August 22 (morning session)
The President of the Court grants leave to the State Prosecutor, Comrade
A. Y. Vyshinsky, State Attorney of the U.S.S.R., to address the Court.
SPEECH FOR THE PROSECUTION
Vyshinski: Comrades judges, comrades members of the Military
Collegium of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union: For three days you have
very carefully and with the greatest attention examined the evidence and
proof submitted to you by the State Prosecution against the people sitting
here in the dock charged with having committed the gravest crimes against
the state. With the greatest possible care you have subjected to
investigation and judicial scrutiny every one of these proofs, every fact,
every event, every step taken by the accused, who in the course of many
years added crime to crime in their struggle against the Soviet state,
against the Soviet power, against our Party and against the whole of our
Horrible and monstrous is the chain of these crimes against our socialist
fatherland; and each one of these crimes deserves the severest condemnation
and severest punishment. Horrible and monstrous is the guilt of these
criminals and murderers, who raised their hand against the leaders of our
Party, against Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Orjonikidze,
Kossior and Postyshev, against our leaders, the leaders of the Soviet state.
Monstrous are the crimes perpetrated by this gang wich not only made
preparations to commit terroristic acts, but actually murdered one of the
best sons of the working class, one of the most devoted to the cause of
socialism, one of the most beloved disciples of the great Stalin, the fiery
tribune of the proletarian revolution, the unforgettable Sergel Mironovich
But monstrous as these crimes are, and however profoundly we may have
been stirred and digusted by this nightmare of horrible crime, you, comrades
judges, as befits a Soviet court and Soviet justice, have been weighing and
appraising very calmy the facts which came before you in connection with the
criminal activities of these persons whose names have long ago been covered
with contempt and disgrace in the eyes of the whole people.
We have now come to the end of our judicial proceedings. We are making
the final summary. We are drawing our last deductions in preparation, within
a few hours, perhaps, to hear your verdict, the verdict of the Court of the
land of Soviets which demands and expects from you a just, unfaltering and
implacably stern decision concerning the fate of these people, these
contemptible murderers, these vile and insolent enimies of the land of
Soviets,of the Soviet people.
We are building a new, socialist society, a new, Soviet state, under the
difficult conditions of class struggle, amidst the fierse resistance of the
last remnants of the exploiting classes which we have routed and utterly
Every step in our progress is accompanied by desperate resistance on the
part of our enemies who rouse against us all the forces of the old world,
all the filth, all the scum of the old society, who mobilize and throw into
the struggle against us the most criminal, the most hardened, the most
incorrigible, decayed and dishonest elements.
Lenin taught us that "there has never been a single deep and mighty
popular movement in history without filthy scum,"
without the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois element flighting against the
Soviet Government, and resorting not only to the methods of the Savinkovs,
the Gotzes, the Gegechkoris and Kornilovs, of plots and rebellions, of
floods of lies and slander, but also utilizing all the elements of decay,
and embarking upon every possible sordin and shameful crime.
Comrade Stalin warned us that:
"We must bear in mind that the growth of the power of the Soviet state
will increase the resistance of the last remnants of the dying classes. It
is precisely because they are dying, and living their last days that they
will pass from one form of attack to another, to sharper forms of attack,
appealing to the backward strata of the population, and mobilizing them
against the Soviet power. There is no foul lie or slander that these 'have-beens'
would not use against the Soviet power and around which they would not try
to mobilize the backward elements. This may give ground for the revival of
the activities of the defeated groups of the old counter-revolutionary
parties: the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Mensheviks, the bourgeois
nationalists in the centre and in the outlying regions; it may give grounds
also for the revival of the activities of the fragments of
counter-revolutionary opposition elements from among the Trotskyites and the
Right deviationists. Of course, there is nothing terrible in this. But we
must bear all this in mind if we want to put an end to these elements
quickly and without great loss."
Three years ago Comrade Stalin not only foretold the inevitable
resistance of elements hostile to the cause of socialism, but also foretold
the possibility of the revival of Trotskyite counter-revolutionary groups.
This trial has fully and distinctly proved the great wisdom of this
The "heroes" of this trial have linked their fate with the fascists, with
the agents of secret-police departments; these "heroes" have lost all
scruples and gone to the uttermost limits of duplicity and deceit, elevated
perfidy and treachery to a system, to the law of their struggle against the
This trial has completely revealed and has once again proved how great
and boundless is the rage and hatred of our enemies toward the great cause
of socialism; this trial has shown how insignificant are these enemies who
rushed headling from one crime to another. A contemptible, insignificant,
impotent group of trailors and murderers thought that by means of their
sordid crimes they could cause the heart of our great people to cease to
beat! This contemptible, insignificant group of adventurers tried with their
mud-stained feet to trample upon the most fragant flowers in our socialist
These mad dogs of capitalism tried to tear limb from limb the best of the
best of our Soviet land. They killed one of the men of the revolution who
was most dear to us, that admirable and wonderful man, bright and joyous as
the smile on his lips was always bright and joyous, as our new life is
bright and joyous. Thy killed our Kirov; they wounded us close to our very
heart. They thought they could sow confusion and consternation in our ranks.
To the murderers' treacherous shot of December 1, 1934, the whole country
replied with unanimous execration. The whole country, millions and tens of
millions of people, were aroused and once again proved their solidarity,
their unity, their loyalty to the great banner of the Party of Lenin-Stalin.
The land of Soviets rose up like an unshakable, iron wall in defence of its
leaders, its guides, for every hair of whose heads these criminal madmen
will ansver with their lives. In this boundless love of millions of toilers
for our Party, for its central Committee, and for our Stalin and his
glorious Comrades -in-arms, in this infinite love of the people lies the
strength of the defence and protection of our leaders, the guides of our
country and Party, against traitors, murderers and bandits.
Our great fatherland is joyously flourishing and growing.The fields of
innumerable collective farms are rich with a golden harvest. Thousands of
new socialist, Stakhanov factories and works are pulsating with life.
Harmoniously and wonderfully our railways are working for the welfare of our
fatherland, and from end to end of the country Krivonoss passenger and
freight trains are speeding over the glistening ribbons of steel. Firm as
granite stands our Red Army, surrounded with the love of the people,
guarding the frontiers of our native land. The names of our wonderful
Bolsheviks, the tireless and gifted builders of our state - Sergo
Orjonikidze, Klim Voroshilov, Lazar Moisseyevich Kaganovich, the leaders of
the Ukrainian Bolsheviks - Kossior and Postyshev, and the leader of the
Leningrad Bolsheviks, Zhdanov, are near and dear to the hearts of us and all
those who are filled with filial love for their motherland. With great and
unsurpassed love, the toilers of the whole world utter the name of the great
teacher and leader of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. - Joseph Vissarionovich
Under the leadership of the Soviet government and our Party, headed by
Stalin, socialism has finally and irrevocably triumphed in our country.
Under the leadership of our Party the proletariat of our country took the
implements and means of production from the capitalists, abolished the
capitalist system which is based on private property, on exploitation, on
poverty and slavery.
Under the leadership of our Party and the Soviet government the peoples
of the U.S.S.R. brought about the great industrialization of our contry,
increased its means of production tenfold, multiplied its national wealth
and thereby created the conditions for a happy and joyous life for all the
toilers of the Soviet land of socialism.The victory of socialism is first
and foremost the victory of our own Bolshevik Party, of its
Leninist-Stalinist general line, of its Leninist-Stalinist leadership, of
its Central Committee, headed by the great Stalin.
On the basis of these victories there has been created the indestructible
union of all the toilers for the further reinforcement and development of
socialism; there has been created and cemented the union and friendship of
all the peoples of the U.S.S.R. for the building of socialism, for defence
against our enemies, against the enemies of socialism. These victories have
completely changed the entire face of our country, which has been raised to
an unprecedented level of economic and cultural development.
These victories have brought the working class of the U.S.S.R. enormous
improvement in their material well-being. It is now many years since
unemployment has been eliminated and the seven-hour day, against which the
"heroes" now in the dock always persistently and treacherously fought, has
been introduced. Our country has achieved unprecedented successes,
impossible in any capitalist country, in developing a new, really human,
These victories have brought our whole country, every factory worker and
collective farmer, every office worker and intellectual, a happy and a
well-to-do life. And these victories are the guarantee of the unity of all
the Soviet people with our government, with our Party and with its Central
Committee. Are not the wide,mass, popular conferences, conceivable only in
our contry, of the leading people of our factories and works, of our
transport system, of our cotton and sugar beet fields, of live-stock
breeders, of combine and tractor drivers, of Stakhanovites and Krivonossites
with the leaders of the Party and the government the best proof of this
indestructible, genuine unity and solidarity of masses of the people with
the great Stalin, with our Central Committee, with our Soviet government?
This is a manifestation of genuine Soviet, true democracy! And is not the
mighty wave of popular wrath, now sweeping from one end of the country to
the other against these despicable murderers, a striking evidence of this
The Trotskyite-Zinovievite Centre - A
gang of Contemptible Terrorists
During the preceding days of the trial these gentlemen tried to strike a
"noble" attitude. They, or at all events their leaders, spoke about their
terroristic plot with a certain pose; they sought and expected a political
evaluation of their crimes, they talked about political struggle, about some
kind of political agreements with some kind of alleged political parties.
And although they admitted that in reality they had no political platform,
that they did not even feel the need to draw up a political platform
because, on their own admission, their platform could be written at one
sitting, in a couple of hours, nevertheless, they tried to pose as genuine
political figures. They do all they can to make it appear that they are
standing on some political position, bespattered and battered, perhaps, but
political none the less. These efforts are merely a false screen to conceal
their political emptiness and lack of principle. And when they spoke about
the interests of the working class, about the interests of the people, when
they will speak about this, in their speeches in their defence and in their
last pleas, they will lie as they have lied hitherto, as they are lying now,
for they fought against the only people's policy, against the policy of our
country, against our Soviet policy. Liars and clowns, insignificant pigmies,
little dogs snarling at an elephant, this is what this gang represents!
But they know how to use guns, and therein lies the danger to society.
This makes it necessary to adopt special and most severe measures against
them. To chain them is not enough. We must adopt more determined and radical
measures against them. Not political figures, but a gang of murderers and
criminals, thieves who tried to rob the state, this is what this gang
These gentlemen admitted that they had no program; but they did have some
sort of a "program." They had a program both in home and foreign policy. In
their home policy their program could be put in one word - to murder. It is
true that they prefer to speak not of murder but of terror. But we must call
things by their proper names. These gentlemen chose murder as a means of
fighting for power. They were compelled to admit this here themselves,
cynically and openly.
How did these gentlemen reconcile their alleged Marxism with the
preaching of terror and terroristic activity? In no wise! And yet these
people called themselves Marxists at one time! Probably the accused Zinoviev
still considers himself a Marxist. He said here that Marxism could not be
reconciled with terrorism; but Marxism can explain how they came to
During this trial I asked the accused Reingold how they reconciled
Marxism with the preaching of terror and terroristic activities, and he
said: "In 1932, Zinoviev, in Kamenev's apartment, in the presence of a
number of members of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, argued in
favour of resorting to terror as follows: although terror is incompatible
with Marxism, at the present moment these conciderations 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 Party leadership. Therefore Stalin must be put
out of the way in the first place." Here you have a reply, frankly cynical,
insolent, but absolutely logical. Here you have the sum and substance of
Zinoviev's new "philosophy of the epoch."
Reingold said: "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 struggle available is terrorism,
terroristic acts against Stalin and his closest comrades-in-arms, Voroshilov,
Kaganovich, Orjonikidze, Kossior, Postyshev and Zhdanov,"
This is frank and insolent, but at the same time it is logical from the
point of view of the logic of the class struggle, from the point of view of
the logic of our enemy who is fighting against the land of socialism.
Without the masses, against the masses, but for power, power at all
costs, thirst for personal power - this is the whole ideology of the gang
that is now in the dock.
The whole cynical unprincipledness of these people was frankly avowed
here by Kamenev. In his explanations before the court he stated how and on
what basis this terroristic conspiracy, as he called it, was organized.
Kamenev said: "I became convinced that the policy of the Party, the
policy of its leadership, had been victorious in the only sense in which the
political victory in the land of socialism is possible, that this policy was
recognized by the masses of the toilers."
This statement is remarkable for its lack of principle and for its
insolent cynicism: just because "the policy of the Party had been vicorious,"
they fought against its leaders.
Kamenev said: "Our banking on the possibility of a split in the Party
also proved groundless, Two paths remained: either honestly and completely
to put a stop to the struggle against the Party, or to continue this
struggle, but without any hope of obtaining any mass support whatsoever,
without a political platform, without a banner, that is to say, by means of
individual terror. We chose the second path."
The accused Kamenev should have been more consistent: if he called the
first path the path of honest renunciation of the struggle, then he should
have called the second path the path of dishonest struggle with dishonest
He admitted: "We chose this second path. In this we were guided by our
boundless hatred of the leaders of the Party and the country, and by a
thirst for power, with wich we were once closely associated and from which
we were cast aside by the course of historical development."
The accused Zinoviev said: "At the end of 1932 it became evident that our
hopes had proved false . . . the fact was that the general line of the Party
was winning." "Here," said Zinoviev, "the complete lack of principle and
ideals which brought us to the bare and unprincipled struggle for power
became strikingly apparent." (Vol. XII, p. 34.)
After this, can we speak with these people in any sort of political
language? Have we not the right to say that we can speak with these people
in one language only, the language of the Criminal Code, and regard them as
common criminals, as incorrigible and hardened murderers.
Such was their "program" in the sphere of home policy, if one may so
express it. Formerly, if only out of shame, they gave as grounds for their
struggle against the leaders of the Soviet government and the Party,
shortcomings, defects and difficulties. Now they have already thrown off
this mask. Now they admit that they had become convinced that socialism in
our country was victorious. They came to terrorism, to murder, because their
position had become hopeless, because they realized that they were isolated
from power, from the working class. They came to terrorism because of the
complete absence of favourable prospects for them in the fight for power by
other methods and by other means.
Kamenev admitted that the organization of terror was the only means by
which they hoped to come to power and that it was precisely on this basis of
terroristic struggle that negotiations which finally resulted in the union
of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites were conducted and successfully
concluded. Terrorism was the real basis on which the Trotskyites and
Not all of them want to admit that.
Comrades judges, in drawing up your verdict in your council chamber, you
will carefully - I have no doupt about that - once again go over not only
the material of the court investigation but also the records of the
preliminary investigation and you will become convinced of the animal fear
with which the accused tried to avoid admitting that terrorism was precisely
the basis of their criminal activities.
That is why Smirnov wriggled so much here. He admits that he was a member
of the centre, he admits that this centre had adopted a terroristic line of
struggle, he admits that he himself received from Trotsky the instructions
about this terroristic struggle. But at the same time he tries by every
means in his power to prove that he, Smirnov personally, did not adopt
terror, did not agree with it, and he even went so far as to say that he had
left the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre or bloc.
I will come back to each one of the accused, including Smirnov, and try
as fully, carefully and objectively as possible to analyze the evidence
which proves that they committed the gravest crimes against the state. At
present I merely wish to emphasize once again that the accused are not
political infants, that they are hardened players in the political struggle;
they know perfectly well that they must answer not only for recognizing
terror "theoretically" - for this alone they should have paid with their
heads - but for having translated this "theoretical" program into the
language of terroristic practice, into the language of practical, criminal
Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev - Sworn
Enimies of the Soviet Union
Terror was the basis of all their activities, it was the basis of the
Trotskyite-Zinovievite union. This was quite unanimously testified to by
people who were not directly connected with each other in their underground
work. This was not only admitted here by Zinoviev and Kamenev, Smirnov and
Ter-Vaganyan, Reingold and Pickel; it was stated also by Berman-Yurin, Fritz
David and Valentine Olberg, that peculiar citizen of the Republic of
Honduras, paid agent of Trotsky and simultaneously of the German secret
police - the Gestapo.
All these persons, under the weight of evidence against them, could no
longer deny and had to admit that the main, in fact the only means of
struggle against the Soviet government and the Party which united their
criminal activity was terror, murder.
Reingold said: "The Trotskyites and all the members of the bloc
insisted and agreed on this." It was precisely the removal through violence
of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet government that was the
fundamental aim of this Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc, which can be
quite fairly called, as I called it in the indictment, an association of
These terroristic sentiments which formed the basis of the organization
of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc in 1932-36 were perhaps most
distinctly and characteristically expressed by the accused Mrachkovsky, who
stated both at the preliminary investigation and at this trial:
"Hopes for the collapse of the policy of the Party must be regarded as
doomed. The methods of struggle applied up to now have not produced positive
results. Only one path of struggle remained, and that was the path of
removing by violence the leaders of the Party and the Government."
Mrachkovsky said: "The principal task is to put Stalin and the other
leaders of the Party and the Government out of the way."
All their bestial rage and hatred were directed against the leaders of
our Party, against the Political Bureau of the Central Committe, against
Comrade Stalin, against his glorious comrades-inarms.
It was upon them, headed by Comrade Stalin, that the main burden of the
struggle against the Zinovievite-Trotskyite underground organization lay. It
was under their leadership, under the leadership of Comrade Stalin, that
great executor and keeper of Lenin's will and testament, that the
counter-revolutionary Trotskyite organization was routed. It was under their
leadership, amidst fierce battles against Trotskyite counter-revolution that
Trotskyite counter-revolution was finally crushed.
In the fighting against this Trotskyite counter-revolution, Comrade
Stalin developed and undeviatingly carried out Lenin's teachings on the
building of socialism in our country, having armed the vast millions of
workers and collective farmers with these teachings.
That is why the Trotskyites and Zinovievites, as well as the other most
frenzied counter-revolutionry elements, concentrated all their efforts and
their hatred and rage against socialism on the leaders of our Party. That is
why in March 1932, in a fit counter-revolutionary fury, Trotsky burst out in
an open letter with an appeal to "put Stalin out of the way" (this letter
was found between the double walls of Holtzman's suit case and figured as an
exhibit in this case).
Trotsky addressed this despicable appeal with still greater frankness to
number of his diciples abroad whom he had recruited as assassins to be sent
to the U.S.S.R. for the purpose of organizing terroristic acts and attempts
on the lives of the leaders of our Soviet state and our Party. This was
related in detail here by the accused Fritz David. he stated that in
November 1932 he had a conversation with Trotsky during which Trotsky said
literally the following: "Now there is no other way out except the removal
by violence of Stalin and his adherents. Terror against Stalin - that is the
revolutionary task. Whoever is a revolutionary - his hand will not tremble."
(Vol. VIII, p. 62.) For this purpose Trotsky recruited high-strung persons,
impressing upon them that they must commit this counter-revolutionary act as
if it were some sort of "historic mission."
Berman-Yurin testified here that Trotsky systematically and repeatedly
said: "Until Stalin is removed by violence, there will be no possibillity of
changing the policy of the Party; in the fight against Stalin we must not
hesitate to adopt extreme measures - Stalin must be physically destroyed."
Fritz David and Berman-Yurin discussed with Trotsky the assassination of
Stalin. They accepted Trotsky's commission and took a number of practical
steps to carry it out. Does not this in itself deserve the sternest
punishment provided for by our law - death by shooting?
Fritz David, Berman-Yurin, Reingold, V. Olberg, and I. N. Smirnov himself
have in fact utterly exposed Trotsky's role in this matter. Even Smirnov,
who stubbornly denied that he took any part in the terroristic activities of
the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, could not help admitting that he
personally had received the directions on individual terror against the
leaders of the Soviet government and the C.P.S.U. in 1931 from Trotsky's
son, Sedov, that these directions on terror were confirmed by Trotsky in
1932 in the instructions brought from abroad by Gaven and conveyed to
Smirnov. Smirnov tried to alleviate the gravity of his own position by
stating that the instruction on terror which he had received from Sedov was
Sedov's personal attitude. But this is a worthless explanation. It is
obvious to everyone that Sedov was no authority whatever for Smirnov.
Ter-Vaganyan and Mrachkovsky corroborated this here when they said that had
they thought that the direction on terror came from Sedov they would have
spat upon it with supreme contempt.
The accused Ter-Vaganyan, one of the principal organizers of the united
centre, confirmed that Smirnov, while abroad, really did receive from
Trotsky instructions to adopt terror. Ter-Vaganyan merely veiled his
evidence by substituting for the word terror the phrase: "sharp struggle
against the leaders of the C.P.S.U." Later, however, he had to decipher this
and to admit that these were instructions, the content of which was
terrorism and terrorism alone.
Finally, you heard the witness Safonova whose confrontation with the
accused has probably left a deep impression upon the memories of everyone
present in this court. At this confrontation, Safonova, whose case is being
taken up separately because the investigation is still continuing, fully
confirmed that Smirnov received from Trotsky instructions on individual
terror through Sedov in 1931, and later through Gaven.
On the basis of these facts we can take it as absolutely established that
it was precisely Trotsky's instructions on terrorism that served as the
basis for the development of the terroristic activities of the united
centre. Trotsky's instructions to organize a united centre and to adopt
terrorism were accepted by the Trotskyite underground organization. Zinoviev
and Kamenev, the leaders of the Zinovievite section of the bloc,
arrived at the same idea and also accepted Trotsky's instructions as the
basis of the activities of the united centre and underground organizations.
These bitter and ingrained enemies could not look calmly on the growing
prosperity of our people, of our country, which had emerged onto the
highroad of socialism.
The U.S.S.R. is achieving victory. The U.S.S.R. is building socialism, in
the U.S.S.R. socialism is triumphant, and because of that their hatred
towards the Central Committe, towards Stalin and the government to whom the
country owes this victory, of whom the country is proud, grows more and
From their gloomy underworld Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev issue the
despicable call: Put out of the way, kill! The underground machinery begins
to work, knives are sharpened, revolvers are loaded,bombs are charged, false
documents are written and fabricated, secret connections are established
with the German political police, people are sent to their posts, they
engage in revolver practice, and finally they shoot and kill.
That is the main thing! The counter-revolutionaries not only dream of
terror, they not only devise plans for a terroristic plot, or for
terroristic attempts, they not only prepare to commit these foul crimes,
they commit them, they shoot and kill!
The main thing in this trial is that they transformed their
counter-revolutionary thoughts into counter-revolutionary deeds, their
counter-revolutionary theory into counter-revolutionary terroristic
practice; they not only talk about shooting, they shoot, shoot and kill!
That is the main thing. They killed Comrade Kirov, they were getting
ready to kill Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Orjonikidze, Zhdanov,
Kossior and Postyshev. This is what we are trying these people for, these
organizers of secret murder, these certified murderers.
And that is why we demand that the Court judge them as severely as our
Soviet law commands, judge them as our socialist censcience demands.
Murder - this is the whole "program" of the home policy of these people.
What was their foreign policy?
Here the shades of the dead arise, here the old "Clemenceau theses" are
revived, here the cloven hoof of Trotsky again becomes visible.
Trotsky's letter received by Dreitzer contained three brief points: 1)
put Stalin and Voroshilov out of the way; 2) unfold work of organizing
nuclei in the army; 3) in the event of war, take advantage of every setback
and possible confusion to seize the leadership.
This is avowed banking on defeat.
This is the old Clemenceau thesis, but in a new version, edited by the
united centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terroristic bloc.
Fritz David stated during the preliminary investigation and confirmed it
in this Court (and it fully conforms with a number of historical documents,
the evidence of other accused and the very nature of the task which
confronted Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev), that in one of his conversations
with Trotsky the latter asked him: "Do you think this discontent will
disappear in the event of a war between the Soviet Union and the Japanese?"
(He referred to the discontent which he thought existed in our country.)
"No, on the contrary," said Trotsky, "under these conditions the forces
hostile to the regime will try to unite, and in that case our task will be
to unite and take the lead of these discontented masses, to arm them and
lead them against the ruling bureaucrats"(Vol. VIII, p. 61).
Trotsky repeated this in his letter of 1932 (evidently this is his
idée fixe) and in a conversation with Berman-Yurin.
Berman-Yurin stated: "In connection with the international situation at
that time Trotsky told me that the task of demoralizing our military forces
was of particular importance, for in the event of a war against the Soviet
Union large masses would be called up to the army." Trotsky and the
Trotskyites together with the Zinovievites calcylated on being able to
influence these masses very easly. "Trotsky said to me literally the
following, " added Berman-Yurin: " 'We will defend the Soviet Union provided
the Stalin leadership is overthrown' " (Vol. IV, p. 100).
Such was their program in foreign policy!
Perhaps this is all an invention? Perhaps Fritz David and Berman-Yurin
just gave rein to their fantasy? Perhaps this is all a pack of lies, an
invention, the irresponsible chatter of the accused who are trying to say as
much as they can against the others in order to mitigate their own ultimate
fate? No! This is not an invention, not fantasy! It is the truth! Who does
not know that Trotsky,together with the accused Kamenev and Zinoviev now in
the dock, several years ago proclaimed the "Clemenceau thesis," that they
said that it was necessary, in the event of war, to wait until the enemy had
got within a distance of 80 kilometers of Moscow and then to rise in arms
against the Soviet government, to overthrow it. This is an historical fact.
It cannot be denied. And that is why it must be admitted that the evidence
given by Berman-Yurin and Fritz David in this onnection corresponds to the
Such was the "foreign policy" program of these people. For this program
alone our Soviet people will hang these trailors on the very first gates!
And it will serve them right!
Double-dealing, Deception and Provocation
- The Principal Methods of the Trotskyites-Zinovievites
Let us now turn to the methods by which these people operated.
This, perhaps, is one of the most shameful pages in the story of their
shameful criminal activities.
In conformity with the "principle" of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite
underground bloc to seize power by any means, the members of this
bloc widely practised double-dealing as their principal method in their
relations with the Party and the Government. They transformed this
double-dealing into a system which all the Azefs and Malinovskys, all the
secret police, with all their spies, provocateurs and agents for diversive
activities, might well envy.
Reingold stated that in 1933-34 Zinoviev told him in a private
conversation - and Zinoviev corroborated this before the whole world at this
trial - that "the principal, practical task that confronted their
underground organization was to organize their terroristic work so secretly
as not to compromise themselves in any way."
Perhaps this is an exaggeration? Of course not. What Reingold said
conforms to the logic of things.
"The main thing during an investigation," said Zinoviev in instructing
his accomplices, "is to deny all connection with the organization, arguing
that terror is incompatible with the views of Bolsheviks-Marxists" (Vol.
XXVII, p. 112).
Trotsky also recommended that in the event of a terroristic act being
committed, they should dissociate themselves from the Trotskyite
organization and take up a position analogous to that taken by the Central
Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries toward Madam Kaplan who shot at
Vladimir Ilyich (Lenin). We know what that means. We remember that after
Kaplan fired her treacherous bullet at Lenin, the Central Committee of the
Socialist-Revolutionaries issued a leaflet in which they categorically
declared that they had nothing to do with this terroristic act. Trotsky,
Zinoviev and Kamenev adopted the same tactics.
Zinoviev said: "We took the path of a carefully considered and profoundly
secret plot, we regarded ourselves as Marxists, and remembering the formula
'insurrection is an art,' altered it to suit our purposes and declared that
'plotting against the Party, against Stalin, is an art.' "
The masters of this "art" are now sitting in the dock. I will not say
that they are highly skilled masters. They are unskilled masters.
Nevertheless, they managed to do their despicable work. What did their "art"
consist of? The foremost part of their plan was by every possible means to
mask their truly criminal faces.
This perhaps is one of the most striking cases in history when the word
mask acquired its real meaning: these people put masks on their faces,
adopted the pose of repentant sinners who had broken with the past, who had
abandoned their old erring ways and mistakes which grew into crime.
It is characteristic that precisely at the time when the united
Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre was intensifying its activities to the utmost,
when these terroristic activities reached their highest point of
development, when they were advancing to the consummation of the despicable
murder of Comrade Kirov, it was precisely at that period that Zinoviev sent
a letter of repentance to the Central Committee. In this letter dated May 8,
1933, that is to say, when the preparations for terroristic acts were at
their height, Zinoviev not only renounced all his past mistakes, but
hypocritically vowed his loyalty to socialism and to the Party.
During the very days in which he was preparing to strike a treacherous
blow at the very heart of the Party, preparing a terroristic act against
Comrade Stalin, this criminal who, like all those sitting in the dock at the
present time, had lost every semblance of a human being, ended his letter
with the following words:
"I ask you to believe that I am speaking the truth and nothing but the
truth. I ask you to retore me to the ranks of the Party and to give me
an opportunity of working for the common cause. I give my word as a
revolutionary that I will be the most devoted member of the Party, and
will do all I possibly can at least to some extent to atone for my guilt
before the Party and its Central Committee."
We know now what these words were worth, we know that Zinoviev did all he
possibly could to damage the Party and the work of building socialism in our
country, to damage the cause of the whole international Communist movement.
On June 16, 1933, he published an article in Pravda entitled "Two
Parties." He publishes an article in the Central Organ of our Party in which
he does everything to prove his loyalty to the Party, roundly condemns
opportunism and sings hallelujahs to the victories achieved by the Party.
This was on May 8 and June 16, that is to say, in the summer of 1933. And
in that very summer of 1933, as has now been definitely established at a
conference of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, Zinoviev instructs Bakayev
to start the practical realization of measures of terrorism.
Zinoviev was indignant with Smirnov here when the latter reproached him
for telling lies. Smirnov himself did not utter a single word of truth here,
but he reproached Zinoviev for telling lies. Zinoviev was offended and said
that the difference between him and Smirnov was that he, Zinoviev, "had
firmly decided at this last moment to speak the whole truth, whereas Smirnov
had evidently taken a different decision."
Permit me, comrades judges, to warn you against this statement of
Zinoviev's. Do not believe that he really speaking the whole truth here.
At the Leningrad trial on January 15-16 Zinoviev and Kamenev performed
not at all badly in one of the scenes of their cunning, perifidious
masquerade. While giving evidence at the trial on January 15-16, 1935,
Kamenev wanted to create the impression that he was an enemy who had finally
and sincerely laid down his arms and was telling all that was in his heart
against the government and the Party. He then recalled some episode in which
Zinoviev concealed something of what was said in a conversation with
Trotsky. In a voice of pathos and "unfeigned" indignation Kamenev reproached
Zinoviev for having concealed this fact, for not speaking the truth.
But at that very time Kamenev himself, and Zinoviev, tried to deceive us,
to deceive the Court and the whole country by stating that they had had no
connection whatever with the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov. Then, as
now, literally in the same words that were uttered yesterday, Zinoviev and
Kamenev vowed that they were speaking the whole truth. It may be said that
for Kamenev and Zinoviev the trial of January 15-16, 1935, was a sort of
rehearsal of the present trial, which they did not expect, perhaps, but
which they did not escape any more than they could escape from fate.
I will come back to the "remarkable" evidence given at the trial in
Leningrad. I mention it now only in order to warn you, and through you,
through the Court, to warn the whole country, not only against Kamenev and
Zinoviev, but against all other doubledealers, all other traitors whom
unfortunately we still have in our ranks and who talk about their
repentance, who dissociate themselves, and mask themselves, in order the
better to thrust their knife into the back of the Party, of our country, of
our great cause.
Not the slightest confidence must be placed in these certified and
They themselves understand that they do not deserve any confidense. While
examining Zinoviev I asked him: "Are you speaking the whole truth now?" And
he ansvered: "Now I am speaking the whole truth to the very end."
But what proof is there of this? How can we believe them when they have
surpassed all conceptions of perfidy, cunning, deceit and treachery?
Zinoviev carried this perfidy to such lengths that after the murder of
Sergei Mironovich Kirov he sent an obituary notice to Pravda. The
only thing he said here about that was: "That obituary was not published as
far as I remember." And that is all.
Here is the obituary; I have it in my hand. Zinoviev dated it, if I am
not mistaken, the 4th or 7th of December, most probably the 4th of December.
You, Zinoviev, gave this obituary notice on Comrade Kirov the title "The
Beacon Man." How did you start the obituary notice which you intended for
the press, and which, consequently, was to become public property?
"This could be observed throughout the 17 years of our revolution, at
every moment when the enemy contrived to strike a blow at the Bolsheviks. .
. . That is what happened when the enemy succeeded in striking a palpable
blow on the battlefields of the
Civil War, that is what happened . . . " etc., etc.
And further on Zinoviev writes: "The grief of the Party is the grief of
the whole people, of all peoples of the U.S.S.R. The Party's mourning is the
mourning of the whole of our great country. . . . The whole people have felt
the bitterness of bereavment."
It is true that the bitterness of bereavment and anger against the
treacherous shot was felt by the whole country. That feeling was really
shared by the whole country, young and old.
But to what extent does this concern you?
"The foul murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov has in truth roused the whole
Party, the whole of the Soviet Union." "The loss of this beloved and dear
man has been felt by all as the loss of one who is nearest and dearest of
all. . . ."
This is what you, the accused Zinoviev, wrote in this terrible and
disgraceful article. Why did the Party lose this near and infinitely dear S.
M. Kirov, accused Zinoviev? The Party lost this man who was so near and dear
to us because you, the accused Zinoviev, killed him, you killed him with
your own hands, your hands are stained with Kirov's blood! . . .
"Beloved son of the Party," you wrote. What insolent sacrilege!
"A son of the working class - this is what this Beacon Man was," "our
dear, deep, strong. . . . One could not help believing him, one could not
help loving him, one could not help being proud of him."
This is what Zinoviev wrote, exceeding all bounds of cynicism!
Such is this man. He loved him, he was proud of him, and he killed him!
The miscreant, the murderer, mourns over his victim! Has anything like it
ever occurred before?
What can one say, what words can one use fully to describe the utter
baseness and loathesomeness of this: Sacrilege! Perfidy! Duplicity! Cunning!
It was you, Zinoviev, you who with your sacrilegious hand extinguished
this beacon, and you began publicly and hypocritically to tear your hair in
order to deceive the people.
Whom did you kill? You killed a magnificent Bolshevik, a passionate
tribune, a man who was dangerous to you, a man who fought devotedly for
Lenin's testament and against you. You killed this man in a flash of time by
the bullet fired by the despicable hand of Nikolayev, and two or three days
afterwards you sent an article to the Pravda in which you wrote
about the "extinguished beacon." Where shall we find the word with which to
appraise this despicable trick! I can not find the words in my vocabulary!
We will now pass to Kamenev, the second pillar of the socalled
Zinovievite group, this hypocrite "in an ass's skin," as he himself
expressed it at the Seventeenth Congress of the Party.
I ask the Court to pay attention to the articles Kamenev published in
1933. Kamenev wrote these articles almost simultaneously with those written
by Zinoviev by mutual agreement. Kamenev published an article in Pravda
in which he, like Zinoviev, renounced his past erring ways, condemned his
own mistakes and said that "the man who had fought Lenin for decades became
the most important figure in the opposition," etc., etc. "It is clear,"
wrote Kamenev in this article of May 25, 1933, "that the resistance to the
policy headed by Comrade Stalin was based on the premises which made members
of the Party in October 1917 come out as the opponents of the policy of
Lenin." Weeping and groaning, Kamenev tried to prove that he had broken off
relations with his old friends and concluded his article with an appeal to
all of them to abandon all resistance which was interfering with the work of
This was in May 1933. And in the summer of 1933, after the return of
Kamenev and Zinoviev from exile, a meeeting of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite
centre was held in Zinoviev's apartment for the purpose of organizing
terroristic acts against the leaders of the Party and the Soviet government.
When Kamenev was asked about this here, his replies were curt. The
following dialogue took place between me and him, which I will take the
liberty to repeat. I asked:
"What appraisal should be given the articles and statements you wrote in
1933, in which you expressed loyalty to the Party? Deception?
"Kamenev: 'No, worse than deception.'
"Vyshinsky: 'Worse than deception; worse than perfidy - find the
"Kamenev: 'You have found the word!' "
Later on he said that he not only did this in agreement with Zinoviev,
but that it was all done in fulfilment of the plan to seize power that had
been drawn up beforehand, which plan was combined with the necessity of
There is a small detail which is of some importance for defining the
moral, or, if you will, the ideological level of the accused Kamenev, for
characterizing his interest at the time, for characterising some of his
I would like to mention one of the books of Machiavelli (Vol. I). It was
published in 1934 by the "Academia" Publishing House, of which Kamenev was
then the head, and has a prefase by Kamenev. It is a very interesting book.
It was written in the 16th century. The author wrote it for a prince in
order to instruct him in the art of governing the state in accordance with
his princely interests. Marchiavelli wrote: "You must know that there are
two ways of contending, by law and by force: the first is proper to men; the
second to beasts.
"But because many times the first is insufficient, recourse must be had
to the second. A prince must possess the nature of both beast and man."
This pleased Kamenev very much, and in his short preface to this book he
wrote the following interesting words: "A master of political aphorism and a
brilliant dialectician. . . ." (According to Kamenev Machiavelli was a
dialectician! This hardened schemer turns out to be a dialectician!) "A
master of political aphorism. . . . " A fine aphorism indeed! Machiavelli
wrote: to fight by means of law is characteristic of men, to fight by means
of force is characteristic of the beast; pursue this bestial policy and you,
says Machiavelli, will achieve your goa! And this the accused Kamenev calls
being a "master of political aphorism."
Let us hear what Kamenev writes further: ". . . . A dialectician who from
his observations had formed the firm opinion that all concepts of the
criteria of good and evil, of the permissible and impermissible, of the
lawful and criminal were relative. . . ." Evidently, according to Kamenev,
this is dialectics: mixing up what is criminal with what is not criminal,
the lawful with the unlawful, good with evil is a new "Marxian" in
terpretation of dialecties a la Machiavelli.
"Machiavelli," wrote Kamenev in 1934, "made his treatise into an
astonishingly sharp and expressive catalogue of the rules by which the ruler
of his time was to be guided in order to win power, to hold it and
victoriously to withstand any attacks upon it," You had a good teacher,
Kamenev, but you, and you must be given credit for this, have excelled your
Futher on you write in this preface: "This is far from being the
sociology of power, but from this prescription there magnificently stand out
the zoological features of the struggle for power in the society of slave
owners based on the rule of the rich minority over the toiling majority."
That is so. But you wanted to employ in our society the methods of
struggle and the principles of struggle that were worthy of slave owners;
you wanted to apply them against our society, against socialism. You write:
"Thus, this secretary of the Florentine bankers and their ambassador at the
Pope's Court, by accident or design, created a shell of tremendous explosive
force which disturbed the minds of rulers for centuries. . . ." You,
Kamenev, adopted the rules of Machiavelli, you developed them to the utmost
point of unscrupulousness and immorality, you modernized them and perfected
I do not ask you, comrades judges, to regard this book as material
evidence in this case. I am not using this book to prove that the accused
are guilty of the crimes of which they are charged. I simply thought it
necessary to devote a few minutes of attention to this circumstance, in
order to show the ideological source from which Kamenev and Zinoviev
obtained their sustenance at that time - these men who even now, at this
trial try to preserve their noble pose of Marxists capable of thinking and
arguing in conformity with the principles of Marxism.
Drop this clownish farce! Tear the mask from your faces once and for all!
Here Kamenev calls Machiavelli's book a shell of enormous explosive force.
Evidently Kamenev and Zinoviev wanted to use this shell to blow up our
socialist fatherland. They miscalculated! And although Machiavelli was a
puppy and a yokel compared with them, nevertheless, he was their spiritual
preceptor. "Machiavellism," and Azefism served you as the source of your
activities and your crimes. Now this has been exposed by Zinoviev and
Kamenev themselves: murder, cunning, perfidy and masquerade were the
principal, decisive methods in their criminal activities.
Yesterday, Zinoviev and Kamenev, frankly if cynically, admitted that this
entered into the plan of their activities. This was testified to by
Reingold, this was testified to by others of the accused, and I think that a
sufficiently exhaustive characterization of this methods is contained in the
materials which I have presented. Summing up this part of my speech, I can
say that the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre was organized on a terrorist
basis and had its program, a very primitive and simple one, it is true,
expressed in only a few words, a program which did not even need for
drafting the two hours to which the accused themselves contemptuously
referred. Their program of home policy was confined to murder; their program
of foreign policy was confined to defeat of the U.S.S.R. in war; their
method was perfidy, cunning and treason.
The Counter-Revolutionary Terroristic
Activities of the Trotskyites-Zinovievites are Fully Proved
I now pass to the second part of my speech for the prosecution, to the
practical activities of the so-called united centre and to the
characterization of the role of each of the accused in this criminal
conspiracy against the Soviet government.
There is not the slightest doupt that the union of the Zinovievite and
Trotskyite counter-revolutionary groups which took place in the autumn of
1932 arose and grew strong on the soil and on the basis of the mutual
recognition of terror as the sole and decisive method in the struggle for
power - a struggle which was then the fundamental and principal task of the
Trotskyites and Zinovievites.
An organization existed. An underground, conter-revolutionary, terrorist
group existed. Existed and functioned. However much Smirnov may try to deny
this here, he will not succeed .The facts are too strong, the facts are too
numerous. We, the prosecution, have every ground for asserting that an
underground, counter-revolutionary, Trotskyite-Zinovievite group existed,
that this terrorist organization was created, that it was created precisely
as a terrorist organization, that it developed its activities precisely as
terroristic activities, that it prepared for terroristic attempts at
assassination and that, to our great misfortune and horror, one of these
attempts was successful. The foul murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov on
December 1, 1934, was committed by this organization. This is the most
horrible of the crimes which this organization succeeded in committing.
In January 1935 we tried the Moscow centre in connection with the trial
of the Leningrad centre which took place a little before that, about two
weeks before, and as a result of which L. Nikolayev, Kotolynov, Rumyantsev,
Sossitsky and a number of others were convicted and shot. At that time we
did not yet know who were the real authors, instigators and participants in
this monstrous crime. But we were on the right track. The investigation
directed by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs proceeded along
the true and correct trail of exposing the real organizers of this crime,
although the amount of evidence available at that time did not enable us to
make a direct charge against Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev of
organizing this murder, of guiding this murder, of committing this murder.
The verdict in the case of the so-called Moscow centre in which Kamenev,
Zinoviev, Evdokimov and several others played the principal roles merely
said in regard to the role they played that they had fanned the terrorist
sentiments of their accomplices, that they had created the objective soil
upon which this crime inevitably had to grow up and did grow up.
Being absolutely objective, the investigating and prosecuting authorities
did not then charge Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev with directly
instigating, directly organizing this murder. The indictment stated that the
investigating authorities had not established their direct participation.
Nevertheless, all the materials in the possession of the investigating
authorities permitted them to say that these people - Kamenev, Zinoviev,
Bakayev and Evdokimov - were closely connected with this crime and, as they
themselves expressed it, had to bear complete moral and political
responsibility for it.
In conformity with this Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev were
given in the Moscow centre case a relatively mild sentence - only
deprivation of liberty.
Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev did all they possibly could to
misrepresent the real state of affairs, to shield the real organizers and
accomplices in the crime. They tried to make it appear that they had had no
hand in this sordid and despicable affair. Speaking in lofty style, they
declared that the counter-revolution had chosen them as the instrument of
its criminal activity. It was not they who had chosen counter-revolution as
the instrument of their struggle, it was counter-revolution which had chosen
them as its instrument. . . .
Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bakayev and Evdokimov did all they could to assert and
prove that they could not bear more responsibility for this foul murder than
moral and political responsibility; but they declared that they were fully
and honestly prepared to bear this responsibility, and admitted the
correctness and the justness of the charges brought against them within
During the trial on January 15-16, 1935, Zinoviev said: "There are many
of us sitting in the dock, more than fifteen persons, each with a different
biography. Among us there are many who have belonged to the working class
movement for many years. Much of what they have done they did because they
had confidence in me, and for that, of course, I must torture myself. The
task that I see confronting me at this stage is to repent fully, frankly and
sincerely, before the court of the working class, of what I understood to be
a mistake and a crime, and to say it in such a way that it should all end,
once and for all, with this group."
I have already said that this statement of Zinoviev's was a pose, a
manoeuvre, a tactical move.
This is the way criminals always behave. Accused of murder and robbery,
they plead guilty only to robbery. Accused of robbery, they plead guilty
only to larceny. Accused of larceny, they plead guilty only to receiving
stolen goods. These are the usual tricks of criminals: charged with graver
crimes, they plead guilty to lesser crimes. It is a trick to wipe out the
traces of the crime committed, counting on the credulity of people who
still, in many cases, even in criminal cases, show some confidence in
This was the position taken up by Zinoviev. An analogous position was
taken up - and this they will not deny - by Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev.
Caught in 1935, almost red-handed, these people admitted responsibility for
the minor crime in order to evade responsibility, real responsibility, for
the major crime.
Zinoviev talked about making a "frank and sincere" confession, but he did
not really do that. Actually, they did all they could to shield their
accomplices from the hand of Soviet justice, to leave themselves some
reserves, in order at the necessary moment to use these reserves against our
Party, against the leaders of our country.
This explains the whole position taken up by Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov
and Bakayev at the Leningrad trial on January 15-16, 1935. "It is true,"
said Zinoviev, "that we are being tried on objective features." He said that
he did not know many of the people who were with him in the dock at that
time. Zinoviev, it would appear, did not know either Evdokimov, or Gertik,
or Kamenev, or Sakhov. . . . Zinoviev said that subjectively they were
"loyal" to the working class.
Zinoviev even had the effrontery to allege that he and his 15 accomplices
were subjectively loyal to the working class and did not want to take the
path of counter-revolution, but objectively things turned out the other way.
Why did things turn out the other way? I would like the accused Zinoviev in
his speech in defence to say how it happened that although he was
subjectively loyal to the working class, objectively it turned out the other
way. This cannot be the case; such things do not happen. If, objectively, it
really turned out that way, it was only because your subjective loyalty to
the revolution, accused Zinoviev, was false and rotten! What were you
thinking about when you said these things? I ask you to tell us about that
too, in your speech in defence.
In your fight against the Soviet government you armed yourself not only
with rage but with firearms. You carried out your criminal designs in
practice. You yourself spoke about duplicity, but you spoke about it in such
a way as to conceal the fact that even at that moment you were continuing
the policy of duplicity.
You said: "I am accustomed to feel that I am a leader; for me,
personally, that played an enormous role." You said:
"I am accustomed to feel that I am a leader, and it goes without saying
that I should have known everything. If I am removed from the leadership, it
is either an injustice, or a misunderstanding, or for a few months. This is
no justification, but I am telling you all I think, and thereby I am
extracting from my body the last splinter of the crimes that are being
Zinoviev extracted the "last splinter" at the Leningrad trial. . . . No!
He did not do that! He left that splinter, and not only that one, but
several, in the body of our socialist country in order to continue to
prepare for and commit the gravest crimes.
". . . I did not think otherwise: how can I be without my cirkle, without
knowing everything, without being in the very heart of politics," etc.?
That was the thought that was torturing you - you thought that nothing
could happen without you. . . . Your position in the past was determined by
deeds, just as your present position is determined by your deeds.
Approaching the question as to whether there was a centre, you said: Of
course there was one up to 1929. you tried to assert that there was no
centre in the subsequent years, that strictly speaking it did not function
after 1929. That was deception. The old Zinovievite centre was transformed
into the centre of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc. It was
reorganized, it became somewhat stronger because several groups were
consolidated. In 1932 it began to develop its activities on a wider scale in
1933 it displayed particular activity, it prepared for a number of
terroristic acts and in 1934 it committed one of them.
Zinoviev said, "this is not the centre that existed in 1926-27," and that
he had no connection whatever with this centre. how did Zinoviev then put
the question of connection with the Leningrad centre? He said that "there
was a group consisting of Kotolynov, Mandelstam, Myasnikov and others." An
important role was played by Kotolynov, which, Zinoviev alleges, he learned
from the indictment in the case of Kirov's murder.
Zinoviev wanted to assert that he learned about one of the organizers of
the Leningrad terrorist group only from the indictment!
Was that really the case? No, it was not. Zinoviev sent Bakayev to
Leningrad to establish contacts with the Nikolayev-Kotolynov group and to
investigate how Nikolayev, Kotolynov, Mandelstamm and others were preparing
to commit the crime.
Here again we have deceit, lies, again camouflage!
"We sought rapprochement with them." Already in 1935, in spite of all the
camouflage, Zinoviev had to admit that he had sought rapprochement with
Kotolynov and Nikolayev, and that he found this rapprochement. Now this has
been established with absolute precision.
Zinoviev related that in 1932 he met Levin, who was shot in 1935 in
connection with the murder of Comrade Kirov, and added: "We did not talk
about organization. Nor was there any need for this: my hints were
understood, I was an authority for him and he was an authority for me; I
knew that this man of the 'leaderless group' would do what we told him."
This, too, contains a number of half hints and half admissions, which only
subsequently, after a number of clues exposing Zinoviev had been collected,
made it possible to ensure Zinoviev's full confession of his part in this
crime. Now Zinoviev no longer conceals the fact which yesterday Bakayev
tried very hard to minimize.
Already in January 1935, in connection with the Moscow centre case,
Zinoviev admitted that Vladimir Levin was particularly intimate with
Bakayev. But yesterday Bakayev tried to minimize this intimacy, to minimize
it by stating that he did not go to meet Levin in Leningrad for
conspirative, terroristic purposes. But these were the only purposes
possible, where such an intimacy existed. All the time he tried to impress:
expunge the words "for this purpose" from the evidence and the indictment.
No, Bakayev, we shall not expunge those words; they cannot be expunged
because you went there "for this purpose," as an expert, an expert in
terrorism, and your journey was not accidental!
Why did not Zinoviev send Reingold, Pickel or even Evdokimov to
Leningrad? Why did Zinoviev choose Bakayev and no other to negotiate with
the Leningrad group, with the group that was to murder Comrade Kirow? I find
the reply to that question in Zinoviev's evidence, and partly in that of
Bakayev, at the trial on January 15-16, 1935. Zinoviev's choice fell on
Bakayev because Bakayev was most closely connected with Levin, who was the
representative of the Zinovievites in Leningrad, who was the leader of the
Leningrad terrorist underground organization, as he himself admitted before
the Military Collegium, last year. We also find confirmation of this in
Zinoviev's evidence: "Bakayev knew him particularly closely, he was one of
the important organizers of the anti-Party struggle in Leningrad. . . ."
Accused Zinoviev, was it only anti-Party struggle? It was an anti-Soviet
struggle, a counter-revolutionary struggle, a struggle which by its very
nature bore an openly counter-revolutionary, anti-state, anti-Soviet
Zinoviev went on to say: "I did not give him any instructions,"Well, you
know this is jesuitry that can hardly be exceeded. It is like the reply of
the jesuit monk who, when asked: "Did this man pass here?" answered,
pointing up his sleeve: "He did not pass here " . . . .
You had no contacts with Levin, but you did have contacts with him
through Bakayev. Bakayev travelled on your instructions. Consequently, when
you said: "I did not give him any instructions," you lied again!
Bakayev was not the only one to carry out your instructions. All of you -
both Kamenev and Zinoviev, as well as the whole of your centre, carried on
negotiations with Levin, Kotolynov, Nikolayev, Rumyantsev, Sossitsky,
Mandelstamm and a number of other members of this gang of Leningrad
Zinovievites, which has now been broken up and destroyed. The whole of your
centre checked up on the progress being made by the Leningrad gang of
Zinovievites in preparing for this crime; and you waited impatiently for the
time when at last that loyal son of our Party, the leader of the Leningrad
Bolsheviks and fiery tribune, Sergei Mironovich Kirov, would be destroyed.
And they lived to see this murder committed.
In this Court Zinoviev admitted that he was pressing to hasten murder. He
was in a hurry, he clutched feverishly at people like Nikolayev and
Kotolynov in order to hasten this murder. Not the least motive was the
desire to forestall the Trotskyite terrorists. The Trotskyites were pressing
Zinoviev admitted that Smirnov was also hurrying. They were all hurrying.
The Trotskyites operated with greater determination and energy than the
Zinovievites. Zinoviev knew that Trotskyite terrorists were arriving from
abroad. And Zinoviev declared that it was a "matter of honour" - I am
ashamed to use such a word in this connection - to carry out his criminal
design sooner than the Trotskyites! Hence Zinoviev's feverish impatience.
That is why he was waiting every day for the moment when that treacherous
shot would at last be fired in Leningrad. All his activities were directed
towards committing this foul crime as soon, as swiftly and as successfully
Such was the role played by Zinoviev, such was his conduct in this
In finishing with this episode, I would like now to get a straight answer
from Zinoviev to the following question: Does Zinoviev now accept only moral
responsibility, or the whole criminal responsibility, full responsibility,
for preparing, organizing and committing the murder of Sergei Mironovich
Of course, Zinoviev will say "yes." He cannot say anything else He said
this on the very first day of this trial when caught in the grip of the iron
chain of evidence and proof.
At that same trial Kamenev took an almost similar stand. Bakayev took a
similar stand. Kamenev said that he did not know of the existence of the
Moscow centre. Trying to pose as a noble person, he said that in so far as
the centre existed, and this was proved, he was responsible for it. . . .
The way Kamenev put it, it amounted to this: he did not know there was a
centre, but if there was a centre, well then, he knew about it. But Kamenev
did know of the existence of the centre; he indeed knew. This has been
proved. And now this is corroborated by fresh evidence obtained in
connection with the discovery of a number of new criminal gangs operating in
the same direction. This evidece throws full light on this ghastly and
And then Kamenev tried to pose as a man who had become politcally blind.
He said: I became blind - I lived to the age of 50 and did not see this
centre in which, it turns out, I myself was active, in which I participarted
by action and by inaction, by speech and by silence.
It sounds like some sort of spiritualism, spiritualism and black magic!
Even at that time we realized that this was simply an attempt at
concealment by means of false phrases, an attempt by means of these false
phrases to conceal the truth. Now all this has been finally exposed. No,
Kamenev did not become blind. Kamenev very well saw and knew what he was
doing. He saw perfectly well what was going on around him, because he
organized what was going on around him. Kamenev did not become blind,
because he acted by speech and silence. By silence when he did not say:
"Don't do that," when he should have said that; and by speech when he said:
"Do it," when, perhaps, some of his younger assistants warvered and turned
to him as their authority, as their mentor.
"I want to say - not in my own justification, I did not remember this
before but now I recall - that some time ago Zinoviev told me that Safarov
had visited him and had proposed some sort of a bloc. I said that I
would not take part in any bloc because I never believed that man.
Zinoviev can confirm this. I was not opposed to talking. I talked."
With whom did he talk?
"With Tolmazov and Shatsky." Tolmazov and shatsky were active members of
the Leningrad Zinovievite gang which killed Comrade Kirov.
Kamenev talked with Tolmazov and shatsky, that is to say, with two of the
principal organizers of the murder of Comrade Kirov. So Kamenev agreed to
these conversations and carried them on through Bakayev. But he tried to
Arguing that he could not have any connection with terrorism, Kamenev,
striking a pose, said:
"Imust say that I am not a coward by nature, but I never banked on
fighting with arms. I always expected that a situation would arise in which
the Central Committee would be compelled to negotiate with us, that it would
move up and make room for us. . . .These dreams did not recur during the
past two years, simply because I am not a dreamer and not a fantast. There
were fantasts and adventurers in our midst, but I do not belong to that
I think that Kamenev will now define his part in this affair somewhat
differently. What aim did Kamenev set himself? Did he or did he not bank on
fighting with arms?
At that time he said - "No." Now, two days ago, he said - "Yes." At that
time he said "no" because he knew, he saw that we were as yet not in
possession of all the threads of this ghastly crime, because at that stage
of the investigation all the threads had not yet been finally unravelled. At
that time he said: "No." Now when everything has been disclosed, he says -
Here is a characteristic fact! It shows what a great and decisive role
personal motives played in this criminal "work" of Kamenev. Kamenev thought
that a time must arrive when the Central Committee would move up and make
room for him. but suppose it did not move up? Suppose it did not make room
for him? In that case he, Kamenev, would take measures to have room made for
This is the whole of Kamenev's logic and politics! Logic and politics
which make it utterly impossible for us to agree that he does not belong to
the category of people whom he himself described as adventurers. No.
Obviously he belongs to this category, as well as to the other category -
the"fantasts." There was not a little of fantasy here, but there was plenty
of willingness to put this fantasy into practice, to make it real, to make
it a living thing even by means of adventures, by means of a bloc
with spies, agents for diversive activities, secret police agents,
murderers, and by direct murders. Kamenev agreed to this, Kamenev was
prepared to do this.
Here is something else he said at the Leningrad trial: "I am speaking
before the portraits of these great builders of socialism. . . ." It must be
said that among these there was a portrait framed in black, the portrait of
Comrade Kirov. Kamenev at the trial vowed before the portrait of Kirov, whom
Kamenev had murdered!
" . . . Before the portraits of these great builders of sicialism I am a
criminal if I lacked the strength to leave and to take with me those whom it
was possible to take. . . ."
Lies! Again hypocrisy, cunning, perfidy and cynism!
The Trotskyite-Zinovievite Centre Killed
Above I asked: Was there an organization? Was there a
Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre? I answer: Yes, there was. It arose
in 1932. it consisted of Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov, Bakayev, Smirnov,
Ter-Vaganyan and Mrachkovsky.
This centre existed, and, what is most importaut, it was formed on the
direct instructions of Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev. It was formed on the
direct instructions of Trotsky to adopt terror as the sole method of
fighting against the leaders of the land of Soviets. It was formed on the
basis of profound and strict secrecy. Yesterday we were able to observe one
of the representatives of this Trotsky-Zinoviev-Kamenev school of conspiracy
in the person of the accused Holtzman. In the dock we have another
conspirator in the person of Smirnov. The centre existed and funktioned: it
not only resorted to methods of downright perfidy, deceit and treachery but,
as has now been definitely established, it organized and established secret
communications with the German fascists, with whom it mated the German
Trotskyites, using them in the fight against our leaders, using their
connections with the German Gestapo in the persons of Tukalevsky, P. Olberg
and their like.
I take it as absolutely proven by the personal evidence of literally all
the accused, including that of Smirnov on this point, that this centre was
organized on a terroristic basis, that the centre resorted to terroristic
methods, not shrinking from the most sordid and cynical methods in its
struggle. I take it as absolutely proven that this centre prepared a number
of terroristic attempts in the Ukraine, in Moscow and in Leningrad. Finally,
this centre prepared and committed the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov in
As I have already said, the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov was part of
the conspirators' general plan to murder the leaders of the Soviet state and
the C.P.S.U. Incidentally, this has been established by the evidence of
Evdokimov. I ask the Court to take note of Evdokimov's testimony of August
10, when he said that the murder of Kirov was committed on the direct
instructions of the united centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc,
when he said that in 1934 Zinoviev gave him direct instructions to this
effect. Bakayev also corroborated this. The decision to organize the murder
of Kirov was adopted by Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev, and by
Trotsky's representatives, Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan.
Evdokimov's evidence, to which I now refer, reads as follows: "For the
purpose of preparing for the murder, Bakayev was sent to Leningrad at the
beginning of November 1934, that is to say, some days before Nikolayev
killed Kirov in the Smolny, in the city of Leningrad - to check up on the
preparations for this murder. Bakayev personally met Nikolayev and on
returning to Moscow informed Evdokimov, Zinoviev and Kamenev of this. The
latter noted with satisfaction the successful progress of the preparations
for this foul crime and began to wait for the shot. Bakayev warned Nikolayev
and his accomplices that they must wait for Zinoviev's signal, that they
must fire simultaneously with the shots to be fired in Moscow and Kiev."
All this has now been proved by the trial. Let the accused challenge this
in their defence speeches if they dare.
After prolonged denials during the preliminary investigation Zinoviev
gave the evidence which I have already mentioned. A characteristic detail.
As far back as the autumn of 1932, in Zinoviev's and Kamenev's summer villa
(they jointly occupied a summer villa which, incidentally, Kamenev once
called the source of his misfortunes) Bakayev was instructed to prepare a
terroristic act against Comrade Stalin, and Karev was instructed to prepare
one against Comrade Kirov. But then the situation changed, for Karev was
arrested and Kamenev and Zinoviev found themselves in exile.
Then came 1933, the year of revival of terroristic sentiments, the year
of resumption of activities by the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre. And now,
Bakayev is given instructions; and thorough preparations for the murder of
Comrade Kirov are begun.
Kamenev says: "I did not know these preparations proceeded in practice
because it was not I, but Zinoviev who exercised practical direction in the
organization of this terroristic act." Accused Kamenev, did you know that
Bakayev went to Leningrad to check up on the progress of these preparations?
Yes, you knew. Did you know that Bakayev, after having checked up and found
that everything was going on successfully, arrived in Moscow and reported to
you the progress of these preparations? you knew. How, after this, can you
presume to say that you took no practical part in the murder of Kirov? Your
attempt to throw all the blame on Zinoviev will not hold water.
Kamenev says "it was decided" to kill, and adds "I agreed to this
decision." Is this not taking practical steps?
At the preliminary investigation Bakayev persistently denied that he had
played any part in the preparations for the murder of Kirov; but he was
exposed by Karev, who reminded him of a number of facts. And only then,
after that, did Bakayev confess.That is why, in view of Bakayev's full
confession, I refrained from examining Karev in Court.
It was the hand of Nikolayev, of Kotolynov, of his group that murdered
Sergei Mironovich Kirov. But who else took part in this murder? I asked
Zinoviev: When was the united centre organized? Zinoviev replied: In the
summer of 1932. During what period of time did it function? Zinoviev:
Practically up to 1934. . . .
I would like to deal with this question in greater detail. In 1932-33
Kamenev and Zinoviev were in exile; but the centre functioned. It is known
that in 1934 Smirnov, too, was not at liberty; he was arrested in January
1933; but the centre functioned. And Zinoviev confirms that the centre
functioned. I draw the conclusion that if the centre functioned it was
because of the well-organized technique of communication which enabled even
those who were not at liberty, Smirnov, for example, to take part in guiding
the work of this centre.
I know that in his defence Smirnov will argue that he had left the
centre. Smirnov will say: "I did not do anything, I was in prison." A naive
assertion! Smirnov was in prison from January 1, 1933, but we know that
while in prison Smirnov organized contacts with his Trotskyites, for a code
was discovered by means of which Smirnov, while in prison, communicated with
his companions outside. This proves that communication existed andSmirnov
cannot deny this.
But even this does not settle the question because, after all, what is
important for us is that Smirnov, like Zinoviev and Kamenev, is responsible
for all the centre's activities and for the activities of the whole of the
terrorist group which was organized, built up and functioned under his
leadership when they were still at liberty. Smirnov, Zinoviev and Kamenev
were the organizers of the centre; they directed the activities of their
terrorists, of all these Pickels, the Dreitzers and the rest. And they must
bear full responsibility for this, irrespective of whether any one of them
was at liberty at the time or not. This is elementary, and I do not think it
is necessary to deal with it in detail. As the leaders, they must answer for
the whole of the criminal activities of the organization which they led and
of all those groups which sprang up the soil they plowed.
What did the activities of the centre consist of? Zinoviev said: "Their
principal activities consisted in the preparations of terroristic acts
against the leaders of the Party and the Government." I asked: against whom?
Zinoviev answered: against the leaders. I asked: that is to say, against
Stalin, Voroshilov and Kaganovich? Was it your centre that organized the
murder of Kirov? Was the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov organized by your
centre, or by some other organization?
Zinoviev: Yes, by our centre.
I asked: Did this centre comprise you, Kamenev, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky and
To my question: So you organized the murder of Kirov?
Zinoviev replied: Yes.
And so it is Zinoviev, Kamenev, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky, Ter-Vaganyan and
all the rest who must answer for this crime.
The most persistent in his denials is Smirnov. He pleaded guilty only to
being the leader of the Trotskyite underground counter-revolutionary centre.
True, he said this in a somewhat jocular way. Turning to Ter-Vaganyan,
Mrachkovsky and Dreitzer, he said to them: "You want a leader? Well, take
me." But you accused Smirnov, were the leader. Smirnov was the leader of the
Trotskyite underground organization. It was no accident that Zinoviev and
Kamenev regarded him as Trotsky's representative, as Trotsky's deputy, as
the actual leader of the whole of the Trotskyite underground organization.
And finally he himself confessed to this.
I do not know what Smirnov is going to say in his last plea; but I think
that on the basis of the material of the preliminary investigation and of
the material of the court investigation I have every ground for declaring
the following: 1) the accused Smirnov has confessed that for a number of
years he was the actual leader of the Trotskyite underground organization;
2) he has confessed that he was Trotsky's representative and deputy in the
U.S.S.R.; 3) he has confessed that he was in Berlin in 1931 and there met
Sedov; and 4) he has confessed that Sedov informed him of the terroristic
tasks and gave the terroristic directions.
It is true that Smirnov denies that these were Trotsky's directions. He
says that this was Sedov's "personal opinion." Nevertheless, on returning to
the U.S.S.R., he considered it necessary to communicate Sedov's "personal
opinion" to his companions in the unerground organization. . . .
We asked him: Where is the logic of this? If this was Sedov's personal
opinion, and moreover, an opinion with which Smirnov, as he asserted, did
not agree, why communicate it to the other members of the underground
organization? Communicate it and not say that he did not agree with it? All
his companions in the counter-revolutionary underground organization declare
that he did not even hint at his disagreement with this line. Uner these
circumstances, what can we regard as established? Was there a meeting with
Sedov in 1931? There was. Is Sedov - the son of L. Trotsky - his closest and
first assistant in all his political activities? He is. During this meeting,
did Sedov talk to Smirnov? He did. Smirnov admits this. Did they talk about
terror? Yes, they talked about terror. Smirnov admits this too. The question
as to how Smirnov understood Sedov is after all a matter of complete
indifference to the prosecution. If Smirnov understood his conversation with
Sedov not as an instruction, then there was no need for him to communicate
it to his colleagues in his underground group. If he communicated this
conversation and did not say that he disagreed with it, it means that it was
an instruction, and it could not be otherwise.
Smirnov says that he did not agree with this instruction. But if he did
not agree with it he, as a sufficiently experienced underground worker,
factionalist and counter-revolutionary, should have understood that it was
his duty to break with this group,to leave this group. Otherwise he would
not be a man engaged in politics, let alone a leader of an underground
organization. Yet Smirnov was not merely a rank-and-file member of the
Trotskyite group. Smirnov is not Holtzman. Holtzman is a poor edition of
Smirnov; but Smirnov is not Holtzman. Smirnov is Smirnov. He is the leader.
How can the leader remain a member of an underground group when he disagrees
with the main line of this group? And the main line of this group was
trrorism. And if he says that in 1931 hi did not accept, what Sedov said as
an instruction, but took it merely as Sedov's personal opinion, in 1932,
however, he received direct instructions from Trotsky through Yuri Gaven. At
that time he could no longer say that this was somebody's "personal
opinion," for even if it really was a "personal" position, it was the
position of Trotsky!
From Sedov's personal position a straight path leads to Trotsky's
position. There are no personal position! There is the Trotskyite decision,
Trotsky's line of terrorism. You, Smirnov, received it in 1931 and in 1932.
You also received the instructions from Dreitzer, not personally, but I am
deeply convinced that you knew about it notwithstanding the fact that you
were in a house of detention for political offenders.
In 1932 you received Trotsky's instruction through Gaven. Trotsky plainly
said: Terror; put Stalin out of the way; kill Voroshilov; kill the leaders
of the Party and the government. You, Smirnov, received this instruction.
You say: I received it, but did not accept it. If you did not accept it, and
if you preserved a sense of political honesty to any degree, after having
heard in 1932 Trotsky's instruction sent to you through Gaven, you could not
but break with the Trotskyite organization. You understand this, and that is
why you say - I broke, I left. But whom did you tell that you had left? You
told no one. Mrachkovsky did not know about it, Ter-Vaganyan did not know
about it and even Safonova did not know about it. You did not tell anyone!
No one knew!
Consequently, we have no right whatever to believe these assertions of
yours. We can assert that in 1932 you received instructions on terrorism
from Trotsky and you accepted them. You would not be the Smirnov you are if
you remained in the Trotskyite group while disagreeing with the fundamental
line of this group, while disagreeing with the line of the man who was such
an authority for you as was Trotsky. We know that in your defence speech you
will curse Trotsky. But no one will believe you, because in this Court you
have not said, and you do not want to say, even two words of truth about
your work in the terrorist centre. Even yesterday you wanted to conceal the
role played by Putna. You wanted to save some reserves, who, perhaps, would
not be entirely exposed. You wanted to save reserves for Trotsky, for your
accursed Trotskyite underground organization!
I think that all the circumstances I have mentioned permit us to
establish the following in regard to Smirnov.
First. Smirnov was a member of the united centre of the
Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist organization. This centre was organized
with his participation. Consequently, he is one of the most important
organizers of the centre.
Second. He organized this centre on the basis of Trotsky's instructions
which he received in 1931. He gave this centre its terroristic character and
the terroristic direction of its activities.
Third. In 1932, Smirnov received a second instruction from Trotsky. This
is indisputably established. All Smirnov's attempts to prove that, having
received this instruction, he did not agree with it, although he remained in
the ranks of the Trotskyite underground organization, are too transparent.
Comrades judges, there is one other very important circumstance. The
question can be put in this way: All right, terroristic basis, disposition
towards terrorism, talk about terror being the sole means - but what about
the organization of practical measures for the purpose of getting together
terrorist groups, for the purpose of putting terrorism into practice?
Ter-Vaganyan said that work was carried on to get together terrorist
groups, but that this was preparatory work which did not go beyond the
limits of preparations. But was that really the case?
Of course not. The Zinovievites followed the Trotskyites, and Smirnov in
particular, who persuasively and fervently insisted on the earliest
application of terror, and not terror in general, but terror against
Comrades Stalin, Kirov, Voroshilov,and other of our leaders. It was Comrade
Stalin and Comrade Kirov who had smashed this dishonest opposition. It is
quite understandable, therefore, that Smirnov, this consistent, fully
convinced and irreconcilable Trotskyite, should concentrate all his
organizing abilities on preparing the assassination first of all of the
leaders of the Central Committee of our Party, the leaders of our country.
Smirnov kept urging Zinoviev: Let us hurry up and commit a terroristic act,
let us hurry up and kill Stalin, Kirov and Voroshilov. And Zinoviev,
hurrying at the heels of the Trotskyites is full of excitement and agitation
fearing lest he lag behind. . . .
Smirnov urged Zinoviev to hurry up with the murder. He was in no hurry
about a platform. He said: It could be drawn' up at one sitting.What did
they want a platform for when they had what in their opinion was a surer
means - assassination!Smirnov drew up and placed in the hands of his agents
a concrete plan for the organization of terroristic acts. The murder of
Comrade Kirov was carried out in fulfilment of this plan, for which Zinoviev
as well as Kamenev, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan must bear full
responsibility before the land of Soviets, before the Soviet people, before
the Soviet proletarian Court.
The Masks Are Torn From the Accused
I consider that the guilt of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev has
been fully established, and that I can be relieved of the duty of
en?merating the many facts, and of analysing the material of the Court
investigation, which exposes them to the fullest degree. I merely want to
emphasize that by the side of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev
should stand Smirnov, Ter-Vaganyan and Mrachkovsky. They ought to stand side
by side. Together they directed their criminal activities against our
government, together they murdered Kirov and, therefore, together and fully
must they answer for this.
Smirnov understands this perfectly well, and that is why he adopted a
position of denial. At first he denied everything: he denied the existence
of a Trotskyite organization, he denied the existence of a centre, he denied
his participation in the centre, he denied connection with Trotsky, he
denied that he gave any secret instructions, even those which he gave in
1936, and we know that this great conspirator managed to organize the
communication of criminal instructions to his adherents even while he was
isolated. He denied everything - he denied the existence of the Trotskyite
centre in 1931, he denied the existence of such a centre in 1932. he denied
everything. The whole of this examination of May 20 consisted solely of the
words: "I deny that, again I deny, I deny." That is the only thing left for
him to do.
Accused Smirnov, your experience, your skill in deceit, has betrayed you.
Exposed by the evidence of Safonova, Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan, you were
compelled to admit that there was a centre, that you were a member of this
centre. Your denials were of no avail. You denied that you had received any
instructions on terrorism, but you were exposed on this matter by Gaven, and
you confessed; you were exposed by Holtzman who received instructions from
Trotsky to be conveyed to you personally, and only to you, instructions to
the effect that it was now necessary to adopt terrorism. Holtzman, whose
Trotskyite allegiance was kept a particularly profound secret, said that he
had received these instructions, but did not communicate them; and you think
that this can be believed. No, no one will believe this.
Holtzman adopt the same position as Smirnov - I admit everything except
terrorism - because he knows that for terrorism he may have to pay with his
head. Smirnov was exposed as a terrorist by Holtzman, by Mrachkovsky, by
Safonova and by Dreitzer.
On July 21, you, Smirnov, gave somewhat different evidence, that is to
say, at first you denied that you had received any instructions from Trotsky
to organize terrorism, but here you admitted that you did received them.
Your denials came to nought.
When confronted with Mrachkovsky, you continued to deny that you had
received from Trotsky and conveyed to Mrachkovsky instructions to organize a
terrorist group. Mrachkovsky put you to shame by saying: "Why, Ivan
Nikitich, you want to get out of a sordid bloody business with a clean
shirt?" I can repeat this: "Do you really think, accused Smirnov, that you
will get out of this bloody business unscathed?" In reply to Mrachkovsky you
said: "Invention and slander," but later you did confess to something.
You admitted that the bloc was organized on the principle of the
necessity of terrorism, and therefore you were one of the organizers of the
terrorist centre. You received instructions on terror from Trotsky. On that
basis you developed terroristic criminal activities. True, your arrest
hindered you somewhat from taking part in the carrying out of these
activities; nevertheless you did all you possibly could to help these
I want to remind you that the confrontation with Safonova during the
preliminary investigation, which, in the main reproduced what we saw in this
Court, was very characteristic. Smirnov does not venture to deny Safonova's
evidence. He invents an elastic form of lies. he knows that Safonova will
not slander him, Safonova was formerly his wife, and has no personal grudge
against him; therefore, he cannot plead a personal grudge. He says: "I do
not remember," "evidently such a conversation may have taken place." He is
asked: Was there any talk about organizing terrorism? He replies: "There was
not, but there might have been." When now, masking himself, he says: "I have
nothing to reply to that," he is guided by the same animal cowardice. But on
August 13 he was compelled to admit that this conversation did take place in
1932, that he, Smirnov, bears full responsibility for this, and that now he
does not intend to evade responsibility.
I now want to deal with Ter-Vaganyan. He, too at first, adopted a
position of denial; but on August 14 he gave more truthful evidence. Summing
up his testimony and his behaviour in Court we can draw several definite
deductions: we may consider it established that Ter-Vaganyan was a member of
the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, that he took an active part in organizing
the centre, that he carried out the instructions of the centre on the basis
of Trotsky's instructions which were received through Smirnov, and of which
he learned from Smirnov. He tries to assert that actually he did nothing.
But I must say beforehand that even if he "did nothing," what he did is
sufficient to deserve the penalty provided for in Arts. 588,
19 and 588, 5811
of the Criminal Code.
Moissei Lurye and Nathan Lurye. We have heard Nathan Lurye's evidence of
how he arrived here and for what purpose, of the work he carried on in
preparation for terroristic acts under the guidance of Moissei Lurye, of
how, in fact, he was practically the successor to the group which had been
gotten together here before him by Franz Weitz, the fascist agent and a
trusted man of Himmler, chief of the fascist black secret service, chief of
the German S. S. detachments and subsequently, chief of the German Gestapo.
You remember all their evidence, and I do not think it is necessary to
deal with it in detail. It has been fully, categoriecally, and
unquestionably proved that Nathan Lurye and Moissei Lurye prepared to commit
terroristic acts. They must bear full responsibility for this crime!
When I spoke of the methods by which these gentlemen operated I showed,
tried to show, to what depths these people had sunk, morally and
politically. And perhaps one of the most striking and characteristic proofs
of the depths of moral turpitude to which these people have sunk, of their
lack of even those "moral" principles and rules of conduct by which even
hardened criminals and gangsters are guided, is what Reingold told us about
here. I refer to their plan to remove the traces of their foul crimes.
Was it an accident, comrades judges, that they, in expectation of
successfully carrying out their heinous plan, intended to appoint none other
than Bakayev as chairman of the O.G.P.U. - precisely Bakayev, who is known
as a man filled with malicious hatred, as a resolute man, persevering and
persistent, with a very strong will, strong character and stamina, who would
not stop at anything to achieve the aims which he had set himself!
If some of the accused coolly planned to come to power over mountains of
corpses of the best people of our Soviet land, then Bakayev was perhaps the
most determined and most implacable executor of this plan! It is precisely
this man that they intended to appoint as chairman of the O.G.P.U. in the
event of their plot being successful.
I will not deal with the ludicrous distribution of portfolios among the
conspirators and terrorists. I merely emphasize once again that none other
than Bakayev was intended for the post of chairman of the O.G.P.U. Zinoviev
and Kamenev did not exclude the possibility that the O.G.P.U. was in
possession of the threads of the plot that they were hatching against the
state, and, therefore, they considered it to be one of their most important
tasks to appoint Bakayev chairman of the O.G.P.U. He was to obtain
possession of all these threads and then destroy them, as well as the very
people who carried out Zinoviev's and Kamenev's instructions.
Kamenev and Zinoviev do not deny the first part of this, but they deny
the second part. That second part is too ghastly, and Zinoviev said it was
taken from Jules Verne. But do we not know that there have been such
examples in history? Do we not know certain neighbouring states in which
such procedure has been applied, where participants in a plot were
physically exterminated by the hand of the organizers of the plot, as was
the case with Roehm and his henchmen?
Accused Zinoviev, you yourself say that it was intended to appoint
Bakayev to the post of chairman of the O.G.P.U. in order to use him for the
purpose of removing the traces of your crime. Why, then, do you say this is
from Jules Verne? You have chosen a faulty line of defence.
This is not very important for the case; but that is not the
question,that is not the point. This is one of the remarkable touches which
characterize the people who aspired to the leadership of our country. It
proves how fortunate we are that they were removed from this leadership in
Zinoviev and Kamenev call this fantastic tales from the Arabian Nights.
But, by your leave, what about the murder of Zinoviev's secretary Bogdan?
What is that? A tale? Zinoviev could not say anything about that; but
Reingold revealed it and Pickel confirmed it.
Zinoviev recommended Bogdan to Bakayev as a suitable person to commit
Reingold said it, Pickel confirmed it, but Bakayev vigorously denies it
and tries to escape from it. But it is a fact which nobody can escape.
Reingold and Pickel have proved that Bogdan's "suicide" was really murder.
It was done by Bakayev on the instructions of the united centre! "You are
hesitating to carry out the instructions of our united
Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre? Kill yourself or else we will kill you." That
is what Bakayev said to Bogdan, and Bogdan gave way.
This was the beginning of the execution of the plan drawn up by Zinoviev
and Kamenev that was to be carried out in the event of the terroristic plot
turning out successful. Zinoviev and Kamenev tried to depict Bogdan's
suicide as the fate of a "victim"of our Soviet regime. But you yourselves
drove Bogdan to suicide by confronting him with the dilemma: either to carry
out a terroristic act or to commit suicide.
Comrades Judges, if you link up this episode with all the methods of
struggle, all the other methods of "work" adopted by this criminal gang, you
will easily understand the truthfulness of the evidence given by Reingold
and Pickel, who in this Court again and again exposed Zinoviev, Kamenev and
Evdokimov as the perpetrators of a number of grave crimes.
Dogs Gone Mad Should All Be Shot
I now conclude, comrades judges. The last hour is approaching, the hour
of reckoning for these people who have committed grave crimes against our
great country. It is the last hour of reckoning for these people who took up
arms against our dearest and most beloved, against the beloved leaders of
our Party and our country, against Stalin, Kaganovich, Voroshilov,
Orjonikidze, Zhdanov, Postyshev, Kossior and other leaders of our land of
victorious, growing and flourishing, new, socialist society. A sad and
shameful end awaits these people who were once in our ranks, although they
were never distinguished for either staunchness or loyalty to the cause of
Just a few words more. Some of the accused tried to draw a parallel with
the historical past, with the period of the Narodnaya Volya. They tried to
compare some people with the heroic terrorists who in the last century
entered into combat with the terrible, cunning and ruthlessly cruel enemy,
the tsarist government. In speaking of Bakayev, or perhaps of Smirnov, the
name of Gershuni was mentioned here. This argument does not hold water.
That was a struggle waged by a handful of self-sacrificing enthusiasts
against the gendarme giant; it was a fight in the interests of the people.
We Bolsheviks have always opposed terrorism, but we must pay our tribute to
the sincerity and heroism of the members of the Narodnaya Volya. Gershuni
was not a Bolshevik, but he, too, fought against tsarism and not against the
You, however, a handful of downright counter-revolutionaries,
representatives of the vanguard of the international counterrevolution, you
took up arms against the vanguard of the world proletarian revolution! You
took up arms against the liberty and happiness of the peoples. The
comparison with the period of Narodnaya Volya terrorism is shameless. Filled
with respect for the memory of those who in the times of the Narodnaya Volya
sincerely and honestly, although employing, it is true, their own special,
but always irreproachable methods, fought against the tsarist autocracy for
liberty - I emphatically reject this sacrilegious parallel. I repeat, this
parallel is out of place here. Before us are criminals, dangerous, hardened,
cruel and ruthless towards our people, towards our ideals, towards the
leaders of our struggle, the leaders of the land of Soviets, the leaders of
the toilers of the whole world!
The enemy is cunning. A cunning enemy must not be spared. The whole
people rose to its feet as soon as these ghastly crimes became known. The
whole people is quivering with indignation and I, as the representative of
the state prosecution, join my anger, the indignant voice of the state
prosecutor, to the rumbling of the voices of millions!
I want to conclude by reminding you, comrades judges, of those demands
which the law makes in cases of the gravest crimes against the state. I take
the liberty of reminding you that it is your duty, once you find these
people, all sixteen of them, guilty of crimes against the state, to apply to
them in full measure those articles of the law which have been preferred
against them by the prosecution.
I demand that dogs gone mad should be shot - every one
1. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XXII,
p. 457, Russian edition, "Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government."
2. Stalin, The Results of the First
Five-Year Plan, end of Section VII.