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Beria's and Khrushchev's revisionist groups

   

This political weakness was further aggravated by revisionist tendencies within the leadership of the Party that emerged at the end of the forties.

To direct the different sectors of the Party and the State, Stalin had always relied on his closest collaborators. Since 1935, Zhdanov  had played an essential rôle in the Party consolidation work. His death in 1948 left a vacuum. In the beginning of the fifties, Stalin's health took a dramatic turn for the worse after the overwork incurred during the war. The problem of Stalin's succession posed itself for the near future.

It was around this time that two groups of revisionists within the leadership became visible and started to plot their intrigues, while preaching fidelity to Stalin. Beria's  group and Khrushchev's  contituted two rival revisionist factions that, while secretly undermining Stalin's work, were waging war with each other.

Since Beria  was shot by Khrushchev  in 1953, soon after Stalin's death, it might be supposed that he was an adversary of Khrushchevian  revisionism. This is the position that Bill Bland  took in a well documented study of Stalin's death.

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Bill Bland,  `The ``Doctors' case'' and the death of Stalin' (London: The Stalin Society, October 1991), Report.

However, testimony from diametrically opposite sources concur in their affirmation that Beria  held rightist positions.

For example, the Zionist author Thaddeus Wittlin  published a biography of Beria  in the nauseating style of McCarthyism.  Here is an example: `the Dictator of Soviet Russia looked down at his peoples as if he were the merciless new god of millions of his people'.

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Thaddeus Wittlin,  Commissar: The Life and Death of Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria  (New York: Macmillan, 1972), p. 354.

Literally. But, presenting the ideas developed by Beria  towards 1951, Wittlin  claimed that he wanted to authorize private enterprise in light industry and `to moderate the collective farm system', as well as `by returning to the approach of the pre-Stalin era, the NEP'. `Beria  ... was against the Stalin policy of Russification of non-Russian nations and republics'. Beria  wanted `Better international relations with the West' and `also intended to restore relations with Tito'. 

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Ibid. , pp. 363--365.

This homage to Beria's  `reasonable politics' stands out, coming from such a sickening anti-Communist pen.

Tokaev,  clandestine opponent, claimed that he knew Beria  and others in the thirties, `not of servants, but of enemies of the régime'.

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Tokaev,  op. cit. , p. 7.

Gardinashvili,  one of Beria's  close collaborators, had close relations with Tokaev. 

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Ibid. , p. 101.

Khrushchev,  for whom it would be in his interest to depict Beria  as being close to Stalin, wrote:

`In the last years of Stalin's life Beria  used to express his disrespect for Stalin more and more baldly.'

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Nikita Khrushchev,  Khrushchev  Remembers (London: André Deutsch, 1971), p. 313.

`Stalin feared that he would be the first person Beria  might choose'.

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Ibid. , p. 311.

`It seemed sometimes that Stalin was afraid of Beria  and would have been glad to get rid of him but didn't know how to do it.'

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Ibid. , p. 250.

We should not forget Molotov's  opinion. He and Kaganovich  were the only leaders to remain faithful to their revolutionary past.

`I cannot exclude the possibility that Beria  provoked Stalin's death. I felt it through what he was saying. May Day 1953, on the Tribune of the Mausoleum, he made such allusions. He was looking for complicity. He said, ``I made him disappear''. He tried to implicate me. ``I saved you all''.'

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Chueva,  op. cit. , p. 327.

`I consider Khrushchev  as rightwing, but Beria  was even more rightwing. Both were rightwing. And Mikoyan  too. But they had different personalities. Khrushchev  was to the right and completely rotten, but Beria  was even more to the right and even more rotten.'

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Ibid. , p. 335.

`Without question, Khrushchev  was reactionary and succeeded in infiltrating into the Party. Of course, he believed in no form of communism. I consider Beria  as an enemy. He infiltrated himself into the Party with destructive goals. Beria  was a man without principles.'

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Ibid. , p. 323.

During Stalin's last years, Khrushchev  and Mikoyan  clearly hid their political ideas to better place themselves after the succession.

Khrushchev's  disdain for Stalin shows up clearly in his memoirs:

`In my opinion it was during the war that Stalin started to be quite right in the head.'

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Ibid. , p. 311.

At `the end of 1949', a `sickness ... began to envelop Stalin's mind'.

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Ibid. , p. 246.

Enver Hoxha  noted Khrushchev's  impatience for Stalin to die. In his memoirs, he noted a discussion that he had had in 1956 with Mikoyan: 

`Mikoyan  himself told me ... that they, together with Khrushchev  and their associates, had decided to carry out a ``pokushenie'', i.e., to make an attempt on Stalin's life, but later, as Mikoyan  told us, they gave up this plan.'

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Enver Hoxha,  With Stalin: Memoirs (Toronto: Norman Bethune Institute, 1980), p. 31.



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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995