 out of every 1000 Jews belonged to the party, compared to the Soviet average of 51 per 1000. In 1969, Jews made up 1.5% of the Party (an over-representation factor of 1.67)…. Between 1920 and 1940 the percentage of Jews in the Party fluctuated around 4.5% to 5.0%.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 94
Western attempts to present the Soviet Union as a virulently anti-Semitic society cannot be substantiated. Historically, the Jewish people in the USSR have fared, and continue to fare, very well in almost: all respects. Jews are over-represented in the highest paying occupations, in the skilled professions, in the institutions of higher education and in all except the top levels in the Communist Party;…
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 99
An extensive examination of the position of the Jews in the Soviet Union shows that the Western attempt to color the Soviet Union as fundamentally anti-semitic is baseless. In fact, Soviet Jews were found to be heavily over-represented in both professional life and the Communist Party. No evidence of official anti-Semitism and little evidence of popular anti-Semitism was found.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 296
At the all-union level there were a few Jewish survivors, notably, Kaganovich, his brother M. M. Kaganovich as commissar of the defense industry, Mekhlis as chief editor of Pravda, and Litvinov as foreign commissar.
Tucker, Robert. Stalin in Power: 1929-1941. New York: Norton, 1990, p. 491
Yet nationality always mattered in Soviet politics, however internationalist the Party claimed to be. There were a high proportion of Jews, along with Georgians, Poles, and Letts, in the Party because these were among the persecuted minorities of Tsarist Russia. In 1937, 5.7% of the Party were Jews yet they formed a majority in the government.
Montefiore, Sebag. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 305
The Jewish poet Fefer, executed in 1952 with his colleagues from the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee, said before his death, “It seemed to me that only Stalin could correct the historical injustice committed by the Roman kings…. I have nothing against the Soviet system. I am the son of a poor schoolteacher. Soviet power made a human being out of me and a fairly well-known poet as well.”…
Many Jews felt this way, which helps explain why so many could be found in the Soviet security organs and throughout the governmental bureaucracy. Jews had advanced with extraordinary speed from second-class citizens in Tsarist Russia to the plenipotentiaries of a great world power: Trotsky, Litvinov, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Yagoda, Kaganovich, and Lozovsky (executed as a member of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee in 1952) were only a few of the Jews who rose through the system to the very top and exercised more real power in the Soviet Union than Jews had for nearly two millennia anywhere else in the world. Many others can be found in this book: Shvartsman, Broverman, Palkin, Raikhman, Sverdlov, Sheinin, Maklyarsky, Ehrenburg, Zhemchuzhina.
Naumov and Brent. Stalin’s Last Crime. New York: HarperCollins, c2003, p. 331
A striking feature of Mr. Wilton’s examination of the tumultuous 1917-1919 period in Russia is his frank treatment of the critically important Jewish role in establishing the Bolshevik regime.
The following lists of persons in the Bolshevik Party and Soviet administration during this period, which Wilton compiled on the basis of official reports and original documents, underscore the crucial Jewish role in these bodies. These lists first appeared in the rare French edition of Wilton’s book, published in Paris in 1921 under the title Les Derniers Jours des Romanoffs. They did not appear in either the American or British editions of The Last Days of the Romanovs published in1920. [R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993)]
“I have done all in my power to act as an impartial chronicler,” Wilton wrote in his foreword to Les Derniers Jours des Romanoffs. “In order not to leave myself open to any accusation of prejudice, I am giving the list of the members of the [Bolshevik Party’ s] Central Committee, of the Extraordinary Commission [Cheka or secret police], and of the Council of Commissars functioning at the time of the assassination of the Imperial family.
“The 62 members of the [Central] Committee were composed of five Russians, one Ukrainian, six Letts [Latvians], two Germans, one Czech, two Armenians, three Georgians, one Karaim [Karaite] (a Jewish sect), and 41 Jews.
“The Extraordinary Commission [Cheka or Vecheka] of Moscow was composed of 36 members, including one German, one Pole, one Armenian, two Russians, eight Latvians, and 23 Jews.
“The Council of the People’s Commissars [the Soviet government] numbered two Armenians, three Russians, and 17 Jews.
“According to data furnished by the Soviet press, out of 556 important functionaries of the Bolshevik state, including the above-mentioned, in 1918-1919 there were: 17 Russians, two Ukrainians, eleven Armenians, 35 Letts [Latvians], 15 Germans, one Hungarian, ten Georgians, three Poles, three Finns, one Czech, one Karaim, and 457 Jews.”
“The other Russian Socialist parties are similar in composition,” Wilton went on. “Their Central Committees are made up as follows:”
Mensheviks (Social Democrats): Eleven members, all of whom are Jewish.
Communists of the People: Six members, of whom five are Jews and one is a Russian.
Social Revolutionaries (Right Wing): Fifteen members, of whom 13 are Jews and two are Russians (Kerenski, who may be of Jewish origin, and Tchaikovski).
Social Revolutionaries (Left Wing): Twelve members, of whom ten are Jews and two are Russians.
Committee of the Anarchists of Moscow: Five members, of whom four are Jews and one is a Russian.
Polish Communist Party: Twelve members, all of whom are Jews, including Sobelson (Radek), Krokhenal (Zagonski), and Schwartz (Goltz).
THE REVOLUTION SAVED THE JEWS AND GAVE THEM RIGHTS
Free access to the state service and to the universities and higher schools, absolute elimination of restrictions — on the right of movement and residence and other humiliating marks of pre-revolutionary racial discrimination, protection against mob violence–these are the substantial gains which the Russian Jews owe to the Revolution.
Chamberlin, William Henry. Soviet Russia. Boston : Little, Brown, 1930, p. 226
SURVIVAL OF CAPITALISM IN MEN’S MINDS PRODUCT OF NATIONALISM
The survivals of capitalism in the minds of men, Stalin pointed out, were much more tenacious in the sphere of the national question than in any other.
Alexandrov, G. F. Joseph Stalin; a Short Biography. Moscow: FLPH, 1947, p. 123
In the face of a world in which peace between nations is literally an absurd formula, each one of the 75 or so contemporary nations having but one aim (which some of them do and some do not admit), namely, to live to the detriment of one another….
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 98
LENIN WANTS JEWS ON COMMISSIONS TO ASSURE PROGRESS
Stalin recounted that he went to Lenin and said, “I’m setting up a commission of inquiry. I am appointing so and so to it.” Lenin said the him, “Not a single Jew? No, nothing will come of it!”
Chuev, Feliks. Molotov Remembers. Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1993, p. 192
FEDERATION OF SOVIET NATIONS IS BETTER FOR ALL THAN INDEPENDENCE
Because, for all weak or backward nations (representing the majority of the Russian group) the system is amazingly more advantageous and intelligent, from whatever point of view one looks at it, than the system of simple and pure independence. Federated nations work towards a common end and are scientifically at peace with one another. As foreigners, however, instead of co-operation there is competition, which changes, by force of circumstances, into antagonism and enmity –with all the burdens, all the slaveries, all the perils and all the smotherings of conscience which go with it. The Soviet nations are at once small and great. If they were to leave the Union they would become small without any compensating factor.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 99
STALIN FOUGHT GREAT RUSSIAN CHAUVINISM OVER OTHER NATIONALITIES
However, when the Soviets first came into power, there was a somewhat special “Asiatic” conception of the problem of nationalities. It was manifested by strong “colonializing tendencies,” that is to say the subjection of the distant country, and a preponderance of the Russian element in its administration and in the development of its Soviet assimilation. Russian workers and Russian propagandists went into Asia, directed everything and settled everything themselves, the native population being “neglected by socialism,” according to Stalin’s own expression.
This did not agree with one of the principles of Leninist Marxism, which was a particularly dear one to Stalin, namely the untrammelled, direct and conscious participation of all in the common work. So Stalin fought bitterly against these eruptions of Muscovite exclusivism mingled with socialist organization, and against putting into practice methods which were very nearly “protectorate” or colonial methods in dealing with Soviet natives, as being a system which was erroneous in theory and foolish in practice.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 104
Some people depict the struggle of the borderland “governments” as a struggle for national liberation and against the “soulless centralism” of the Soviet government. This, however, is wrong. No government in the world ever granted such extensive decentralization, no government in the world ever afforded its peoples such plenary national freedom as does the Soviet government of Russia. The struggle of the borderland “governments” was and remains a struggle of the bourgeois counter-revolution against socialism. The national flag is tacked on to the cause only to deceive the masses, only as a popular flag which conveniently covers up the counter-revolutionary designs of the national bourgeoisie.
Stalin, Joseph. Stalin’s Kampf. New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, c1940, p. 187
Culture in general attracted his occasional,and unpredictable,interventions. Stalin’s aide Mekhlis rang up Pravda cartoonist Yefimov in 1937 and told him to come immediately to the Kremlin. Suspecting the worst, Yefimov feigned influenza. But “he’–Stalin–was insisting; Yefimov could postpone the visit at most by a day. In fact Stalin simply wished to say that he thought Yefimov should cease drawing Japanese figures with protruding teeth. “Definitely,’ replied the cartoonist. “There won’t be any more teeth.’
Service, Robert. Stalin. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2005, p. 305
NOTHING CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED EXCEPT THROUGH INTERNATIONALISM
Events also show–and one must not tire of proclaiming these truths–that one must embrace Internationalism in a practical way before one can emerge from chaos, because history, whether we want it to or not, speaks to us internationally. They show that nothing can be accomplished, even within frontiers, without disregarding frontiers.
Barbusse, Henri. Stalin. New York: The Macmillan company, 1935, p. 273
STALIN’S NATIONALITIES PROGRAM HAS DEGREES OF INDEPENDENCE AND AUTONOMY
Soviet autonomy is not a rigid thing fixed once and for all time; it permits of the most varied forms and degrees of development. It passes from narrow administrative autonomy (the Volga Germans, the Chuvashes and the Karelians) to a wider, political autonomy (the Bashkirs, the Volga Tatars and the Kirghiz); from wide political autonomy to a still wider form of autonomy (the Ukraine and Turkestan); and finally from the Ukrainian type of autonomy to the supreme form of autonomy –contractual relations (Azerbaijan). This elasticity of Soviet autonomy constitutes one of its prime merits, for this elasticity makes it possible to embrace all the various types of border regions in Russia, which vary greatly in their levels of cultural and economic development.
Soviet autonomy is the most real and concrete way of uniting the border regions to Central Russia. Nobody will deny that the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkestan, the Kirghiz Republic, the Bashkir Republic, the Tatar Republic, and other border regions, since they are striving for the cultural and material prosperity of their masses, must have their native schools, courts, administration and government bodies recruited principally from among the native people. Furthermore, the real Sovietization of these regions, their conversion into Soviet countries closely bound to Central Russia and forming with it one state whole, is inconceivable without the widespread organization of local schools, without the creation of courts, administrative bodies, organs of government, etc., recruited from among people acquainted with the life and language of the population.
Stalin, Joseph. Stalin’s Kampf. New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, c1940, p. 201-202
There was a brighter side, too, to Stalin’s activity. He worked with great vigor and determination on one of the most difficult problems that the revolution had inherited. It will be remembered that in 1918 he called to life the self-governing republic of Bashkirs. In the spring of 1920 an autonomous Soviet republic of the Tartars was founded. In October of the same year Kirghizian self-government followed. After the civil war a Daghestan republic was constituted, comprising a multitude of tribes speaking 36 languages and vernaculars. Karelians, Yakuts, and others went ahead with forming their own administrations. None of these republics was or could be really independent; but all enjoyed a high degree of self-government and internal freedom; and, under the guidance of Stalin’s Commissariat, all tasted some of the benefits of modern civilization. Amid all the material misery of that period, the Commissariat helped to set up thousands of schools in areas where only a few score had existed before. Schemes for the irrigation of arid land and for hydro-electrical development were initiated. Tartar became an official language on a par with Russian. Russians were forbidden to settle in the steps of Kirghizia, now reserved for the colonization of native nomads. Progressive laws freed Asiatic women from patriarchal and tribal tyranny. All this work, of necessity carried out on a modest scale, set a pattern for future endeavors; and even in its modest beginnings there was an elan and an earnest concern for progress that captivated many an opponent of Bolshevism.
In the summer of 1922, soon after Lenin’s first stroke, the Politburo began to discuss a constitutional reform that was to settle the relations between Russia and the outlying republics. Stalin was the chief architect of the reform. Throughout the second half of 1922 he expounded the principles of the new constitution. These were, briefly, his ideas: the federation of Soviet Republics should be replaced by a Union of Republics. The union should consist of four regional entities: Russia, Transcaucasia, the Ukraine, and Byelorussia. (It was in connection with this scheme that he pressed the Georgians to join the Transcaucasian federation.) He was opposed to the idea that the union should be formed directly by the constituent republics; and he insisted on the need for intermediate links between the central administration and the individual republican governments. His motive was that central control would be more effective if it were exercised through four main channels than if it were dispersed in a much greater number of direct contacts between Moscow and the local administrations. The Commissariats were to be classed into three categories: (a) Military Affairs, Foreign Policy, Foreign Trade, Transport, and Communication were to be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the Government in Moscow. The governments of the various republics were not to possess any commissariats dealing with those matters. (b) In the second category were the departments of Finance, Economy, Food, Labor, and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate. These were not to be subordinate to the central government, though they were to be subject to a measure of co-ordination from Moscow. (c) Home Affairs, Justice, Education, and Agriculture belonged to the third category and were to be administered by the provincial governments in complete independence. Sovereign power was to reside in the All-Union Congress of Soviets and, between the congresses, in the Central Executive Committee. The latter was to be composed of two chambers: the Supreme Council and the Council of Nationalities. All ethnical groups were to be represented by an equal number of delegates in the Council of Nationalities. The Central Executive Committee appointed the Council of People’s Commissars, the Government.
During his first convalescence Lenin was consulted on the scheme and endorsed it. The Politburo once again pressed the Georgians to join the Transcaucasian federation. The Ukrainians demurred at Moscow’s intention to conduct foreign policy on their behalf and refused to wind up their own Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. Nominally, however, the scheme left the republics with a very wide measure of self-government. It allowed them to manage independently their home affairs, security, and police, under the circumstances by far the most important department.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 244
Politically the point was to reconstruct the Tzarist empire, that prison of nations, territorially, politically, and administratively, in line with the needs and wishes of the nations themselves.
Trotsky , Leon , Stalin. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1941, p. 155
NATIONAL SELF-DETERMINATION IS SECONDARY TO PROLETARIAN DICTATORSHIP
The right of self-determination means that a nation can arrange its life according to its own will. It has the right to arrange its life on the basis of autonomy. It has the right to enter into federal relations with other nations. It has the right to complete secession. Nations are sovereign and all nations are equal.
This, of course, does not mean that Social-Democrats will support every demand of a nation. A nation has a right even to return to the old order of things; but this does not mean that Social-Democrats will subscribe to such a decision if taken by any institution of the said nation. The obligations of Social-Democrats, who defend the interests of the proletariat, and the rights of a nation, which consists of various classes, are two different things.
… It should be born in mind that besides the right of nations to self-determination there is also the right of the working class to consolidate its power, and to this latter right the right of self-determination is subordinate. There are occasions when the right of self-determination conflicts with the other, the higher right–the right of a working class that has assumed power to consolidate its power. In such cases–this must be said bluntly– the right to self-determination cannot and must not serve as an obstacle to the exercise by the working class of its right to dictatorship. The former must give way to the latter.
Stalin, Joseph. Stalin’s Kampf. New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, c1940, p. 278
BOLSHEVIKS SUPPORT NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE UP TO COMPLETE SECESSION
The Bolsheviks advocated the self-determination of nations up to and including their complete governmental separation from Russia as independent nation-states. This did not mean that the Bolsheviks would welcome the separation of the national regions from Russia or help them secede.
Medvedev, Roy. Let History Judge. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989, p. 50
Bukharin dissented from Lenin on crucial points of Marxist theory and politics, among others on nationalities. While Lenin advocated their right to self-determination and interpreted that right in the sense that Poles, Ukrainians, Letts, and so on were entitled to secede from the Russian empire and constitute themselves as independent nations, Bukharin disputed that view and saw in it a superfluous concession to Polish, Ukrainian, and other nationalisms. He believed that the revolution would cut across existing national divisions. Bukharin’s argument left no mark on Stalin’s essay, which was consistently Leninist.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 119
JEWISH CULTURE AND YIDDISH ARE FOSTERED IN THE SU
Yiddish, like all national languages, is carefully fostered in the Union. There are Yiddish schools and Yiddish newspapers; there is a Yiddish literature of considerable standing. Congresses are called for the cultivation of the language, and Yiddish theaters enjoy the highest prestige. I saw in the Yiddish State Theatre at Moscow an extraordinarily good performance of King Lear with that great actor Michoels in the title part and Suskins giving a splendid Fool. The sets were fine and original and the whole production excellently staged.
The establishment of the national Jewish state of Biro-Bidjan at first encountered almost insuperable difficulties,…
Feuchtwanger, Lion. Moscow, 1937. New York: The Viking Press, 1937, p. 85
With the establishment of the Soviet regime [in the Ukraine] there was no discrimination by ethnic origin whatsoever. On the contrary, the city [ Kiev] had Jewish schools, a theater, a synagogue. A newspaper was published in Yiddish.
Berezhkov, Valentin. At Stalin’s Side. Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Pub. Group, c1994, p. 94
In special places [in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Podol in Kiev] the individual buyer could purchase any item in any quantity, such as a tea set, a carpet, a bicycle, or musical instruments. Weapons were also on sale, both wholesale and retail, including hunting guns, small-caliber rifles, hunting knives, and cartridges. Even though the Civil War had ended only a short time before, no one seemed worried that arms were freely available. Hunting rifles were registered with amateur hunters’ organizations, and as for small-caliber guns, no one paid any attention to them at all. My father gave me such a gun as a present.
Berezhkov, Valentin. At Stalin’s Side. Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Pub. Group, c1994, p. 95
In 1919, a Jewish State Theatre was established in Moscow, and by 1934 a further 18 had been established in other cities. Jewish Theatre, as well as other expressions of Jewish culture, were strongly supported by the Soviet state. In 1932, 653 Yiddish books were published with a total circulation of more than 2.5 million. In 1935, there were Yiddish dailies in Moscow, Kharkov, Minsk, and Birobidzhan; in the Ukraine alone 10 Jewish dailies were in circulation.
Many anti-Soviets in the West, especially Zionists, had argued that the 1948-53 campaign against ‘cosmopolitanism’ and ‘Zionism’ was really a manifestation of anti-Semitism (analogous to that of Hitler’s) but a realistic assessment demonstrates that this argument functioned to serve the interests of Western and Israeli Zionists in their long-term battle with Jewish Marxists for hegemony in the Jewish community, as well as to strengthen Western imperialist support for Israel.
Professionally and economically the Jewish people have fared extremely well in the period of Soviet power. They are, for example, far more highly educated than any other nationality in the Soviet Union, and in 1970-71 the ratio of higher education students per 1000 population was 49.2. This is almost twice as high as the next highest group, the Georgians, who had a ratio of 27.1 per 1000. (Russians ranked fourth on this indicator with a ratio of 21.1 per 1000).
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 91
SOVIET GOVT WORKS TO TURN NOMADS INTO SETTLED PROLETARIANS
I have told in a previous chapter about the liquidation of kulaks. This process had been accompanied by a similar process which the Communists described as de-nomadization. Just as the authorities had labeled several hundred thousand small farmers as kulaks, and taken them off their land and put them at work in industries, mines, and forests under police guard, so they had removed hundreds of thousands of nomads from the steppes and put them at work in mines and factories or tried to induce them to settle down on collective cattle farms. They did this because they held the opinion that nomads are backward and cannot be raised up to the Communist notions of a higher civilization until they are taken away from the steppes and their roving life and changed into proletarians, or wage-earners, either in industries or on state-controlled farms.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 107
The nomad tribes had been heavy sufferers in both the First and Second Bolshevik Revolutions. In the Civil War following 1917, their horses and sheep had been confiscated by one armed force after another; and then in 1921, when the greatest of modern famines swept through Russia, the Kazaks herds and flocks had been further reduced, so that in 1923 the number of domestic animals in Kazakhstan was only about 30 percent of what it had been in 1916.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 184
The nomads were once again among the principal sufferers when the Second Communist Revolution started in 1929. But the nomads were dirty and superstitious, and I can understand how the Communist reformers believed that they were doing them a favor by breaking up their old forms of life and persuading them, even by the use of force if necessary, to adopt a manner of life which was considered more civilized and sensible.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 185
LIKE THE KULAKS SOME NOMADS DESTROYED THEIR HERDS RATHER THAN COLLECTIVIZE
I have told how the liquidation of kulaks resulted in a shortage of food which continued for several years. The process of de-nomadization aggravated the food shortage by causing the destruction of the nomad’s herds. When the Communist “shock troops” began to break up these herds, and put pressure on the nomad owners to pool their animals in so-called collective farms, the latter simply killed their animals. At that time, I do not think the authorities worried about this, because they believed the herds could easily be replaced. They learned better later;…
In such a place as Kazakhstan, where most of the population had existed for generations on the products of the herds, the destruction of animals in the years following 1930 had very serious effects. I have been told that thousands died of starvation; whether that is true or not, I cannot say. But I can testify from my own observation that the former nomad herders were a long time recovering from the effects of this turbulent period, when the Communist authorities organized an assault upon the nomads, and the latter developed a sort of mass hysteria which caused them to destroy their means of livelihood.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 108
The ex-nomads who survived this period were rounded up, as the kulaks had been, and put to work in the mines and in the few industries which had been started at that time in the nomad regions. The well-to-do nomads, such as the “kumiss king” I had visited in Bashkiria, were taken over by the police and exiled to some region remote from their former homes, where they were put to work in forests or mines, or settled on cattle farms. Many of them resisted dispossession; these were adjudged criminals, and sent to jail or shot.
By the time I was assigned to the Ridder mines, a virtual civil war with the nomads had been fought and won. There were still occasional skirmishes with some nomads who stubbornly refused to give up their old forms of life, but for the most part the Kazaks and Kirghizians had admitted defeat and some of them were already more are less enthusiastic supporters of the new order. Such supporters were greatly encouraged by the authorities and liberally rewarded.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 109
These villages had been set on fire during the struggle between the nomads and Communist reformers, and were still burning months later. This drifting smoke offered evidence both of the severity of the struggle, and of the eventual triumph over the old and unprogressive way of life.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 187
SIBERIA IS FINE LAND WITH UNJUST REPUTATION
The worst thing about the Russian exile system, so far as I am concerned, is the bad reputation it has given to Siberia. Before I went to Russia, I had an idea that Siberia was a gloomy sort of place, a land of everlasting cold and darkness. Why did I have this idea? Because most of what I had read about Siberia was connected with the exile system, which has used Siberia as a dumping ground for criminals and political undesirables both before and since the Russian Revolution.
Of course, I should have known better. Books have been written both before and since the revolution to show what a fine place Siberia is. But the connection between Siberia and exiles had stuck in my mind above everything else I read about this part of the world, and I suspect that many other Americans still have the same attitude.
If anyone should ask me what I think is the most hopeful thing about Russia, I should reply at once and without any hesitation: ” Siberia!”
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 144
For myself, I would certainly rate Siberia as far more important than Bolshevism in any estimate of Russia’s future. So long as the Russians hang on to Siberia, they don’t need to worry about what social and political system operates in their country. They can even afford to give up a large part of European Russia, although this includes many extremely valuable and rich regions; retreat back into the Urals and Siberia, and still consider themselves one of the largest, richest, and most promising countries in the world.
I have traveled back and forth and up and down across Siberia dozens of times during the past 10 years, and I will stake my reputation on the claim that Siberia under proper management can be made superior to any other country in Europe or Asia, and could give the United States a run for its money.
I am using the name Siberia here in the old sense, which he still used by most of the Soviet citizens who live there, even if the present authorities have divided up the old territory into several parts with new names. According to this interpretation, Siberia includes that region beginning 100 miles east of the Ural Mountains and extending to the Pacific Coast, as well as the Lake Baikal region and the maritime provinces taken over from China in the middle of the 19th-century. This Siberia extends to the Arctic seas on the north and as far south as the Central Asian republics, so that its southern regions are almost tropical.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 145
When I made my first trip through Siberia, and saw how badly mistaken I had been in my own mind about the nature of the country, I decided I must be unusually dumb. But I have learned since that Americans have been visiting Siberia for a long time, and that each new arrival, not profiting by the written impressions of his predecessors, makes the fresh discovery for himself that Siberia is not an Arctic waste such as he had imagined, but a great country more like the American Middle West and Northwest than any other stretch of the earth’s surface with which I am familiar.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 146
… another American named Bookwalter, a businessman from Springfield, Ohio, heard that the Russians were building a transcontinental railroad to the Pacific Ocean; and as he was a curious-minded sort of fellow, he went off in 1899 to have a look at it….
Bookwalter recorded his impressions in a book which he published himself and circulated privately in 1899.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 147
Bookwalter wrote: “Somehow I had formed the idea that Siberia was, in the main, a mountainous, broken, barren, and and even sterile country, covered with forests–which opinion, I am inclined to think, is somehow generally entertained in the West. Nothing could be farther from the fact. Of all the surprises met with in my somewhat extensive travels Siberia is the greatest.”
Bookwalter wrote a description of the similarities between Siberia and some of the western sections of the United States which are just as good today as when he wrote them: “There lies in western Siberia, from the Ural Mountains eastward, an unbroken tract of practically level land, about 8000 miles wide and nearly 2000 miles long; that is to say, an area equal to two-thirds of the United States, excepting Alaska. When I add that for the most part it is like or even superior to the fertile, treeless, level prairies of our own great West; that it extends over 30 degrees of latitude from the genial climate of Central Asia to the frigid north; that throughout this vast region is to be found the finest pasturage in the world; that in many parts wheat and other cereals can be grown equal to the Dakotas or Minnesota, and even Indian corn over a large section in the south–some feeble conception can be formed of the tremendous latent agricultural resources of this country.”
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 148
Abroad, Siberia is generally thought of as a wasteland, a desolate country used only as a prison for deportees. That is far from the truth. It is a splendid region with terrifically rich mineral resources, drained by immense rivers, and with an industrial future as brilliant as those of Canada or the United States. Life is calmer there than in European Russia, for the great distances permit a relaxation of the constant surveillance to which the European populations are subjected. There is more liberty in Siberia than in Russia.
Svanidze, Budu. My Uncle, Joseph Stalin. New York: Putnam, c1953, p. 104
NOMADS GIVEN SPECIAL TREATMENT BY THE RUSSIANS
The Russians who live among primitive tribesmen today have had to learn patience and forbearance to a marked degree. The Communists, possessing what someone has described as inverted snobishness, have decided that since the Russians exploited the tribesmen in the past, therefore the Russians must now submit to any sort of indignity. The tribesmen, having the mentality of shrewd children, have quickly caught on to the idea that the Russians have no comeback for any trick played on them, and some of the tribesmen abuse the favored position given them by the Communists. The Russians simply have to grin and bear it, as they know from experience that any effort to retaliate against the tribesmen will be severely punished, and that Communist courts will always give the tribesmen the benefit of every doubt.
During this epidemic of typhus in the Altai Mountains, we ran into one mining village where the whole population was in danger of infection, and those who could still move around were lined up in front of the dispensary….
The crowd had formed in line as its members arrived, and men and women stood there awaiting their turn to get into the dispensary. The Kazaks, knowing that the Russians were afraid of lice, were amusing themselves by picking lice off their clothing and flipping them onto the Russians. The expression of mixed anger, terror, and despair on the faces of those Russians was something to remember. But they could do nothing about it. The Kazaks wore sly and malicious grins, knowing that the Russians were powerless to object.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 191
SOVIET GOVT FOSTERS INTEGRATION AND RACE AND NATIONALITY MIXING
Often the families of exiles accompany them, and their children may settle down in Asia. Recently, in order to clear the border regions adjoining Finland, Poland, and other countries on the west, the authorities have shifted dozens of villages in mass to new lands in Siberia, where they are given credit and materials to build houses and community dwellings for themselves and begin life over in Asia.
In Russia today, as never before, Asiatics and Europeans are being thrown together as members of the same community. Already there are a considerable number of mixed marriages, and strong measures are taken to make sure that no social prejudice is shown against such marriages, and that the children get at least equal advantages.
The Soviet authorities deliberately encourage such marriages. They throw European and Asiatic young people together as much as possible, and Soviet scientists frequently publish articles declaring that children of mixed marriages are likely to be superior.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 261
As everyone knows, the Germans have started out to “purify” their race, while the Communists authorities in Russia appear equally determined to mingle the global blood of their 168 races and tribes as freely as possible.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 262
In the course of 70 years the process of ethnic integration was strongest in the central regions of the USSR, above all in Moscow and Leningrad. There was also a considerable degree of integration in Kiev, Minsk, Tbilisi, Baku, Tashkent, and Kharkov. If the USSR had continued to exist for another 40-50 years, “the Soviets” would have become as much a reality as “the Americans.”
Medvedev, Roy & Zhores Medvedev. The Unknown Stalin. NY, NY: Overlook Press, 2004, p. 269
PEOPLE IN FAR EASTERN SIBERIA PREFER SOVIET RULE OVER JAPANESE OPPRESSION
Stalin and his associates, as empire-builders, have apparently anticipated for years that the Japanese would sooner or later strike out to build an empire for themselves on the Asiatic mainland. I have seen, during my own 10 years in Russia, what the Communists General Staff has done to hold Japan in check so far as Russian interests are concerned. First of all, the Russians have built a line of defense along the Manchurian border a strong as that which they are now building along European borders. They have built up a powerful, specialized army in the Far East, almost completely independent of the army in Europe. In this way, they succeeded in preventing a Japanese attack upon their own Far Eastern Territories, which are rich in natural resources of every kind.
I have heard it suggested that the Soviet population in the Far East is so discontented that it would welcome Japanese invasion. This is not true. I have talked with hundreds of Soviet citizens along the Amur and Shilka Rivers and all through the mining regions beyond Lake Baikal. Many of these people are not especially fond of Soviet rule, but they prefer it to the Japanese. They can remember when the Japanese occupied eastern Siberia; the Japanese were not induced to leave until 1922. The Japanese military acted so brutally during their occupation that they made enemies of the Soviet population for generations.
One middle-aged prospector working on the Shilka River told me about his experiences with the Japanese. He said that a Japanese garrison was kept just outside the town where he was living during the occupation. Members of this garrison, during their rest period, would take their guns and go up on the hillside overlooking the town. There they would sit taking pot-shots at people moving along the streets, and were highly amused when they made a hit. Incidents like this have made the people in eastern Siberia ready to back the Russians in a fight with the Japanese, even though they are not Communists.
Littlepage, John D. In Search of Soviet Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace, c1938, p. 286
STALIN SAYS THE SU IS A UNION OF NATIONS
[Report to the 18th Congress on March 10, 1939]
Long live the great friendship of the nations of our country!
Franklin, Bruce, Ed. The Essential Stalin; Major Theoretical Writings. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1972, p. 392
SOVIET GOVT OPPOSED ZIONISM AND THE ZIONISTIC ASPECTS OF JUDAISM
An analysis of anti-religious propaganda directed at Jews in 1960s finds such specific themes as: (1) The Jewish religion promotes allegiance to another state, Israel, and to a reactionary, pro-imperialist movement, Zionism; (2) the Jewish religion promotes the notion that the Jewish people are superior to others, ‘the chosen people’, and thus breeds hatred of other people’s; (3) the Jewish religion elevates the pursuit of material wealth, a pursuit incompatible with the Communist ideal of Soviet society; and (4) the Jewish religion calls for genocide and enslavement of other people’s by the Jews (a reference to the affect of Zionism on the Arabs).
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 93
From the beginning of the Soviet state in 1917, the Soviets, with various degrees of intensity, have systematically attacked Zionism as reactionary, pro-imperialist, racist and, since World War II, essentially fascist. They share their analysis with most of the rest of the world’s Marxists, including many Jewish Marxists, as well as with most progressive movements in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; especially those in the Islamic world. Anti-Soviets, especially those sympathetic to Zionism and the Israeli state, often fallaciously accuse the Soviet Union of anti-Semitism because of Soviet attacks on Zionism. But the two are quite different. Anti-Semitism, the ideology that Jews are a race to be despised and that to discriminate against them is justified, is against the law in the Soviet Union and, as far as I can ascertain, totally absent from all official Party and government written matter. Anti-Zionism, the notion that Jews should not seek or support a separate state in which all Jews maintain solidarity solely amongst themselves–rather than with individuals of other ethnic groups–is official state and Party policy.
Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed Books, 1984, p. 96
As we shall see, Stalin was growing more and more disturbed about the expressions of interest in Palestine and, later, Israel among Soviet Jews;…
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 40
Several weeks later, even larger crowds assembled on Rosh Hashanah and again on Yom Kippur. They waited for hours in front of the synagogue, then escorted Golda Meier through the streets, shouting, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Stalin had had enough. On November 20, the party leadership approved the immediate disbanding of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, “since, as the facts show, this committee is a center of anti-Soviet propaganda and regularly submits anti-Soviet information to organs of foreign intelligence.”
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 41
Stalin told his daughter, “The entire older generation is contaminated with Zionism and now they’re teaching the young people, too.”
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 42
JEWS SUPPORTED SU IN THE WAR & THEIR SOLDIERS RECEIVED THE 4TH HIGHEST # OF MEDALS
… Mikhoels…sent a note to Shcherbakov objecting to a prominent article in the party Journal Bolshevik, which maliciously understated the number of medals that individual Jewish soldiers had received for valor during the first six months of the war. Although the Jews constituted a tiny minority within the Soviet population, they had received the fourth highest number (after the Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians) and would soon surpass the Belarussians.
Naumov & Teptsov. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press, 2001, p. 37
On the eve of the war there were about 3 million Jews living in the Soviet Union. The rapid German offensive physically divided the Jewish community: about 1,300,000 Jews found themselves on occupied territory before they had even had time to react. The remaining 1,700,000 Soviet Jews, who had either been evacuated or had remained on unoccupied territory, fought against the Nazis, with Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars and other ethnic groups of the USSR. …
Jews did not just serve as rank and file soldiers and officers. There were a number of outstanding Jewish military commanders: M. Katukov, Marshal of Armored Troops; Y. Smushkevich, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force; and General M. Shmelev, Chief of Staff of Long-Range Aviation. In addition there were 92 Jewish generals and 9 army and flotilla commanders. In total, there were 270 Jewish generals and marshals. Korolyov, Anatoly.
Jews were also instrumental in shaping the ideology that would underpin the Soviet role in the war. Initially the Soviet people did not know what to make of the Nazi attack. Firstly, the Soviet Union once considered Germany an enemy but more recently had viewed it as a potential ally against Britain and the U.S. Secondly, the Soviet people, brought up to believe in internationalism, had thought that the German soldiers, i.e. German workers and peasants, would refuse to attack a socialist state and instead would join with the Russians to fight the oppressors, German capitalists.
A Jewish intellectual, Ilya Erenburg,…had traveled extensively and was perhaps the only Jew in the USSR who was aware of the racist motivations for the war. He was a military correspondent in Spain during the Spanish civil war, and his world outlook was informed by this experience. Six International Brigades had fought on the side of the Republicans in that war, and these units had included 6,000 Jewish volunteers.
By the time the Germans attacked, Erenburg was resolutely opposed to fascism. He had all the main national newspapers, Pravda, Izvestia, and Krasnaya Zvezda at his disposal, as well as the national radio stations. He emphatically rejected the internationalist dogma and called on the nation to, “Kill the Germans!”
…Erenburg confronted Nazi with racism head on. A whole volume of his Collection of Essays was to be devoted to his wartime pamphlets and articles. Erenburg became very popular in the embattled Soviet Union. People found his message much more instructive than the theory of internationalism. It was because of Erenburg that Stalin decided to discard the previous national anthem (the Internationale). In 1942, at the height of the war, Stalin announced a competition to compose a new anthem….
After the war, the question of what role the Jews had played in the defeat of Nazism sparked heated and sometimes acrimonious debate among historians. Some historians were determined to play down the role of the Jews at any cost, while others sought to do the opposite….
Nobel prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn tried to rise above the argument in his book about Jews in Russia, 200 Years Together. Although Russian liberals did not agree with everything that he wrote in the book, the part devoted to the war was met with general approval.
“I saw Jews fight courageously at the front. Two fearless anti-tank soldiers deserve special mention: Lieutenant Emmanuil Mazin, who was a friend of mine, and a young soldier called Borya Gammerov. The latter was called up when he was still at student. Both were wounded.”
Solzhenitsyn wrote about fellow Jewish writers who volunteered for the front, such as the poet Boris Slutsky, and the literary critic Lazar Lazarev, who fought at the front for two years until he received injuries to both arms. Dozens of pages are devoted to the participation of the Jews in the common war against Nazism…
On May 4, 1945, three Red Army soldiers, Churakov, Oleinik, and Seroukh, retrieved the charred bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun from a crater by the walls of the Reichschancellory in Berlin. The soldiers laid the corpses out on a soldier’s blanket. Hitler’s two dead dogs (an Alsatian and a puppy) were also laid out. Shortly after, the Fuhrer’s corpse was sent to Buch in the northeastern suburbs of Berlin for identification. Colonel Krayevsky, the Red Army’s chief pathologist, and doctors Anna Marants, Boguslavsky, and Gulkevich carried out the autopsy in the local clinic. The examination was overseen by Faust Shkaravsky, chief forensic expert for the First Belarusian Front.
All these doctors were Jews.
Even in his worst nightmares Hitler could never have imagined such a turn of events. Korolyov, Anatoly. Soviet Jewish Doctors Dissected Hitler, Novosti, Russian News and Information Agency, 7/5/05.
LENIN UPHOLDS THE RIGHT OF NATIONALITIES TO SECEDE
Lenin further refuted the anti-Bolshevik views of Bukharin and Pyatakov on the national question. They spoke against the inclusion in the program of a clause on the right of nations to self-determination; they were against the equality of nations, claiming that it was a slogan that would hinder the victory of the proletarian revolution and the union of the proletarians of different nationalities. Lenin overthrew these utterly pernicious, imperialist, chauvinist views of Bukharin and Pyatakov.
Commission of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. (B.), Ed. History of the CPSU (Bolsheviks): Short Course. Moscow: FLPH, 1939, p. 233