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VYSHlNSKY’S SPEECH: MARCH 11, 1938
Comrades Judges, members of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.
In proceeding to make my speech for the Prosecution in the present case, which constitutes an exceptional phenomenon of extraordinary public and political significance, I would like in the first place to direct your attention to certain distinguishing features of this case, to certain of its outstanding peculiarities.
It is not for the first time that the Supreme Court of our country is examining a case involving gravest crimes directed against the well-being of our country, against our Socialist fatherland, the fatherland of the working people of the whole world. But I will hardly be mistaken if I say that this is the first time that our Court has had to examine a case like this, to examine a case of such crimes and such foul deeds as those that have passed at this trial before your eyes, before the eyes of the whole world, a case of such criminals as those you now see in the prisoners' dock.
With every day and every hour that passed, as the Court investigation on the present case proceeded, it brought to light ever more of the horrors of the chain of shameful, unparalleled, monstrous crimes committed by the accused, the entire abominable chain of heinous deeds before which the base deeds of the most inveterate, vile, unbridled and despicable criminals fade and grow dim. · ·
And indeed, what trial of all those that have taken place here and there have been not a few of them lately due to the conditions of the class struggle and of the furious resistance of our enemies to the cause of Socialism-can compare with the present trial in the monstrosity, brazenness and cynicism of the crimes committed by these gentlemen?
In what other trial was it possible to uncover and expose the real nature of these crimes with such force and depth, with such force to tear the mask of perfidy from the faces of scoundrels, and to show to the whole of our people and all honest people throughout the world the bestial countenance of the international brigands who cunningly and cleverly direct the hand of miscreants against our peaceful Socialist labour that has set up the new, happy, joyously flourishing Socialist society of workers and peasants?
This circumstance alone provides sufficiently clear proof of the tremendous social and political significance of this trial, of the fact that the present trial constitutes an outstanding phenomenon, that the present trial is of historic significance.
What constitutes the historic significance of the present trial?
What are some of its distinguishing features?
The historic significance of this trial consists before all in the fact that at this trial it has been shown, proved and established with exceptional scrupulousness and exactitude that the Rights, Trotskyites, Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, bourgeois nationalists, and so on and so forth, are nothing other than a gang of murderers, spies, diversionists and wreckers, without any principles or ideals.
Exactly a year ago, when analyzing the shortcomings in our work and indicating the measures whereby to liquidate the Trotskyite and other double-dealers, Comrade Stalin said:
"Two words about wreckers, diversionists, spies, etc. I think it is clear to everybody now that the present-day wreckers and diversionists, no matter what disguise they may adopt, either Trotskyite or Bukharinite, have long ceased to be a political trend in the labour movement, that they have become transformed into a gang of professional wreckers, diversionists, spies and assassins, without principles and without ideals. Of course, these gentlemen must be ruthlessly smashed and uprooted as the enemies of the working class, as betrayers of our country. This is clear and requires no further explanation . "
A year has gone by. The example of the present trial shows us how profoundly right was Comrade Stalin in his estimation of the Trotskyites and Bukharinites.
The Trotskyites and Bukharinites, that is to say, the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," the leading lights of which are now in the prisoners' dock, is not a political party, a political tendency, but a band of felonious criminals, and not simply felonious criminals, but of criminals who have sold themselves to enemy intelligence services, criminals whom even ordinary felons treat as the basest, the lowest, the most contemptible, the most depraved of the depraved.
The so-called "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" is an organization engaged in espionage, acts of diversion and wrecking, political murder and in selling their country to the enemy.
The bloc has no ideals; there is nothing "spiritual," so to speak, nothing ideological about it . That which some of the participants of this bloc once possessed, in some measure or other, has long ago been squandered and lost, has long ago vanished and gone rotten in the foul-smelling, abominable underworld of spies.
True, some of the accused, particularly the accused Bukharin, made attempts on more than one occasion at this trial, as the French say, to keep a straight face while the going's bad, to assume the appearance of people with "ideals," to cover up their bandit criminal activity with all kinds of "philosophical," "ideological" and other chatter.
Bukharin attempted here to reduce the whole nightmare of his heinous crimes to some sort of "ideological lines" about which he attempted to deliver lengthy and pompous speeches. Bukharin spoke here of the division of labour in this spying and wrecking organization, of some sort of "programmatic items," of some sort of "ideological orientation," albeit, be added, an ideological orientation on the kulaks.
Bukharin tried to represent his own role in this gang as that of a "theoretician." On the fourth day of the trial, when the crimes of felonious espionage committed by this so-called bloc had been fully exposed, Bukharin had the effrontery to say literally the following:
"I mainly occupied myself with the problematics of general leadership and with the ideological side; this, of course, did not exclude either my being aware of the practical side of the matter, or the adoption of a number of practical steps on my part.''
Pray appraise the role of this little gentleman who alleges that he was occupied not with the direction of all kinds of crimes, and the most monstrous at that, but with the "problematics" of these crimes, not with the organization of these crimes, but with the "ideological side" of these black deeds. Appraise the role of this little gentleman who does the most rabid work of wrecking and destruction, taking advantage, on his own admission, of all the difficulties of the Soviet power, who prepares and engineers black treason, prepares the defeat of his country in war with fascist enemies and hopes to hide his treason with jaunty, cynical chatter about taking advantage of the war which "prognostically stood in perspective.'' Appraise the role of this garrulous little gentleman who says that the arch-bandit and Anglo-German spy Trotsky in 1932 already threw off his "Leftist uniform' '.!-to employ Bukharin's words used here-and that he, Bukharin, together with Rykov and Tomsky armed this gang of criminals with their "ideology."
Caught red-handed in the act, Bukharin calls Hegel himself as witness, hurls himself into the jungle of linguistics, philology and rhetorics, mumbles some sort of learned words, so as to cover up the traces in one way or another. But he does not stand the test, and ends his scientific raving babble with the following admission:
"We all became rabid counter-revolutionaries, traitors to the Socialist fatherland, we turned into spies, terrorists, and restorers of capitalism. We embarked on treachery, crime, and treason. We turned into an insurrectionary band, we organized terrorist groups, engaged in wrecking activities, wanted to overthrow the Soviet government of the proletariat.''
To this Bukharin should have added: "We became a police department of the Japanese and German intelligence services, we became shameless barterers of our country.''
The bloc is an agency of foreign intelligence services. The members of the bloc and its leaders, such as Trotsky, who is not in the dock here, Bukharin, Rykov, Yagoda, Krestinsky, Rosen goltz, and its rank-and-file members, such as Zubarev, Maximov Dikovsky and others, ar,e slaves of these intelligence services, they are bondmen of their masters.
What room, then, is there here for ideology, "problematics" or "prognostics," for theory or philosophy?
Philosophy, behind the. smoke-screen of which Bukharin tried to hide here, is only a mask wherewith to cover up espionage and treason.
Bukharin's Literary-philosophical exercises are a screen behind which he tries to hide from his final exposure.
Philosophy and espionage, philosophy and wrecking, philosophy and acts of diversion, philosophy and murder, like genius and villainy, are two things that do not go together!
I know of no other instances-this is the first instance in history of a spy and murderer using philosophy, like powdered glass, to hurl it into his victim's eyes before dashing his brains out with a foot pad's bludgeon.
The historical significance of this trial lies first and foremost in the fact that it has completely exposed the bandit character of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," its ideological sterility, exposed the fact that the bloc-all these Rights, Trotskyites, Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, bourgeois nationalists, etc., etc.,-are all hired agents of the fascist intelligence services.
The "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" is no political grouping; it is a_ gang of spies, of agents of foreign intelligence services.
This has been proved fully and incontestably. Herein lies the enormous social, political and historical significance of the present trial.
The "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" now in the dock-as the trial has shown with the utmost clarity-is only an advance detachment of international fascism, is a pack of hangmen and surreptitious murderers, with whose aid fascism is operating in various countries, primarily in Spain and in China.
That is why the exposure of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites'' as a gang of spies is of enormous importance not only for our Socialist revolution, but also for the whole international proletariat. It is of enormous importance for the cause of peace throughout the world. It is of enormous importance for the whole of human culture, for the fight for real democracy and the freedom of nations, for the struggle against all and sundry warmongers, against all international provocations and provocateurs.
That is why this trial is being followed with bated breath by the working people throughout the world, and particularly in those countries where the people are engaged in a heroic struggle for their freedom, against fascist tyranny.
Under the leadership of Trotsky, under the leadership of the German, Japanese, Polish and other intelligence services, the Bukharins and Rykovs, Yagodas and Bulanovs, Krestinskys and Rosengoltzes, Ikramovs, Khodjayevs and Sharangoviches do their dark deeds by order of their masters not only in our country, but in Spain, in China, and wherever the class strugg e of the working people is going on, wherever honest people are fighting for genuine freedom, for genuine democracy, for genuine human culture.
The Bukharins and Rykovs, Yagodas and Bulanovs, Krestin skys and Rosengoltzes, Ikramovs, Sharangoviches, Khodjayevs and others are the very same as the Fifth Column, the POUM, the Ku Klux Klan. They are one of the detachments of the fascist provocateurs and incendiaries of war operating on the international arena.
The smashing of this detachment is a great service to the cause of peace, the cause of democracy, the cause of genuine human culture.
The exceptional importance of the present trial is, however, not limited to what I have said.
Here in the dock is not some one anti-Soviet group, the agents of .some one foreign intelligence service. Here in the dock is a number of anti-Soviet groups, the agents of the intelligence services of a number of foreign powers hostile to the U.S.S.R.
Implicated in this "case" are the remnants of all anti-Soviet forces, groups and organizations, and at least, as has been exactly established by the trial, four foreign intelligence services the Japanese, German, Polish and British-and, it goes without saying, all the other foreign intelligence services which maintain friendly, so-called operative contact with the above-mentioned intelligence services.
Indeed, if we speak of Trotsky, his connections with the Gestapo were proved up to the hilt at the trials of the Trotskyite Zinovievite terrorist centre in August 1936 and of the anti-Soviet Trotskyite centre in January 1937. Now, however, it has been proved that his connections with the German political police and the intelligence services of other countries date b ck to a much earlier period, that Trotsky has been connected with the German intelligence service since 1921. This has been stated quite definitely by Krestinsky at the present trial. It is now a proved fact that Trotsky has been connected with the British Intelligence Service since 1926. This has been stated definitely and proved by the ac cused Rakovsky. The who[e bloc headed by Trotsky consisted in its entirety of foreign spies and agents of the tsarist Okhrana.
Through their accomplices Bukharin and Rykov were connected with a number of foreign intelligence services, which they served systematically.
Yagoda was surrounded, as with flies, with German, Japanese and Polish spies whom he not only shielded, as he himself admitted. here, but through whom he engaged in espionage work, supplying foreign intelligence services with confidential state information, selling and betraying our country to these foreign intelligence services.
Krestinsky, on his own admission, has been a German spy since 1921.
Rosengoltz, one of the leaders of the Trotskyite underworld, as has been established, began his espionage work for the German General Sta ff , on his own admission, in 1923, and for the British Intelligence Service, also on his own admission, in 1926.
Rakovsky, one of Trotsky's closest and particularly trusted men, has been, according to his own testimony, an agent of the British Intelligence Service since 1924, and an agent of the Japanese intelligence service since 1934.
Chernov, according to his own testimony, began his espionage work for Germany in 1928, by forming a connection with the Ge man intelligence service on the initiative and with the assistance of the notorious emigre-the Menshevik, Dan.
Sarangovich was enrolled by the Polish intelligence service, and m 1921 was sent to the U.S.S.R. to carry on espionage work. Grinko, according to his own words, became a spy of the German Polish intelligence services in 1932, and prior to this maintained espionage connections with these intelligence services particularly with the Polish intelligence service. Ikramov Khodjayey through their bandit chiefs "worked'' under Bukharin s leadership on the establishment of contacts with the resident agents of the British Intelligence Service, to strengthen which the notorious Intelligence Service agent and adventurer Lawrence expended a great deal of energy on the Central Asiatic borders of the U.S.S. R.
Then follow the provocateurs and agents of the tsarist Okhrana Zelensky, Zubarev, Ivanov-Ivanov being in addition a British spy.
Add to this gang the group of poisoners and murderers-Levin, Pletnev, Kazakov, Kryuchkov, Maximov-Dikovsky and the others connected with them-and then the moral and political countenance of this bloc and of each of its participants becomes clear to the utmost.
That is why we can say that here is a foul-smelling heap of human garbage, who stop at nothing, who have no qualms what soever, who are ready for anything-to blow up factories and trains, to destroy cattle, to spoil grain, to engage in murder, espionage and high treason.
It is precisely all these criminal political and moral qualities that made of the Rights and Trotskyites such valuable material for provocation, for kindling the flames ·of war, for the foulest crimes of fascism. Nobody is so able to mask himself as they are. Nobody has mastered the art of cynical double-dealing to such a degree as they have.
The contemptible, treacherous, bandit activity of the Bukharins, Yagodas, Krestinskys, Rykovs and other Rights and Trotskyites is now exposed to the whole world. They sold their country, traded in the military secrets of its defense, were spies, diversionists, wreckers, murderers, thieves-and all in order to help the fascist governments to overthrow the Soviet government, to overthrow the power of the workers and peasants, to restore the power of the capitalists and landlords, to dismember the country of the Soviet people, to wrest away the national republics and turn them into colonies of the imperialists.
Such were the orders of their masters , which they fulfilled as best they could, exerting all their strength in doing so.
They strove with all their strength to set fire to our native home from all sides; they· were in a hurry to open the gates to the enemy so as to clutch at power, even at the price of Judas like betrayal, so as to destroy the fruits of the heroic labour of our people who have built up the new, the Socialist society, so as to bring ·back the power of the landowners and capitalists, for whom these traitors worked tirelessly.
Such are these people, such are their plans and calculations, such are their shameful and monstrous crimes.
The accused Bukharin made the boastful statement here that it was they, the Rights, the menials of the capitalists who armed Trotskyism with the "spiritual" weapon of the theory of the restoration of capitalism.
Of what "theory" does Bukharin speak-this hardened political swindler and one of the lea ding organizers of foreign espionage against the U.S.S.R.?
Bukharin shrinks from the admission of his guilt as the devil from incense. Bukharin denies his guilt here.
But what is his denial of this crime worth in the light of his admission that he is guilty of other most serious crimes organically bound with this crime?
What is this denial worth in the light of the evidence we have against Bukharin?
I would only remind you that at the morning session on March 7, Bukharin and Rykov were shown to be fully guilty of espionage connections and of conducting espionage work for the German and Polish intelligence services. I would briefly call to mind my dialogue with Rykov at the morning session on March 7.
At the investigation Rykov had stated:
"Chervyakov developed exceptionally active work in Byelorussia. In his relations with the Poles, he and those connected with him in illegal activity drew all the practical conclusions from these directions of ours."
Rykov confirmed this in Court as well. He was asked in Court by the State Prosecutor:
"Consequently, Chervyakov and the people connected with you maintained systematic connections with the Poles?
"QUESTION: What kind of connection is it?
"RYKOV: There was an espionage connection there, too.
"QUESTION: But was there an espionage connection maintained by a part of your organization with the Poles on your instructions?
"RYKOV: Of course.
"QUESTION: Bukharin included?
"RYKOV: Of course.
"QUESTION: Were you and Bukharin connected?
"QUESTION: So you were spies?
"RYKOV: (No reply.)
"QUESTION: And the organizers of espionage? "
RYKOV: I am in no way better than a spy.
"QUESTION: You organized espionage, so you were spies.
"RYKOV: It may be said, yes."
But Bukharin under these conditions speaks of some sort of ''theory" in an attempt to give a "theoretical" explanation of the course of events that led the Rights into the camp of the sworn enemies. of the Soviet power and the Soviet people. . . .
There is no point in seeking for these explanations in Bukharin's "theory. " They must be sought in Bukharin's crimes even though they be cloaked in something like a "theory."
It is just these crimes that explain the real course of developments, the real logic of the events and the struggle that brought two worlds face to face, two blocs-the bloc of traitors, hirelings of foreign capital, now exposed and crushed by the wrath and might of the great Soviet country, the bloc of betrayers covered with eternal contempt, shame and condemnation of millions of working people throughout the world-and the bloc of Soviet patriots, great and invincible in their love for their country, patriots who have won more than one historic battle over their enemies, ready under the leadership of the Communist Party and the great Stalin to give a crushing rebuff to any enemy, under any conditions, at any time, whatever the point from which he may appear, despite all treachery, despite all betrayal.
It goes without saying that the significance of the present trial is also determined by the lessons which must inevitably be drawn from it by all of us, patriots of the Soviet land.
Our country enjoys the happiness of the victory of Socialism, the happiness and joy of labour delivered from the yoke of capitalism.
For twenty years the Soviet state; the Socialist state of workers and peasants, has stood like an indestructible rock.
For twenty years the great land of victorious Socialism has been the scene of the heroic work of the organization of a new social and state system, free of exploitation, free of the misery and suffering of the millions of people enslaved by the yoke of capitalism in almost all the remaining countries ·of the world. For twenty years there has been going on unswervingly and persistently the harmonious work of the numerous peoples united fa the fraternal Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, built by the genius of the leaders of the Socialist revolution, Lenin and Stalin.
In these twenty years the once poor and weak country has become a rich and mighty country, a powerful and invincible country. In these twenty years the Russian state has become a Socialist state.
At the Extraordinary Eighth Congress of Soviets of the U.S.S.R., which adopted the great Stalinist Constitution, Comrade Stalin said:
"Our Soviet society has already, in the main, succeeded in achieving Socialism; it has created a Socialist system, i. e., it has brought about what Marxists in other words call the first, or lower phase of Communism. Hence, in the main, we have already achieved the first phase of Communism, Socialism. The fundamental principle of this phase of Communism is, as you know, the formula: •from each according to his ability, to each according to his work."
In these twenty years, under the leadership of the Party of Lenin and Stalin, our country has attained the final abolition of the exploitation of man by man, the final assertion of public, Socialist property as the firm basis of our Soviet society.
In these twenty years, the whole aspect of our country has undergone a radical change; it has become a rich and mighty proletarian power.
"As a result of all these changes in the sphere of the national economy of the U.S.S.R.," says Comrade Stalin, "we now have a new, Socialist economy, which knows neither crises nor unemployment, which knows neither poverty nor ruin, and which provides citizens with every opportunity to lead a prosperous and cultured life."
Socialism has become part of the everyday life of our people, Socialism has emerged victorious in our country. And there is no force on earth capable of weakening the significance or the grandeur of this Socialist victory. And this despite all the difficulties that have stood and that still stand in our path. And this despite all the efforts made by the foreign powers hostile to us and by the remnants of exploiting classes in our country, which have lived their day and are dying out, to hold back the progressive development of our society, to hinder our Socialist successes, to disrupt our peaceful creative work of building Socialism in the U.S.S.R.
It can be said without any exaggeration whatsoever that in the past twenty years of Soviet history our state and our people have not lived through a single year, month or day when we have not been attacked by enemies-furious, insidious, brutal and seeking revenge for defeats suffered by them·at the hands of our workers and peasants, seeking revenge for the "lost paradise" of their economic and political domination.
From the very first days of the Great October ' Revolution up to the brilliant days of the greatest epoch in history-the epoch of the Stalinist Constitution-the young Republic of Soviets has not emerged from the fire of class attacks by the exploiters aoo their numerous agents, the Trotskyites, Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Bukharinites, Zinovievites, Mussavatists, Dashnaks, Georgian, Uzbek and other nationalists, members of the "Black Hundreds;'' Whiteguards, Cadets, priests, kulaks, etc., etc.
This trial has reminded us once again, and has done so with unprecedented force and acuteness, that two worlds face each other as irreconcilable and deadly enemies-the world of capitalism and the world of Socialism.
The logic of class contradictions and of the class struggle urges the remnants of the exploiting classes within the U.S.S.R. and the exploiting classes beyond its bounds to undertake more and more furious attacks against the state of working people, which is paving a broad highway towards a better, a new life for the working people and the oppressed nations of the entire world.
Lenin and Stalin, our teachers, have on more than one occasion pointed to the danger represented by the capitalist encirclement to the cause of Socialism iln the U.S.S. R.
At the Eighth Congress of the R.C.P. (Bolsheviks), in March
1919, Lenin said:
"We are living not merely in a state, but in a system of states, and the existence of the Soviet Republic side by side with imperialist states for a long time is unthinkable. One or the other must triumph in the end. And before that end supervenes, a series of frightful collisions between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois states is inevitable." (Collected Works, Vol. XXIV, p. 122.)
"We must remember," Lenin taught us, "that we are at all times but a hair's breadth from invasion." (Collected Works, Vol. XXVII, p. 117.)
Just recently Comrade Stalin once again reminded us of this capitalist encirclement.
"Indeed," wrote Comrade Stalin in his historic reply to Comrade Ivanov, "it would be ridiculous and stupid to close our eyes to the capitalist encirclement and to ·think that our external enemies, the fascists, for example, will not, if the opportunity arises, make an attempt at an armed attack upon the U.S.S.R. Only blind braggarts or masked enemies who desire to lull the vigilance of our people can think like that. No less ridiculous would it b'e to deny that in the event of the slightest success of military intervention, the interventionists would try to destroy the Soviet system in the districts they occupied and restore the bourgeois system. Did not Denikin or Kolchak restore the bourgeois system in the districts they occupied? Are the fascists any better than Denikin or Kolchak? Only blockheads or masked enemies who with their boastfulness want to conceal their hostility and are striving to demobilize the people can deny the danger of military intervention and of attempts at restoration as long as the capitalist encirclement exists."
Over a number of years our enemies placed their hopes upon successful intervention; they organized and inspired various anti Soviet groups in the U.S.S.R. to struggle against the Soviet power, calculating on being able with the aid of these groups to carry through their predatory designs.
The entire history of bourgeois counter-revolution in the U.S.S.R. is linked up with the active attempts of the most reactionary circles of the international bourgeoisie to overthrow the power of the Soviets. There has not been a single more or less serious plot against the Soviet power in the U.S.S.R. without the direct and most active participation of foreign capitalists and military cliques.
In 1921 Lenin warned us:
"We are surrounded by the world bourgeoisie, which watches every minute of vacillation in order to bring back 'its own,' to reinstate the landlords and bourgeoisie. '' (Collected Works, Vol. XXVI, p. 348.)
Comrade Stalin is tireless in reminding us of the danger of the capitalist encirclement, he proves that "the resistance of the dying classes in our country does not take place in isolation from the outside world, but finds support from the capitalist encirclement." ("Problems of Leninism," p. 386.)
Was not the famous Shakhty case proof of this? There the main directing role belonged to Polish-French-German capitalists, who had united with the wreckers in the struggle against the U.S.S.R. Were not the Polish manufacturer Dvorzhanchik, the French shareholders Sanset, Remaux, and Bourose, the German AEG and the military in a number of capitalist countries who supported the first, second and third-were not all of these the inspirers of the Shakhty conspiracy, which aimed, together with the foreign
General Staffs, at drowning our land in blood in 1928?
Was not the well-known "Industrial Party" case proof of this, where, side by side with Ramzin and Charnovsky, first fiddle was played by the White guard emigres Ryabushinsky and General Lu komsky, by the British intelligence service man Colonel Lawrence and the French General Joinville, well-known participant of the Northern intervention in 1919 and military attache at Kolchak's headquarters?
It is a known fact that those implicated in the Shakhty trial and in the trial of the "Industrial Party" not only engaged in wrecking work and prepared acts of diversion in case of war, but systematically conducted espionage work, and, as the "Industrial Party" trial disclosed, Ramzin even organized, for the conduct of this espionage work, a special commission under the chairmanship of the wrecker Professor Osadchy, at that time assistant chair man of the State Planning Commission. The program of the "Industrial Party" focused attention on the perpetrating of acts of diversion in Moscow, Leningrad, the Donbas and the Urals by resorting to the blowing up of bridges, the damaging of railways, the blowing up of electric power stations, the stoppage of factories and mills.
Was not the devilish work of the foreign intelligence services in our country also shown by the trial of the British engineers Thornton, MacDonald and others, who were exposed in 1933 as agents of the Intelligence Service, as organizers of wrecking activities and acts of diversion at certain of our electric power stations, as people who were preparing bases for the coming intervention? Finally, has this not been proved also by the recent trials of 1936 and 1937, which exposed the monstrous crimes of the espionage and terrorist gangs of Trotskyites, Zinovievites and other anti-Soviet elements who enrolled in the service of foreign police Okhranas and became espionage, diversionist and terrorist agencies of Okhranas? Yes, yes. The ghastly crimes of these bandit gangs destroyed by the verdicts of our Soviet Court cry out aloud and provide absolutely convincing proof of this.
The Zinoviev-Kamenev trial, the Pyatakov-Radek trial, the trial of the group of military traitors Tukhachevsky, Yakir and others, have proved that our enemies do not intend quietly to "creep into Socialism," as the accused Bukharin, Rykov and their like preached in order to mask their vile treacherous work, but that our enemies resort to the most extreme, most ferocious means of struggle.
This has also been completely proved by the present trial, in which the chief "heroes" are the organizers and inspirers of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," exposed as inveterate enemies of Socialism, of our country, of our people.
That is why the importance of this trial goes far beyond its ordinary, so to speak, criminal bounds and assumes really tremendous historic significance.
This trial sums up the results of the struggle against the Soviet state and the Party of Lenin-Stalin waged by people who, as has with exceptional clarity and conviction been proved by the Court proceedings, spent the whole of 'their lives behind masks, people who began this struggle long before the present time, who under cover of the loud phrases of provocateurs served not the revolution and the proletariat, but the counter-revolution and the bourgeoisie, who deceived the Party and the Soviet government in order the more conveniently to do their black work of treachery, in order the longer to remain undiscovered.
By means of deception, hypocrisy and double-dealing these detestable criminals succeeded in postponing the hour of their exposure until very recently. But this hour has arrived, and the criminals stand exposed, exposed completely and to the end.
In the light of the facts .established at this trial, the entire criminal work of the Trotskyites and Bukharinites, who employed a cunning guise to hide their real countenance of sworn enemies of the Soviet people, becomes clear and comprehensible. . . .
Their mask has been torn off. Their true colors, their real face are now clear for all to see; their shameful deeds are also clear to all, just as is their miserable and shameful fate.
The trialsof Zinoviev and Kamenev and of Pyatakov and Radek completed the exposure of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite scum of humanity as a rabid and unprincipled band of wreckers, diversionists, spies and assassins, acting on instructions of the intelligence services of foreign powers.
The 1937 trial, where the Trotskyite ringleaders Pyatakov, Radek, Sokolnikov and others were in the dock, exposed the political platform of the Trotskyites despite the fact that they stubbornly hid it from the people.
And how could they do other than hide this platform of theirs, woven as it was of treachery, betrayal and perfidy, and subordinated to the one task of ensuring the overthrow of the Soviet power and the restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R.?
The present trial has shown that this "program," if you please, was copied by the Trotskyites from the Rights, a point stressed in Court, not without boasting, by the accused Bukharin.
The present trial has completely and utterly exposed as fascist agents not only the Trotskyites, but also the Bukharinites, who cunningly camouflaged themselves over a lengthy period of time, and cunningly avoided being exposed as murderers, spies and provocateurs.
It is now clear to all and sundry what the Rights are, who, like the Trotskyites, long ago ceased to be a political trend, and, like Trotskyism, degenerated into a rabid and desperate gang of felonious criminals.
The entire process of their degeneration into a counter-revolutionary gang, a degeneration that began long ago and was repeatedly exposed by our Party and Comrade Stalin personally, has been completely revealed.
We shall yet dwell specially on the crimes of the accused Bukharin in the year 1918; now we shall mention them only in order in the light of these crimes the better and more graphically to see the path of this degeneration.
And really, could Bukharin, having begun in 1918 with the plot against Lenin as head of the Soviet state, having raised his criminal hand against Lenin in 1918, end in any other way than he has done now, in the shameful prisoners' dock, awaiting the severe but just sentence of the Soviet people, who now pronounce this hated name with imprecations?
Having begun with the quack "theory" of the peaceful growth of the kulaks into Socialism, and having, during all these last ten years, conducted an underground struggle against the Party and the Soviet people, could Bukharin end his political career in any other way than he is doing now, grimacing and playing the buffoon even now on the threshold of what is perhaps his last hour, the hour of his death?
It was not by chance that Bukharin, Rykov, Yagoda and the other Rights came to the espionage bloc with the Trotskyites. There was nothing unexpected in the fact that such a bloc was constituted and at last, in 1932, took final shape; the entire development of the relations between the Rights and the Trotskyites, who at bottom constitute varieties of one and the same phenomenon, led towards this.
At the Sixteenth Party Congress, in 1930, Comrade Stalin, ex posing the duality of Trotskyism, pointed out that this duality . . . "explains the fact that Trotskyism "(masked capitulation)" usually crowns its 'furious' attacks upon the Right deviators by entering into a bloc with these capitulators without masks."
The Trotskyites and Rights are capitulators. The former are capitulators behind the mask of hysterical, provocative, "revolutionary" phrases, while the others are capitulators without masks. At the Seventeenth Party Conference, in his report on the Sec ond Five-Year Plan, Comrade Molotov showed the complete kinship of souls of the Rights and the Trotskyites. The Trotskyites came forward with slanderous counter-theses against the First Five-Year Plan. They were· echoed by the Rights, who countered Stalin's Five-Year Plan with Rykov's Two-Year Plan.
The Trotskyites spread slander about the growth of the kulak elements and about the dependence on them of the state economy of the U.S.S.R. Day in and day out, the Rights whined that "for a long time to come the main source of grain will be the individual peasant farms" (i.e., kulak farms) "and therefore go slow with the offensive on the kulaks."
The Trotskyites spat slander about "Thermidor," i.e., about the collapse of our revolution. The Rights echoed them and whined that our industrial plants and factories would soon fall into the hands of the White guards. True, the Rights occasionally fought the Trotskyites, but, as Comrade Stalin has already pointed out, these were "cock-fights" which "the Right deviators usually crown with backstage negotiations for a bloc with the Trotskyites." ( "Problems of Leninism," p. 421.)
And so from year to year, throughout the whole duration of our revolution, throughout the whole of the existence of the Soviet state.
Wherein lies the explanation of this kinship of the positions of the Trotskyites and the Rights, of their constant attraction one for the other, of their constant search for blocs, and, finally, oi the existence of these blocs at the various stages of their struggle against the Party, the Soviet state and Socialist construction?
The explanation, of course, lies above all in the common nature of the social base of the Trotskyites and the Rights. It lies in the fact that both the Trotskyites and the Rights reflect the pressure of the capitalist elements resisting the successes of Socialism, with no intention of departing peacefully and quietly from the historical stage.
The explanation lies, as we now know, in the fact that both were acting on the orders of the very same masters, installed in the General Staffs and intelligence services of foreign powers hostile to the U.S.S.R.
The Trotskyites and Bukharinites found their way into the camp of counter -revolution many years ago. Trotskyism and the Rights turned many years ago into the armour-bearers of bourgeois counter-revolution. For many years already the Trotskyites and Rights have been supplying the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie with weapons for the struggle against the Soviet state. The Trotskyites and Rights have engaged in one and the same dark work of treachery.
These are the facts which now assume a new meaning in the light of the circumstances that have now been established, completely and with absolute authenticity, at the Court proceedings in the present case.
The facts establish with absolute incontrovertibility both the inevitable and natural character of the bloc concluded between the Rights and the Trotskyites and the degeneration of this bloc into an agency of foreign fascist intelligence services.
The way the Trotskyites and Zinovievites fought against Lenin, against Socialism, against the heroic efforts of the proletarian revolution to build a new Socialist society in the U.S.S.R. was shown with exhaustive completeness by the examples of Pyatakov, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Radek, Smirnov and others at the two preceding trials.
I would now like to remind you of certain facts which characterize from this angle the position and behavior of some of the heroes of the present trial, and primarily of the accused Bukharin and Rykov.
As I have already said, Bukharin likes to picture himself as a "theoretician," aye, and a Marxist too, and of the most orthodox kind to boot. But the actual state of affairs may be seen from the following brief historical review of the anti-Party activity of Bukharin from 1909 to 1936 inclusive.
Here are several brief data. .
The year 1909-Bukharin adhered to the position of "Otzovism,'
The years 1914-1917 (the period of the imperialist war)-Bukharin was a " Left Communist," rejected the minimum program; and waged a struggle against Lenin.
The year 1914-he was fussing about a plan for publishing his own paper, as against the Bolshevik press, the Leninist press.
The spring of 1915-Bukharin was a Trotskyite. At the Berne Conference he opposed the slogan of civil war, and advocated unity with the Trotskyite-Menshevik "Nashe Slovo.
" Lenin wrote the article "About the National Pride of the Great Russians," which Bukharin treated as a manifestation of social-patriotism.
The autumn of 1915-Bukharin came forward with theses rejecting the right of nations to self-determination.
February 1916-Bukharin endorsed the semi-anarchist program of the Dutch Left Social-Democrats.
In 1916 Bukharin expressed anarchist, anti-Leninist views in the magazine "The Youth International" on the problem of the state, against the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In an article entitled "'World Economy and Imperialism" (1915), Bukharin openly defended the Trotskyite thesis that isolated actions by the proletariat of individual countries could not result in victory. In other words, as Lenin stated, the Bukharins were postponing Socialism ... "to the Greek Calends, i.e., forever." (Collected Works, Vol. XIX, p. 221.)
Vladimir Ilyich wrote of him in 1916 that he-Bukharin-was "(!) credulous towards gossip and (2) devilishly unstable in politics." (Collected Works, Vol. XXIX, p. 229.)
"The war," wrote Lenin, "spurred him on to semi-anarchist "ideas. At the Conference that adopted the Berne Resolutions (spring of 1915) he produced theses " the acme of absurdity; a disgrace; semi-anarchism."
In 1916, as I have already stated, Bukharin, in "The Youth International,, magazine, developed anarcho-syndicalist ideas about the proletariat's hostility in principle to the state, the necessity to blow up any state whatsoever.
Subsequently, a year after the death of V. I. Lenin, Bukharin came forward with the brazen assertion that not he, Bukharin, had been wrong on this question, but Lenin.
The years 1916-17 Bukharin, together with Trotsky, edited the Trotskyite paper "Novy Mir" in New York, in which he denied the possibility of the victory of Socialism in a single country.
The year 1917-at the Sixth Congress of the Party, Bukharin came forward with a Trotskyite scheme. During the·October days he again and again advocated the idea of the impossibility of the victory of Socialism in Russia.
The year 1918-Bukharin was the leader of "Left Communism." This episode has been most carefully examined at this trial.
On October 8, 1918, Bukharin made a statement at the Plenum of the Moscow Soviet to the effect that his "Left Communism" had been a mistake. "in my time I was against the Brest-Litovsk Peace, but never advocated the disruption of peace, as the 'Left' Socialist-Revolutionaries did. I now must make the honest and open admission that we opponents of the Brest-Litovsk Peace were wrong, while Lenin was right.'' We know-and Bukharin has had to admit this at the trial-that in actual fact he carried on an active struggle to disrupt the Brest-Litovsk Peace.
The year 1919-at the Eighth Congress of the Party, Bukharin again opposed the recognition of the right of nations to self determination.
Then followed the Ninth and Tenth Congresses of the Party where Bukharin invariably pursued his ''own" line directed against the Party, against Lenin, against Stalin.
In 1921, in the interests of Trotsky, Bukharin adopted the position of buffer, treacherously fanning the flame of the discussion, and, to use Lenin's expression, pouring "buffer oil" on it.
Bukharin joined Serebryakov, Radek, Krestinsky, Pyatakov and other Trotskyites in the anti-Lenin faction.
At the end of 1920 and the beginning of 1921 there took place the discussion on the trade unions. The country was preparing for the transition to the New Economic Policy. Bukharin assumed the role of "buffer," then passed over completely to Trotsky's position. And at the Tenth Congress he declared that "the Republic hangs by a thread.''
In 1923 Bukharin wrote an article in the "Pravda" entitled "Down with Factionalism," in which he spoke of Trotsky's errors, and vaguely of those of "a number of other comrades," while keeping silent regarding himself.
In 1922 Lenin was battering Bukharin for his attempt to disrupt the monopoly of foreign trade. Lenin bluntly exposed Bukharin as a profiteer, a petty-bourgeois, as a defender of the interests of the kulak upper stratum of the peasantry, opposing the industrial proletariat. (Collected Works, Vol. XXVII, p. 381.)
In 1923-24 Bukharin formed a bloc with Kamenev and Zinoviev against Comrade Stalin . On the eve of the discussion Bukharin published an article in which he propagated in a veiled form the theory of the kulaks growing into Socialism.
The year 1925-Bukharin's kulak slogan of "enrich yourselves.'' True, in his booklet "Caesarism Behind the Maskof Revolution" and at the Fourteenth Party Congress, Bukharin admitted the erroneousness of this slogan, but here in Court Bukharin has admitted that this "repentance" was nothing but a tactical manoeuvre, a fraud.
The year 1928-Buharin declared at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party that he had no differences with the Party, and· at the same time engaged in negotiations and reached a secret understanding with Kamenev. He wrote the "Notes of an Economist."
The year 1929-Bukharin made a declaration in "Pravda" regarding the erroneousness of his views. "While admitting these errors of ours, we on our part will exert every effort to wage, together with the entire Party, a resolute struggle against all deviations." Now in Court he has testified that this was also a tactical manoeuvre, that at that time, in 1929, he was also lying. For it was precisely at that time that there was taking shape the underground organization that began, with arms in hand, to oppose the Soviet power.
To avoid unfounded statements, I will remind you of the testimony of Bukharin, Rykov and finally Ivanov as to how Bukharin was fanning the struggle- in the North Caucasus, how through his disciple and henchman in the affair, Slepkov, he organized kulak uprisings against the Soviet power, how he sent Yakovenko to Siberia, how they all succeeded in provoking a kulak uprising in the Brisk area and other places. I will remind you that at that very time Bukharin wrote to the press stating that "we will exert every effort to wage together with the entire Party a resolute struggle against all deviations." Bukharin lied here as well.
On December 15, 1929, Bukharin published an article in "Pravda" at the end of which he enumerated and condemned his errors. And at the same time he was conducting secret negotiations with Kamenev.
At the same time, as he has himself admitted here; he joined with Rykov in sending Slepkov to the North Caucasus and Yakovenko to Siberia to rouse kulak uprisings against the Soviet power. In Court Bukharin has admitted that it was they who at that time provoked such-and-such kulak uprisings.
And how did Bukharin behave then?
With the hypocritical mien of a Pharisee, and hiding behind a mask of sincerity, Bukharin began at the very outset of the struggle to engage in base intrigues, secret factional machinations against the Party and its leadership. He concluded a bloc with the worst enemies of Bolshevism, who have been exposed, who had but shortly before, in November 1927, undertaken a hostile demonstration against the Soviet power in the streets of Moscow and Leningrad. In 1930 Bukharin again handed in a declaration to the Central Committee and admitted his errors. Bukharin wrote about his "unreserved condemnation of every attempt against the unity of the Party, all factional activity, all attempts at surreptitious struggle against the Party leadership, surreptitious defense of another political line differing from that of the Party." But in actual fact, as you have heard from Bukharin's testimony, it was precisely at this moment that he was engaged in negotiations with Semyonov regarding the organization of a terrorist act against the leaders of our Party and government.
In January 1933 Bukharin made a speech at the Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the C.P.S.U. (Bolsheviks) (see "Pravda," No. 14), in which he demanded "severe punishment of A. P. Smirnov's grouping, spoke of his own "Right opportunist. absolutely wrong general political line," of his "guilt before the Party, its leadership, before the Central Committee of the Party, before the working class and the country," spoke of Tomsky and Rykov as of his "former companions in the leadership of the Right opposition." In general he "criticized" his "former" views.
In actual fact, however, this was the first year of the formation of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," which proceeded to fulfill such tasks as terrorism, espionage, diversion, wrecking, and high treason, the wresting of the national republics from the U.S.S.R.
The beginning of 1934. The Seventeenth Party Congress Bukharin's speech in which he approved of the "ruthless crushing of all oppositions and of the Right opposition as the main danger, i.e., of the very group to which I once belonged."
And at the same time he was mobilizing all forces in order to intensify the criminal activity of his group, which had already degenerated into a group of genuine spies, murderers, and intelligence service agents.
The beginning of 1936-in an article in the"Izvestia,, Bukharin dubbed the Russian people a "nation of Oblomovs.,, In the issue of the "Izvestia,, dated February 14, 1936, Bukharin declared that this assertion of his was erroneous. ("The assertion is wrong," and "I express my profound regret" at this.)
Such is Bukharin, this hypocritical, false, wily creature; this piously rapacious and respectfully malicious person, this "damnable cross of a fox and a swine," to use Maxim Gorky's words about one of the heroes from the gallery of "Those Who Once Were People."
Neither are the others--also "heroes"-any better.
Take the accused Rykov.
Prior to joining the Bolshevik Party, Rykov was a member of the united Party of Socialist Revolutionaries and Social-Democrats in Saratov.
The years 1909-11-Rykov was a semi-Trotskyite , a semi-Liquidator. In the period of the April Conference, Rykov and Kamenev advocated the unification of the "live forces" of revolutionary democracy, i.e., an alliance with the Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks.
In October 1917 Rykov, together with Kamenev and Zinoviev, turned deserter.
In December 1917 Rykov croaked about the instability of the Soviet power and declared that "a purely Bolshevik government cannot maintain itself in a backward country while the Socialist revolution has not taken place in Europe."
In 1920 Rykov joined the Sapronovites in opposing Lenin, and in defending collegiate responsibility.
Rykov was against Lenin's GOELRO plan, he sank with his head in philistine " realism, " sank to the ears in routine (as Comrade Stalin wrote at the time about him to V. I. Lenin).
And later? Later there was 1928, 1929, 1932-blocs, centres, plots, betrayals.
The other accused are no better.
Her we have the old Trotskyite and German spy Krestinsky, who began his career of treason while Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was still alive. Krestinsky passed on espionage information to the German intelligence service and annually received 250,000 gold marks from the German Reichswehr for the underground work of the Trotskyites.
Here we have an equally inveterate Trotskyite, Rosengoltz, who became a German spy in 1923 and a British spy in 1926. These are the people who, together with Trotsky, Pyatakov, Yagoda, Bukharin and Rykov, were the chief ringleaders of this bloc, this "centre of centres" of all the anti-Soviet fascist forces in our country.
I consider it necessary to deal briefly with the investigation that took place here of .the circumstances of the plot against Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in 1918.
Both at the preliminary investigation and in Court Bukharin was doing everything to wriggle out of the events of 1918, to evade his responsibility before history, before the working class, before a honest mankind for the monstrous crime organized and partly committed by Bukharin, together with the "Left" and Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, together with Trotsky and his group. Bukharin lied disgracefully in October 1918, when he disowned the "Left Communists." Bukharin lied disgracefully in 1924 as well. when under the pressure of circumstances he raised a tiny corner of the curtain that concealed from us the real truth about this heinous and ghastly crime.
Bukharin lied, for example, in 1924 when he denied the existence of a bloc between himself and the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries in HHS.
Bukharin does not tell the truth here, in Court, either when he tries to deny facts that have been corroborated here by a number of witnesses.
Yet these facts are extremely important both for finally exposing the treacherous countenance of Bukharin and for the most complete and correct understanding of all the subsequent criminal activities of Bukharin and his accomplices, the Bukharinites.
One must recall the facts, the situation and the conditions of the year 1918 in order properly to evaluate the entire profundity of the fiendish crime of Trotsky and Bukharin against the Revolution, the entire abyss of their treachery! ...
These facts, Comrades judges, are now, of course, to a considerable extent a matter of history. But they throw full light on the question that interests us, that interests many, and particularly those who are not yet versed in Bukharin's past and in the past of the anti-Soviet groups, namely, how could it ·happen that Bukharin and Rykov, who for so many years posed as adherents of Socialism, as adherents of the Socialist struggle, proved to belong to the camp of the most inveterate enemies of the Soviet power, to the camp of traitors to and betrayers of the revolution, of the Soviet people and the fatherland.
In the light of the present trial, these facts, already covered with the dust of archives, again revive and begin to speak in the loud voice of an impeacher demanding that the culprits be called to account, if not before a criminal Court restricted by the Statutes of limitation, then, at any rate, before the tribunal of history which knows of no Statutes of limitation. which knows no mercy.
The year 1918-the young Soviet Republic was exerting its entire strength to overcome the gigantic difficulties that had arisen in its path toward the assertion and consolidation of the victory of the Socialist revolution.
In those days the country was literally thrown into dust. It had to be raised to the level of new, supreme historic tasks previously unknown by any revolution of working people.
"From the period of triumphal processions," said V. I. Lenin on this subject, "we had to pass to the period of an extraordinarily difficult and severe position, which could not be brushed aside with words, with brilliant slogans however pleasant that would have been-because in our disturbed country we had incredibly weary masses who had reached a state in which they could not possibly go on fighting; they had been so utterly broken up by three years of agonizing war that they were rendered utterly useless from a military point of view." (Collected Works, Vol. XXII, p. 318.)
In these conditions the struggle for peace was a struggle for the entire future of the proletarian revolution, the fate of which was literally at stake.
In these conditions the question of war or peace in essence amounted to the one question of whether the Soviet power, the Soviet state, the Land of Soviets, was to be or not to be.
Lenin's brilliant strategy gave a positive solution of this problem. History confirmed the correctness of this solution. It declared: "To be." Leninism teaches not only the art of advance, but also the art of retreat.
". . . One cannot win," Lenin wrote, "without having learned both how to attack and how to retreat correctly." . (Collected Works, Vol. XXV, p. 177.) ·
Comrade Stalin said in this connection:
"The object of this strategy is to gain time, to disintegrate the enemy and to accumulate forces in order to assume the offensive later.
"The signing of the Brest-Litovsk Peace may be taken as a model of this strategy, for it enabled the Party to gain time, to make use of the conflicts in the camp of the imperialists, to disintegrate the forces of the enemy, to retain the support of the peasantry and accumulate forces in preparation for the attacks upon Kolchak and Denikin."(''Problems of Leninism," pp. 56-57.)
This strategy, the brilliant strategy of Lenin and Stalin, was completely justified. It saved the. new Russia and the Soviet power from inevitable doom.
In 1924, Comrade Stalin.. in this connection reminded us: "'Now even the biggest fool,' said Lenin three years after
the Brest-Litovsk Peace, 'sees that the "Brest Peace" was a concession that strengthened us and broke up the forces of international imperialism.' " ("Problems of Leninism," p. 57.) · · ·
It is well known that Trotsky and Bukharin, along with their adherents, did everything possible to disrupt the Brest-Litovsk Peace.
Trotsky and the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries behaved like agents-provocateurs during the negotiations with General Hoffmann. The ".Left Communists," headed by Bukharin, raved about the peace policy of the Soviet government, at the head of which stood Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov, and demanded that negotiations be broken off and that a "revolutionary war"be declared.
By their trenchant but at bottom provocateur speeches and slogans. the Bukharinites and Trotskyites tried to divert our Party from the Leninist path.
"Neither peace nor war!' 'A holy war against the world bourgeoisie!'-such and similar provocateur slogans were issued by the Trotskys, Bukharins and their like," as Comrade Voroshilov said in his speech on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and Navy, "with the sole purpose of involving our country in an armed conflict with the imperialists at a moment when the Soviet government still did not possess a strong army, and in this way putting an end to the Soviet power and clearing the way for the victory of the bourgeoisie and the complete restoration of capitalism in our country."
Till now the Bukharinites succeeded in concealing from history the truth regarding this point as well.
Even at the preliminary investigation, in testimony given on June 2, 1937, Bukharin attempted to conceal the real character of his struggle during the period of the Brest-Litovsk Peace against Lenin as the head of the Soviet state.
Bukharin tried to evade this question and, as usual with him, confined himself to general abstract utterances to the effect that he allegedly "did not understand" that "the most concrete of the most concrete questions about the 'moujik' was precisely the question of giving the masses a ' breathing space,' and had substituted for the vital needs of the moment his general literary effusions about the proletarian fatherland having to be defended. Bukharin's trick did not succeed. The investigating authorities did not fall into this trap. On the contrary, the investigation exposed Bukharin, and exposed him of much more serious things than any "general literary effusions.
The investigation established, and I deem it necessary to remind you of this here in its full scope, Comrades Judges, that in 1918, immediately following the October Revolution, in the period of the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk Peace, Bukharin and his group of so-called "Left Communists,» and Trotsky with his group, together with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries organized a conspiracy against Lenin as the head of the Soviet government.
Bukharin and the other conspira tors, as can be seen from t he materials of the investigation, aimed at frustrating the Brest Litovsk Peace, overthrowing the Soviet government, arresting and killing Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov, and forming a new government made up of Bukharinites, who then for purposes of camouflage called themselves "Left Communists," and of Trotskyites and "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries.
During the preliminary investigation, Bukharin was confronted with facts, was brought face to face with five people. And it was then that the accused Bukharin recalled something more serious than "general literary effusions.» Bukharin, for example, recalled such a fact as the bloc with the "Left,, Socialist-Revolutionaries in 1918, with the aim of struggle against the Soviet government; such a fact as a direct plot against the Soviet government, as preparations for the arrest of Lenin, for the arrest of Stalin and of Sverdlov.
All of this, as you recall, was admitted by Bukharin. But he did so grudgingly.
We remember the witnesses who gave evidence before the Court, we well remember their evidence, we saw them, we heard them. We remember how their words fell like heavy lead on the head of Bukharin, the inspirer of the provocateur struggle against Lenin's Council of People's Commissars-Bukharin, who, as has been fully and clearly established by the Court investigation, had been the organizer of a plot and insurrection against the Soviet state-the instigator of the assassination of the leaders of the Soviet government, Comrades Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov.
I have every ground for saying-and I base myself upon these facts-that all of this has been exactly ascertained, established with sufficient precision, and sufficiently proved.
Permit me to dwell briefly on the evidence that confirms the correctness of this conclusion. You recall the testimony given here by Kamkov. Kamkov was one of the foremost leaders of the Central Committee of the Party of "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries. Kamkov testified that he had a conversation with Bukharin in 1918 on the question of the Brest-Litovsk Peace that the struggle on this question, in Bukharin's words, was assuming extremely acute forms. Bukharin told Kamkov of the acute forms of this struggle, of the fact that among the "Left Communists" the question was being debated about the establishment of a new government. In this connection, said Kamkov, Bukharin mentioned Pyatakov as a possible candidate for head of the new government, and stated that the change of government was proposed to be effected by the arrest of the entire Soviet government, headed by Lenin.
Bukharin did not deny this. True, be said something here about arrest for "twenty-four hours." But this is not a serious statement. As far back as in 1924, Bukharin, writing in the "Pravda, " himself explained how real and serious was this plan to arrest Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. But Bukharin disclaims the plan to murder our leaders.
What proofs did he produce to justify himself on this question? Nothing, except bare denial. He was exposed here by Yakovleva, he was exposed by Ossinsky, he was exposed by Mantsev, he was exposed by Karelin in the corresponding and most essential part of the question, he was also exposed by Kamkov, because, as you remember, Bukharin tried to present even the question of the arrest in such a manner as if the initiative came not from him, but from Kamkov, from the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries. Kamkov testified here that the initiative came from Bukharin. I am inclined however to reconcile them, for the initiative apparently came from both of them. This explains the furious struggle carried on by these people against the Soviet government, against Lenin and against his companions- Comrades Stalin and Sverdlov.
Bukharin denies this. But one cannot really accept an absolutely unfounded denial as a proof, all the more since this denial runs contrary to the very logic of things.
Had this fact-the plan to kill Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov not existed, then why did Karelin, Yakovleva, Ossinsky, Mantsev find it necessary to speak of this-people for whom the admission of such a shameful and such a terrible fact, such a monstrous crime against our country, is now of no advantage. Yet, according to Karelin's testimony, Bukharin spoke bluntly about the physical destruction of Lenin and Stalin. Yakovleva also says:
"Bukharin expressed to me the idea that the political struggle was assuming ever more acute forms and that matters could not be confined to the mere political formulation of lack of confidence in the Central Committee of the Party. Bukharin declared that a change of leadership was inevitable, and that in this connection the question stood of arresting Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov, and even of their physical destruction." (Vol. XLIV, p. 77.)
This was also confirmed by Ossinsky, confirmed by Mantsev . Bukharin was not alone. His viewpoint was shared, as has now been established, by Trotsky as well, about whose role in the plot against V. I. Lenin in 1918 we now have a series of testimonies at this trial, including the testimony of Bukharin himself. "At that time," testified the accused Bukharin, "the idea again arose of a coup and the arrest of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov as the dominant figures in the Party and Soviet leadership. This time it arose on the initiative of Trotsky, to whom the proposal of the 'Left' Socialist-Revolutionaries apparently became known-through Pyatakov, I presume... (Vol. V, p. 124.)
Bukharin does not tell the whole story, and remains true to his tactics of half-admissions.
But there are two witnesses, Yakovleva and Mantsev who on this question as well speak with such precision as allows of no doubts as to the fairness and correctness of their testimony.
Are not these facts sufficient to permit one to say that the conspiracy of the Bukharinites, Trotskyites and "Left" Socialist Revolutionaries in 1918 against Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov has been proved to the hilt?
Bukharin himself has admitted the existence of this conspiracy; Bukharin himself has admitted the existence of a plan to arrest Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov. Bukharin only repudiates the plan to murder Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov.
However, the accused Bukharin's first admission regarding the plan for a coup, the plan for the arrest, essentially speaking, confirms also· what follows. Indeed, Bukharin admitted that together with his group of "Left Communists," together with Trotsky and his group, and together With the "Left" Socialist Revolutionaries, they sought to bring about the forcible overthrow of the Soviet government, headed by Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov, and even the arrest of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov.
But does Bukharin know what forcible overthrow means? Does Bukharin know the meaning of arrests connected with the task of forcible overthrow? Does Bukharin know that people embarking on a forcible overthrow and violent arrests are thereby embarking upon violence, are thereby embarking upon murder as well? Forcible overthrow presupposes; and does not exclude, such a form of violence as physical extermination. Bukharin admits forcible overthrow, but denies physical extermination. This is an obvious falsity, an obvious absurdity; it is obviously illogical.But Bukharin is in a position· where one cannot demand logic of - him. The fads established -in Court speak more authoritatively and more convincingly than Bukharin imagines or desires. Bukharin, it is true, has no·w said somewhat more than, for example, in 1924, but nevertheless he has not said everything. This is not the first time Bukharin acts in this way. In 1924, Bukharin told something about this shameful crime, but only something.
In 1938, Bukharin, forced to the wall, was obliged to tell more about this fact. If we want to estimate the degree of falsity, jesuitry and hypocrisy of Bukharin, we have only to compare t he· text of the letter he published in the newspaper "Pravda" in 1924 with what he said during the preliminary investigation. He concealed a number of facts in this letter, he did not say that there had been a plot, he did not say that there had been a direct understanding between his group and Trotsky, he said nothing about the murder of Lenin, nor yet about the murder of Stalin and Sverdlov. This has now been brought to light. This has now been exposed, it has been divulged, it has been established; the whole world has been informed of it , despite Bukharin's wishes, despite all his resistance to the establishment of this fact. Bukharin admitted-and even so, as you saw during the trial, only half admitted it and only because there was no way of escaping it-that in 1918 he had proclaimed that the Soviet power was a mere formality and had proposed that it should be liquidated.
Lenin exposed the monstrosity of this "thesis" of Bukharin's, pointing out among others the historical examples of France in 1793 and of Prussia in the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the finest people of these countries, in the dark hours through which their fatherland was passing, did not give way to despair, but " ... signed peace treaties immeasurably more onerous, bestial, shameful and oppressive than the Treaty of Brest Litovsk; and then were able to endure, staunchly bore the yoke of the conqueror, again fought, again fell beneath the yoke of the conqueror, again signed indecent and most indecent peace treaties, again rose and finally emancipated themselves (not without utilizing the differences between the strongest of the competing conquerors)." (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XXII, p. 302.)
But these were the finest people of their country, and not traitors and provocateurs, which the so-called "Left Communists" and their friends from the underground actually proved to be. But for this it was necessary, as Lenin taught, to love one's country, one's people, and not vilify them, as Bukharin and his henchmen do, rising against Lenin, who bade us love and respect our people. - -.
The trial has established the fact that in 1918 Bukharin and Trotsky concluded a bloc with the Socialist-Revolutionaries for·the purpose of waging a joint struggle against the Soviet government, which was then headed by Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov. They plotted an armed uprising and that they were prepared to arrest and murder Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov.
Has this been proved, or not?
It has been proved completely. It has been proved by the testimony of Bukharin himself and by the evidence of Yakovleva and Karelin, Kamkov, Mantsev and Ossinsky.
Bukharin denies the preparations for assassination. But how does he deny them? Comrades Judges, I would request you, in your conference chamber examine the records of the appropriate session of our trial in order to recall with complete clarity the method which Bukharin employed to deny this fact.
Here is the dialogue. Bukharin admits that he was one of the organizers of this plot.
He is asked "Did you speak openly of the arrest of Lenin Stalin and Sverdlov.?" '
''BUKHARIN: There was talk of arrest, but not of physical extermination. This was not in the period prior to the Brest-Litovsk Peace, but after.... At that time I had one conversation with Pyatakov, when Karelin and Kamkov came and said that they proposed to set up a new government. . . .
''Question: When was that?
"BUKHARIN: It was before the Brest-Litovsk Peace. They proposed to form a government by arresting Lenin for twenty-four hours.
"Question: And so we may say that prior to the conclusion of the Peace of Brest-Litovsk you had a conversation with the 'Left' Socialist-Revolutionaries, Karelin and Kamkov, about the formation of a new government, that is, by first overthrowing the government headed by Lenin? Was there such a conversation?
"BUKHARIN: There was.
"Question: About the arrest of Lenin?
"BUKHARIN: The Socialist-Revolutionaries spoke of that.
"Question: As you put it, the Socialist-Revolutionaries spoke about the arrest of Lenin; but the witness Yakovleva affirms that Bukharin too spoke about the arrest of Lenin.
"BUKHARIN: She is mixing it up with another question.
She asserts that the conversation took place before the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk Peace.
"Question: I ask you, were there before the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk Peace negotiations with the Socialist Revolutionaries about the arrest of Lenin?
And so, at first it was the Socialist-Revolutionaries who said this, and then Bukharin testifies that there was such a conversation, and that it was he who conducted it.
"Question: And were there also negotiations after the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk Peace?
"BUKHARIN: There were.
"Question: What about?
"BUKHARIN: About political contact.
"Question: And about arrest?
"BUKHARIN: And about the arrest.
"Question: Of whom exactly?
"BUKHARIN: Of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov.
"Question: Also for twenty-four hours?
"BUKHARIN: This formula was not employed then."
As you see, before it was for twenty-four hours, but now it is not for twenty-four hours. Then only Lenin was mentioned, but now it turns out that Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov are mentioned.
"Question: And how were they to be arrested? And what for? .
"BUKHARIN: In order to form a new government.
"Question: And what was to be done with the arrested?"
Bukharin hastened to say: "There was no talk of physical extermination.'' But I had not asked him that yet.
"Question: When a government is overthrown and arrested, are not forcible methods resorted to?
''Question: Did you envisage adopting forcible methods when making the arrest? Is this true or not?
"BUKHARIN: It is.
"Question: But what do forcible methods involve? Did you determine that precisely?
" BUKHARIN: No, we did not.
"Question: And so you decided to act as circumstances permitted and dictated?
"BUKHARIN: Just so.
"Question: But circumstances might dictate very decisive action?
The conclusion is a simple one: it was proposed to overthrow the government, for this purpose to arrest the government-Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov-and to adopt all measures that might be dictated by circumstances and by the conditions of the struggle that was being waged for the purpose of overthrowing the government.
The struggle was of a most acute kind, and while there was no talk of assassination-if we assume that what Bukharin says is true-why, the very fact, the very aim of overthrowing the government, the very necessity of arresting the leaders of the government which the conspirators had made it their aim to overthrow, quite naturally shows that they could not have repudiated and renounced the assassination of the leaders, the proposed assassination.
The whole logic of events, the whole meaning of this struggle, the whole ferocity of the atmosphere in which this .struggle was waged, the whole acuteness of the question itself-whether there should be a Brest-Litovsk Peace, that is, whether there should be a Soviet country, a country building a Socialist society, or whether there should not be a Brest-Litovsk Peace, whether there should not be a Soviet land, which they,. considering it a "formality, '' proposed to surrender to the tender mercies of the enemy all this indicates in the most serious manner that it was a question of a real struggle, which in all such cases is associated with the inevitability of measures which lead to death, to assassination. That is why I say that to me, not from the standpoint of criminology-for today, twenty years after this crime, we are not bringing any independent charge against Bukharin-this is important because it enables us to form a judgment of the connection which exists between the conspiratorial activities of the assassin and counter-revolutionary Bukharin and his accomplices, and what they have been doing subsequently. All this is of importance in showing that on a question of historical interest and significance, Bukharin even to this day is unable and unwilling to confess all the crimes which he in reality committed against the Soviet country, against the Soviet power and against the Soviet people.
Bukharin wrote on this subject in 1924:
"I consider it my Party duty to tell about the proposal made by the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries at a moment of bitter factional struggle so as to paralyze that idyllic varnishing of the events of the Brest period which has been practiced by the comrades of the opposition...."
He is referring to the arrest of Lenin and the overthrow of the Soviet power. Thus, in 1924 Bukharin admitted that it was a moment of bitter struggle.
"They depicted the Brest period in the Party as 'the height of democracy.' I know very well that this was a period when the Party was within a hair's breadth of a split, and when the whole country was within a hair's breadth of its doom."
At such a time, a time of bitter struggle, could people who were prepared to arrest Lenin, to arrest Stalin and Sverdlov, the leaders of our Party and of our government, could such people have stopped short at the prospect of annihilating their opponents, of murdering our leaders? That is absolutely incongruous, it is absolutely inconceivable. This is the policy of not telling the whole truth, an attempt, it seems to me, which has been completely exposed here by the evidence of witnesses and by the very logic of the historical events that were unfolding at that time.
The monstrous crime that was committed on August 30, 1918, has now also been completely revealed. I am referring to the attempt made on the life of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin on August 30, 1918, by the Socialist-Revolutionary terrorist Kaplan. The evidence of Karelin and Ossinsky enables us to judge how this attempt was in reality organized. Karelin declared here that for twenty years every effort was made to keep this terrible crime secret, not to reveal its real and genuine meaning and significance. Karelin has affirmed here that the question of a terrorist attempt on the life of Lenin was raised i,n 1918 by no other than Bukharin himself.
Karelin has affirmed that Proshyan reported on the subject to members of the Central Committee of the Party of "Left" Socialist Revolutionaries. Kardin has affirmed that "a demand of this kind from the 'Left Communists' made by Bukharin, their ring leader, played an important part in expediting the terrorist act committed against Lenin by the Central Committee of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries." This monstrous crime is a fact.
Ossinsky, on the authority of Stukov, has testified that the latter was of the same opinion and had the same idea of the crime of August 30, 1918.
"At the end of 1918," Ossinsky has testified here, "Stukov, who together with Bukharin was connected with the Socialist-Revolutionaries, told me that the shot fired at Lenin by the Right Socialist-Revolutionary Fanny Kaplan was the result not only of the instructions of the leadership of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, but also of measures that had been outlined by the bloc of 'Left Communists' with the Socialist-Revolutionaries aiming at the physical extermination of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov." (Vol. XLIV, p. 89.)
This evidence is a sufficiently convincing testimony of the vile, treacherous and diabolical work performed by Bukharin, that chartered hypocrite and jesuit.
To conclude my appraisal of the conduct of Bukharin and of Bukharin himself, it must be said that the hypocrisy and perfidy of this man exceed the most perfidious and monstrous crime$ known to the history of mankind.
He has completely exposed himself in this Court.
We have followed the political life of Bukharin step by step, year by year.
How many times has Bukharin sworn by the name of Lenin, only the better to deceive and betray the Party, the country and the cause of Socialism right afterwards!
How many times has Bukharin kissed the great teacher with the kiss of Judas the traitor!
Bukharin reminds us of Vasily Shuisky and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed with a kiss.
And the manners of Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin are just like the manners of Vasily lvanovich Shuisky, as depicted by the famous writer Ostrovsky:
"Vasily, love, Ivanich,
Whatever he does is holy!
When, clearly preparing for knavery,
Or patently planning some roguery,
See how be sighs and piously smirks,
And says 'Tis a sacred cause, brethren!' ... ''
And so with Bukharin-he organizes wrecking and diversive acts, espionage and murder, but his look is meek and mild, almost saintly, and it is as though you hear from the mouth of Nikolai Ivanovich the meek voice of Vasily Ivanovich Shuisky, "'Tis a sacred cause, brethren!''
Here is the acme of monstrous hypocrisy, perfidy, jesuitry and inhuman villainy.
The trial has exposed and proved absolutely definitely the fact that the ''bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" represented a veritable agency of the intelligence services of certain foreign states, which through this bloc, through this conspiratorial group, were effecting espionage, wrecking and diversive acts, terrorism, the undermining of the military power of the U.S.S.R., that this "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" attempted to provoke armed attack of these states on the U.S.S.R., with the aim of overthrowing the Socialist system existing in the U.S.S.R., restoring capitalism and the power of the bourgeoisie in the U.S.S. R., dismembering the U.S.S.R. and severing from it the Ukraine, Byelo russia, the Central Asiatic Republics, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Maritime Region for the benefit of the states mentioned. It has been established at this trial that the real masters of this bloc were Trotsky and the foreign intelligence services, that all its criminal activities were carried on under the immediate direction and in accordance with plans drawn up by the General Staffs of Japan, Germany and Poland.
Take the testimony oi Chernov. Chernov forms connections with the police, or, through a police official in Berlin, with Oberhaus. Oberhaus, Chernov says, told him that the German intelligence service was taking proper measures for the overthrow of the Soviet power. And he further said to Chernov: "Well, you regard yourself as the opposition in the Soviet Union, you should unite to form an organizing force. If you want to seize power, You must not be squeamish about methods of struggle.'' Speaking of methods of struggle, Oberhaus proposed that closer connections be formed between the Rights and the German intelligence service. He said that the whole organization of the Rights could be made to serve the ends of the German intelligence service.
When asked here in Court who his masters were, Chernov replied: "None except Rykov and the German intelligence service." Is it not clear that the organization of this so-called "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites'' was nothing but an espionage agency of the intelligence services of certain foreign states?
The accused Sharangovich has fully confirmed here his connection with the Polish General Staff. He confirmed that, as the head of the local Byelorussian bourgeois-nationalist underground organization, he set himself the task of serving the interests of the Polish intelligence service and the Polish General Staff. He said that he had received a proposal on behalf of a certain consul that he should establish close connections with a number of persons belonging to the leadership of the national-fascist organization in Byelorussia, including Benek. He said that he was told to transmit various kinds of information required by the Polish intelligence service; he was instructed to form such close connections with the Polish General Staff that the latter, in its work against the Soviet state, might be able to rely upon this contemptible gang of traitors of the Byelorussian national-fascist organization.
What were the chief aims of this organization? Sharangovich has himself formulated them briefly: the overthrow of the Soviet power, the restoration of capitalism, and the severance of Byelorussia from the Soviet Union in the event of a war with fascist states. He said that the necessity was stressed of establishing close connections with the Polish General Staff for the achievement of this goal. This was one of the chief aims pursued by the bour geois-nationalist organization in Byelorussia in accordance with the instructions of the centre of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." Wt;o needed this?This was needed by the Polish intelligence service, this was needed by the Polish General Staff, which reckoned that in case of need its success would be ensured by this small but dangerous Fifth Column being at its disposal on the territory of the U.S.S.R. ·
That is why Rykov was quite right when he said here that the Byelorussian organization of the Rights was virtually an espionage agency of the Polish General Staff. Rykov told us that he was aware that Karakhan had conducted negotiations with the German fascists as early as 1933; that the German fascists, as the accused Rykov expressed it here, were quite favourable to the prospect of the accession to power of the Rights, and promised to welcome and support their accession to power in every way.
The favourable attitude of the German intelligence service was of course dictated exclusively by its own interests: the Rights and their organization, after all, were a fascist agency. Having a group of traitors at their disposal, and relying on them, German fascism could at a lesser cost accomplish its villainous plan ef military intervention in the U.S.S.R. And what were the aims? The aims were not only those. which Sharangovich mentioned. Rykov very clearly indicated another, highly characteristic feature which thoroughly exposes the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" as an agency of certain foreign intelligence services. Questioned on the subject of the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R., the severance of a number of republics from the U.S.S.R., and asked,. ''Was there also the aim of preparing a base for the, fascists, for their attack upon- the U.S.S. R. and for their· victory?"-,-Rykov' replied: "Yes, that is unquestionably so."
It is quite obvious that the aim of preparing a base for an attack upon the U.S.S. R. and of ensuring victory over the U.S.S.R. in the event of such an attack was set by the German, Polish and other intelligence services to the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" as to a direct agency of the fascist intelligence services. It shows that Chernov was right when he said that, apart from Trotsky, the real masters of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" were indeed the intelligence services of certain foreign states.
Lastly, we recall the testimony of Krestinsky. Like a mouse in a trap, he during the trial scurried hither and thither, trying to find a possible way of escape, but in vain. Krestinsky admitted that as far back as 1920-21, on instructions from Trotsky, he, Krestinsky, together with other Trotskyites, conducted negotiation with General Seeckt and with the German Reichswehr, and that for 250,000 gold marks per annum he sold espionage information to the German General Staff and ensured the unhampered admission of German military spies into the U.S.S.R.
What then was the intention, if not to transform the U.S.S.R. into a colony of German fascism? The essence of this agreement with the Reichswehr, the threads of which led to the treason and treachery of the so-called "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites, " was exposed by Krestinsky himself. Permit me to recall it briefly. "We were receiving," he said, "a small sum of money and they were receiving espionage information which they would need during an armed attack. But the German government," Krestinsky goes on to say edifyingly, thus revealing his own cards, "Hitler particularly, wanted colonies, territory, and not only espionage information. And he" (that is, Hitler) "was prepared to be satisfied with Soviet territory instead of the colonies for which he would have to fight England, America and France."
Here you have the nakedly cynical -attitude, reaching the very limit of human vileness, ·which quite definitely shows how certain intelligence services, including the German, and certain of -the most reactionary, principally military, circles of certain foreign states regarded the activities of this so-called ''bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.''They looked upon them as their slaves and captives. They regarded them as masters regard their servants. They sought the aid of these traitors because these traitors held the keys, at least in their own imagination and partly by taking advantage of their official positions, to the gates of our frontiers. They were fitted for the purpose of opening the gates to the enemy. Although twisting and squirming and trying to cover up his tracks, the accused Bukharin cynically admitted this in the end. In a conversation with Rykov and Tomsky, Bukharin said that the front must be opened to the Germans. The question is as clear as clear can be. Marked though they are, the cards have been completely uncovered. They said: "We will not only supply you with secret information, but at the right moment we will open the front. In return, pay us money, with which we will conduct our criminal, underground Trotskyite activities. Why should you fight England, America and France for colonies? You can transform the U.S.S.R. into your colony-at least its flourishing border republics, such as the Ukraine. Why should you fight America, England and France for colonies, when we, your obedient servants, are prepared to sell Soviet land to you for those gold marks by which you would help us to carry on our underground work?''
That is the meaning of this agreement.
Does the existence of such an agreement indicate that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" was a political group of any kind? No. The "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" is not only a gang of wreckers, diversionists, assassins and spies, without any ideology or principles; it is a mere gang of agents of foreign intelligence services in the real meaning of the word. They open the gates to the enemy, fire on the streets from secret loopholes, assist the enemy who has invaded town and village, and help to bring about the defeat of their country.
Krestinsky said: "We were prepared to restore capitalist relations in the U.S.S. R. and to make territorial concessions to the bourgeois states with which we had already come to an agreement."
And this, actually speaking, is the whole meaning of the criminal activities of the bloc.
Grinko does not fall short of Krestinsky in the cynicism of his testimony. Grinko bluntly stated that the task set them by their masters, the foreign intelligence services, was chiefly to aid the foreign aggressors. This, Grinko said here, was the common position of the Trotskyites, the Rights, the bourgeois-nationalist organizations, and, in particular, the Ukrainian national-fascist organization. ·
This meant undermining the power of defense of the Soviet Union, sabotage in the army and in the defense industry, opening the front in case of war and provoking this war.
An honorable task, say what you like!
The very enumeration of these criminal aims thoroughly exposes this bloc as a sheer gang of spying and intelligence organizations of certain foreign states.
Ikramov has told us he!"e how the ringleaders of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," and in the first place Bukharin, persuaded him to do everything he could to become a real agent of foreign intelligence services.
The Moscow ringleaders of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" informed lkramov of the Japanese-German "orientation," as they called it, of their connections with the Germans and Japanese. For what purpose? For the very purpose that was so clearly depicted by both Grinko and Krestinsky.
The second meeting was devoted to a discussion of wrecking activities. The third meeting was devoted to the question of connections with England. The accused Khodjayev spoke about this here very circumstantially and fully.
What did Bukharin tell him? He told him that they must orientate themselves on England, that if war did not break out at once, if intervention did not take place soon, it was all up with them. Bukharin said to Ikramov: "They will bag us all, yet we cannot expedite war because of England, which in certain respects is an international arbiter.''
This idea of the conspirators, who placed all their hopes in an armed attack on the U.S.S.R., that England was a sort of international arbiter is interesting.. rt is well known, Bukharin said, that the British have long had their eyes on Turkestan as a choice morsel. If such offers are made, the British perhaps will sooner come over to the side of an aggressor against the Soviet Union.
Actually speaking, Bukharin did not deny this conversation here. He spoke about certain details, argued over certain words, said that it had been formulated differently, but in the main Bukharin confirmed that there had been such talk, that there was an "orientation on the British.arbiter," who was prepared to receive a "choice morsel" in the shape of Turkestan. This was also confirmed by another of the accused, Khodjayev, who admitted that Bukharin had talked to him, organizing activities in Central Asia which may be fully and completely described as high treason, as .working for the defeat and dismemberment of the U.S.S.R. They regarded the severance of whole regions, and even of Union Republics, from the U.S.S.R. as a recompense for the help which a military aggressor was prepared to give the bloc in its criminal fight for the seizure of power and for the overthrow of the lawful Soviet government in our great country.
I have already said that all the circumstances that were so exhaustively revealed at this trial go to show that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites'' was nothing but an agency of foreign intelligence services. This circumstance also determined the whole character and nature of the mutual relations that arose and existed between this so-called "bloc," on the one hand, and certain foreign intelligence services, who were the real bosses of these criminals, the other.
The character of the relations that existed between the foreign intelligence services and the bloc can be judged by a number of facts which have been incontrovertibly established in the present trial.
I would remind you of the interrogation of the accused Rykov.
Asked about the nature of' the bourgeois-fascist organization that was active in Byelorussia under the direction of Goloded, Chervyakov and Sharangovich, Rykov was obliged to admit that even the appointments to leading posts of any importance in Byelorussia received the preliminary sanction of the Polish intelligence service. This fact, in itself, sufficiently vividly illustrates the true nature of the relations that existed between the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" and the Polish intelligence service. If the Polish intelligence service decided who was to be appointed to the most important posts, it is obvious that the real and true master of the fate of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" and of all its criminal activities was the Polish intelligence service. This "bloc" had also other masters-the intelligence services of other states, with which individual members of this criminal conspiratorial organization maintained criminal connections and relations on the instructions and with the knowledge and consent of the leaders of this "bloc.''
I would remind you of the testimony of the accused Ivanov, who has already told us here that sometimes the members of the bloc could not distinguish between the activities of the Rights and those of the foreign intelligence service, so closely were they intertwined. I would also remind you that, according to Ivanov, Bukharin advised him to form connections with the British Intelligence Service. Bukharin said that England had very great interests in the Northern Territory. He said that the Right centre had an agreement with that country about helping the Rights to overthrow the Soviet power, and that this agreement included a guarantee of the interests of British timber firms in the forests of the Northern Territory.
Here too we find clearly expressed the specifically business concern of the intelligence service with which Bukharin recommended the accused Ivanov to form connections, and with which the accused Ivanov did form connections in fulfillment of Bukharin's behest. Ivanov stated that Bukharin recommended him to arrange matters in such a way as to prove to the British bourgeoisie that the Rights were willing to satisfy all the economic and financial interests of the British bourgeoisie, and recommended him to give advances to the British bourgeoisie in order, on the one band, not to lose their support and, on the other, not to forfeit their confidence.
It is perfectly clear that this "confidence'' was based on one thing 'only, namely, the ability of these plotters to pay in cash-in Soviet land and Soviet blood for their treasonable activities, for the assistance which the foreign aggressors were prepared to grant the plotters in the achievement of their criminal aims.
It was essentially of this that Rakovsky spoke when he testified how often the "honest" agents of the foreign intelligence service like this nice 'old gentleman sitting here before you in the dock, found themselves in a :contradictory situation. The position of those spies who simultaneously served several intelligence services, and there are such among the accused, was very, very difficult. Rakovsky himself was an expert of t hi.s kind, who at one and the same time served both the Japanese and the British intelligence services and, with Yurenev, landed in a "difficult" situation. "We," said Rakovsky here, quoting Yurenev's words, "have gotten into such a mess that sometimes one does not know how to behave. One is afraid that by satisfying one of our partners we may offend another. For instance, here at present, antagonism is arising between Great Britain and Japan in connection with the Chinese question, while we have to maintain connections both with the British and Japanese intelligence services. . . . ''
A hard situation for a spy! A hard situation for a British and Japanese spy!
" ... We Trotskyites," said Rakovsky, "have to play three cards at the present moment: the German, Japanese and British."
We see that this game can end in no good for the gamblers.
". . . It was not quite clear to me, at that time at least, what the German card promised."
Although it was sufficiently marked.
". . . Personally I thought that . . . Japan . • • was a potent aggressor against the U.S.S. R."
And he goes on to say:
"For us Trotskyites the Japanese card was extremely important, but, on the other hand, we should not overrate the importance of Japan as our ally against the Soviet government. Even if Japanese aggression could force its way into the territory of the U.S.S.R., it would be lost in the vast spaces, .and in the taiga. As for Great Britain, the situation was rather more serious. At that moment Great Britain was antagonistic to Japan. It should not be forgotten that England once headed a coalition against the French Revolution and fought on for twenty-five years."
It turns out that the most valuable card! was that of the British Intelligence Service. But it is not my purpose to examine the value and distinguishing features of all these "cards." I only wanted to show how hard was the lot of those gentlemen who managed to worship.three gods at once, to serve three intelligence services at one and the same time. We cannot but humanly sympathize with them, but we can help them in only one way-by depriving them of the opportunity of playing any cards at all, however valuable these cards might seem to them.
On the subject of connections with the British aggressors, the accused Rakovsky testified that the bloc worked for the defeat of the U.S.S.R. and systematically engaged in spying.
Reference must be made in this connection to Bukharin, who wanted to prove here that, actually speaking, he did not favour the defeat of the U.S.S.R.,, that he did not favour espionage, nor wrecking, nor diversive activities, because in general he was not supposed to have any connection with these practical matters, for he was a "theoretician,'' a man who occupied himself with the problematics of universal questions. But even Bukharin was obliged to dot all his "i's." He said:
"In short, as one of the leaders of the Right centre, it was my duty to communicate our line to one of the leaders of the periphery centre".
What was this line?
"Briefly, this line was that in the fight against the Soviet power it is permissible to utilize a war situation and to make certain concessions to capitalist states for the purpose of neutralizing them, and sometimes for the purpose of obtaining their assistance. ''
If this involved and intricate statement of Bukharin's is deciphered, it means downright treason, desertion to the enemy, depending upon military circumstances and war conditions, in order to utilize assistance of these enemies for the achievement of one's criminal ends.
When Bukharin was asked: "In other words, orientation towards assistance from certain foreign states?"-he replied: "Yes. it can be put that way." He does not want to give a direct answer. but says: "Yes, it can be put that way."
It can and should be put that way, because it corresponds to the facts. When asked: "In other words, orientation towards the defeat of the U.S.S. R."-Bukharin remained true to his nebulous verbal acrobatics, and said: "In general, summarized, I repeat, yes." And so, "summarized," Bukharin admits the orientation on the defeat of the U.S.S.R.; and in the specific conditions in which be, as a leader of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites,'found himself, this "summarized" meant: "We were working for the defeat of the U.S.S.R.; we were prepared to open the gates to the enemies.,.. 'To open the front to the enemies"-this is what Rykov confirmed, and What Bukharin could not escape confirming.
Comrades Judges, I would like in this connection to draw your attention to the manner in which here, too, Bukharin tried to get off unscathed, and, while admitting his connections with the military conspiratorial organization of Tukhachevsky and Yakir, he tried to make play of the phrase "was to" open the front, and the manner in which he tried to evade a direct answer to this question which was highly unpleasant to him.
But however Bukharin exerted himself in juggling with words and phrases, however much he tried to assure us that the concept "was to," although expressed by one term, has various meanings-we have a clear idea of Bukharin's real attitude to this question.
ft was not a trifling matter that Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky were organizing, but a very serious one, the overthrow of the Soviet government and the Soviet power, without shrinking from any means whatever. Having lost all support within the U.S.S.R., and placing all their hopes on foreign states hostile to the U.S.S.R., they arranged with them about opening the front, about their joint intention of smashing the Soviet people, the Soviet state, in order by treasonable means to clamber into power, which they would at once hand over entirely, unreservedly and completely to the fascists, to their real masters.
Enough of word play! Enough of acrobatics and "philosophy". It was high treason that was involved, desertion to the enemy, opening the front, bringing about the defeat of the U.S.S.R., and the rout of our fatherland.
The whole espionage work of individual participants in this plot on all sectors was directed by Bukharin and Rykov. All secret information was transmitted to the appropriate organs by channels,. through means and contacts, which were under the control of Rykov, Bukharin, Yagoda and their accomplices.
Here in Court the connections of Rykov, Bukharin and Yagoda with the intelligence services of a number of foreign states were fully revealed. In conjunction with the Mensheviks, with Dan, with the Second International, with the Socialist-Revolutionaries, with Maslov, with foreign intelligence services abroad, and together with aggressors, they tried to overthrow the Soviet power and to restore the rule of real capitalism, inveterate, one hundred per cent capitalism, and the real domination of the landlords and manufacturers.
All these acts of wrecking, treason and betrayals were combined with the systematic supplying of foreign intelligence services with secret information and various kinds of material. Krestinsky, Rosengoltz, Ivanov, Sharangovich, Chernov, Rakovsky, Yagoda and others systematically transmitted Soviet state secrets to foreign intelligence services.
We have authentic information that the plotters of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" regularly performed services for foreign intelligence services. I shall quote an excerpt from the Tokyo newspaper "Miyako" of February 20, 1937, which reports a secret meeting of what is known as the Planning and Budget Commission. Deputy Yoshida asked General Sugiyama, Minister of War, whether he and the army had any information about the carrying capacity of the Siberian Railway. The Minister answered this question in the affirmative and said that the carrying capacity of the Siberian Railway was known to them, that they were in receipt of systematic information about the capacity of the Siberian Railway from elements in Russia who were in opposition to the present Soviet government. Japan received information about the Siberian Railway through them.
Here you have these elements, here you have these scouts, spies, servitors of imperialism, who trade in the interests of our country. Here you have them-these agents of the Minister of War who is mustering his forces on the borders of our country for an attack upon our sacred frontiers.
I cannot refrain from citing another fact. The "Japan Times," organ of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated in an editorial article in January 1937:
"That both countries, Japan and Germany, naturally seek to obtain all information in regard to Soviet Russia that might be of military value, must be accepted as a fact. If they did not do this they would be both foolhardy and failing to perform their duty to the State and the people. The possibility of an armed clash with Soviet Russia at some future date cannot safely be precluded, although it is to be hoped that it never comes, and it is the obligation of those nations which face such a prospect to prepare in every way possible for gaining the victory."
Gentlemen the accused, do you want proofs of your criminal, provocative, prying and spying activities, apart from your testimony? Then look for them in the pages of the organ of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, look for them in the pages of the Tokyo newspaper. Far from concealing their aspirations in the matter of espionage, when, as in the present case, it concerns the U.S.S.R., the Japanese aggressors eulogize espionage as a supreme patriotic virtue. It is cleat that we must treat the "virtuous, people now sitting in the dock in the way the quality and profundity of their SPY "virtue" merits.
Bukharin, Tomsky, Rykov and Yagoda were preparing to open the front. But here, as everywhere, as in all their treacherous work, they acted like provocateurs. And this is not fortuitous, for it is characteristic of the method by which these gentlemen work. They were preparing to open the front, but they wanted to make the workers and peasants of our country, our whole people, believe that it was not they who opened the front, but somebody else,. and that, quite the contrary, they were against opening the front, against treason. They even agreed among themselves to bring to trial those who opened the front at their own orders, in order, as Bukharin cynically expressed it, to play on patriotic slogans. I have no doubt that Bukharin will take advantage of his speech in defence or of his last plea in order, with the help of the most .preposterous circus acrobatics, to try once more to attach a special meaning to this, other than the meaning I, the State Prosecutor, attribute to it at this trial. But it seems to me that no other meaning can be attributed to it.
At one of the sessions of the Court I quoted the testimony of Bukharin in which he speaks of the high wave of Soviet patriotism which would never allow anybody to gamble with his country, and which for every act of treachery would demand the head, the life of the traitors.
Bukharin and his pals fully realized and appreciated the significance of this supreme and genuine patriotism of the people, the high level of patriotism which is shared by the whole country, where every man, old and young, is prepared in the hour of need to fay down his life in defence of his motherland against the intrusion of foreign invaders. They realized this, they knew and understood that it would be dangerous to trifle with the love cherished by the people for their native land. And realizing this, they built up this whole system of provocation and treachery. They were prepared to open wide the gates to foreign intervention, but they wanted to depict it as being the work of others, against whom these jesuits and pharisees, these Judas Iscariots and Vasily Shuiskys allegdly raised their "patriotic" voices. Bukharin said that they intended to bring to trial those guilty of opening the front,. and thus play on patriotic slogans.
The game has been exposed. The masks have been torn from the traitors' faces, once and for all. Not one of the accused dared to deny that he criminally worked for the defeat and dismemberment of the U.S.S.R . Some of them spoke of it plainly, coarsely, cynically; others-I am again referring to Bukharin and Rykov jesuitically veiled their confessions. But in the end even they dared not and could not deny this crime in the open Soviet Court. The proofs are too damning, the evidence too convincing!
It was established in previous trials, and once again confirmed in this trial, that Trotsky had come to an agreement with the German and Japanese intelligence services to wage a joint struggle against the U.S.S.R. and the Soviet power. At this trial, too, we have the circumstantial testimony of one of the accused, Bessonov, on this subject. He said that the agreement was concluded on the basis of the five points he had mentioned in his testimony. They were, firstly, the mutual sabotage of all official relations sabotage of the normalization of relations between the U.S.S.R and Germany. What does this mean?
It means a system of provocation in international relations And this, of course, was not an empty word, because we know that the Trotskyites, masked by their duplicity, were able to worm their way into a number of fairly important posts, where our foreign policy is put into practical effect. The Rakovskys, Krestinskys, Yurenevs and the others, the Bessonovs and their like, are all people who acted as the authorized diplomatic representatives of the U.S.S.R. in foreign relations. This, incidentally, increases the gravity of their guilt and of their responsibility before the Soviet state and the Soviet people.
Sent to represent the interests of our state, in reality they combated these interests in every way. These gentlemen utilized their official positions-and they all, Rakovsky, Grinko and Kre stinsky, acted in this way-in order to thwart the cause·of peace, in order by every means to provoke conflicts in the interests of the imperialists.
The second point of the agreement was all-round collaboration between the Trotskyite organizations in the U.S.S.R. and the German secret and espionage organizations and their agents. What for? In order to undermine the military and economic might of the U.S.S.R. and to hasten the defeat of the U.S.S.R. in war.
The third point was that German fascism was to help the coup d'etat in the U.S.S. R. with the object of transferring power to the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. ''
The fourth point was that intervention should be accelerated and peace immediately concluded with the new government after it had come to power-a natural step in the plan of these gentlemen's treasonable work.
The fifth point was the severance of the Ukraine from the U.S.S. R. in favour of Germany, the severance of the Maritime Region in favour of Japan, the severance of Byelorussia in favour of Poland, the dismemberment of our whole Soviet Union by severing regions and republics from it and placing them at the disposal of foreign imperialists.
Bukharin was obliged here to admit that the conditions on which this so-called alliance-it was not an "alliance" at all, it was actually a master-and-servant agreement-was concluded were the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R. and the severance of the Otraine, the Maritime Region and Byelorussia from the U.S.S.R. I asked Bukharin: "In whose favour?" And he answered: "In favour of Germany, in favour of Japan, and partly in favour of England.'' This is Bukharin's own admission, which he cannot get away from, and will not get away from.
The Trotskyites and Rights in fact acted in accordance with this agreement. Grinko has related what the Ukrainian national fascists did in fulfillment of this agreement. Krestinsky confirmed what they did in fulfillment of this agreement. As Trotsky had instructed them, they planned diversive, espionage and wrecking activities, the activities of the Hitlerites and Trotskyites within the U.S.S.R.
A prominent place in the anti-Soviet ''bloc of Rights and Trots kyites" was held by the bourgeois-nationalist groups, which were form d in certain of the national republics under the direct in fluence of the agencies of these same foreign intelligence services and under the direct guidance of the so-called centre of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."
The traitors Grinko, Khodjayev, Sharangovich and Ikrarnov are hardened and inveterate counter-revolutionaries of various hues with counter-revolutionary records of long standing, from the Borotbists, the "Milli-Istiklal" and "Milli-Ittikhad" to the "''bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."
Rykov assured Khodjayev that, under the guidance of the Rights, the Uzbek nationalist organization could secure the "independence" of the Uzbek Republic.
Khodjayev was obliged to admit-you have seen Khodjayev and you know that he is a fairly educated man, who perfectly understands.all the subtleties and variations of the struggle in which he took part-Khodjiev was obliged to admit that he fully realized the falsity and hypocrisy of this slogan of the so-called independence for the Uzbek Republic; he understood perfectly well that this slogan really served to mask the dependence of the Uzbek nation on the exploiters of the capitalist country which would help the republic to achieve this phantom of independence.
Bukharin worked in the same direction as Rykov. According to Khodjayev, Bukharin eulogized German fascism and stated that fascist Germany was now working with all its might to make Germany the hegemon of Europe, and that an agreement between Japan and Germany to fight the U.S.S.R. was likely.
Bukharin persuaded Khodjayev to find ways of getting into contact with the British Intelligence Service through the Kurbashis, to whom Khodjayev referred here. Bukharin advised him to get in touch with British circles and to promise something to England. He said: "Uzbekistan with its 5,000,000 population cannot become an independent state between two colossus es - theSoviet Union on the one side and Great Britain on the other. We must make fast on some shore." And Bukharin prompted Khodjayev, who, incidentally, was quite prepared for it as it was, to make for the shore of bourgeois counter-revolution. ·
Bukharin spoke about the stabilization of capitalism, and said that fascism, especially German fascism, had played an important part i.n this. Like a true watchdog of fascism, he barked joyfully expressing his admiration for German fascism.
Bukharin worked upon Ikramov, too, for the same purpose, although Ikramov is also a type that does not require to be spoon fed. Bukharin told lies about Lenin; he said that colonial countries cannot arrive at Socialism with the support of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. and avoiding the stage of capitalism, and so on. To drive it home to Ikramov, Bukharin preached the theory and practice of the restoration of capitalism not only in Uzbekistan, but throughout the U.S.S.R. He said: "Your methods are petty. You want to wait until the U.S.S.R. is in difficulties, and then act. No, you must act in a better way. We approve·your actions in the matter of the severance of Uzbekistan. On this subject the Rights have an understanding with the Ukrainian nationalists, the Byelorussian nationalists and the nationalists of other republics. "
The Right-Trotskyite and bourgeois-nationalist traitors wanted,, in the interests of their capitalist masters, once more to place the capitalist yoke on the nations of our fraternal Union Republics, which had been formerly oppressed by tsardom and the landlords and capitalists, and which had been liberated by the Great Socialist Revolution. Not daring to speak openly of their treacherous plans for the enslavement of the nations which had made tremendous progress as the result of the national policy of Lenin and Stalin, which had progressed culturally, politically and economically, these traitors uttered their treasonable, lying and fraudulent slogans and speeches about the independence of these republics. As though there is any country in the world except the U.S.S.R.
in which genuine national independence, genuine and complete national culture, and the genuine prospering of the millions are really guaranteed. There is no such country in the world except the U.S.S.Rt While in the colonies of capitalist countries-in India, Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, in the Oriental countries-the nations are languishing beneath the dire yoke of capitalist oppression, where poverty and want are·on the increase, where the masses are starving, where syphilis .and tuberculosis are rampant, and ruin and pauperism becoming ever more widespread, in the U.S.S.R., in its glorious eleven Union Republics, the standard of living of the people is steadily rising, culture, national in form and Socialist in content, is steadily progressing, and ever more brightly and . joyfully above the rich and boundless expanses of these republics shine the great and beneficent rays of the new, Socialist sun, the sun of unfading glory of the indestructible fraternal union of the nations of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The provocateurs, spies and fascists strove, of course, to sever the Union Republics from our Union. Why? Because, as Comrade Stalin said eighteen years ago, the severance of the border regions would undermine the revolutionary might of Central Russia, which stimulates the movement for emancipation in the West and East. ". . . The border regions that seceded,'' Stalin said, "would inevitably fall into bondage to international imperialism." The genuine independence of the national republics is ensured only in the conditions of a Soviet state, in the conditions of victorious Socialism, and on the basis of the great Stalinist Constitution.
This gang of traitors employed criminal methods which are already well known and which have frequently been exposed in Court: methods of wrecking, diversion, espionage and terrorism. The wreckers, diversionists and spies wormed their way into a number of branches where they took possession of key positions. Such was the case with Chernov, who held the important post of People's Commissar of Agriculture of the U.S.S.R.; such was the case with Grinko, who held the important post of People's Commissar of Finance of the U.S.S.R.; such was the case with Rosengoltz, who held the important post of People's Commissar of Foreign Trade of the U.S.S.R.; such was the case with Zelensky, the for. mer Chairman of the Centrosoyuz; and such was the case with a number of others. These criminals, of course, had opportunities for the widest and at the same time the most carefully masked and most dangerous wrecking activities, such as have rarely been enjoyed by criminals.
The chief aim of the sabotage and wrecking of this "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites'' was to undermine the economic might of the U.S.S.R. in every way. To liquidate the Soviet, Socialist system, to enfeeble the defensive power of the U.S.S.R. and the defence industry, to shatter agriculture by abolishing the collective farms and state farms, and to disrupt transport, which is of enormous importance to the economic life of the country-such were the monstrous aims the criminals set themselves.
They set themselves the aim of timing an these fatal consequences for the moment of armed attack by foreign aggressors upon the U.S.S.R.; and not only to time them for the moment of attack, but also to strive to have these criminal actions play an independent role as a definite means of weakening the might of the Soviet state.
While pursuing their fundamental aim of overthrowing the Soviet power, the ''bloc of Rights and Trotskyites -as our trial has shown-did not shun the most sordid and cynical methods to undermine the confidence of the masses in the organs of the Soviet power, to sow discontent with the Soviets among the population, and as far as possible to rouse the people against the Soviet power.
These provocateur activities, pursued by each of the accused wherever he was working, represented a tremendous, general political danger. This is particularly borne out by such facts as the Lepel affair, which was mentioned in this Court-arbitrariness and lawlessness practiced by conspirators and criminals at the instigation of this bloc and aimed at discrediting the Soviet power in the eyes of the broad masses of the population by the practice of unlawful acts.
The trial and the preliminary investigation have shown how unscrupulously cynical and monstrously criminal were the means and methods employed by the bloc for the achievement of its aims. This work of wrecking and sabotage was particularly dangerous in view of the extremely important positions occupied by a number of the accused in the Soviet state system.
Take the finances. The chief line of the wreckers in the sphere of finances-as formulated by Rykov, in agreement with Bukharin was "to strike at the Soviet government with the Soviet ruble." This is a paraphrase of the old Trotskyite slogan, made known to us in other trials through Pyatakov, namely, "to -strike with the most effective means at the most sensitive spots."
"To strike at the Soviet government with the Soviet ruble" such were the directions which determined an the activities of -Orinko, the former People's Commissar of Finance, who at the same time acted as an agent of the German and Polish intelligence services and as Bukharin's and Rykov's right-hand man. It was these directions, this decision of the "bloc'' that he endeavoured to carry into effect in all conscience, a rotten conscience though it was.
Moreover, we know that finances are not self-contained, but determine the direction and development of all branches of industry. And this was taken into account by the criminal bloc of wreckers. Wrecking in the financial sphere spread to various branches of economy. In agriculture, which is of tremendous importance to the. U.S.S.R., the wrecking work was designed as far as possible to frustrate the task set by the Party and the government of achieving a harvest of seven to eight billion poods.
Grinko has mentioned the wrecking work he performed in the sphere of taxation and in the savings banks, where he tried in every way to incense the public. We all know how abominably the savings bank business was organized under Grinko,when depositors had to waste an enormous amount of time and encountered endless unpleasantness and insolence, rudeness and lack of attention and -when every attempt was made to incense the public audit scare them away from the savings banks.
Grinko has now frankly explained the secret. The secret was the deliberate attempt to exasperate the depositors and to undermine the savings bank business. This business was put in charge of such a cut-throat, as Grinko himself called him, as Ozeryansky, who at the same time was preparing terrorist acts against the leaders of our Party and government.
I will not deal with other facts that show that in Grinko we have an old and ingrained enemy of the Soviet power, who had entirely and completely sold himself to the German intelligence service, who actively strove by means of wrecking, diversion, treachery and terrorism against the Soviet power to bring about the restoration of capitalism.
Take another spy, Chernov, an undoubtedly "talented'' individual, because in one evening he managed to visit Dan and Kibrik, to get into a scrap with the police, to land in the Polizei prasidium and to become a German spy.
However, there is nothing improbable in this. That is how it happens in life with people like Chernov. He has only now acquired that more or less fresh and healthy look. Confinement has done him a lot of good. He had a different look when he was free, the haggard look of a toper, who drank more than he worked. He suffered from a social disease-alcoholism. And here he goes abroad on government business. But at the same time he accepts a commission from the "bloc," which takes advantage of his accidental trip abroad to send him to establish connections with Dan. He gets to Dan and Kibrik:. Dan and Kibrik are German spies, that is clear. lt can be seen from the mere fact that the conversation he had with Dan and Kibrik immediately be came known to the intelligence service of the Polizeiprasidium. It is said that walls have ears. But there are walls that have eyes, walls through which not only everything can be seen, but through which even a camera can pierce. And so, while Cbernov drank and ate with Dan and Kibrik, a camera clicked and perpetuated this "meeting of friends''-Chernov and Dan. The Polizeiprasidium got possession of a document which might spoil Chernov's whole career. He had gone on government business, but got himself tied up with such inveterate Mensheviks as Dan and Kibrik and carried on a love intrigue with them. This might cost Chernov something more than his political career. And the German intelligence service played on this. It did not consider Chernov important enough to wa te a taxi ride on him-a trolleybus would do. But the trolleybus is boarded by people who start a scrap, a row, which ends in the police station. A fine picture this-a People's Commissar who starts a row and slaps a policeman's face. Add to this the compromising photos, and Chernov was " cooked. " Chernov had either honestly to break and make a full right-about face, or swim with the current he had got into. It should be added that Chernov is a former Menshevik and stuck to his. Menshevism to the last minute. Consequently, like Rosengoltz, he could repeat the prayer-"Let his enemies be scattered.'' Even Rykov poked fun at Chernov, saying that he managed in one evening to land in the police station and to become a spy.
But is the recruiting of intelligence service agents done otherwise? We know from the abundant material that has been recently published that they are caught in dance halls, in private conver sations, in love affairs, when members of the charming sex are specially introduced and play the part of far from charming representatives of far from charming institutions. We know that they are caught by card games and by a bottle of brandy. They are caught like moths attracted by a candle.
We learnt in the last trial how skillfully the German intelligence service, to give it its due, recruited Stroilov Rakovsky, a man of great experience in the world, told us here how he was recruited by the British and Japanese intelligence services, and how a certain Armstrong or a certain Leckart turned him into· a British spy.
So this Chernov acts on instructions of the German intelligence service and bluntly tells us that "the German intelligence service made a special point of the organization of wrecking activities in the sphere of horse-breeding," the purpose being, as Raivid said, not to provide horses for the Red Army. The matter is clear. It is not difficult for Chernov to fulfill this commission,. and he proceeds to fulfil it. This man specially selects three factories: Kashintsevo, Orel and Stavropol. What for? In order, as he put it here, to prepare "serums with virulent bacteria.'' He does this in order to disrupt horse-breeding, to destroy horses, and to undermine stock-breeding in general.
Who, of course, can do this better than a man who occupies such a high post as Chernov? Who else could set up factories specially for the preparation of infectious serums? He alone. And he did it. He has himself told us here that 25,000 horses were destroyed at his behest. A large number of horses were exterminated in regions like Siberia. They deliberately infected pigs with erysipelas and the plague. They did this in the Voronezh Region, m the Azov-Black Sea Territory and in the Leningrad Region. The purpose was plain-to sap the defence efficiency of the Red Army. This is not mere wrecking, it is espionage wrecking, it is the scouts of the wartime enemy, who had decided to take his cue from the Lliad and the Odyssey, and to smuggle a Trojan horse into the city, so that if need be this horse might serve as a base of support against the defenders of the fatherland.
Rosengoltz also acted in a way that served the interests of the Germans and Japanese. He specially signed an oil agreement that furthered· the interests of these foreign states. He specially organized the sale of gold tailings in a wrecking way, to serve the interests of these same states and in direct violation of the interests of his own fatherland. He organized in a wrecking and criminal way the export of iron to Japan, so that this iron might be used to make the shells with which the Japanese military are preparing, if not to bombard, at least to intimidate our country. He retarded imports for defence purposes in every way. He acted just as he was told to by the intelligence service, utilizing his high post, playing a game of deceit and perfidiously betraying his. duty to the state.
lkramov and Khodjayev did not lag behind their central "col leagues" in wrecking work. Ikramov himself testified here on wrecking work in Namangan, in the silk mills, in the cotton ginning plants, and in cotton growing. According to their testimony, Rykov and Bukharin played a perfectly definite role in the organization of this wrecking and sabotage-a role which may be described as a leading one.
Take Zelensky. I shall only refer here to the most abominable practice of mixing glass and nails with food stuffs,butter in particular, which hit at the most vital interests, the health and lives of our population. Glass and nails in butter! This is so monstrous a crime that, in my opinion, all other crimes of the kind pale before it.
In our country, rich in resources of all kinds, there could not have been and cannot be a situation in which a shortage of any product should exist. It was just for this reason that this whole wrecking organization made it its task to create a shortage of things which we possess in superabundance, to keep the market and the consumption of the population in a strained state. I shall only recall one episode in the activities of Zelensky, the case of the fifty carloads of eggs which he deliberately destroyed so as to create a shortage of this necessary food article in Moscow.
It is now clear why there are interruptions of supplies here and there, why, with our riches and abundance of products, there is a shortage first of one thing, then of another. It is these traitors who are responsible for it. And it enabled them to stir up feeling against the system of our economic administration, against the whole system of the Soviet power. Striking at the daily needs of the population is in fact complying with the old instructions of Ryabushinsky, who wanted to strangle the proletarian revolution with the gaunt hand of famine. But he did not succeed!
In organizing this wrecking work, all these Rykovs and Bukharins, Yagodas and Grinkos, Rosengoltzes and Chernovs, and so on and so·fort h, pursued a definite aim, namely, to try to strangle the Socialist revolution with the gaunt hand of famine. They did not succeed, and never will succeed!
Sharangovich artificially spreads anemia among horses. Some 30,000 horses perish. Sharangovich undermines the peat industry. Sharangovich deliberately provokes national enmity and fosters nationalist sentiments among the Byelorussian population.
Ivanov destroys factories, destroys the paper an.d cellu lose industry, although cautiously, anxious not to go too far in damaging the interests of his English masters, to whom the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" wanted to hand over the timber industry, and for whom he worked to the best of his ability.
There you have the outrageous and monstrous picture of the carefully conceived and strictly organized-we must give the criminals their due-an.d strictly planned system of wrecking and diversive measures, designed not only to undermine the military and economic might of our country, but also to provoke discontent and irritation among the broad masses of the population by measures which were difficult to detect.
To this must be added the organization of direct and open armed attacks upon the Soviet power, which also has its history. In conjunction with Rykov, Bukharin. sends Slepkov to the North Caucasus and Yakovenko to Siberia, who provoke there insurrectionary movements, form contacts with Cossack Whiteguard circles abroad and prepare the way for a Cossack landing party in the North Caucasus. Rykov and Zubarev organize insurrectionary bands in the Urals. lkramov and Khodjayev, again under the direction of Bukharin, Rykov and othe.rs, organize insurrectionary bands in Central Asia, consisting of mullahs, bais and every kind of declassed element. Even Ivanov in the Northern Territory, on the direct instructions of Bukharin, works to organize insurrectionary bands of deported kulaks. This apparently was the way Bukharin intended to ensure that the kulaks grew into Socialism.
I now pass to the next section, namely, the terrorist activities of the accused and the murders of public figures of the Soviet state planned and executed by them, the murders of S. M. Kirov,
V. R. Menzhinsky, V. V. Kuibyshev and A. M. Gorky, and the murder of M. A. Peshkov.
This is one of the most sinister and most painful features in the trial.
How did Rykovexplain the adoption of terrorism by his underground group? Very frankly. He said: "In view of the illegal and conspiratorial character of the counter-revolutionary organization of the Rights, the absence of any kind of mass basis for its counter-revolutionary -activities, and the absence of all hope of arriving at power in any other way, the adoption of terrorist methods, in the opinion of the centre, held out some prospects."
Rykov has given in Court a full and consistent account of the way the organization of the Rights was secretly formed and the way it was passing to ever sharper forms and methods of struggle. Rykov dates the growth of terrorist tendencies back to the period preceding 1930. Approximately in 1932, according to Rykov's testimony, there definitely formed what he called a positive attitude towards the use of terrorism as a method of struggle for power. Rykov here made a certain philosophical digression to stress the fact that he did not conceive terrorism in theory only, without practice. And, indeed, having adopted the position of terrorism, Rykov at once proceeded to organize terrorist acts and to prepare for such acts. He prepared for the assassination of our leaders with all the pedantry and with all the calmness with which he gave his explanations here in Court, and with which, apparently, he at one time signed his orders in the Commissariat of Post and Telegraph.
The chill and stench of death breathes in the testimony of Rykov and the other Right and Trotskyite fascist conspirators.
Terrorism is in full swing. The whole bloc systematically and pedantically devotes itself to terrorism.
Bukharin also favoured terrorism, although, as he says, he orientated himself rather on mass revolts than on terrorism. Well, how he orientated himself it is his business to explain; but we know that a very long time ago-it can now be considered fully proved-in 1918, he took part in the organization of the terrorist acts of Kaplan, the "Left,, Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Trotskyites and the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries. He himself says quite openly that later, in 1932, he conducted negotiations with Semyonov, a former Socialist-Revolutionary, organizer of terrorist acts and leader of Socialist-Revolutionary action squads; he negotiated with him for the organization of a terrorist fight against Comrade Stalin and Comrade Kaganovich. In 1932, through Pyatakov and Sedov, Bukharin conducted negotiations about the con ditions, the directions, or, as he called it, the line of Trotsky, which was that terrorist methods must be adopted. And it is characteristic that Bukharin at once proceeded to the practical execution of this line. It is now clear that Bukharin's position on this question was anything but theoretical: he acted like a real practical worker, for it was he who conducted negotiations with Semyonov and it was he who commissioned Semyonov to organize a terrorist act. It was he who, although somewhat later, entrusted the organization of an armed and bloody kulak revolt to his disciple, Slepkov, and others. The conspiratorial bloc widely developed the organization of terrorist groups, which made the practical preparations for terrorist acts, for the assassination of Kirov. This assassination was fully revealed and unmasked 1n the pr e ceding trial, but it has only now been established that the activities of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre which murdered Sergei Mironovich Kirov were not of an independent character. It has now been established that Kirov was assassinated by decision of this very Right-Trotskyite centre, of this bloc, which may be called the centre of all centres.
The accused Yagoda confirmed in Court that Kirov was assassinated by direct decision of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," that this decision was carried out by Yagoda, to whom this shameful duty was entrusted. And Yagoda performed this duty. He gave orders to Zaporozhetz, assistant chief of the Regional Administration of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs in Leningrad, to do all he could to have this assassination committed. Some two months before the assassination, Leonid Nikolayev was detained and brought to the Regional Administration. He was found to be in possession of a revolver and cartridges and a chart of the route that Kirov used to take. This made it perfectly clear that this scoundrel was preparing to commit a monstrous crime. But observing the direct orders of Yagoda, Zapo rozhetz released this scoundrel, and two months later Nikolayev assassinated Kirov, committing this dastardly act with the direct participation of the contemptible traitor Yagoda, whose duty it was at that time to protect the persons of members of the government. Yagoda confirmed in Court that Rykov and Bukharin had taken part in the adoption of this decision; that Rykov and Yenukidze had participated in the meeting of the centre where the question of assassinating S. M. Kirov was discussed, and that therefore Rykov and Yenukidze had taken a direct part in dis cussing the question of the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov. In reply to my direct question whether Bukharin and Rykov were telling the truth here when they declared that they knew nothing about this assassination, Yagoda stated that this could not be so, because when Yenukidze told him that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" had decided at a joint meeting that a terrorist act should be committed against Kirov, he, Yagoda, refused to have anything todowith it forcertain "tactical'' and conspiratorial reasons, but he was, nevertheless, aware that this was a decision of their centre and not the action of a guerrilla band of conspirators, that this decision emanated from the "bloc of Rights and Trots kyites," in which Bukharin and Rykov had taken an active part. It has now been definitely established that Yagoda had an immediate part in the assassination of Comrade Kirov. I also consider it proved that Rykov and Bukharin had an immediate part in the assasination.
What are my proofs?
If we assume that Ryikov and Bukharin had no part in this
.assassination, then it must be admitted that for some reason or , other two of the principal leaders of the "bloc of Rights and Trots- 1<yites" that adopted the decision to assassinate Kirov held aloof irom this dastardly act. Why? Why did people who had organized -espionage, who had organized insurrectionary movements and terrorist acts, and who, on their own admission, had received instructions from Trotsky on terrorism, suddenly, in 1934, stand aloof from the assassination of one of the greatest com rades-in-arms of Stalin, one of the most prominent leaders of the Party and the government?
Bukharin and Rykov did know about it! Such important leaders of this "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" as Rykov and "Bukharin could not but know about this important terrorist act. It would have been anomalous if they had not known it, it would nave been entirely illogical.
Bukharin and Rykov have admitted that the assassination of leaders of the Party and the government, of members of the Political Bureau, was part of their plans. It was this, too, that Bukharin talked about with Semyonov, or Semyonov talked about with Bukharin. Why should we assume that, having entered into negotiations with Semyonov for the organization of the assassination of members of the Political Bureau, Bukharin deletes from this list of persons who are to be slain one of the most influen- tial members of the Political Bureau who had distinguished himself by his irreconcilable fight against the Trotskyites, Zinovievites and Bukharinites? Where is the logic in such behaviour? There is no logic in it.
Finally, Rykov admitted that in 1934 he instructed Artemenko io keep a watch on the automobiles of members of the government. For what purpose? For terrorist purposes. Rykov was organizing the assassination of members of our government, of members of the Political Bureau. Why should Rykov make an exception in the case of Sergei Mironovich Kirov, who nevertheless was assassinated on the decision of this accursed bloc? He made no such exception!
Yenukidze and Yagoda were members of the centre and closest associates of Bukharin and Rykov. How can we believe that Yenukidze and Yagoda-who had a share in the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov, who were closest associates of Rykov and Bukharin, and who were the centre of the whole system of terrorist acts against leaders of the Party and the government-how can we believe that Rykov and Bukharin did not know what was known to Yenukidze, the immediate friend, accomplice and coadjutor of Bukharin and Rykovt and what was known to Yagoda, the closest friend, accomplice and coadjutor of Bukharin and Rykov?
These are the circumstances which completely prove the participation of Rykov and Bukharin in the organization of the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov.
But, as the Court proceedings have established, the terrorist activities of the Right and Trotskyite traitors were not confined to the assassination of Kirov.
As the investigation has established, Alexei Maximovich Gorky, Vyacheslav Rudolfovich Menzhinsky and Valerian Vladimirovich Kuibyshev fell victims to the terrorist acts committed on the instructions of this same "bloc of . Rights and Trotskyites."
M. Peshkov, the son of A. M. Gorky, was also the victim of assassination. ln this connection Yagoda testified as follows:
"I declare categorically that the murder of Kirov was carried out on the instructions of the centre of the 'bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.' It was also on the decision of this centre that terrorist acts were committed against Kuibyshev, Menzhinsky and Gorky."
This was also confirmed by the persons who took a direct part in these assassinations. The dastardly design of the chief of the murderers , Yagoda, was executed in the most perfidious, dastardly and jesuitical fashion. Yagoda at first tried to deny all share in the organization of the murder of Maxim Alexeyevich Peshkov. He then admitted it in camera. He fully confirmed, as the records of the trial show, the testimony he gave in the preliminary investigation; he confirmed the fact that he had organized the murder of Maxim Peshkov, explaining that his unwillingness to speak of it was due to the fact that the motives of the murder were of a strictly personal character.
But Yagoda spoke about the murder of Menzhinsky in open session, denying, however, that there had been any personal or careerist motives for it. He explicitly said:
" I deny that in causing the death of Menzhinsky l was guided by considerations of a persona l nature. I aspired to the post of head of the O.G.P. U. not out of personal considerations, not for careerist considerations, but in the interests of our conspiratorial activity."
This is very probable, but the one does not exclude the other. That Yagoda is capable of murder for personal reasons is shown by his own confession regarding the murder of Maxim Pesbkov. He explicitly stated that the motives were personal ones. The possibility is therefore not excluded that Yagoda was guided by personal motives here too. .
He said that there was a special decision of the centre on this question, which decision was transmitted to him by Yenukidze.
It envisaged recourse to doctors, which furnished a perfect guarantee against exposure.
As we see, Yagoda is not a simple murderer. He is a murderer with a guarantee against detection. But here too his expecta tions have not been justified. The guarantee proved to be worth less, it failed. Yagoda and his vile and criminal activities have been exposed, exposed not by the treacherous intelligence service which was organized and directed against the interests of the Soviet state and our revolution by the traitor Yagoda, but by that genuine and truly Bolshevik intelligence service which is guided by one of Stalin's most remarkable comrades-in-arms Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov.
Yenukidze and Yagoda discussed what, from the standpoint of the guarantees that Yagoda sought, would be the best way of dispatching Menzhinsky and the other victims they had selected. Yagoda advances his crafty idea, namely, to cause death, as he says, by illness, or, as he put it here in Court: "I admit my guilt in the illness of Maxim Peshkov.,, This, by the way, is not as paradoxical as it might at first seem. It is not so paradoxical to create the conditions under which a weak and undermined or ganism would fall sick, and then to devise a method of treatment, or, as Pletnev put it, to foist on the weakened constitution some infection-not to combat the illness, to help not the patient but the infection, and thus to bring about the death of the patient . Yagoda has mastered the technique of slaying by the most crafty means. His was the last word in bandit "science," way beyond most other criminals, to whom the scope and depth of Yagoda 's criminal designs would have been incomprehensible. Yenukidze rejected Yagoda 's proposal to kill Sergei Miron ovich Kirov by illness. He said that Kirov was to be assassinated in the way the centre had decided. But, as Yagoda tells us, he promised that next time they would adopt the method and means proposed by Yagoda.
This time came when the next murders were discussed. "When Yenukidze conveyed to me the decision of the contact centre about the assassination of Kirov," Yagoda said, "I expressed my apprehension that a direct terrorist act might expose not only myself, but the whole organization as well. I pointed out to Yenukidze that there was a less dangerous method, and I reminded him, Yenukidze, how Menzhinsky's death was brought about with the help of physicians. Yenukidze replied that the assassination of Kirov must be carried out the way it was planned, that the Trotskyites and Zinovievites took it upon themselves to commit this murder, and that it was our business not to place any obstacles.
"As for the safe method of causing death with the help of physicians, Yenukidze said that in the near future the centre would discuss the question as to who exactly of the leaders of the Party and the government should be the first to be done to death by this method."
Could anything surpass the cynicism and perfidy of these people who with revolting calmness and coolness discussed which of the leaders of the Party and the government it would be best to murder, and what method should be adopted in order to avoid detection?
Yagoda further said:
"Some time later, during my next meeting with Yenukidze, he told me that the centre had decided to undertake a number of terrorist acts against members of the Political Bureau and, in addition, against Maxim Gorky personally. . . . Yenukidze explained to me that the 'bloc of Rights and Trotskyites,' considering that the overthrow of the Soviet government was a prospect of the near future, regarded Gorky as a dangerous figure. Gorky was a staunch supporter of Stalin's leadership, and in case the conspiracy was carried into effect, he would undoubtedly raise his voice in protest against us, the conspirators."
That is why the question of killing Alexei Maximovich Gorky was raised and finally decided by this bloc.
Another decision was to remove Valerian Vladimirovich Kui byshev, who was one of the active members of the Leninist Stalinist Political Bureau.
Thus, in the course of this brief period three victims, three remarkable men, met an untimely death by decision of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." Three of the finest people of our country, true sons of their fatherland, fell victim to a shameless conspiracy of traitors. And among them was the pride of Russian and world literature, the great Russian author and literary genius, Alexei Maximovich Gorky.
Every line of his songs and stories, of his novels and tales, breathes the spirit of nobility and the ardor of revolutionary action. It was not without good reason that he bound up his life with the great Lenin and the great Stalin, as one of their best and closest friends. It was not without good reason that Lenin several times wrote that Gorky was a man of great artistic talent who had done and would do much for the world proletarian movement.
It was not without good reason that Lenin wrote that Gorky was undoubtedly the greatest representative of proletarian art, who by his great artistic productions had formed firm ties with the working class of Russia and the world. Gorky sensed the coming storm, he foretold the victory of our movement, the triumph of the bright intellect of the proletariat over the murk and vileness of capitalism.
One of the finest friends of toiling mankind perished from the treacherous blows delivered at the sick heart of this great man. One of the brightest and mightiest beacons of human reason and human beauty was extinguished. This beacon was extinguished by these traitors, by these beasts in human form, who coldly and treacherously stopped forever the ardent and noble heart of this great man.
Everything has now been brought to light, We now know not only how the murders were committed, but the motives for the murders and the murderers themselves. Bessonov said that when in Paris in July 1934 he met Trotsky, who always rancorously hated Gorky, as also Gorky hated Trotsky, the super-bandit of international espionage and treachery, Trotsky then said that Gorky must be removed at all costs, that Gorky was widely popular as a close friend of StaIin's and as a champion of the general line of the Party. Trotsky gave Bessonov' direct orders to convey to Pyatakov. As Bessonov tells us, this message was couched in the most categorical form, namely, to physically destroy Gorky at all costs. And this order of the enemy of the people and super-bandit Trotsky was brought by Bessonov to this country, to the U.S.S.R., and transmitted to Pyatakov, transmitted to the bloc, which, as Yagoda has testified, and as I shall pro e later, accepted this order and adopted the decision to murder A. M. Gorky. This is so monstrous a crime that I consider it necessary to dwell upon it particularly and specially at greater length. The first question I should like to raise is whether Rykov and Bukharin took part in this affair, whether they knew that preparations were being made for this monstrous villainy. To this question I answer firmly and unhesitatingly: yes, they did know; yes, they did take part in it. I do not wish to use any other evidence, and particularly the evidence of Yagoda. I will use (1) the testimony of Rykov and Bukharin themselves, and (2) what I call the logic of things. What is the position? Just see what Rykov says on this subject. Rykov stated that he had had a talk with Yenukidze, that is, one of the most active members and organizers of the conspiratorial bloc. We have the evidence of Maximov-Dikovsky to show how active Yenukidze was in the organization of the assassinations. Yenukidze repeatedly summoned him and instructed him how best to cause the d!!ath of Valerian Vladimirovich Kuibyshev. Yenukidze and Yagoda had charge of this "job.» And it is with this Yenukidze that Rykov talked. What about? Let us take only what Rykov himself said: "Yenukidze told me that the Trotskyites and Zinovievites were extremely concerned because of the influence which Gorky was acquiring and because he was a determined supporter of Stalin and the general line of the Party." This is just what Bessonov was told by Trotsky in 1934, and what he brought here in the autumn of 1934 and transmitted to the bosses, the heads, the ringleaders of this bloc.
And so there follows from Rykov's testimony the first incontrovertibly established circumstance: in 1935 Rykov and Yenukidze had a conversation about Gorky; they talked about the tremendous influence which Alexei Maximovich Gorky wielded over public opinion as a .true friend and supporter of the general line of the Party, and as a true friend and supporter of the Stalin lead ership. And this is what worries the Trotskyites and Zinovievites, it worries them just as they were worried when they discussed the assassination of Serge n Mironovich Kirov. For they selected Sergei Mironovich Kirov as a victim of their villainy for the same reasons. And here you have the complete coincidence, the full historical logic of this conspiracy.
What came next? "They" (the Trotskyites and Zinovievites) "considered it necessary," said Rykov, "in view of this significance of Gorky's-and his significance both abroad and in our country required no confirmation-they insisted, as he phrased it, on putting an end to Gorky's political activity.'' If Rykov had said only that, it would have been enough. Even a child could have understood what this implied. How can the political activity of a grown man be put an end to in our country? How could Gorky be compelled to stop being politically active in the direction he had displayed himself, as a champion of the Bolshevik, Leninist Stalinist truth? How could he be compelled to do this?
Men like Al Capone in America organize gangster raids, kidnap people or their children, and then demand ransom. But this is impossible in our country, because we make short shrift of Al Capones. How in our country, in the conditions that exist in the Soviet state, could it be made impossible for Gorky to display political activity except by taking his life? And in reply to my question, Rykov explicitly stated: "He," that is, Yenukidze, "spoke in such a raised voice, or in such sharply hostile expressions, that it was clear to me that this tone concealed the possibility of the employment of violent measures." Consequently, I consider it quite definitely established that in 1935 Yenukidze and Rykov talked in a tone menacing to the life of Gorky. And it was quite clear to Rykov that measures of violence against Gorky were intended. And I again asked the same question: "What were these violent measures'?' Did you count on isolating Gorky, did you count on keeping him in some sort of confinement? How could that be done in our country, in the country of the proletarian dictatorship?" This could be done in only one way, by slaying Gorky. Rykov understands that only this could have been implied, and only in this way are we entitled to interpret this criminal conversation, which amounted to nothing else than that Yenukidze was informing Rykov of the preparations for the assassination of Alexei Maximovich Gorky.
And finally, in reply to my last question during the Court investigation: "What does 'going to the extent of violent measures' mean? May it also mean murder?"-Rykov explicitly answered: "Of course."
I asked Rykov: "You knew that preparations for Gorky's murder were being made?'' How would Rykov have answered this question if he had known nothing about the crime? He would have answered: "I did not know." But what did Rykov say? Here is the stenographic report. He said: "Not exactly." Not exactly, but he did know!
I regard as fully proved and established the following facts, from which only one conclusion follows, namely, that Rykov took part in the preparations for the murder of A M. Gorky. Firstly, Yenukidze and Rykov spoke in 1935 about the particular rancor which the bloc entertained against Alexei Maximovich Gorky. It is true that they tried to lay this at the door of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite part of the bloc; but this does not change the situation in any way. Secondly, they expressed this rancour in tones which implied preparations for violent measures designed "to put an end to Gorky's political activity." And thirdly, the idea of putting an end to Gorky's political activity included even the adoption of violent measures against Gorky.
Fourthly, these violent measures included the assassination of Alexei Maximovich Gorky. Rykov and Bukharin knew about these violent measures. They knew that preparations were being made for the assassination of Gorky, they organized this assassination, they shielded this assassination. Rykov and Bukharin were therefore participants in this vilest assassination of AM. Gorky. And Bukharin-that damnable cross of a fox and a swine how does he behave here on this question? As befits a fox and a swine. He squirms and wriggles. But in the end Bukharin virtually says the same as Rykov. Let us take this part of Bukharin's testimony. Allow me to refer to the following part of his testimony:
" In 1935 Tomsky told me that Trotsky was preparing some hostile action or hostile act against Gorky."
How did Tomsky know about this? He of course knew about it from Bessonov, who had brought these instructions from abroad. And what were Trotsky's instructions? To destroy Gorky, to destroy him physically. Bukharin testifies:
"Tomsky said that Trotsky was preparing a hostile action or a hostile act against Gorky.''
I ask, through whom was Trotsky preparing this hostile action? Through this bloc, of course, which was in the hands of Trotsky, through the bloc in which were intermingled Rights and Trotskyites, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, bourgeois nationalists and just scoundrels of all shades, degrees and categories.
This fact has been established. Bukharin himself admitted that in 1935, a year before Gorky's death, Tomsky had informed Bukharin that Trotsky was preparing a hostile act against Gorky. This is exactly what Rykov said when he reported his conversation with Yenukidze, and this, in its turn, is what was said by Bessonov when reporting the conversation he had had with Trotsky in Paris in July 1934. There are no divergences here at all.
Let us examine the second question: What exactly was this hostile act, what did this hostile act represent? It is not so easy to get a direct reply to a direct question from Bukharin.
I asked Bukharin: "What did this hostile act consist in?" He gave no direct answer. He said: "Action against the 'Stalinite Gorky,' as a defender of Socialist construction in general, and of Stalin's Party policy in particular." That is what they had in mind. "This referred to the great resonance that every word uttered by Alexei Maximovich found on the international arena in general, and among intellectuals in particular."
Here again we have complete coincidence of the facts of which Rykov spoke, of which Bessonov spoke, of which Yagoda knew and spoke, and of which Bulanov knew and spoke. Here everything is organically connect ed.
I asked: "Did Tomsky link up the perpetration of a hostile act against Gorky with the question of the overthrow of the Soviet government?" Bukharin answered that "in essence he did." Con sequently, it was not merely a question of causing Gorky some personal unpleasantness, or as Rykov, in his involved way, said "putting an end to his political activity," but of committing such a hostile act against Gorky as would directly represent one of the elements in the overthrow of the Soviet power.
Clearly, when put in this way, the intention was not to deprive Gorky of the possibility of writing articles or giving lectures although even that is beyond your power, gentlemen murderers. Consequently, we must here recognize what Bukharin confirmed namely, that the hostile act against Gorky was associated with the aim of overthrowing the Soviet power and was one of the acts in the struggle against the Soviet power.
We know how the pl.otters conceived the struggle against the Soviet power. Their methods were terrorism, treason, etc
Bukharin said that when one speaks of a hostile act it may mean anything, including a terrorist act; the amplitude is here very great. Bukharin admits that at the time, the murder of Gorky was not precluded. This is a veiled admission, which completely incriminates Bukharin.
I have already spoken of the method by which were committed the three terrorist acts-against Menzhinsky, against Kuibyshev and against Alexei Maximovich Gorky.
The method by which these murders were committed is worthv of attention. It is the method of killing by degrees, "murder with a guarantee," as Yagoda put it-it is the method of murdering with the help of the expert knowledge of accomplices. Not a bad idea! Levin, Pletnev, Kazakov, Maximov-Dikovsky, Kryuchkov and Bulanov-this gang of murderers, of specially trained mur derers, had a hand in this "affair." I should like to draw your attention to the particular method employed and the particular role played in the commission of this murder by the accused physicians Levin, Kazakov and Pletnev. But first I would like to make a few remarks. We know from the history and chronicles of criminal murder that during the last few decades poisoning through the aid of professional murderers has practically ceased.
The place of these poisoners has been taken by doctors. If you examine the handbook on medical jurisprudence by Dr. Karl Emmert, Professor at the University of Berne, you will find some extremely edifying remarks. Emmert says:
"Murder by poisoning has become rarer than in former times, partly because it has become more difficult for laymen to obtain poisons. The professional poisoner is therefore not to be met with as frequently as in the old days. Such as there are are frequently members of the medical profession."
It is therefore with good reason that Yagoda chooses precisely doctors for his monstrous design and its realization . He reckons with historical circumstances, so to speak.
There are a number of historical examples which show that all murderers who employ poisons of any kind exert every effort to escape detection. It is highly characteristic that in a number of cases poisoning is performed in such a way that the very poisoning may-as Yagoda had planned-be represented as natural death from disease.
It must first be explained that poisoning effected in accordance with the modern scientific view is one of the varieties, and the most dangerous variety, of what is known to science as treacherous murder, the danger of which lies in the fact that it does not require the use of any specific substances fatal to human life, and that any substance may be used for this criminal purpose. History teaches us that all that is required for such a poisoning is to introduce in to the organism any substance capable of curtailing the duration of life, or of causing death. And these substances are not always what are specifically termed poisons. There are a number of medicinal substances which by their very nature and character are suitable for this, and criminals often take advantage of the fact .
From history, from Tacitus, for example, we know of such cases as the murder of Seanus by a poison which made it appear that Seanus died from an ordinary ailment. It is in this that the art of crime consists. It is a known fact that Philip II made very wide use of a poison which could not be detected even by the most scrupulous investigation, a poison which he named "Requiescat in pace" (may he rest in peace). We know that John of Castile was done to death by means of poisoned footwear. Finally, we know that Pope Clement II was killed by the fumes of a poisoned candle. Consequently, it is a known fact that people were killed by murderers who took advantage of their privileged position and a knowledge of chemistry, medicine .a nd pharmacology, and who employed the most varied methods in committing their murders.
We remember the famous case of Buturlin. Buturlin's murderer was none other than Dr. Panchenko, who was very widely known in pre-revolutionary Russia and who engaged in the distribution and application of a medicine known as "Pel's Spermine." Dr. Panchenko, pretending that he was using "Pel's Spermine," inoculated the patient with diphtheria bacilli and killed him with diphtheria.
This was exposed quite by accident. Had it not been for Dr. Panchenko's confession, Buturlin's murder would probably never have been disclosed. Had it not been for Levin's confession, it is possible that the mi111utely elaborated criminal plan of the murder of Comrades Menzhinsky, Kuibyshev and Gorky would not have been disclosed. ·
Finally, I may mention the famous case of Prochar, who caused his victim to suffer from a chronic gastric catarrh and in this way brought about her death. And lastly, the case of Dr. Palmer, who poisoned his victim with arsenic and strychnine, which he used in doses permitted by medical science. Here, finally, we have an example which tells us that when we speak of poisoning we must not think that only potassium cyanide, arsenic, and so forth, has to be used. No, very frequently murderers use physicians and medical science ostensibly in order to effect a cure, but in reality in order to achieve their criminal purpose.
. The cases of Palmer, Prochar, Panchenko and numerous other historical examples could be cited in proof of the fact that the path which Yagoda selected was a path suggested by a detailed study of the history of crime, of the history of .murders which were perpetrated in various countries by various monsters in human shape. Finally, I must say that it was precisely on these lines that the criminal murderers planned a terrorist act against Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhoy. For this murder was also planned very craftily-by means of poisoning the air which Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was to breathe in his office, by poisoning the air with mercury dis solved in an acid. Moreover, Yagoda warned that under no circumstances was sulfuric acid to be used, because sulfuric acid leaves traces and could burn the window shades and curtains, which, on Yagoda's instructions, were to be saturated, so that by inhaling this air Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov might die.
Comrades Judges, I want to recall to your minds some of the findings of the experts with regard to thic; question, which leave no room whatever for doubt as to the fact that this very crafty, perfidious and dastardly plan was conceived by Yagoda with the knowledge and approval of the Right and Trotskyite centre, particularly in respect of Kuibyshev, Gorky and Nikolai lvanovich Yezhov, whom they wanted to get out of the way in order to escape exposure.
First of all, I draw your attention to the fact that the commission of experts was made up of foremost representatives of Soviet and world medical science. I also draw your attention to the fact that this commission of experts arrived at a unanimous conclusion the commission of experts confirmed that the means which the murderers used in bringing about the death of A. M. Gorky.
V. V. Kuibyshev and V.R. Menzhinsky were in fact minutely planned and that they resulted in the death of these foremost people, which these gentlemen were striving to bring about.
- In the case of the death of Gorky, the following questions were put to the commission of experts:
'·Can it be granted that properly qualified physicians could have adopted such a wrong method of
treatment without -malicious intent?"
The reply was: "It cannot."· . ·
Another question put to the commission of experts:
"Is it permissible in general for prolonged doses of heart stimulants, namely, digitalis, digalen (extracts of fox glove), strophanthin and strophanthus, to be administered in intravenously, subcutaneously and internally at the same time, and, in particular, in the case of the very sick patient
A. M: Gorky, who was sixty-eight years of age, and suffered from the above-mentioned affection of the internal organs?"
The reply of- the commission of experts: "Absolutely impermissible."
Another question: "May it be regarded as established, on the basis of the sum total of these facts, that the method of treatment of A. M. Gorky was a deliberate act of wrecking? "
The reply of the commission of experts: "Yes, it can be taken as established beyond doubt."
And we have the same findings in the other cases.
Therefore I make bold to state that the charges contained in the indictment and sustained by me as the State Prosecutor may be considered as fully proved in this part also. The charge is here also entirely and fully corroborated by the findings of a most authoritative commission of medical experts which thoroughly investigated all the materials that were placed at its disposal. Neither, it is clear, can we discard the confessions of the accused.
In speaking of this part of the charges I want to dwell particularly on two of the accused-Yagoda and Levin.
With regard to Yagoda there is not much to say. Yagoda was the main organizer and inspirer of these monstrous crimes. His responsibility is all the greater and graver since, after all, Yagoda is not just Yagoda, but the man who at that time was Assistant Chairman of the O.G.P.U.,actual Chairman of the OGPU. He is the man whose duty it was to protect the safety of the state. If Yagoda had committed only a millionth part of the crimes which he did commit, and to which he confessed, even then I would be justified in demanding from the Court that Yagoda be shot.
Levin also played a very important part in these murders. Levin was the main organizer of the murders which had been conceived by Yagoda; he enlisted the services of both Kazakov and Pletnev for these purposes; he was, I might say, Yagoda's right hand in this business, just as Bulanov was Yagoda's right hand in all of the latter's crimes in their entirety.
When Alexei Maximovich Gorky perished at the hands of Levin, Levin, Doctor of Medical Sciences, published an -obituary in the newspapers: "The Last Days of Alexei Maximovich .Gorky.» In this obituary he wrote, he sighed, he sobbed over the death of the great man. "Great men," he wrote pharisaically, hypocritically, with duplicity, "live and die like great men." "Live and die like great men!" Levin did not add: "by the hand of the author of this obituary, one of the dastardly murderers"!
If we should now consider this article in connection with the findings of the commission of experts, it would present a certain, in my opinion, considerable interest for the estimation of Levin's part in this murder.
In the first place, we find here an exposure of the technique of bringing about Alexei Maximovich's death, which has now been revealed to the full. It is the technique which was primarily directed at the therapeutical preparation of the murder of Alexei Maximovich.
Levin wrote in this obituary:
"In the ten years during which Alexei Maximovich was under my medical observation this was the sixth time he fell ill with the grippe. Each time the grippe invariably caused complications of bronchitis and catarrhal pneumonia."
Hence Levin was already well aware in what direction to look for complications in this struggle of Alexei Maximovich Gorky with his ailment.
"At each attack of the illness this indomitable fighter suffered severely under it, each time there was cause for alarm from the very first days of his illness. When people asked me during the good calm periods of Alexei Maximovich's life about the state of his health, I always answered:
" 'Comparatively well, but only till the first grippe.' " And further:
"I knew from experience what a severe course the grippe takes in the case of Alexei Maximovich, how rapidly it affects his lungs-the place of least resistance in his system-and how frightful it is with his lungs transmuted owing to an old tubercular process and with his sick heart. Thus, his powerful constitution made it possible for us to emerge victorious for five times, and Alexei Maimovich's constitution was powerful indeed. Gorky was of those people who live to be a hundred, and he would undoubtedly have lived to be a hundred if not for the vicious tuberculosis."
The murderer is giving away the secret of the murder. It is precisely here where the place of least resistance lies-physicians call it locus minor is resistential-and it was to this spot that the perpetrators of the murder directed their main blow aimed at the sick A. M. Gorky. .
Shameful duplicity, perfidy, hypocrisy are here rivalled by the shamelessness of the poisoner, who weeps at the bed of the victim of his so-called "treatment.,,
That is the kind of man this Levin represents! Not so much difference between him and Yagoda!
In conclusion, I should like to remind you of Yagoda 's evidence, in which he shows his real moral and human. if this expression could be used here, countenance. Here are extracts from Yagoda's evidence, on p. 58 of the record.
"All my life I wore a mask, I posed as an irreconcilable Bolshevik. Actually, I never. was a Bolshevik in the real sense. .,
"My petty-bourgeois origin, lack of theoretical. training:-all this brought it a out that from the very beginning of the organization of the Soviet power I had no faith in the final victory of the cause of the Party."...
"I did not share the views and the program of the Trotskyites, but still I followed the course -of the struggle with great attention, having made up my mind beforehand that I would join the side which emerged victorious from this struggle. Hence the special line which I pursued during that period in the fight with Trotskyism.
"When measures of repression began to be taken against the Trotskyitest the question as to who would come out the victor (the Trotskyites or the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) was as yet not finally settled. In any event, that was what I thought. Therefore I, as Assistant Chairman of the O.G.P.U in carrying out the punitive policy, did it in a way that would not arouse the anger of the Trotskyites against me. When I was sending Trotskyites into exile, I created for them such conditions in their places of exile as enabled them to continue their activity.
"Things took the following shape: on the one hand, my conversations with Rykov determined my personal sympathy for the program of the Right s. On the other hand, from all that Rykov told me about the Rights, about the fact that, besides himself, Bukharin, Tomsky and Uglanov, the Rights had on their side the entire Moscow organization, the Leningrad organization and the trade unions-all this created the impression in my mind that the Rights might win in the struggle with the Central Committee. And since at that time they already raised the question of changing the leadership of the Party and of the Soviet government, it was clear that the Rights were heading for power.
"It was precisely for the reason that to my mind the Rights seemed a real power that I told Rykov that I was on their side.
"That is why I came to an understanding with 'Rykov about the special position which I was to occupy among the Rights.»
So it turns out that Rykov quite definitely influenced even Yagoda. For, essentially, what Yagoda is speaking about is the old school of treachery and duplicity, the school of a political careerist and infamous scoundrel; it is the system of Joseph Fouche. I cannot refrain from citing only a few lines from Stefan Zweig's well known book "Joseph Fouche."
"Among the seven hundred and fifty who solemnly entered the hall of the dethroned king, silently, with a tri-colour band across his breast, enters the people's representative, Joseph Fouche, deputy for the city of Nantes. His tonsure already_ grown over with hair, the clerical garb discarded long ago, like everyone else here, he wears civilian clothes, without any decorations.
"Where will Joseph Fouche take his seat? Among the Radi cals, on the Mountain, or with the Moderates, in the Valley? Joseph Fouche does not hesitate too long; he recognizes only on pa:ty, to which he will remain true to the end: the party which 1s th_e strongest, the party of the majority. And this time, too, he weighs the pros and cons and counts under his breath the number of votes; he sees that at the present moment the power is still with the Gironde, with the Moderates. And so he takes his seat on their benches, next to Condorcet, Roland, Servan, to those who hold ministerial posts, influence all appointments and distribute the spoils. In their midst he feels himself at ease, that is where he takes his seat."
That is the source from which Yagoda drew his spiritual strength, if ever he was acquainted with the life and activities of Joseph Fouche. I doubt it, because in the testimony and in the records of the case we find only one mention of his acquaintance with literature, and that refers to Alexandre Dumas' "The Three Musketeers," who were Yagoda s ideal, for, as it appears from the testimony given by Bulanov, Yagoda used to say that, in order to ensure success in seizing power, it was necessary to select a few dozen dashing fellows like the three musketeers, with whose help one could do anything one liked.
Such is Yagoda, who occupies a position of importance in the dock next to Bukharin and Rykov. He is one of the biggest plotters, one of the foremost enemies of the Soviet power, one of the most brazen traitors, a man who tried to organize a group in the very People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs and who partly organized one, consisting of the traitors Pauker, Volovich, Gai, Vinetsky, and others who turned out to be Polish and German spies and intelligence service agents. Such a one was Yagoda himself, who instead of directing our glorious intelligence service to promote the interests of the Soviet people, the interests of Socialist construction, tried to turn it against our people, against our revolution, against Socialism.
The attempt failed, it miscarried! Yagoda was exposed, he was thrown out of our state apparatus, put in the dock, disarmed, and now he must be thrown out, he must be completely eradicated from life.
I am coming to the end. In conclusion I want to raise a few questions which I would describe as legal questions.
First of all, the question of complicity. The Court investigation has shown that not all the accused participated to an equal extent in the crimes which were reviewed at this trial.
Hence the question: To what extent and in what degree can and should each of the accused be held answerable for the charges preferred against them in the indictment?
The second question: to what extent and in what degree have the charges preferred against the accused been proved?
And the third question: What punishment do the accused deserve?
I shall answer the second question first. Have the crimes committed by the accused been proved, and in what degree? I think that in your verdict, Comrades Judges, you will reply to this question in the affirmative: Yes, they have been proved. They have been proved by the confessions of the accused themselves, they have been proved by the witnesses who appeared before the Court, they have been proved by the findings of the medical expert investigation, they have been proved by material evidence.
We have here the sum total of proofs conceivable in criminal proceedings; it is now at the disposal of the Court . On the basis of these proofs the Court will be able to pass its final·decision with regard to the degree of guilt of one or the other of the criminals who committed these crimes.
But there is one more very important proof, and that is the logic itself of the circumstances of the case.
The main charge preferred against the accused in the present case is covered by Articles 581• and 5811, dealing with the organization of treasonable conspiracy. This charge has been proved by the confessions of all the accused, including those who did not admit their guilt in full or who admitted only part of their guilt in another crime. This must be said with regard to all the accused.
Secondly, according to our law, to what extent must each of the accused be held answerable for the aggregate of the crimes committed by this gang of conspirators. To this question I answer: Fully. Why?
Each of t he accused must be held answerable for the sum total of the crimes as a member of a conspiratorial organization whose criminal objects and aims, and whose criminal methods of carrying out these aims,:were known to, approved of and accepted by each of the accused. Here we observe only a peculiar ·"division of labour" in criminal activities, depending on the special qualities and ·means which each member of the gang possessed. This is entirely natural and:logical from·the point of view of the conspiracy as a whole.
There-is an opinion current among criminologists that in order to establish complicity it is necessary -to establish common agreement and an intent on the part of each of the criminals, of the accomplices, for each of the crimes. This viewpoint is wrong. We cannot accept-it and we have never applied or accepted it. It is narrow and scholastic. Life is broader than this viewpoint. Life knows of examples when the results of joint criminal activity are brought about through the independent participation in such activity by individual accomplices, who are united only by a single criminal object common to all of them. ,
To establish complicity, we must establish that there is a common line uniting the accomplices in a given crime, that there is a common criminal design. To establish complicity, it is necessary to establish the existence of a united will directed toward a single object common to all the participants in the crime. If, say, a gang of robbers will act in such a way that one part of its members will set fire to houses, violate women, murder and so on, in one place, while another part of the gang will do the same in another place, then even if neither the one nor the other knew of the crimes committed separately by any section of the common gang, they will be held answerable to the full for the sum total of the crimes, if only it is proved that they had agreed to participate in this gang for the purpose of committing the various crimes.
In this case, Comrades Judges, we are dealing with a conspiratorial group, with an agency of foreign intelligence services, united by a will common to all its members, by a criminal aim which is the same for all of them. The concrete crimes which were committed by the individual criminals were only particular cases of putting.into effect this plan of criminal activities, which was common to all of them.
This community of criminal activity is legally expressed in the charge preferred against all the accused and dealt with in Article 5811 of the Criminal Code of the R.S.F.S.R.
This, however, does not mean that all must answer to the same extent.: This does not preclude the obligation for the Court to individualize the punishment according to the concrete part of each of the accused in the present case.
From this point of view, I think that of all the accused, two should be singled out-I refer to Rakovsky and Bessonov. I think that Rakovsky, although he committed very grave crimes against the Soviet state, against the Soviet power, still, owing to his entire position in this conspiracy, owing to the fact that be was in a certain way, if one may say so, isolated from the most important crimes committed by the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," deserves that with regard to him a less severe measure of punishment should be applied than with regard to the rest of the accused.
To a certain extent the ·same may be said about Bessonov, who, of course, differs from Chernov, Rosengoltz, Krestinsky or Rykov, even if for the reason that his part was confined to the role of a liaison man, which, although it is also criminal, must be considered in its essence as different from the crimes of the main accused in the present case.
With regard to these persons I should consider it possible to apply the law of October 2, 1937, which permits the Court, in special cases, to apply a measure of punishment ranging between ten years' deprivation of liberty and the supreme measure of social protection. I think that with regard to Rakovsky and Bessonov the Court might confine its sentence to 25 years' imprisonment. All the accused stand convicted of having, according to the indictment, in 1932-33 organized, on the instructions of intelligence services of foreign states, a conspiratorial group called the " bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," which set itself the aim of committing the crimes which have been fully proved here.
It has been proved that this bloc consisted of agents of the intelligence services of several foreign states, it has been proved that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" maintained regular illegitimate relations with certain foreign states with the object of obtaining their help for putting into effect its criminal designs, for the overthrow of the Soviet government and for establishing the power of the landlords and capitalists in the U.S.S. R. It has been proved that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" regularly engaged in espionage on behalf of these states and supplied their intelligence services with most important state secret material.
It has been proved that in pursuance of the same aims the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites '' systematically perpetrated wrecking and diversionist acts in various branches of our national economy in the sphere of industry, agriculture, finance, municipal economy, railways, etc.
It has been proved that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" organized a number of terrorist acts against leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) and of the Soviet government, that this "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" perpetrated terrorist acts against S..M. Kirov, V. R. Menzhinsky. V. V. Kuibyshev, A. M. Gorky, and also brought about the death of M. A. Peshkov.
It has been proved that the bloc had organized, but fortunately for us had not succeeded in effecting , a number of-terrorist acts against the leaders of our Party and government.
Such are the circumstances of t he present case. Such is the part taken in this case by each of the accused who are now awaiting your verdict, Comrades Judges.
There exist no words with which one could depict the monotonousness of the crimes commit ted by t he accused. But, I ask, do we need any more words for that? No, Comrades Judges, these words are not needed. A-ll t he words have already been spoken. Everything has been analysed to the minutest details. The entire people now sees what these monsters are.
Our people and all honest people throughout the world are waiting for your just verdict. May this verdict of yours resound through the whole of our great country like a bell calling to new feats of heroism and to new victories! May your verdict resound as the refreshing and purifying thunderstorm of just Soviet punishment!
Our whole country, from young to old, is awaiting and demanding one thing: the traitors and spies who were selling our country to the enemy must be shot like dirty dogs!
Our people are demanding one thing: crush the accursed reptile!
Time will pass. The graves of the hateful traitors will grow over with weeds and thistle, they will be covered with the eternal contempt of honest Soviet citizens, of the entire Soviet people. But over us, over our happy country, our sun will shine with its luminous rays as bright and as joyous as before. Over the road cleared of the last scum and filth of the past, we, our people, with our beloved leader and teacher, the great Stalin, at our head, will march as before onward and onward, towards Communism !
THE PRESIDENT: The Court is adjourned until 8 p. m.
[Signed] PRESIDENT: V. ULRICH
Army Military Jurist
President of the Military Collegium of
the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.
SECRETARY: A. BATNER
Military Jurist First Rank