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Another American engineer,
who worked at Magnitogorsk,
recorded similar events in his book Behind the Urals. When describing
the 1937 Purge, he wrote that there was serious, sometimes criminal
negligence on the part of the people responsible. The machines at
Magnitogorsk were deliberately sabotaged by ex-kulaks who had become
workers. A bourgeois engineer,
analyzed the purge as follows:
`Many people in Magnitogorsk, arrested and indicted for political crimes,
were just thieves, embezzlers, and bandits ....'
, p. 184.
`The purge struck Magnitogorsk in 1937 with great force. Thousands were
`The October Revolution earned the enmity of the old aristocracy, the
officers of the old Czarist army and of the various White armies, State
from pre-war days, business men of all kinds, small landlords, and kulaks.
All of these people had ample reason to hate the Soviet power, for it had
deprived them of something which they had before. Besides being internally
dangerous, these men and women were potentially good material for clever
foreign agents to work with ....
`Geographical conditions were such that no matter what kind of
government was in power in the Soviet Union, poor, thickly populated
countries like Japan and Italy and aggressive powers like Germany would
leave no stone unturned in their attempts to infiltrate it with their
agents, in order to establish their organizations and assert their
influence .... These agents bred purges ....
`A large number of spies, saboteurs, and fifth-columnists were exiled or
shot during the purge; but many more innocent men and women were made
, pp. 188--189.
Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995