Transcripts from the Soviet Archives VOLUME XIV SECRET REVIEWS 1934

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  Transcripts from the Soviet Archives VOLUME 3 SECRET REVIEWS 1930-1951 

On the cleaning of the party. April 28, 1933

Archive: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 3.D. 922. L. 50‐55.

Appendix No. 6 to p. 35/22 ave. PB No. 137.

On the cleaning of the party.

Resolution of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission of the CPSU (b).

I. The need for cleaning.

The fulfillment of the five‐year plan in four years, the victory of industrialization in the USSR, the successes of the collective farm movement and the enormous numerical growth of the working class caused a new rise in the political activity of the proletariat and peasantry.

On the basis of this upsurge, the party has increased its ranks over the past 2 years by 1,400,000, bringing them to 3,200,000 (party members ‐ 2,000,000 and candidates ‐ 1,200,000).

However, during the mass admission to the party, which was carried out in the localities, often indiscriminately and without careful verification, alien elements penetrated into the ranks of the party, using their presence in the party for careerist and selfish interests, doubledealing elements penetrated, swearing in words that they were loyal to the party, but in deeds trying to disrupt the implementation of its policies.

On the other hand, due to the unsatisfactory state of affairs in the Marxist‐Leninist education of party members, a considerable number of comrades, though honest, ready to defend Soviet power, were found in the party, but either insufficiently stable, did not understand the spirit and requirements of party discipline, or politically illiterate, did not know programs, statutes, basic decisions of the party and therefore unable to actively pursue the policy of the party.

The January joint plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the CPSU (b), taking into account these circumstances, decided to carry out the purge in 1933 and ʺ organize the purge of the party in such a way as to ensure in the party iron proletarian discipline and the cleansing of the party ranks of all unreliable, unstable and adherent elements. ʺ ...

The party was guided by the resolution of the Second Congress of the Comintern of July 30, 1920, by virtue of which “the communist parties; all countries where communists conduct their work legally must carry out periodic cleansing (re‐registration) of the personnel of party organizations in order to systematically purge the party of pettybourgeois elements that inevitably adhere to it. ʺ

Proceeding from this directive of the Comintern, our party carried out the party re‐registration in 1920, the purge of the party in 1921, the purge of the non‐production cells in 1924, the inspection of the village cells in 1925, the purge of 1929‐30. These purges and re‐registrations, as is known, strengthened the ranks of our party, raised its fighting capacity, and strengthened the sense of responsibility of each party member for the partyʹs work.

II. Purpose and direction of cleaning.

The task of cleansing the party is to raise the ideological level of party members, to strengthen the party politically and organizationally, and to further strengthen the confidence of millions of non‐party masses in the party.

This task is carried out during the purge by: a) conducting open and honest self‐criticism of party members and party organizations, b) checking the work of each party cell in terms of the implementation of the decisions and instructions of the party, c) engaging in the purge of the working non‐party masses, and d) purging a party of people who do not justify the high rank of a party member.

The party is cleared:

1)                   class‐alien and hostile elements who fraudulently made their way into the party and remain there to disintegrate the party ranks;

2)                   double‐dealing, living by deceiving the party, hiding from it their real aspirations and under the cover of a false oath of ʺloyaltyʺ to the party, trying to disrupt the partyʹs policy in practice;

3)                   open and covert violators of the iron discipline of the party and the state, who do not comply with the decisions of the party and government, questioning and discrediting decisions and plans established by the party, chattering about their “unreality” and “impracticability”;

4)                   degenerates, who have grown together with bourgeois elements, who do not want to fight in practice against class enemies, do not actually fight against kulak elements, snatchers, idlers, thieves and plunderers of public property;

5)                   careerists, self‐seekers and bureaucratic elements who use their stay in the party and the service of the Soviet state for their personal, selfish purposes, cut themselves off from the masses and neglect the needs and demands of workers and peasants;

6)                   morally decayed, dropping the dignity of the party by their unseemly behavior, and staining the banner of the party.

Due to the fact that among the party members who have recently joined the ranks of the CPSU (b), there are some comrades who are devoted for a member of the communist party ‐ the program, the charter, the most important decisions of the party ‐ the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the party recommend, during the purge, to transfer such communists to party candidates not in the form of party penalties, but for the purpose of their political education and better preparation, so that, in a year to raise the question of their retransfer to party members if they manage to increase their political literacy, which is necessary for a party member, during this year.

In view of the fact that, due to the same circumstances, the composition of the partyʹs candidates turned out to be a considerable number of comrades who not only do not have the elementary political knowledge necessary for a candidate, but also suffer from instability and lack of sufficient consistency in terms of party discipline, the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission During the purge, the parties recommend that such comrades be transferred from the category of candidates to the category of sympathizers in order to raise the question of redeploying them as candidates or accepting them as members of the party in a year, if verification shows that they are quite ripe for this.

III. Ways and methods of cleaning.

The purge is an expression of the Bolshevik self‐criticism of our Party. It should be carried out “in spite of the faces” from the point of view of verifying the implementation of the most important decisions of the party‐by‐party members and candidates, their participation in socialist competition and shock work, active struggle for the industrial financial plan, for the implementation of the most important economic tasks, the fight against truancy, the fight against the theft of socialist property.

The purge commission must make demands on all party members to know the partyʹs program, its charter, and the most important party decisions. There cannot be a communist who does not know the program, the charter of his party and its most important political and organizational decisions. However, the commissions on cleansing should not ask the auditee confusing, “picky”, “tricky” questions during an individual test of political literacy. They must reckon with the general level of development that is being tested so as not to leave outside the party of comrades who have unconditionally proved their devotion to the cause of the party and the building of socialism and who have not had the opportunity to sufficiently raise the level of political knowledge, especially workers and collective farmers.

The purge should by no means be seen by the auditors or the auditors as an indiscriminate distrust of the party towards the communists of the given cell. The purge commissions must take all measures to create a comradely atmosphere during the purge, in which every member of the Party would feel that it is not a matter of reprisals, but of helping the Party to reveal and eradicate all the shortcomings of the Party organization.

The cleansing commissions and all party members are obliged to give a decisive rebuff to those who try to use the cleansing in order to settle personal scores, for the purpose of group struggle, all squabblers and scammers, as well as those who try to defame the communist for the firmness of his party line in the struggle for party discipline, a mode of economy, fulfillment of the industrial financial plan, timely fulfillment of grain     procurements, correct     preparation for           spring   sowing,

harvesting and distribution of the crop, and in general for firmness in relation to the accuracy and precision of the work of party members subordinate to one or another comrade as a leader. At the same time, an equally decisive rebuff must be given to those who will defame with squabblers and scammers all those who sincerely strive to help the party reveal during the purge alien, unstable,

Fighting against everyday decay and unseemly behavior of party members (drunkenness, domestic decay, household ties with alien elements, anti‐Semitism and similar phenomena incompatible with the title of a communist), the purge commissions should in no case allow petty and picky digging in personal life ... The purge commissions should pay main attention to how the Party member fulfills the task entrusted to him by the Party, how he fights for the implementation and implementation of Party decisions.

Cleansing is carried out at open meetings of cells with the involvement of non‐party people (in large cells in workshops, shifts and individual parts of the institution, on collective and state farms, etc.), at which the message of the cleaning commission, about the goals and objectives of the cleaning and a cell bureau report on the status of the auditee.

All members and candidates of the party are being purged, with the exception of members and candidates of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission of the All‐Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and members of the Revision Commission of the Central Committee of the All‐Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), as elected by the party congress, as well as the heads of the political departments of MTS and state farms, already checked by the party upon their appointment. However, if a motivated statement is submitted by one‐ or another‐party meeting or a separate group of party members demanding the purge of one or another member or candidate of the Central Committee, Central Control Commission and the Auditing Commission, or the head of the political department of the MTS and the state farm, the latter must undergo a purge.

IV. Cleaning guidance.

The leadership of the cleansing on an all‐Union scale is entrusted to the

Central Commission for Cleansing as part of Comrades. Rudzutak

(chairman), L. M. Kaganovich, Kirov, Yaroslavsky, Shkiryatov, Yezhov, Stasova, Pyatnitsky.

To guide the cleaning in the regional and regional organizations and national republics, the relevant cleaning commissions are appointed by the Central Commission for Cleaning.

Regional, krai and republican cleaning commissions organize district cleaning commissions.

Regional and district cleansing commissions are selected from authoritative, Bolshevik stable, politically literate, not previously members of other parties, not in opposition, strong communists with party experience of at least 10 years. The list of members of the cleansing commission is published in the local press in a timely manner so that in the event of applications against members of the cleansing commissions or their withdrawal, the Central Cleansing Commission can consider these applications.

Members and candidates of the CPSU (b), dissatisfied with the resolution of the purge commission, can appeal these resolutions within a month to a higher purge commission, up to the Central Purge Commission and the party congress, as the supreme body of the party.

The work of the commission for cleaning up the debt is under the control of the entire party, including the organizations being inspected, especially the party press. Any cell at the general meeting can criticize any ruling of the cleansing commission and appeal against it, which does not mean, however, that this ruling is canceled. Members of the purge commissions should remember that for violating internal party democracy, for being rude and tactless during the purge, they themselves will be held accountable to the party, as people defaming the purge.

+ + +

The cleaning will begin on June 1 in Moscow, Leningrad, Ural, Donetsk, Odessa, Kiev, Vinnitsa regions, East Siberian and Far East territories and the Belarusian Republic and finish no later than the end of November of this year.

+ + +

The Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the Party are confident that all Party members and honest non‐Party workers will take an active part in cleansing the Party ranks of unfit and alien elements, that the purge of the Party will rally the workers and collective farm masses around the Party even more closely, strengthen and strengthen Party organizations and will make them even more efficient in carrying out the tasks of the second five‐year plan.

Central Committee of the All‐Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks).

Central Control Commission of the All‐Union Communist Party


April 28, 1933.