To the file PROTOCOL No. 14
Of the 26/VIII-36 open meeting of the party group of the Secretariats.
Zhidkova[x] – non-party member.
Agenda: 1. On the trial of the Trotskyist-Zinovievite
gang of terrorists.
2. Information about the last party committee session
a) MIuD,[xi] b) implementing the conversion.
HEARD: 1) Report of com. Razumova about the results of the trial of the Trotskyist-Zinovievite terrorist gang. Referring to vigilance, com. Razumova stresses the importance of this problem here in our organization. Our vigilance has been expressed by emphasizing the question of observing the rules of conspiracy.[xii] We have achieved this in that com[rades] are now more alert and responsible regarding the storage of secret documents, but we have paid little attention to the people themselves. We are responsible for failing to expose the scoundrel F. David and his friends, which left an indelible mark on us. We talk about vigilance and pass resolutions at each meeting, only to forget about them later. Our apparatus has to be crystal clear and to consist of people [who have been] thoroughly tested. We know that the enemy is trying to infiltrate us. We can guard ourselves from the penetration of alien elements only through firm vigilance toward each and every [person] working with us, coming to us. A number of party meetings held by us [have] revealed, however, that in our apparatus there are still individuals that have not been sufficiently investigated, who were hiding their past affiliation to the Trotskyist opposition and to factional groups in the fraternal com[munist] parties, and who remained friends of and close to David, Emel [Lurye], etc.
Com. Razumova cites a number of concrete examples of lack of vigilance such as, for example, the election of the former Trotskyist Storm[xiii] as a chairman of the meeting dedicated to the trial. Later in the meeting, this Storm gave the floor to a recently expelled party member, the Trotskyist Gurevich, who was not even working in our apparatus.
[Razumova cites] the example of the loss of a foreign comrade’s documents by one of the SS [Sluzhba Sviazi–-Communications Department] workers who failed to report this fact, even to his boss, for 3 days.
There is a very serious problem, says com. Razumova, within our own group, with com. Servet, whose wife used to be a friend of the wife of Emel (M. Lurye) and met with her. When he was talking about his former mistakes, it never occurred [to Servet] to mention his membership in the Barbe-Celor group[xiv] which has now slid, together with Doriot, into the fascist camp, [or to mention] that Lurye’s wife (arrested several months ago) visited his house and met with his wife.[xv] Is it the right thing to do? Does it mean that the comrade finally realized the terrible danger of this “liberalism” towards those arrested and the real meaning of vigilance?
Later com. Razumova speaks about the struggle that our [party] organization waged against the Trotskyists and the Rightists in 1929, about the connections of our Rightists with those abroad, about the necessity to carefully inspect what is being done in this area, about the need to help our NKVD organs to reveal the remaining connections between the Rightists and the Trotskyists.
Saluting the tribunal’s decision and the carrying out of the verdict, com. Razumova calls on our comrades to be vigilant in deeds, not in words, and asks us to help our party organization in exposing enemies of the party and those who have attached themselves to our apparatus.
SERVET: The facts of the latest events demonstrate that, first of all, we have to know those people with whom we are working. We know little about the past of certain comrades and, as a result, we are not always able to strengthen [our] vigilance. For example, I did not know that, in the past, Storm used to be a Trotskyist. Similarly, I did not know the pasts of David and others who worked in the apparatus. Today I realized that I maintained relations with counterrevolutionaries who have now been shot, and it was my mistake not to tell [about them]. However, I met them only at work. M. Lurye’s wife from the Radio Communications [Department], and we analysts had to discuss with them a number of questions. Present at these discussions were: M. Lurye’s wife, Frumkina,[xvi] De Boeck,[xvii] Garnier.[xviii] Some of these meetings took place in my apartment. Later my wife transferred to work in the Radio Communications [Department]. She worked under the leadership of the M. Lurye’s wife and they established friendly relations. I saw him [Lurye] once in Germany at the Conference on Agitation and Propaganda, but I was not acquainted with him. Here I met him only occasionally in the Park of Culture and Recreation, and sometimes in the Soiuznaia [Hotel],[xix] since we lived close to each other. I did not know his political background, I did not know that he was a Trotskyist before. It was my mistake not to inform the party organization about my connections, but I did not do it because I had no political connections [at all]. C[omrade] Kotelnikov was right when he said that I did not demonstrate unfailing vigilance.
MAGNUSSON: Some German comrades share an opinion that only com. Pieck is responsible for the F. David case. It is not correct. The German comrades have to help c. Pieck, to signal him about facts that they might be aware of. I want to tell what I know regarding David. Some time ago, Karolsky[xx] and I were charged with organizing the publishing of a newspaper. Karolsky wanted to invite David to do this work, but I objected and, as a result, David was not given this job. I informed c. Zholdak,[xxi] the party secretary of the organization where Karolsky works, about this case.
SELIM-ABUD: The Trotskyist-Zinovievite bandits will always try to infiltrate the Comintern apparatus. Our task is to fight the Trotskyist-Zinovievite bandits-terrorists not only here, but also abroad in the fraternal com[munist] parties. We have to take notice of our mistakes and of our comrades’ mistakes.
KOKER: In recent years, we have witnessed how many members of the Trotskyist-Zinovievite gang were removed from the ECCI apparatus. It is quite understandable that these scoundrels were trying to infiltrate the ECCI apparatus, to conduct their subversive activities from within. Our common fault as party members was that we were unable to recognize the enemy. The enemy masks himself with loud and pretty phrases, and we failed to see their deeds. Our task is to help the party committee to expose the unrevealed remnants of the Trotskyists as well as the Rightists. In order to better recognize the enemy we have to be better armed ideologically. In order to better know each other, when giving individual reports, we cannot limit ourselves to reports on the accomplishments in the workplace and in the social sphere, but also [pay attention to] the environment in which each comrade is located. Speaking of vigilance, we have to examine carefully, in the first place, those who in the past had any connections with the opposition or committed particular mistakes. In this connection, I want to report to the party group that, in 1923, I committed a mistake. Without looking into it, I voted for the Trotskyist resolution.[xxii] However, I must add that I quickly realized my mistake and tried to rectify [it] in deeds. I have never been a member of any opposition and never shared their views. In the following years, I worked actively in our party organization and, being a member of the Bureau of the party organization for almost 8 years, I have waged an active struggle against all kind of deviationists. In order to better accomplish this task, I had to improve my knowledge of theory, which I did.
LANG: [He] focuses on the international significance of the recently concluded trial of the ignoble murderers. When we talk about revolutionary vigilance, we have to admit that it is a shame that in our organization there were people like Fritz David, who strolled about at the VII Congress of the C[ommunist] I[nternational] and was able to work in our apparatus for several years without being exposed by anybody.
We have still not sufficiently exposed the Trotskyists in the Communist press, we have not sufficiently explained their role to the masses.
Regarding c. Servet: he should have explained the role of Barbe-Celor and, in particular, he should have informed the party organization about his connections with the Emel [Lurye] family. In the eyes of some foreign comrades, Trotsky and Doriot and other [Trotskyists] played a certain role in the revolution and, therefore, they still enjoy authority. Our task and the task of the fraternal Communist parties is to explain to the broad masses what has happened to them lately and what they have come to be. For example, in Austria Trotskyists are trying to join the Leftist organizations and conduct their policy there. We have not yet sufficiently explained to the broad masses the decisions of the VII CI Congress and, therefore, Trotskyists are sometimes able to confuse people. We have to expose Trotskyists everywhere. Com. Lang says that it is not clear to him how it was possible that Gurevich, the Trotskyist expelled from the party, could still enter the building. Why did they not cancel his pass?
IANSON: [He] thinks that the question of vigilance is of great importance, especially in the Chinese section. Trotskyists in China, according to information received [from there], conduct a struggle against the United [Popular] Front. They are also connected through their activities with the Japanese police.
Safarov and Magyar managed at some point to train their people and to send them into the country. Trotskyists have always used the method of deception, therefore, the struggle against them has to be systematic. It is especially important to pay attention to the former Trotskyists abroad. We also have many former Trotskyists who were expelled from the universities and who stayed in the USSR. We have to closely watch these people, since there has already been an attempt to murder c. Wang Ming. Hence it is necessary to demand that the Cadres Department verify all the émigrés in the USSR. [It is also important] to verify all of the students here.
MIROV: [He] tells about how once, during a meeting of the political education class that he led, there arose a question of how to better develop vigilance in a situation when the enemy skillfully masks himself, when he denounces another [person] in order to shield someone else and protect him for future work. In order to recognize the enemy, one has to be a clever Bolshevik, one has to be well equipped ideologically and be stronger than the enemy. We also need to be cautious because we are still living in the conditions of class struggle. For example, there are recent reports from Spain that there are a growing number of spies in the government camp who provide information to the rebels. War is being prepared, it is inevitable, and on the eve of the war spies become more active. The trial of the Trotskyist-Zinovievite gang clearly took place on the eve of the war and, therefore, caution is essential. Are we up to it? While in the apparatus, Fritz David and others caused doubts among many [comrades], but everyone concealed these doubts. Today’s editorial article in “Pravda” gives us a directive. “One has to listen to the voice of the masses.” One has to be cautious toward everyone. If a person is suspicious, it is necessary to signal the party organization. It is essential to build an iron wall around our leaders. Vigilance means not only to signal, but also to complete work once started.
Later c. Mirov informs the party group that he had never been a member of any opposition, but until 1926, he worked with Zinoviev [in the ECCI apparatus]. However, during the discussion in the Secretariat, relations [between them] became strained and he was removed from work. After leaving the Secretariat, he met neither Pikel[xxiii] nor Bogdan[xxiv] nor any of the former Zinoviev’s cadres. While working for the past few years in the ECCI apparatus, [he] was a party committee member and the secretary of the party group, and he led an active struggle against the united Trotskyist-Zinovievite opposition.
FILIMONOV: [He] says that the trial helped us and that we have to seriously review our ranks in order to reveal the remaining lairs of the counterrevolutionary bandits. The main task now is vigilance. The question of c. Servet still requires careful examination. This connection is not accidental, this is their tactic for recruiting the people. One has to be careful in dealing [with people]. We have to know each comrade in the [party] group. Admittance to work in the ECCI apparatus is not being conducted carefully. It is based on paperwork and not on talking with the candidate personally.
BONDARENKO: Admittance to work here is sometimes used as a cover for authority. There was one Serebriansky[xxv] in the MLSh who, every time he spoke about himself or his work, liked to mention that the party’s CC charged him with this or that task. He thus hid behind the party’s authority. We ought to conduct a meeting with our comrades who are not party members regarding the question of vigilance. It would be helpful to limit the number of trespassers in the [Hotel] Lux.
RESOLVED: To charge cc. Razumova and Koker to work out a resolution on the basis of the concrete proposals of com. Razumova and those resulting from the discussion; to approve it by referendum and to attach it to this Protocol.
2) HEARD: Report by com. Razumova about the last meeting of the party committee.
3) RESOLVED: To take the information into consideration. To pay serious attention to the organization of the demonstration on 1 September;[xxvi] all comrades who will not be working have to participate in the demonstration. To name the flank men. To ensure the timely exchange of bonds.
Chair: Razumova /Razumova/
Secretary: /Koker/ Koker.
1) To consider it necessary to inform the party committee about the report of c. Magnuson regarding the incident when c. Karolsky tried to admit F. David to work, and only after c. Magnuson strongly objected, was David not admitted to work.
2) To ask the party committee to review again the case of c. Servet, since the party group considers the question of the friendly relations between the Emel’s [Lurye’s] wife and c. Servet’s wife have not been sufficiently clarified, and that c. Servet has not fully recognized his liberalism towards those arrested and does not understand the importance of vigilance toward the enemies.
3) To hear at the party group [meeting] more detailed, individual reports of comrades. In addition, to oblige the party organization’s secretary to talk to specific comrades from time to time and, in suspicious cases, raise the question at the party group [meeting].
4) On the basis of the suggestions by com. Yanson, to ask the party committee to raise, when appropriate, the question of: a) watching Trotskyists who were expelled from the universities and have stayed in the USSR; b) observing those people who were at some point sent to China by Safarov and Magyar; c) verifying the students who are staying here; d) improving the hiring of workers in the ECCI apparatus by getting to know personally each candidate, and not on the basis of [his] papers.
5) To ask the party committee to find out who was responsible for the fact that Gurevich, who had been expelled from the party and no longer worked in the apparatus, had a pass to the building in his possession for a long time.
Each comrade is to be obliged to keep an eye on his surroundings, and to warn the party organization in a timely manner about all suspicious findings.
RGASPI, f. 546, op. 1, d. 340, ll. 52-56.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
[i] Minna Yurievna Koker. Born in 1890, a member of the Bolshevik party from 1917. She worked in the ECCI apparatus from 1920. From 16 March 1930, she worked in the Roman Secretariat and later in Manuilsky’s Secretariat. On 16 August 1937, she was expelled from the VKP by the party committee of the ECCI party organization. She was arrested in 1937.
[ii] Selim Abud (real name – Mogrebi Mahmud). Born in 1905, a member of the CP of Palestine from 1930; a member of the CP of Syria after 1933. Between 1936 and 1937, he was the representative of the CP of Syria in the ECCI. He was a member of the ECCI from 1935.
[iii] Franz Lang (real name – Yakov Mendeleevich Rozner). Born in 1890. A member of the CP of Austria from 1919. In 1927-1933 and 1936-1937, he worked in the ECCI apparatus and later was a political analyst in Dimitrov’s Secretariat. In August 1945, he returned to Austria. Lang was a member of the CP of Austria between 1951 and 1965.
[iv] Richard Magnuson (real name – Gyptner). Born in 1901, he was a member of the CPG from 1919. In 1935, he worked in Dimitrov’s Secretariat.
[v] Yan Son (real name – Yu Shaoi) (1907-1942). A member of the Kuomintang party from 1925 to 1927. From 1926, he was a member of the Komsomol of China, and from 1934, a member of the CPC. Between 1 October 1935 and 1 December 1937, he was an analyst on China in Dimitrov’s Secretariat. In the late 1937, he left for China. After 1938, he worked as a head of the Secretariat and of the Department of Agitation and Propaganda in the CC CPC.
[vi] Martin Pavlovich Filimonov. Born in 1888, he was a member of the RKP(b) from 1918. He worked in the ECCI apparatus between 15 January 1936 and February 1939. He was a political assistant to M. Moskvin.
[vii] Claude Servet (real name – David Rechitsky) (1904-??). In 1935-1937, he was an analyst in the Secretariat of Manuilsky. In March 1937, he left for France.
[viii] Anna Fiodorovna Bondarenko. Born in 1906, she was not a party member. Between 1932 and 1935, she was a secretary and translator of the MLSh Chinese sector. From the early 1936, she worked in the ECCI’s Chinese section.
[ix] Natalia Ivanovna Karlina. Born in 1915, she was a member of the Komsomol from 1931. From 1931, she worked in the ECCI apparatus. From 1935, she was a technical worker in the Secretariat of Wang Ming.
[x] Tatiana Petrovna Tverskaia-Zhidkova (1902-1986). A member of the VKP from 1944. From June 1921, she was a technical worker in the ECCI apparatus. Between 1935 and 1943, she worked in Manuilsky’s Secretariat.
[xi] Abbreviation of Mezhdunarodny Yunoshesky Den (International Youth Day), celebrated annually after 1915 on 1 September in the USSR and by the Left abroad.
[xii] In this context, observing the rules of conspiracy refers to people engaging in behavior that ensured that unauthorized people would not have access to confidential information.
[xiii] Arvid Storm (born in 1902). A member of the RKP(b) from 1919. Between 1932 and 1937, he was a worker in the KIM Executive Committee apparatus. In 1936, he was the secretary of party organization of the KIM Executive Committee. On 17 August 1936, he was the chair of the general meeting of workers of the ECCI that discussed the verdict of the trial of the so-called “Anti-Soviet United Trotskyist-Zinovievite Center.” Storm was later arrested and repressed.
[xiv] Refers to the group led by Henri Barbe (1902-1966) and Pierre Celor (1902-1957), a leftist faction in the CPFr which actually controlled the party’s leadership in 1929 and early 1930. In December 1931, A. Barbe and P. Celor were removed from the leadership of the party.
[xv] Georgette Fabre (born in 1908) was C. Servet’s wife. She was a member of the CPFr from 1933. In 1933-1936, she worked as a copyeditor for the Foreign Workers’ Publishing House in the USSR, and later for the USSR’s Foreign Radio. On 2 June 1936, she left for France. Lurye’s wife, Jlse Koigen Lurye (born in 1900), was a member of the CPG from 1926. Between 1923 and 1926, she worked at the USSR’s Foreign Radio in Moscow. In August 1936, she was expelled from the CPG for “connections with the hostile elements and lack of vigilance” and later repressed.
[xvi] Maria Yakovlevna Frumkina (1880-1938). A member of the Bund from 1897. She joined the Bolshevik party in 1920. From 1921, she worked in the Communist University of the National Minorities of the West (KUNMZ). In 1937, she was arrested by the NKVD.
[xvii] Henri De Boeck (1903-1940). A member of the CP of Belgium (CPBel) between 1920 and 1937, a member of the CC CPBel in 1921-1935, and a member of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat of the party’s CC in 1928-1935. Between 1934 and 1935, he was a representative of the CPBel in the ECCI, and an analyst for the Roman Lendersecretariat of the ECCI. In 1935-1936, he was a graduate student at the International Leninist School (MLSh).
[xviii] Louis Garnier (real name – Louis Monnereau). Born in 1893, he was a member of the CPFr from 1924. In 1935-1937, he was a graduate student at the International Leninist School, and then a part-time analyst in the Secretariat of Manuilsky. In July 1937, he left for France.
[xix] Workers in the ECCI apparatus and the Comintern lived in the Hotel Soiuznaia in Moscow.
[xx] Andrzej Karolsky (real name – Weisblum) (1896-1952). In 1912-1916, he was a member of the PPS-Lewica; in 1916-1918, member of the SDPKPiL. After 1918, he was a member of the CPP. Between 1931-1935, he was an analyst for the Central European Lendersecretariat of the ECCI; between 1935 and 4 September 1936, he was an analyst for the Department of Propaganda and Mass Organizations of the ECCI. On 16 June 1937, the Special Council of the NKVD of the USSR sentenced him to five years of exile in Kazakhstan. On 3 February 1943, he was sentenced to ten years in prison. Karolsky was released on 24 January 1952.
[xxi] Ivan Afanasievich Zholdak. Born in 1900, he was a member of the RKP(b) from 1918. Between 1929 and 1935, he was the General Secretary of the Red Sport International, affiliated with the Comintern. He was also a member of the KIM Executive Committee. In 1935-1937, he was an analyst for the Department of the Mass Organizations and Propaganda of the ECCI. Later he taught at the Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages.
[xxii] On 5 December 1923, the party meeting of the RKP(b) members of the ECCI apparatus unanimously (with four abstentions) proclaimed itself in favor of party unity and condemned “the tone and form of the articles of the leading comrades which recently took place on the pages of Pravda,” a reference to articles written by critics and defenders of the party line. In 1936-1937, this was considered as support to Trotsky and was used as an pretext to expel from the party the ECCI workers who took part in that meeting, and for their subsequent arrest.
[xxiii] Richard Vitoldovich Pikel (1896-1936). A member of the Bolshevik party from March 1917. In 1924-1926, he was the head of the Secretariat of ECCI Chairman G. Zinoviev. Between 1926 and 1927, he was an active member of the Left Opposition. In 1927, Pikel was expelled from the VKP, readmitted in 1929, expelled again in June 1936. He was arrested by the NKVD in connection with the so-called “Anti-Soviet United Trotskyist-Zinovievite Center” case. The Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to the shot on 24 August 1936.
[xxiv] Bronislav Vikentievich Bogdan (born in 1897). A member of the RKP(b) from 1919; in 1917, member of the RSDRP (internationalists). Between 1 June 1924 and 15 December 1926, he was deputy head of the Secretariat of the ECCI Chairman G. Zinoviev.
[xxv] Zinovy Lvovich Serebriansky (born in 1900). A member of the RKP(b) from 1920. Between 10 January 1928 and 4 December 1935, he worked as an educator, and later as a Deputy Director for Curriculum of the International Leninist School.
[xxvi] According to the press, 600,000 people took part in the demonstration in connection with the International Youth Day on 1 September 1936.