From the 
Secret Speech of Khruschev 
at the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956.

 

In December 1922 in a letter to the Party Congress Vladimir Ilyich Lenin wrote: “After taking over the position of Secretary General Comrade Stalin accumulated in his hands immeasurable power and I am not certain whether he will be always able to use this power with the required care.

Vladimir Ilyich said: “Stalin is excessively rude, ………….. a defect which cannot be tolerated in one holding the position of the Secretary General. Because of this, I propose that the comrades consider the method by which Stalin would be removed from this position ……"

 

The negative characteristics of Stalin, which, in Lenin’s time, were only incipient, transformed themselves during the last years into a grave abuse of power by Stalin, which caused untold harm to our Party..........

Stalin acted not through persuasion, explanation, and patient co­operation with people, but by imposing his concepts and demanding abso­lute submission to his opinion. Whoever opposed this concept or tried to prove his viewpoint, and the correctness of his position—was doomed to removal from the leading collective and to subsequent moral and physical annihilation. ........

 

……..many prominent Party leaders and ran-­and-file Party workers, honest and dedicated to the cause of Communism, fell victim to Stalin’s despotism.

Stalin originated the concept “enemy of the people.” This term automatically rendered it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven; ……………

Stalin . . . used extreme methods and mass repressions ………..

 

It is clear that Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality and his abuse of power. ………… he often chose the path of repression and physical annihilation, not only against actual enemies, but also against the Party and the Soviet government. …………….

Stalin, using his unlimited power, allowed himself many abuses, acting in the name of the Central Committee, not asking for the opinion of the Committee members nor even of the members of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau; often he did not inform them about his personal decisions concerning very important Party and government matters.

Stalin’s willfulness vis-à-vis the Party and its Central Committee became fully evident after the XVIIth Party Congress which took place in 1934.

 

the Central Committee had created a Party Commission under the control of the Central Committee Presidium; it was charged with investigating what made possible the mass repressions against the majority of the Central Committee members and candidates elected at the XVIIth Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks).

The Commission ……………….has established many facts pertaining to the fabrication of cases against Communists, to false accusations, to glaring abuses of Socialist legality—which resulted in the death of innocent people. ……….

It was determined that of the 139 members and candidates of the Party’s Central Committee who were elected at the XVIIth Congress, 98 persons, i.e., 70 percent, were arrested and shot (mostly in 1937-1938).

 

The same fate met ……………….. the majority of the delegates to the XVIIth Party Congress. Of 1966 delegates with either voting or advisory rights, 1108 persons were arrested on charges of anti-revolutionary crimes, i.e., decidedly more than a majority. This very fact shows how absurd, wild and contrary to common sense were the charges of counter-revolutionary crimes …………………Stalin put the Party and the NKVD up to the use of mass terror. . . . ………………….Confessions of guilt of many arrested and charged with enemy activity were gained with the help of cruel and inhuman tortures.………………………….

Facts prove that many abuses were made on Stalin’s orders without reckoning with any norms of Party and Soviet legality. Stalin was a very distrustful man, sickly suspicious; ………………….Every­where and in everything he saw “enemies,” “two-facers” and “spies.”

Possessing unlimited power he indulged in great willfulness and choked a person morally and physically……………….

 

When Stalin said that one or another should be arrested, it was necessary to accept on faith that he was an “enemy of the people.” Mean­while, Beriya’s gang, which ran the organs of the state security, outdid itself in proving the guilt of the arrested and the truth of materials which it falsified. And what proofs were offered? The confessions of the arrested, and the investigative judges accepted these “confessions.” And how is it possible that a person confesses to crimes which he has not committed? Only in one way—because of application of physical methods of pressuring him, tortures, bringing him to a state of unconsciousness, deprivation of his judgment, taking away of his human dignity. In this manner were “confessions” acquired.

The power accumulated in the hands of one person, Stalin, led to serious consequences during the Great Patriotic War.

 

All the more shameful was the fact that after our great victory over the enemy which cost us so much, Stalin began to downgrade many of the commanders who contributed so much to the victory over the enemy, because Stalin excluded every possibility that services rendered at the front should be credited to anyone but himself.

.The Soviet Union is justly considered as a model of a multi-national State because we have in practice assured the equality and friendship of all nations which live in our great Fatherland.

All the more monstrous are the acts whose initiator was Stalin …………………….. We refer to the mass deportations from their native places of whole nations, together with all Communists and Komsomols without any exception; this deportation action was not dictated by any military considerations.

 

Thus, already at the end of 1943, ………………….. a decision was taken and executed concerning the deportation of all the Karachai from the lands on which they lived. In the same period, at the end of December 1943, the same lot befell the whole population of the Autonomous Kalmyk Republic. In March 1944 all the Chechen and Ingush peoples were deported. . . . The Ukrainians avoided meeting this fate only because there were too many of them and there was no place to which to deport them. Otherwise, he would have deported them also.

no man of common sense can grasp how it is possible to make whole nations responsible for inimical activity, including women, children, old people, ……………….

 

After the conclusion of the Patriotic War …………..Stalin became even more capricious, irritable and brutal; in particular his suspicion grew. His persecution mania reached unbelievable dimensions. ………………... .

The willfulness of Stalin showed itself not only in decisions concern­ing the internal life of the country but also in the international relations of the Soviet Union.

the development of conflict with Yugoslavia. It was a shameful role which Stalin played here. The “Yugoslav Affair” contained no problems which could not have been solved through Party discussions among comrades. There was no significant basis for the development of this “Affair”; it was completely possible to have prevented the rupture of relations with that country. This does not mean, however, that the Yugo­slav leaders did not make mistakes or did not have shortcomings. But these mistakes and shortcomings were magnified in a monstrous manner by Stalin, which resulted in a break of relations with a friendly country.

 

Let us also recall the “Affair of the Doctor-Plotters.” Actually there was no “Affair” outside of the declaration of the woman doctor Timashuk, who was probably influenced or ordered by someone (after all, she was an unofficial collaborator of the organs of State security) to write Stalin a letter in which she declared that doctors were applying supposedly im­proper methods of medical treatment.

 

Such a letter was sufficient for Stalin to reach an immediate con­clusion that there are doctor-plotters in the Soviet Union. He issued orders to arrest a group of eminent Soviet medical specialists. He personally issued advice on the conduct of the investigation and the method of interro­gation of the arrested persons. He said that the academician Vinogradov should be put in chains, another one should be beaten. Present at this Congress as a delegate is the Former Minister of State Security, Comrade Ignatiev. Stalin told him curtly, “If you do not obtain confessions from the doctors we will shorten you by a head.”

Stalin personally called the investigative judge, gave him instructions, advised him on which investigative methods should be used; these methods were simple—beat, beat, and once again beat.

 

Shortly after the doctors were arrested we members of the Political Bureau received protocols with the doctors’ confessions of guilt. After distributing these protocols Stalin told us, “You are blind like young kittens; what will happen without me? The country will perish because you do not know how to recognize enemies.”

The case was so presented that no one could verify the facts on which the investigation was based. There was no possibility of trying to verify facts by contacting those who had made the confessions of guilt.

 

When we examined this “case” after Stalin’s death, we found it to be fabricated from beginning to end.

This ignominious “case” was set up by Stalin; he did not, however, have the time in which to bring it to an end (as be conceived that end), and for this reason the doctors are still alive. Now all have been rehabili­tated; they are working in the same places they were working before; they treat top individuals, not excluding members of the Government.

 

Quoted from: "The Soviet System", page 84, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1965. 

 

 

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