REPORT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS

REPORT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS

THE CASE OF THE

TROTSKYITE-ZINOVIEVITE TERRORIST CENTRE  

August 19 (evening session)

EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED DREITZER

The first to be examined at the evening session of August 19 is the accused Dreitzer. Dreitzer was one of the most prominent Trotskyites. He had been chief of Trotsky's bodyguard. Together with Trotsky, he had organized the counter-revolutionary demonstration on November 7, 1927. When Trotsky was in exile in Alma-Ata, Dreitzer organized the communications between Trotsky and the Moscow Trotskyite centre.

The accused Dreitzer states that the Trotskyite-Zinovievite underground organization was a stricly centralized and disciplined counter-revolutionary organization. Dreitzer categorically and emphatically denies that there could be any possibility of halfheartedness in the attitude of any one of the members of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite counter-revolutionary bloc  towards terroristic activity.

"There could be no acting on one's own, no orchestra without a conductor among us," stated Dreitzer. "I am surprised at the assertions of Smirnov, who, according to his words, both knew and did not know, spoke and did not speak, acted and did not act. This is not true!"

Relating his terroristic activities in detail Dreitzer says that the Trotskyite section of the counter-revolutionary bloc  had received instructions to resort to terrorism against the leaders of the Party and the government from abroad, from L. D. Trotsky, and here from I. N. Smirnov, Trotsky's deputy in the U.S.S.R.

In the autumn of 1931, Dreitzer took advantage of an official business trip to Berlin to establish contact with Trotsky at the instructions from I. N. Smirnov.

Smirnov's definite instructions were to ascertain Trotsky's attitude on the qestion of a bloc  between the Trotskyites and the Zinovievites in Berlin he twice met Sedov (Trotsky's son), in a cafe in Leipziger Strasse. Sedov then told him that Trotsky's instructions would be sent on later.

In October 1934 Dreitzer's sister brought him from Warsaw a German cinema magazine which an agent of Sedov's had given her for Dreitzer. In the magazine Dreitzer had no difficulty in discovering - as this form of communication had been agreed upon with Sedov in Berlin - a message written in invisible ink in Trotsky's own handwriting containing instructions to prepare and to carry out immediately terroristic acts against Stalin and Voroshilov. Dreitzer at once passed the letter on to Mrachkovsky who, after reading it, burnt it for reasons of sectecy.

As far back as September-October 1931 I. N. Smirnov had spoken to Dreitzer in the U.S.S.R. about the necessity to follow the line of terroristic methods of struggle. In the autumn of 1932, Dreitzer received from I. N. Smirnov, in the latter's apartment, direct instructions to organize terroristic acts against Stalin and Voroshilov. Smirnov, referring to the line taken by Trotsky, there and then instructed Dreitzer to establish contact with Mrachkovsky for the purpose of making practical preparations for and carrying out terroristic acts. "My next meeting with Ivan Nikitich Smirnov," said Dreitzer, "took place in 1932. This was in the autumn. At that meeting he informed me that the question of bloc  had been settled, that the bloc  had already been formed, and had been formed on the basis of Trotsky's terroristic line."

In the spring of 1933 Mrachkovsky repeated to Dreitzer the instruktions of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre to expedite the acts of terror against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government. Moreover, on leaving Moscow, Mrachkovsky put at Dreitzer's disposal a number of terrorists he had trained. In addition to Smirnov and Mrachkovsky, Dreitzer was very closely connected with Reingold and Pickel, together with whom he belonged to the Moscow terrorist centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc. 

Carrying out the instructions of L. D. Trotsky and the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre, conveyed to him by Smirnov and Mrachkovsky, Dreitzer organized two terrorist groups: Gayevsky's group, which was instructed to commit a terroristic act against Comrade Stalin, and Esterman's group, which was instructed to kill Comrade Voroshilov.

In connection with Dreitzer's evidence the State Prosecutorquestions Mrachkovsky and I. N. Smirov.

Mrachkovsky fully confirms Dreitzer's testimony.

Smirnov asserts that he actually did receive in his apartment Dreitzer as an active Trotskyite; however, he allegedly discussed with him, not terrorism but "the general situation in the country."

Mrachkovsky and Dreitzer in reply to this declare: "Smirnov is lying!"

Upon the conclusion of Dreitzer's examination Comrade Vyshinsky puts several questions to the accused Zinoviev.

Vyshinsky:  Accused Zinoviev, in the summer of 1932 had you alredy come to an understanding about the necessity of organizing terroristic acts, or was there only talk about these terroristic acts?

Zinoviev:  As far as I can picture it, the situation was as follows: With the Trotskyites this was already a mature decision, based on the absolutely precise instructions of Trotsky given a fairly long time before that, and they had taken a number of practical steps.

Vyshinsky:  What was the attitude of the Trotskyite part of your bloc  on the question of terrorism?

Zinoviev:  In our negatiations on the formation of a united centre this question played a decisive part. By that time the so-called Zinovievite part of the bloc  was fully ripe for such decisions.

Vyshinsky:  Did Smirnov display any activity in relation to this, or not?

Zinoviev:  Smirnov, in my opinion, displayed more activity than any one else, and we regarded him as the undisputed head of the Trotskyite part of the bloc,  as the man best informed about Trotsky's views, and fully sharing these views.

Vyshinsky:  Did you personally hear a number of proposals from Smirnov?

Zinoviev:  I personally conducted negotiations with him two or three times.

Vyshinsky:  Did Smirnov display persistence during these negotiations, did he press for terroristic acts?

Zinoviev:  As I have already said, he heatedly and with much persuasion insisted on the commission of terroristic acts, although there was no need to persuade us. We were already convinced.

Vyshinsky:  I ask the court to note that the testimony of Zinoviev, Reingold and Dreitzer establishes that after 1932 practical preparations were made for terroristic acts, and that Dreitzer carried these on on the direct instructions of Smirnov; and that Smirnov persistently urged Zinoviev to pass on to terroristic activities. I ask you to take note of this as aconclusion to be drawn from the investigation which we have carried on so far.

 

 

 
EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED REINGOLD

I. I. Reingold confirms that he was one of the most active members of the Zinovievite underground counter-revolutionary organization, was all the time in direct contact with G. E. Zinoviev and L. B. Kamenev, took part in all the secret conferences of the Zinovievites and at one time was invited by Zinoviev and Kamenev to take part in drawing up the platform of the counter-revolutionary organization they were heading, was a member of the Moscow Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, organizer of terroristic groups and personally directed one of the groups which was preparing to assassinate Comrade Stalin.

Reingold says: "I was connected organizationally and personally with a number of members of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre: Zinoviev, Kamenev, Sokolnikov and others. With some of these I was connected long before 1926. In particular I have been acquainted with Kamenev since 1923 and with Sokolnikov since 1919. As for the Trotskyite part of this centre, Dreitzer was my personal friend; I was in very close touch with Mrachkovsky at my official job, as Mrachkovsky worked under me at the head offices of the Central Cotton Committee. I also knew I. N. Smirnov very well. I was in close contact also with Zinoviev." Continuing, Reingold says: "I can confirm that Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bakayev, Evdokimov, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky, Ter-Vaganyan and Sokolnikov were members of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre. Negotiations were carried on about joint activity with the 'Leftists': Shatskin, Lominadze and Sten, and also with the representatives of the Right deviation: Rykov, Bukharin and Tomsky." "The idea of the Zinovievites uniting with the Trotskyites," says Reingold, "arose as far back as 1931. Meeting Zinoviev in his apartment and in his villa that year, I heard him say that it was a pity that we had fallen out with Trotsky." Continuing his testimony, Reingold states that in discussing the general political situation, Zinoviev emphasized that the economic position of the Soviet Union had become stronger and that it was absolutely no use talking about collapse. It was necessary to unite all the forces opposed to the present leadership. That is how the way was paved for abloc  with the Trotskyites. The basis for the union of the Trotskyites with the Zinovievites, emphasizes Reingold, was terrorism.

Vyshinsky:  How did Zinoviev and Kamenev reconcile terroristic activities with Marxism?

Reingold:  In 1932, Zinoviev, at Kamenev's apartment, in the presence of a number of members of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre argued in favor of resorting to terror as follows: although terror is incompatible with Marxism, at the present moment these considerations must be abandoned. There are no other methods available of fighting the leaders of the Party and the Government at the present time. Stalin combines in himself all the strength and firmness of the present Party leadership. Therefore Stalin must be put out of the way in the first place. Kamenev enlarged on this theory and said that the former methods of fighting, namely, attempts to win the masses, combinations with the leaders of the Rightists, and banking on economic difficulties, have failed. That is why the only method of strugge available is terroristic acts against Stalin and his closest comrades-in-arms, Kirov, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Orjonikidze, Postyshev, Kossior and the others.

"For this purpose," continued Reingold, "it was decided to create an organization of the most carefully chosen and resolute people who could go right through with the job. Simultaneously, negotiations were carried on with the leaders of the Rightists: Bukharin and Tomsky. After these negotiations Zinoviev definitely said that he had found common political ground with Tomsky in appraising the policy of our country. These conversations continued in 1932 and were carried on between Kamenev, Tomsky and Rykov. Communication with Bukharin was maintained through Karev, an active Zinovievite who was closely connected with the two terroristic groups of Slepkov and Eismont."

Reingold then proceeds to relate his own counter-revolutionary activity which consisted in organizing terrorist groups to assassinate Comrades Stalin and other leaders of the Party and the Government. He enumerates a number of such groups which were directed by Bakayev.

Continuing, Reingold says: "There was an interruption in our terroristic activities between the autumn of 1932 and the summer of 1933 caused by the fact that Zinoviev and Kamenev were compromised in connection with the Ryutin case. In connection with that, in the beginning of 1933, at one of the conferences held in the apartment of Bogdan, Zinoviev's former private secretary, Evdokimov passed on the instruction in the name of the united centre to suspend terroristic work until Zinoviev and Kamenev had returned from exile, until they had declared their repentance, were reinstated in the Party and had gained a certain amount of confidence."

Vyshinsky:  Did Evdokimov say that?

Reingold:  Evdokimov spoke about that.

Vyshinsky:  Did Evdokimov know that Zinoviev and Kamenev were to declare their repentance?

Reingold:  He did. He knew that this was in the nature of the Zinovievite organization, which in the past had had no little experience in this sort of repentance.

Reingold goes on to tell Court about the duplicity which Zinoviev and Kamenev had elevated to a system. Zinoviev and Kamenev, he says, insisted upon every advantage being taken of legal possibilities for the purpose of "crawling on the belly into the Party" - this was Zinoviev's favourite expression - and of winning the confidence of the Party, particularly of Stalin. After this confidence had been restored, strictly secret terroristic work was to be carried on parallel with open work. The combination of these two methods represented the means which, as Zinoviev and Kamenev calcoulated, could bring them to power. In the event of a success of the terroristic plans, continues Reingold, Zinoviev and Kamenev, having been reinstated in the Party under Stalin, having been forgiven by him, thought they could return to power in the "natural" way.

Vyshinsky:  I understand then from what you say that both Kamenev and Zinoviev proceeded along two lines: on the one hand they did all they possibly could to display their loyalty, their devotion to the Party, while on the other hand it was they who were preparing terrorist acts against the leaders of the Party. Is that right?

Reingold:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Accused Zinoviev, Reingold's testimony implicates you in a grave crime. Do you admit your guilt?

Zinoviev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Accused Kamenev, I put the same question to, you. Kamenev:  I answer in the affirmative.

Comrade Vyshinsky reminds Kamenev that he admitted this only after Reingold had given his evidence; That at the preliminary investigation he did not admit this antil he had been implicated by others.

Vyshinsky:  So you confirm that you had such a monstrous plan?

Kamenev:  Yes, there was such a monstrous plan.

Vyshinsky:  You worked out this monstrous plan and confirm this now?

Kamenev:  Yes, I do.

As a result of the further questioning of Reingold it is ascertained that Kamenev and Zinoviev commissioned Reingold to carry out a number of responsible tasks, in particular, that of creating abroad a special fund for the purpose of financing the terrorist organization in the event of Kamenev and Zinoviev being deported abroad.

Vyshinsky:  Accused Kamenev, was there any such talk?

Kamenev:  This was in 1929 when I and Zinoviev presumed that we might be deported abroad like Trotsky and therefore we thought it necessary to create abroad some fund for the purpose of maintaining and continuing the work which we had been carrying on here.

Vyshinsky:  From what resources did you think you could set up this fund?

Kamenev:  We had certain resources in view

Vyshinsky:  Did you appeal to Reingold for assistance?

Kamenev: Not for assistance. We simply instructed Reingold and Arkus to create this fund. Reingold and Arkus were financial officials under Sokolnikov.

Vyshinsky:  Did you propose to organize this fund at the expense of the state?

Kamenev:  At any rate not out of Reingold's personal funds. Vyshinsky:  To put it more exactly, you intended to rob the state.

Asked by Comrade Vyshinsky how the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre had intended to cover up the traces of terroristic crimes, the accused Reingold states that in the event of their coming to power, the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre intended to kill off all the officials of the G.P.U. who as they supposed might have in their hands threads of the "terroristic conspiracy against the state," and that all their own adherents who were directly and immediately involved in terrorism were likewise to be killed off.

Reingold states: "Zinoviev and Kamenev were both of the opinion, and they told me about this, that on the morrow of the coup d`'etat, after the seizure of power, Bakayev should be put at the head of the G.P.U. in the capacity of chairman of the G.P.U. By the use of the G.P.U. machinery, he was to assist in covering up the traces, in doing away with, in killing, not only the employees of the People's Commissariat for internal Affairs - the G.P.U., who might be in possession of any threads of the conspiracy, but also all the direct perpetrators of terroristic acts against Stalin and his immediate assistants. By the hand of Bakayev the Trotskyite-Zinovievite organization was to destroy its own activists, its own terrorist gunmen, who were involved in this matter."

It was also proposed, Reingold continues to testify, that after the seizure of power, Trotsky was to be recalled from abroad and with his support all those who were most devoted to Stalin were to be removed from Party and Soviet posts. Thus it was proposed to seize all power in the country.

Reingold's statements, and also the replies to questions put to Bakayev and Zinoviev by Comrade Vyshinsky, reveal Bakayev in the role of organizer of terrorist groups for which paticularly "reliable" persons had been recruited.

Among those "reliable" persons who were named were Bogdan, Zinoviev's former secretary, Radin and Faivilovich, active Zinovievites, and Rumyantsev and Kotolynov, the terrorists, who were executed in connection with the murder of Kirov.

Vyshinsky  (to Bakayev): Did Bogdan receive any instructions?

Bakayev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  From whom?

Bakayev:  From Zinoviev. On Zinoviev's instructions Bogdan was to shoot Stalin in the Secretariat of the Central Committee.

Vyshinsky:  Accused Zinoviev, have you heard Bakayev's testimony?

Zinoviev:  It is true that I advised Bakayev to enlist Bogdan for terrorist attempts, and that one of those to be assassinated by him was Stalin.

In this connection Bakayev testifies: "The day after I had been instructed to organize the assassination Zinoviev asked me to come and see him. In his apartment I met Reingold and Bogdan. After greeting me Zinoviev said: 'Here is a gunman for your group; then Reingold recommends also Faivilovich whom I too know as being all right.' "

Vyshinsky:  What does it mean "being all right."

Bakayev:  An absolutely reliable person.

Vyshinsky:  For committing terroristic acts?

Bakayev:  Yes.

 

 
EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED BAKAYEV

Following Reingold, evidence is given by Bakayev. In reply to questions put to him by Comrade Vyshinsky he testifies before the Court how the preparations for these terroristic acts were carried on. Particularly intense terroristic activity was carried on in August 1932 and in the autumn of 1934. Bakayev mentions the names of those who took part in the preparation of terroristic acts. These were Reingold, Pickel, Faivilovich, Radin, and others.

Bakayev testifies before the Court how the terrorists of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre tried to destroy all clues and preserve secrecy. In the autumn of 1932 Zinoviev and Kamenev Were expelled from the Party. The question then arose: What to do next? Then Bakayev met Zinoviev, Evdokimov, Kuklin, Sharov, Dreitzer and others and it was resolved to suspend terroristic activities for a time. In the autumn of 1934 they were resumed.

Bakayev testifies that in October 1934 an attempt on the life of Stalin was organized in Moscow under the direction of Kamenev,Evdokimov and himself, in which he, Bakayev, took a direct part. The attempt failed. When the attempt failed Bakayev went to Kamenev and told him about it.

Continuing his testimony, Bakayev says: "Kamenev said: 'A pity, let's hope that next time we'll be more successful.' Then turning to Evdokimov he asked how things were in Leningrad. Evdokimov replied that it would he advisable to check up on the siuation in Leningrad and that Bakayev should be sent to Leningrad. Kamanev agreed - yes, he said, Bakayev absolutely must go. I agreed to go. Before my departure I asked Evdokimov whom I was to report to there and with whom I was to talk. Evdokimov replied that I was to report to Levin. I said that I did not know Levin's address as I had not seen him for many years. Evdokimov promised to arrange for Levin or Mandelstamm to meet me at the station. I went and was actually met at the station by Levin who said: 'So Gregory Evseyevich (Zinoviev) doesn't trust either Gerik, Kuklin or even Evdokimov, but sends people here to check up on our mood and our work. Well, we're not a proud lot' . . . I asked him to call the boys together. Shortly after, in addition to Levin and Mandelstamm, Sossitsky, Vladimir Rumyantsev, Kotolynov and Myasnikov gathered together in Levin's apartment. Kotolynov said that he had established a regular watch over Kirov and that Kirov was so well covered that there would be no difficulty in killing him. I asked to be introduced to one of those who had been assigned to commit terroristic acts..Levin asked Kotolynov to invite Leonid Nikolayev. I knew that Leonid Nikolayev was a member of the Leningrad organization. Levin said that Nikolayev was an old member of the Young Communist League whom Evdokimov had known for many years and whom he had given the best recommendation as an absolutely reliable person. Nikolayev gave me the impression of being a determined and convinced terrorist. He told me that he had succeeded in finding out the exact time when Kirov travelled from his apartment to the Smolny, that he could kill Kirov either near the Smolny or in the Smolny itself and that he had tried to get an appointment with Kirov so as to shoot him but had failed to get an appointment. Nikolayev further reported that he, together with two other terrorists, were keeping a watch on Kirov."

In his testimony Bakayev says that of all the activities of the terrorist centre he was only aware of the decision to assassinate Stalin and Kirov, and that he only learned of preparations having been made for other terroristic acts when he read the indictment.

Vyshinsky:  Bakayev, is it correct that you were a member of the terrorist centre?

Bakayev:  Yes, it is.

Vyshinsky:  In 1932 you received instructions to organize the assassination of Comrade Stalin. Was that so?

Bakayev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Did you take a number of practical measures to carry out these instructions, namely, to organize several attempts on the life of Comrade Stalin, which failed through no fault of yours?

Bakayev:  That is so.

Vyshinsky:  Besides, did you take part in the assassination of Comrade Kirov?

Bakayev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Besides, did you go to Leningrad on the instructions of the terrorist centre, to check up on the preparations that were being made for this assassination?

Bakayev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  On your return from Leningrad, you reported that everything was in order, that the preparations for the murder were proceeding successfully. While you were in Leningrad did you meet Kotolynov, Rumyantsev and others?

Bakayev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  In addition, did you meet Nikolayev, give him instructions about the assassination and convince yourself that Nikolayev was a man of determination and could carry out the instructions given?

Bakayev:  yes.

Questioned further, however, Bakayev tried to minimize the part he had played considering that he was merely a "co-organizer" of the preparations for the foul murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov.

Vyshinsky:  You gave the signals, you checked up on the time, you checked up on all that was being done at your signal, you perpetrated a deed - doesn't that mean being the organizer of the crime?

Bakayev:  Yes, that means being the organizer of the crime.

Vyshinsky:  So we are correct in saying that you were the organizer of the assassination of Kirov?

Bakayev:  Well, yes, but I was not the only one.

Vyshinsky:  You were not the only one, Evdokimov was with you. Accused Zinoviev, you too were an organizer of the assassination of Comrade Kirov, weren't you?

Zinoviev:  I think Bakayev is right when he says that the real and principal culprits of the foul murder of Kirov were myself, Trotsky and Kamenev who organized the united terrorist centre. Bakayev played an important, but not the decisive part in it.

Vyshinsky:  The decisive part was played by you, Trotsky and Kamenev. Accused Kamenev, do you associate yourself with Zinoviev's statement that the principal organizers were you, Trotsky and Zinoviev, and that Bakayev, played the part of a practical organizer?

Kamenev:  Yes.

 

 
EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED PICKEL

The Supreme Court then proceeds to examine the accused Pickel. Pickel was one of Zinoviev's most trusted men and for many years was in charge of his secretariat. He admits that as an active member of the Moscow terrorist centre he was aware of all the principal decisions and terroristic measures of the united centre. In the autumn of 1932 Pickel joined the fighting terrorist organization of which Bakayev was the leader, and agreed to take part in the attempt on the life of Comrade Stalin. Pickel corroborates the testimony given by Reingold and Bakayev that Zinoviev directly guided the preparations for this attempt. He gives a striking characterization of the principal leaders of this terroristic activity, including Zinoviev, who were masters in the art of playing upon the ambitions, on the particularities of each of their accomplices. To rouse passion, to rouse hatred, to rouse their supporters to the boiling point, this, according to Pickel, was the only art of which the heads of the counter-revolutionary, Trotskyite-Zinovievite terroristbloc,  were masters.

Pickel, supplementing Bakayev's testimony, states that in the autumn of 1933 Bogdan made another attempt on the life of Comrade Stalin. In this connection Pickel depicts the atmosphere that prevailed in the terrorist centre, the members of which did not besitate to resort to the most sordid methods to wipe out the traces of their criminal activities.

Pickel admits that Bogdan's suicide was in fact murder by decision of the terrorist centre. In this crime a particularly active part was played by Bakayev. Bakayev spent the whole night with Bogdan before the latter committed suicide and persuaded him either to make an attempt on Stalin's life or to commit suicide. Bogdan took his own life and, as he had been instructed, left a note making it appear that he was the victim of the Party cleansing. Pickel goes on to relate what preparations were made for a terroristic act against Comrade Stalin in 1934. Pickel's part in this was that he put Bakayev in touch with Radin whom Pickel prepared for the carrying out of his terroristic act.

Another very characteristic touch, indicating how the Trotskyites and Zinovievites tried to wipe out all traces and save their terrorist organization, was Pickel's admission that in order to avert the discovery and break-up of the organization, he was told in 1934 to go to a remote place for a time. Being a member of the Union of Soviet Writers, he easily obtained a commission to visit . . . Spitzbergen for creative work.

On his return from Spitzbergen, however, Pickel resumed his terroristic work. He admitted that soon after his arrival he met Dreitzer who informed him that preparations were being made for attempts on the lives of Kaganovich, Voroshilov and other leaders of the Party and the Government.

This concludes the proceedings of the evening session of August 19.

REPORT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS