EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED HOLTZMAN
The morning session of August 21 begins with the examination of the
Holtzman was one of the most active members of the Trotskyite
counter-revolutionary organization, personally connected with the leader
of the Trotskyite centre in the U.S.S.R. - I. N. Smirnov.On Smirnov's
instructions he maintained contact with the Trotskyite centre abroad.
In 1932 he personally reseived from L. Trotsky instructions regarding
preparations for terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U.
and the Soviet government.
Holtzman testifies that he has known Smirnov since 1918. In 1926
Holtzman joined the Trotskyite organization. Later on he formally broke
with the Trotskyites but continued to meet them, particularly Smirnov.
After a protracted denial of his illegal Trotskyite activities, Holtzman,
in reply to point-blank questions put to him by Comrade Vyshinsky,
testifies that in 1931 he "accidentally" met Smirnov in the street.
Smirnov proposed to meet him at his mother's apartment. In 1932 Holtzman
came to the rendezvous and told Smirnov that he was to be sent abroad on
official business but that "he was refusing to do this and would go
reluctantly." Smirnov advised him to go. Holtzman agreed to accept the
commission and to go abroad. Smirnov asked him to visit him once again
before his departure.
The cross-examination of Holtzman and Smirnov establishes the fact
that Smirnov preserved particular secrecy about Holtzman, using him for
particularly secret missions.
Vyshinsky: I ask you, were you a secret member of the
Trotskyite organization acting under the guidance of Smirnov? Do you
before this proletarian Court plead guilty to this or not?
The State Prosecutor further establishes that the meetings in the
apartment of Smirnov's mother were not accidental and that this
apartment served as the regular meeting-place for Holtzman and Smirnov.
In establishing the circumstances of the meetings between Holtzman and
Smirnov in the apartment of Smirnov's mother, Comrade Vyshinsky puts a
number of questions to Holtzman.
Vyshinsky: So you knew that at a certain time you would find
Smirnov in his mother's apartment?
Vyshinsky: This was Smirnov's Trotskyite meeting place?
Holtzman: As it now appears, yes.
The accused Holtzman fails to disprove the fact that on the
instructions of the Trotskyite centre he remained a covert Trotskyite
within the Party.
Vyshinsky: Formally you were in the Party?
Vyshinsky: At the same time you were a Trotskyite?
Holtzman: A Trotskyite.
Vyshinsky: And. . . .
Holtzman: A counter-revolutionary.
Vyshinsky: And a double-dealer?
Before his departure from the U.S.S.R. Holtzman went to the
meeting-place and met Smirnov there, Smirnov told Holtzman that when in
Berlin he was to meet Trotsky's son, Sedov. Smirnov told Holtzman that
he would give him a report which he was to deliver to Sedov for Trotsky.
As both Holtzman and Smirnov admit, this report was to have been handed
peronally to Sedov for delivery to Trotsky. Smirnov gave Holtzman a
telephone number by which he was to ring up Sedov. Smirnov then gave him
the password which was: "I have brought greetings from Galya." Further
evidence establishes the fact that Smirnov also gave Holtzman a secret
code for correspondence with Trotsky, for which purpose certain pages
from the Arabian Nights were used.
On arrival in Berlin, testifies Holtzman, he telephoned Sedov and
arranged to meet him. The meeting took place near the Zoological Garden.
As Holtzman and Sedov did not know each other, it was agreed that both
were to carry in their hands copies of the Berliner Tageblatt
and of the Vorwärts. On meeting Holtzman, Sedov proposed to go
Continuing, Holtzman says: "We drove off. I don't remember the
street. Sedov took me to a flat. No one was there. It was on the fourth
floor. There I gave him the report and the secret code. . . . Thus I met
him six or eight times in the course of four months. In November I again
telephoned Sedov and we met once again. Sedov said to me: 'As you are
going to the U.S.S.R., it would be a good thing if you came with me to
Copenhagen where my father is.' "
Vyshinsky: That is to say?
Holtzman: That is to say, Trotsky.
Vyshinsky: Did you go?
Holtzman: I agreed, but I told him that we could not go
together for reasons of secrecy. I arranged with Sedov to be in
Copenhagen within two or three days, to put up at the Hotel Bristol and
meet him there. I went to the hotel straight from the station and in the
lounge met Sedov.
About 10 a.m. we went to Trotsky. When we arrived Trotsky first of
all asked me about the feelings and the attitude of the mass of the
Party members towards Stalin. I told him that I intended to leave
Copenhagen that day and would leave for the U.S.S.R.within several days.
Then Trotsky, walking up and down the room in a rather excited state,
told me that he was preparing a letter for Smirnov, but as I was leaving
that day he would not write it I must say that throughout this
conversation I was alone with Trotsky. Very often Trotsky's son Sedov
came in and out of the room.
Continuing, Holtzman testifies that in the course of the conversation
Trotsky said that it was "necessary to remove Stalin."
Vyshinsky: What does "remove Stalin" mean? Explain it.
Holtzman: I will speak about that. Then Trotsky said that if
Stalin were removed, it would be possible for the Trotskyites to come
into power and to the leadership of the C.P.S.U. He also said that the
only means of removing Stalin was terrorism.
Vyshinsky: Did Trotsky say that outright?
Holtzman: Yes. He said that for this purpose it was necessary
to choose cadres of responsible people fit for this task. Then he said
that this was to be communicated to Smirnov, but I was not to tell
anybody else about it.
Vyshinsky: Only Smirnov?
Holtzman: Yes. At that moment Sedov came in and began
hurrying us to finish the conversation. With this our conversation
ended, and left.
Vyshinsky: So Trotsky plainly told you that the fundamental
task now (that is, in the autumn of 1932) was to assassinate Comrade
Stalin? You remember for sure?
Vyshinsky: So this was Trotsky's instruction?
Holtzman: Yes. Trotsky could not put it in writing, and so I
accepted it in verbal form and communicated the exact sense of it on my
arrival in Moscow.
Vyshinsky: That was Trotsky's verbal instruction?
Under further examination Holtzman tries to evade
responsibility,declaring that he did not share Trotsky's point of view
about terrorism. But the accused is immediately exposed as having
remained in the underground Trotskyite organization and having continued
to meet Trotskyites after his return to the U.S.S.R.
Vyshinsky: We know that some time later Smirnov received
instructions on terrorism also independently of you. I am exposing you
as having received these instructions. You knew that the Trotskyites had
already taken up a terroristic position and yet you continued to remain
Vyshinsky: Kept up connections with the Trotskyites?
Vyshinsky: Hence, you continued to be a member of the
EXAMINATION OF THE
ACCUSED N. LURYE
The accused Nathan Lurye is examined.
He arrived in the U.S.S.R. from Berlin on the special mission of the
Trotskyite organization for the purpose of committing terroristic acts.
All his Trotskyite activities from 1927 onwards were directed towards
sapping the power of the Soviet state.
Vyshinsky: With whom did you first become intimate when you
became a Trotskyite?
N. Lurye: With Moissei Lurye.
Vyshinsky: When did you become intimate with him?
N. Lurye: At the end of the summer of 1927.
Vyshinsky: When did your terroristic disposition, intentions,
terroristic plans originate?
N. Lurye: The training the Trotskyite organization gave me
during all those years which I spent in that organization in Germany in
the long run reduced itself to rousing hatred towards Stalin and the
leadership of the C.P.S.U. In the beginning of 1932 Moissei Lurye said
to me that it was time to go to the U.S.S.R. and carry on terroristic
work there. This his instruction did not come as a surprise to me. It
logically followed from all the preceding work. I arrived in the U.S.S.R.
in April 1932 with the instruction to establish connections with the
Trotskyites I had known in Germany and to carry on terroristic work
together with them.
N. Lurye began by establishing connections with the Trotskyites in
Moscow, first of all with those whom he had known in Germany: Konstant
N. Lurye: I told Konstant about the terroristic instructions
I had received from the Trotskyite organization through Moissei Lurye.
Konstant told me it was not news to him. They, too, had terroristic
instructions and had even taken practical steps to carry them out. He
told me that they had a terrorist group to which Konstant and Lipschitz,
and also a German engineer-architect, Franz Weitz, belonged.
Vyshinsky: Who is Franz Weitz?
N. Lurye: Franz Weitz was a member of the National-Socialist
Party of Germany. He arrived in the U.S.S.R. on the instructions of
Himmler who at that time was chief of the S.S. and subsequently became
chief of the Gestapo.
Vyshinsky: Franz Weitz was his representative?
N. Lurye: Franz Weitz arrived in the U.S.S.R. on the
instructions of Himmler for the purpose of committing terroristic acts.
Vyshinsky: Where did you learn this?
N. Lurye: The first one to tell me about it was Konstant, but
later on Franz Weitz himself told me.
The fact that a direct agent of the German political police stood at
the head of the terrorist group did not in the least disturb N. Lurye
and his Trotskyite associates.
"I arrived at the conclusion," said N. Lurye, "that since the
Trotskyites had adopted the method of fighting with arms this had its
logic, that is to say, that if a fascist offered his services for the
purposes of terrorism, those services should be made use of. I continued
my connections with Franz Weitz and worked under his practical
In August 1932 Franz Weitz informed N. Lurye that there was a
possibility of making an attempt on the life of the People's Commissar
of Defence of the U.S.S.R., Comrade Voroshilov. The terrorist group
received instructions from the fascist secret service agent to proceed
to action. For a long period of time N. Lurye's group was engaged in
preparing the attempt on the life of Comrade Voroshilov.
President of the Court: When you were engaged in preparing
the attempt on the life of Comrade Voroshilov you for a long time
watched the coming and going of Comrade Voroshilov's automobile?How long
were you engaged in preparing for the attempt on the life of Corade
N. Lurye: We were engaged in it from September 1932 to the
spring of 1933.
President of the Court: Juding by your testimony you
frequently went to Frunze Street and to the adjacent streets, armed with
N. Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: All three of you were armed?
N. Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: So that you would have committed the
terroristic act had a favourable moment offered itself? Why did you not
succeed in doing so?
N. Lurye: We saw Voroshilov's car going down Frunze Street.
it was travelling too fast. It was hopeless firing at the fast running
car. We decided that it was useless.
President of the Court: You managed to see Comrade
N. Lurye; I saw it and so did the second member of the group,
President of the Court: Did you cease watching Comrade
N. Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: For what reasons?
N. Lurye: Because we became convinced that it was useless
shooting with a revolver.
President of the Court: What did you turn your attention to
N. Lurye: To the acquisition of explosives.
President of the Court: What kind of terroristic act did you
intend to commit?
N. Lurye: A terroristic act with a bomb.
President of the Court: You said that you turned your
attention to the acquisition of explosives for the purpose of committing
a terroristic act. Against whom?
N. Lurye: Against Voroshilov.
President of the Court: In the street, or on some premises?
N. Lurye: In the street.
In July 1933 N. Lurye was sent to Chelyabinsk to work in the capacity
of a surgeon (his speciality).
In Chelyabinsk N. Lurye did not cease terroristic activities and did
not abandon his terroristic designs. N. Lurye testifies before the Court
that knowing that Comrades Kaganovich and Orjonikidze were coming to
Chelyabinsk, he tried to meet them at the works and commit a terroristic
act against them. He failed to carry out his intention.
In January 1936 N. Lurye left Chelyabinsk for Leningrad on a
scientific mission. Passing through Moscow, he met Moissei Lurye, who
gave him instructions to make an attempt on the life of
president of the Court: What instructions on terrorism did
Moissei Lurye give you in 1934, 1935 and 1936?
N. Lurye; I told him that I intended to make attempts on the
lives of Orjonikidze and Kaganovich, but later, in January 1936, he
instructed me to shoot Zhdanov at the First of May demonstration in
President of the Court: You regarded Moissei Lurye as your
leader since you accepted such instructions?
N Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: When you left for Leningrad, did you
undertake to carry out M. Lurye's instructions?
N. Lurye: I knew that I would take part in the First of May
demonstration, and that if it were possible I would try to carry out
President of the Court: Did you take part in the
N. Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: Were you armed?
N. Lurye: Yes, with a revolver.
President of the Court: Where did you obtain the weapon this
N. Lurye: The weapon remained in Konstant's keeping.
President of the Court: When did you take that weapon?
N. Lurye: In March 1936.
President of the Court: What type of revolver was it?
N. Lurye: A Browning.
President of the Court: What size? Medium?
N. Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: Did you succeed in getting into the
demonstration to the Uritzky Square?
N. Lurye: Yes.
President of the Court: Why did you fail to carry out the
attempt on the life of Zhdanov?
N. Lurye: We marched by, too far a way.
EXAMINATION OF THE
ACCUSED M. LURYE
In reply to the President, M. Lurye declares that he fully confirms
the evidence he gave at the preliminary investigation.
Vyshinsky: Accused Lurye, tell me, please, what concrete
steps did you take in your terroristic activity?
M. Lurye: On leaving Berlin for Moscow on March 4, 1933, I
received definite instructions. I received these instructions from Ruth
Fischer and Maslov, but actually they were the instructions of Trotsky
himself. I had been connected with Ruth Fischer since1924, and in
opposition work in the Zinoviev faction had been connected with her
since October 1925. I had been connected with Maslov since 1927 when I
returned to Berlin from Moscow. The instructions were of the following
character: Trotsky is of the opinion and insists, and we, that is to
say, Maslov and Ruth Fischer, are in agreement with Trotsky's
instruction to the effect that it is necessary to speed up the
organization of terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and
the Soviet government, in the first place against Stalin. I received
these instructions personally in verbal form from Ruth Fischer and
Maslov on March 4, 1933, as I have already said.
Vyshinsky: I am waiting for your statement on the practical
steps you took in this direction.
M. Lurye: On arriving in Moscow on March 9, 1933, I
communicated this verbal instruction at its destination, namely, to
Zinoviev's former personal emissary in Berlin, A. V. Herzberg. I was
connected with Herzberg in Zinovievite work from November 1927 until his
departure for Moscow at the end of 1931. I comunicated this instruction
not later than the middle of April. Herzberg accepted the instruction
and said that this instruction from Trotsky, Ruth Fischer and Maslov was
fully in accord with identical decisions already adopted by our centre
in the U.S.S.R.
In reply to questions put to him by the State Prosecutor about the
practical steps the accused had taken to organize terroristic acts, M.
Lurye related about his three meetings with Zinoviev. During one of
these meetings wich took place in Zinoviev's apartment in the beginning
of August 1934, Lurye gave Zinoviev detailed information about Trotsky's
instructions received through Ruth Fischer and Maslov concerning the
preparation of terroristic acts, and in particular, concerning the
activities of the group of his namesake, Nathan Lurye.
Vyshinsky: Tell me please, were you connected with Nathan
M. Lurye: Yes. I was connected with Nathan Lurye
approximately from April 1933 to January 2, 1936.
Vyshinsky: You knew Nathan Lurye as a member of the
underground Trotskyite organization?
M. Lurye: Certainly.
Vyshinsky: You knew that at that period Nathan Lurye was
engaged in preparing a number of terroristic acts?
M. Lurye: Quite true.
M. Lurye then goes on to relate how he organized the attempt on the
life of Comrade Orjonikidze. This terroristic act was to have been
committed while Comrade Orjonikidze was at Chelyabinsk Tractor Works.
For this purpose M. Lurye had instructed N. Lurye,who was going to the
Chelyabinsk Tractor Works, to take the opportunity of a possible visit
to the works by Comrade Orjonikidze to commit a terroristic act against
Vyshinsky: In what other measures for committing terroristic
acts did you participate?
M. Lurye: I took part in preparing an attempt on the life of
The accused relates in detail how on January 2, 1936, he communicated
to Nathan Lurye definite instructions to organize a terroristic act
against Comrade Zhdanov, and promised to give him later addresses and
connect him with Zaidel's terrorist group in Leningrad.
Comrade Vyshinsky then asks M. Lurye whether he was anything to add
to his evidence.
M. Lurye: I can add something to Nathan Lurye's testimony and
about my important conversation with Zinoviev concerning Weitz's group.
Nathan Lurye informed me concretely of the work of the terrorist group
organized by Weitz. Noting my perplexity when I heard about this sort of
ally, N. Lurye asked me what I thought about it. I replied that my
personal attitude played no role here, that I would immediately report
it in proper quarters, and said to N. Lurye: if you do not receive a
reply in the negative, this will mean that you are working with the
knowledge of the centre.
Vyshinsky: Whom personally did you have in mind?
M. Lurye: I had contacts with A. V. Herzberg, a person
enjoying the particular confidence of Zinoviev. N. Lurye did not receive
a reply in the negative from me. From the time of my conversation with
him in April 1933 Nathan Lurye's group, which was organized by the
fascist Franz Weitz, worked with the knowledge and indisputably with the
consent of the centre, and of Zinoviev personally.
Vyshinsky: Consequently, you admit that for a considerable
number of years you were a member of the underground Trotskyite
M. Lurye: Yes, I fully admit it.
Vyshinsky: That organization pursued terroristic aims?
M. Lurye: I admit that I brought such instructions.
Vyshinsky: You confirm that you received instructions on
terrorism from Trotsky through Ruth Fischer and Maslov and communicated
them to Zinoviev?
M. Lurye: Yes.
Vyshinsky: You know that the instructions were communicated?
M. Lurye: Quite definitely.
Vyshinsky: Were you connected with Nathan Lurye's group and
simultaneously with the fascist agent Franz Weitz?
M. Lurye: Yes.
Vyshinsky: Did you in conjunction with Nathan Lurye prepare a
number of attempts at assassination, and did you give the instructions
to prepare the attempt on the life of Comrade Stalin?
M. Lurye: I did not take part in the preparations, but I
communicated instructions about the attempt.
Vyshinsky: You gave instructions to prepare attempts on the
lives of Orjonikidze and Zhdanov, and you not only gave instructions,
but indicated the contacts?
M. Lurye: Yes, I told Nathan Lurye that he would be given an
EXAMINATION OF THE
The Court proceeds to the examination of the accused Ter-Vaganyan.
In reply to questions put to him by Comrade Vyshinsky the accused
Ter-Vaganyan admits that he was one of the organizers of the
Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, and also that this centre was organized
on the basis of Trotsky's instructions on terrorism.
Vyshinsky: The instructions were communicated in good time to
you as one of the organizers?
Vyshinsky: You admit that you personally also took part in
preparing certain terroristic acts?
Ter-Vaganyan: I did not take part in preparing terroristic
acts, but I did take part in the work of the centre.
Vyshinsky: You took part in terroristic work?
Ter-Vaganyan: All the work was terroristic.
Vyshinsky: During your examination on August 14 you said: "Of
the persons belong to the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, about
which I spoke in detail in my testimony on July 16 this year, I. N.
Smirnov, Mrachkovsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev guided the practical
organization and training of the terrorist group" - do you confirm that?
Vyshinsky: And you added: "Personally I worked under the
instructions of Smirnov and Kamenev" - do you confirm that?
Vyshinsky: In 1931 was Smirnov disposed towards violent
methods of struggle?
Ter-Vaganyan: Yes, as were all the Trotskyites surrounding
Continuing his testimony, Ter-Vaganyan, speaking of his return to
Moscow from Transcaucasia, confirms the testimony of the witness
Safonova to the effect that she, Safonova, had informed Ter-Vaganyan
about Smirnov's journey abroad and his meeting with L. Sedov
"I must say," testifies Ter-Vaganyan, "that there was no talk at all
about these instructions regarding terrorism being the personal opinion
of Sedov. Had Safonova told me that this was Sedov's personal opinion,
she and I would have laughed at it as a joke. When Smirnov returned, he
repeated his stoty to me and Safonova."
Replying to Comrade Vyshinsky's question as to the reasons why
Smirnov denies this, Ter-Vaganyan explains to the Court that Smirnov is
afraid of telling the court the whole truth because he would then have
to name a number of persons who were associated with terrorism. In
particular, says Ter-Vaganyan, Smirnov does not want to say that
beginning with 1928 he maintained systematic connections with Gruzian
deviationists. When Smirnov returned from abroad, in 1932, he met the
Gruzian deviationists, whose attitude, as is well known, was terroristic
from 1928 onwards.
Vyshinsky: Smirnov, you confirm that you were connected with
the Gruzian deviationists?
Smirnov: In 1929 I met Okudjava.
Vyshinsky: (to Ter-Vaganyan): When did the Stückgold group
Further examination of Ter-Vaganyan throws light on I. N. Smirnov's
connections with the Stückgold terrorist group. Ter-Vaganyan says:
"I was introduced to Stückgold by I. N. Smirnov in 1929. Smirnov
asked me receive Stückgold Whenever he would arrive. he did not want
Stückgold to see anyone else. Such secrecy could only have one meaning,
namely that Stückgold had some kind of special connections which had to
In reply to a question put to him by Comrade Vyshinsky I. N. Smirnov
denies that he introduced Stückgold to Ter-Vaganyan and that he visited
the latter's apartment with him. However, on being proved wrong by
Ter-Vaganyan, he has to admit that such a meeting many have taken place.
Vyshinsky (to Smirnov): You admit that you may have visited
Ter-Vaganyan with Stückgold?
Smirnov: I do as regards 1929.
Vyshinsky: So in 1929 you, Ter-Vaganyan and Stückgold did
Ter-Vaganyan (to Smirnov): That was in the winter of 1929-30?
Vyshinsky (to Ter-vaganyan): The Stückgold group was a
Ter-Vaganyan: Yes, it was terrorist.
"In the autumn of 1931," continues Ter-Vaganyan, "my very close
connection and friendship with Lominadze began. I met Lominadze
frequently, and on these occasions we talked about a bloc. "
Continuing his testimony, Ter-Vaganyan says that at that period the
Trotskyites began negotiations for union with the Zinovievites and the
"Leftists," and that the terroristic stand was perfectly clear.
Vyshinsky: When was that?
Ter-Vaganyan: After Smirnov came back from Berlin.
Vyshinsky: At that period was the terroristic stand clear?
Ter-Vaganyan: Yes, it was clear, because the instructions had
already been brought.
In clarifying the question as to the basis on which the bloc
with the "Leftists" was formed, Comrade Vyshinsky puts a number of
questions to the accused Smirnov. Smirnov's replies make it clear that
the bloc was formed on a trroristic basis.
Vyshinsky (to Smirnov): Did you organize the bloc or
Smirnov: I instructed Ter-Vaganyan to negotiate with
Vyshinsky: What for?
Smirnov: For a union.
Vyshinsky: Did the union take place?
Vyshinsky: With the "Leftists"?
Vyshinsky: Did you join the bloc?
Vyshinsky: At the time the instructions regarding terrorism
were in operation?
In reply to Comrade Vyshinsky's question as to his personal
terroristic activities, Ter-Vaganyan stresses the point that he carried
on terroristic work under the guidance of Smirnov and Kamenev. In
particular, discussed the question of terrorism with the Trotskyites,
Zaidel and Friedland. "In 1932," says Ter-Vaganyan, "I met Friedland and
told him that it was now necessary to adopt violent forms of struggle
against the Party. In reply to his question as to the meaning of violent
forms of struggle, I said: you are not a child - violent forms of
struggle are terroristic forms of struggle. That is clear."
By a number of questions Comrade Vyshinsky clarifies the relations
between Ter-Vaganyan and Friedland in terroristic acivities. The replies
of Ter-Vaganyan make it clear that Ter-Vaganyan gave Friedland
instructions regarding the organization of terroristic acts.