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Plot against Lenin
From the Court Proceedings
As has now been brought to light, neither in the case of the Trotskyites nor in the case of the Rights were these monstrous crimes fortuitous.
The investigation has established that as far back as 1918, directly after the October Revolution, at the time of the conclusion of the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, BUKHARIN and his group of socalled "Left Communists"; and TROTSKY and his group, together with the" Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, hatched a plot against V. I. LENIN, the head of the Soviet government.
As the materials of the investigation show, BUKHARIN and other conspirators aimed at frustrating the Brest-Litovsk Peace,overthrowing the Soviet government, arresting and murdering V. I. LENIN, J. V. STALIN and J. M. SVERDLOV, and forming a new government consisting of Bukharinites who as a blind at that time called themselves "Left Communists" of Trotskyites and of "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries.
Questioned in the Office of the Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. on February 19 and 20, 1938, V. A. KARELIN, former member of the Central Committee of the Party of "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, gave the following testimony regarding the conspiratorial activities of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Bukharinites in 1918:
"Final agreement with the Left Communists" in the struggle against the Soviet government headed by LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV was reached by us after the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party.
"On the instructions of the Central Committee of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, the negotiations with the "Left Communists" were conducted by KAMKOV, PROSHYAN, and myself." (Vol. XLIV, p. 86.)
Speaking of the character of these negotiations and the part played by the accused N. I. BUKHARIN, V. A. KARELIN further testified as follows:
"BUKHARIN proposed that we should not stop at the arrest of the government but bring about the physical extermination of the leaders of the Soviet power, and in the first place of LENIN and STALIN." (Vol. XLIV, p. 38.)
This was corroborated by other persons who were examined as witnesses in the present case.
B. D. KAMKOV, one of the former leaders of the Central Committee of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionary Party, testified:
"I personally had a conversation with BUKHARIN in which he said roughly the following: The struggle within our Party against LENIN S position on the Brest-Litovsk Peace is assuming acute forms. Within our ranks the question is being discussed of creating a new government consisting of "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries and "Left Communists." BUKHARIN mentioned PYATAKOV as a possible candidate for leader of the new government, and stated that the idea was to bring about the change of government by arresting its members, headed by LENIN.
"Further negotiations with BUKHARIN were conducted by KARELIN and PROSHYAN. By the end of March a final agreement was reached between the Left Communists and the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries on the following points:
1) that in the struggle against the Bolsheviks and the Soviet government the Left Communists were to render organizational and political assistance to the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries; 2) that by joint action of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and Left Communists, LENIN S government was to be overthrown and a new government formed, consisting of Left Communists and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries.
"After this, the Left Socialist- Revolutionaries organized the assassination of MIRBACH and the July revolt. The Left Communists were fully aware of the preparations being made for the assassination of MIRBACH and for the July revolt."
(Vol. XLIV, p. 92 reverse.)
Questioned in the capacity of witnesses in the Office of the Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. on February 19, 1938, V. N. YAKOVLEVA,V. V. OSSINSKY and V. N. MANTSEV, former leaders and active members of the group of "Left Communists," fully corroborated that in 1918 a plot was hatched, on the initiative of the accused BUKHARIN, by the bloc of "Left Communists"and "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries against V. I. LENIN as head of the Soviet government:
Thus, V. N. YAKOVLEVA testified:
"BUKHARIN expressed to me the idea that the political struggle was assuming ever more acute forms and that matters could not be confined to the mere political formulation of lack of confidence in the Central Committee of the Party. BUKHARIN declared that a change of leadership was inevitable, and that in this connection the question was being discussed of arresting LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV, and even of their physical extermination "(Vol. XLIV, p. 77.)
In this connection V. V. OSSINSKY testified as follows:
"It was with N. I. BUKHARIN that I principally talked about our measures for the overthrow of LENIN S government Approximately in May (or at the end of April) 1918
I had a talk with BUKHARIN when I asked him to what extent the information I had about his designs to arrest the LENIN government was correct.
"BUKHARIN did not deny that he had such designs."
(Vol. XLIV, p. 54.)
Speaking further about these "measures," V. V. OSSINSKY testified:
"I learned about the bloc of the Left Communists with the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries from YAKOVLEVA and then from BUKHARIN. I also learned from them that in March or April 1918 BUKHARIN proposed at the bureau (of the Moscow region) that LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV should be arrested. BUKHARIN further stressed the point that he was of the opinion that after the arrest of the government, LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV should be physically exterminated."; (Vol. XLIV, p. 88 reverse.)
Similar testimony was given by V. N. MANTSEV when questioned in the Office of the Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. on February 20, 1938:
"I confirm that a bloc was formed between the Left Communists and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries.
"I confirm that roughly in March or April, at a close meeting of the bureau, BUKHARIN made a report in which he uttered a number of slanderous statements against the Soviet government and proposed to organize the overthrow of the Soviet power and the arrest of LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV, with the purpose of physically exterminating them." (Vol. XLIV, p. 82.)
Speaking of the role of L. TROTSKY in the plot against V. L LENIN in 1918, the accused BUKHARIN testified:
"At that time the idea again arose of a coup and the arrest of LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV as the dominant figures in the Party and Soviet leadership. This time it arose on the initiative of TROTSKY, to whom the proposal of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries apparently became known through PYATAKOV, I presume." (Vol. V, p. 124.)
Interrogated during the preliminary investigation, V. N. YAKOVLEVA testified:
"TROTSKY considered that the political struggle had only just begun, that it might assume the most aggressive forms, that against LENIN S position on the question of peace the Left Communists would have the support of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and other parties, that preparations must be made for a change of government and the arrest of its leaders, headed by LENIN and STALIN.
TROTSKY considered that in so acute a period of the revolution, if the struggle were to develop, matters might not be confined only to the arrest of the leaders, and that the arrestswould logically and inevitably lead to the question of their physical removal." (Vol. XLIV, p. 78.)
Interrogated in the preliminary investigation, V. N. MANTSEV, one of the leaders of the group of "Left Communists" testified;
"Several days after my conversation with YAKOVLEVA, TROTSKY asked me to come and see him. I had a long talk with him at his home, during which TROTSKY developed at length the idea that LENIN and STALIN must be assassinated." (Vol- XLIV, p. 84.)
The investigating authorities now possess irrefutable evidence proving that the villainous attempt on the life of V. I. LENIN committed on August 30, 1918, by the Socialist-Revolutionary terrorist F. KAPLAN was a direct result of the realization of the criminal plans of the "Left Communists," headed by N. I. BUKHARIN, and of their accomplices, the"Left" and Right Socialist Revolutionaries, and was initiated by the accused BUKHARIN.
Questioned in the Office of the Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. on February 19, 1938, V. A. KARELIN testified:
"I must also confess to the gravest crime, namely, the participation of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Left Communists in the organization of the attempt on the life of LENIN, This fact has been concealed from the Soviet people for twenty years. The fact was concealed that we, in conjunction with the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, on the insistence of BUKHARIN, attempted to murder LENIN. The trial of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries did not disclose the real circumstances of this crime and did not reveal the part played in it by the Left Socialist- Revolutionaries and the Left Communists.
"After the July revolt, the Central Committee of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries decided to adopt terrorist methods in the struggle against the Soviet government."
It should be mentioned that even after the revolt PROSHYAN had meetings with BUKHARIN, who bluntly put before him the question of the physical extermination of LENIN. More precisely, the question of committing a terrorist act against LENIN was raised by BUKHARIN in the second half of July 1918. PROSHYAN reported this to us members of the Central Committee of the Left Socialist- Revolutionaries. Such a demand by the Left Communists played a great part in hastening the terrorist act against LENIN committed by the Central Committee of the Right Socialist- Revolutionaries." (Vol. XLIV, pp. 86-87.)
This was also corroborated by V. V. OSSINSKY, who, when interrogated on February 19, 1938, testified as follows:
"At the end of 1918 STUKOV, who together with BUKHARIN was connected with the Socialist-Revolutionaries, told me that the shot fired at LENIN by the Right Socialist-Revolutionary KAPLAN was the result not only of the instructions of the leadership of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, but also of measures that had been outlined by the bloc of Left Communists with the Socialist-Revolutionaries aiming at the physical extermination of LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV. " (Vol. XLIV, p. 89.}
At confrontations in the Office of the Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. of the accused BUKHARIN with the witnesses V. V. OSSINSKY, V. N. YAKOVLEVA, V. N. MANTSEV, V. A. KARELIN and B. D. KAMKOV, these witnesses fully confirmed their testimony as set forth above.
Under the weight of the evidence, the accused BUKHARIN admitted a number of criminal facts and testified:
"I must admit that we had direct contact with the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, whose platform was the forcible overthrow of the Soviet government, headed by LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV, to be followed by the arrest of LENIN, STALIN and SVERDLOV and the setting up of a new government consisting of Left Communists and Left* Socialist-Revolutionaries. ..."(Vol. V, p. 122 reverse.)
The facts now established regarding the crimes committed by the accused BUKHARIN and enemy of the people TROTSKY in 1918 against the Soviet state and its leaders, V. I. LENIN, J. V. STALIN and J. M. SVERDLOV, throw a vivid light on the whole subsequent criminal counter-revolutionary activity of the gang of BUKHARIN and TROTSKY, which is now charged with the gravest state crimes committed on the direct instructions of fascist intelligence services during the period 1921-1937.
Report of Court Proceedings
Heard Before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.
August 19-24, 1936 (Moscow)