Protocol of the closed meeting of VKP members and candidate members in the ECCI Secretariat.
PROTOKOL No. 11*
OF THE CLOSED MEETING OF THE VKP(b) MEMBERS AND CANDIDATE MEMBERS IN THE ECCI SECRETARIAT of 22/VI-1937.
PRESENT: 166 VKP(b) members.
PRESIDIUM: Moskvin, Blagoeva, Gopner, Kotelnikov, Angaretis.
HEARD: Information by c. Kotelnikov about exposing the enemies of the people who worked in the ECCI apparatus.
RESOLVED: To ratify a decision by the party committee to expel from the party enemies of the people Walecki, Chernomordik, Chernin, Bronkowski, and Grossman.
HEARD: Report by c. Moskvin about the measures to improve the [political] health of the ECCI apparatus.
DISCUSSION: (on separate sheets).
Individual issues: p. 39
1)Case of Shok
2)Case of Brun
3)Case of Anikulgin[iv]
4)Case of Bashurov[v]
5)Case of Freir[vi]
6)Case of Balod, A.[vii]
7)Case of Gregor.[viii]
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REPORT BY com. MOSKVIN
Com. Stalin has stressed specifically what an unpleasant thing capitalist encirclement is. The recent trials have demonstrated to us what this capitalist encirclement means. Each of us has to thoroughly contemplate the question of how deeply the class enemy has penetrated into the very pores of our Soviet system. There is hardly any sector of our construction where the enemy has not have found ways to entrench himself and to attempt to undermine the fortress of our proletarian dictatorship from the outside.[ix]
We are the organization which, more than any other, stands at the junction with the capitalist world. To our shame, one has to admit that our vigilance proved to be at a lower level than in the other organizations of the VKP(b). We see a picture of profound penetration by the enemy into the most important parts of our apparatus. The most affected are two such important sectors as communications and cadres. It turned out that both the old and the new leaderships were from the same camp. We watched cockfighting staged before us: Mueller[x] against Abramov, etc. In reality, it is one and the same gang. One has to take this fact into consideration. It was a veil. If the next time one [person] exposes another before us, we should not take the side of one of them. It will be necessary to verify both of them, or else we may be tricked.
I have to admit my grave mistake which I committed in regard to Mueller. I am responsible for it more that anybody else. Particular details that can justify this case are of no importance. The biggest mistake was that we [placed] too much trust in this sector, and had little control over it. And when we felt that the things were going wrong, we raised the question of removing Mueller. I have to say that we could had removed him earlier. Incidental reasons delayed his removal. However, we failed to see the enemy in him, we failed to expose [him]. It turned out that he had been deceiving the party from almost 1919. Everybody knows that the OGPU leadership was saturated with enemies. This is why this scoundrel was exposed so late. He, like Abramov, could had been exposed many years earlier.
Of course, that does not mean that somebody [else] has to do our work. The organs of the proletarian dictatorship are doing their job and, under the leadership of com. Ezhov, will occupy their position of honor, a position that they should occupy. But that does not free any of us from the duty to be vigilant, to honestly serve the party in any sector of any work.
Look what happened. The most important sector – communications – turned out to be in the enemy’s hands. The other most important organ – cadres – had been in the hands of the enemy for a number of years, since its creation. The enemies did not just enter them yesterday. I noticed that everybody was shocked by the arrest of Alikhanov. He seemed to be very much a party person. He managed to fool our whole collective, and the secret ballot [party election in spring 1937] gave him the majority of votes.
(GOPNER: In a situation when there was a lot of agitation in favor of his candidacy).
It reflects the level of our organization.
The situation in some sections turned out to be very bad. In the German section, a number of people who used to work in our apparatus were arrested: Richter, Remmele, Neuman. In the Polish section: Bronkowski, Albert.[xi] And these two people controlled all the cadres of the Polish underground [party]. This is the reality.
It is hard to say where the limits of this treason are, and what sort of miscreants are still to be exposed, are still hiding, etc. There are too many channels through which the enemy can sneak into our apparatus. That is why genuine Bolshevik vigilance is a essential condition for each of us. We have to expose, in a Bolshevik manner, everything that has hindered the organization of struggle against the enemies.
I wanted to draw the attention of [our] organization to one circumstance, which I consider a great misfortune, even earlier. But I still do not have the concrete facts. I am referring to familyness. At our previous meetings we hardly even raised the question of familyness in the apparatus of the C[ommunications] D[epartment]. But tell me, was not there familyness in the old Cadres Department[?] Alikhanov and Chernomordik protected each other. And since they were members of the party committee, was not there familyness in the party committee, too[?] Yes, it was so, and it restrained the organization from exposing enemies.
In this connection, the ECCI Secretariat created a commission[xii] to verify the apparatus. Socially, our apparatus is petty-bourgeois. There are very few proletarian elements [who were] forged in the [class] struggle. Last year already, during a superficial verification, we learned that dozens of the workers [of our apparatus], although they had worked here for years, had tarnished political reputations, as if it was supposed to be this way. A decision was taken to cleanse our apparatus of such people, about whom it is still impossible today to say whether they were enemies or not. This refers to each one personally, but altogether, when there are dozens of them in our apparatus, and when they are entrenched in different sectors, it creates a very dangerous situation for our apparatus, i. e., an environment is created which facilitates the [ability of the] enemy to penetrate our apparatus. A spy does not necessarily have to sit in the apparatus (to our shame, there were such in the apparatus). He can do his work through higher level and lower level workers. We have to pay equal attention to each worker. Let us take a janitor. She comes to the office earlier than anybody else to clean up. She has to be an honest person, faithful to her fatherland. This is the [right] attitude when staffing the apparatus. First of all, we have to get rid of the politically unstable [workers] with dubious political ties. We do not need them in our apparatus. Let me take Siksoi as an example. We decided to remove her from our apparatus. You all know her. She spoke here. The general meeting rejected her. Do we need a person like Siksoi[?] The commission decided that we do not, and the Secretariat agreed. Or [take] Martha Morenz, or Borosh. First and foremost, we have to get rid of those elements with suspicious political ties and introduce new people in their place.
Then there is the group of people who had [committed] serious political mistakes, and who are also unsuitable for work in our apparatus. In general, since its creation, the commission [to verify the ECCI apparatus] has removed from the apparatus 65 people so far, excluding those 17 who were removed by NKVD organs. A special commission, created by the Secretariat, is working on verification of the workers of the C[ommunications] D[epartment]. In addition to that, a commission is working to verify the composition of the [apparatus's] workers. In general, the reorganization spearheaded by the special troika (under the leadership of c. Dimitrov) will result in a radical reduction of the whole apparatus of the C[ommunications] D[epartment] and changes in its whole system. Besides that, a re-registration of our whole apparatus is necessary, because the personal files of most of our workers are in a chaotic state. And we have to know each worker in our apparatus.
Then the Secretariat considered it necessary to transfer a number of workers from one department to another. Here c. Dimitrov especially asked us not to treat the transferred comrades as suspicious, but to create an atmosphere that is conducive for their work.
Finally, a series of measures have been planned to verify and staff our apparatus, etc.
In conclusion, I would like to speak to you about one thing. Recently I read in “Krokodil”[xiii] how one person learned about a state secret. He told it to his first floor neighbor. [Eventually] this secret made its way to the 7th floor. The last person had no one to tell it to so he went down to the first floor and told it to the person who first learned the secret. What I want to say is that one has to know how to keep his mouth shut because the enemy has big ears. Foreign counterintelligence is very interested in our apparatus. It is not advisable to babble about these arrests. The investigation is underway, and it is the duty of each of us to help it and not to babble. After the investigation is completed, and we get the information, it will be possible to inform our collective about the details in order to draw conclusions and learn the lessons.
We are making this announcement to you, and we expect from each of us and from everyone in our organization all possible help. Thanks to this idiotic disease, carelessness, spies were able to put down roots in our organization. We have to help our organization to rebuild itself and to make each of us so perceptive as to be able to expose our enemies. We have to roll up [our] sleeves and get down to work. I believe that we will salvage our apparatus from the poor state in which it finds itself today.
KOTELNIKOV. In his speech, com. Moskvin demonstrated the weakness of our party organization that failed to expose and remove in time the enemies who were later removed from our apparatus by NKVD organs. 15 enemies occupied important positions here. Until their arrest, our party organization did not deal with them. Some of them were exposed by NKVD organs without help from our party organization. It reveals our weakness in raising the revolutionary vigilance of each of us. The enemy proved to be more cunning than we were. Alikhanov and Mueller -- to our shame, we trusted them too much. Were there signals that should have caught our attention? Take Mueller: his grand lifestyle, throwing money around, winning [people] over with money, elements of moral degeneration about which some members of the party knew to some extent. None of this aroused the appropriate party suspiciousness, nor did it make any of us worry. It was known that, in 1923-24, he was an active Trotskyist. The organs of the proletarian dictatorship arrested him as a spy. But he could have been exposed earlier. It was not done, and our party organization bears responsibility for it. The [party] leadership is also responsible.
Alikhanov – there had already been Zholdak’s speech at the general meeting. It was a small signal, but nevertheless we had to pay attention to it. It was not done. Moreover, Alikhanov was taken under protection. In my speech, I characterized him as a good party member. It reveals my blindness, and stresses my responsibility before the party.
Chernomordik – we would have been able to expose him much earlier, if we had not limited ourselves to trusting his reports, if we had not trusted his word. We did not check the documents, we did not ask questions with the appropriate party thoroughness. And in his sphere of work, Chernomordik deceived the party organization and the [party] leadership. One had only to dig into the materials and his true nature as an enemy of the people and of the party would have been exposed.
These three -- Alikhanov, Chernomordik, Mueller -- were members of the party committee. You remember our discussion on the question of reprimanding the comrade who had lost his party card. Mueller wanted to show himself as an extremely vigilant person, but behind it was hiding an enemy, a spy from the very first years of our Socialist state. The same with Alikhanov. This double-dealer has been deceiving the party organization for years. In any case, during my work with him directly in the party committee, I did not see his real face, I did not see through him. I was basing myself on the fact that the leadership trusted him, that he was a tested comrade, etc. [It is such] superficial tranquility that leads to political blindness. From this derives the responsibility of the party committee and me personally, as a secretary of the party committee.
Let us take the party group of the C[ommunications] D[epartment]. The largest number of enemies were arrested there. There were elements of moral degeneration there, but nobody reacted to it. Mueller spent tens of thousands [of rubles] on parties, apartments, etc. At the <…> expense, he tried to create for himself authority within the C[ommunications] D[epartment].
Anikalchuk also spent <…> money [lavishly] here and there. The members of the party group did not help to expose these miscreants; the same was true in the Cadres Department. There is only one possible conclusion: lack of self-criticism, elements of familyness, the lack of a desire to raise principled questions, etc.
Our party organization now faces a task: to make every effort to liquidate the results of the enemies’ work, of their counterrevolutionary activities in our apparatus. We heard a statement from one comrade who said that because I worked by his side and failed to expose him, I myself should leave. Comrades, this is an incorrect way to pose this question. To go or to stay, the collective, the party organization, the leadership will decide this; we should not demobilize by ourselves. Each of us works in some sector, and each is required to help the leadership to overcome the results of the enemies’ counterrevolutionary activities here.
It is essential to study methods of work of the enemy, to study the materials and articles that are published now. This should be done by the experienced workers. The enemy sneaks into our apparatus thanks to our blindness and the lack of party vigilance. This demonstrates once again how right c. Stalin was when he emphasized the importance of capitalist encirclement. Our task is to raise party vigilance.
I am ashamed to face the party organization because of the fact that, for 3 months, three enemies of the party worked alongside me in the party committee.
I was a party leader for more than a year, in a period when one enemy after another was relieved by the leadership. I failed to respond to the signals, to react in a timely manner. It is a shame, and it is very depressing, especially because of the one who [so] skillfully played the role of a good party member. I trusted Alikhanov just as you did, but I had no right to do so because I was also a cadres worker. I had to grasp those signals, I had to grasp the signal sent at the general party meeting (citations from his books, his speech at the meeting on the report of the party committee). I should have studied his biography more thoroughly.
It was not sufficient to satisfy ourselves with Chernomordik’s statement about his Trotskyist error. We should have asked that party organization of which he was then a member, which we [only] did later. It was essential to restructure our work not in words, but in deeds.
We had to investigate the friendship of Chernomordik and Alikhanov. Gopner’s protest against their attitude towards her should also have served as a signal. Alikhanov knew how to dull vigilance; they charged me with the most secret tasks. He wormed his way into [people’s] confidence everywhere, and into the party organization. The party group has the right to raise the question whether I should remain a party leader, and the general meeting [to discuss] whether I should remain member of the party committee.
No. 3. NUSBERG.[xiv]
Com. Samsonov was right when he demanded a discussion of all of these issues.
I work in the Cadres Department. Familyness was not only between Alikhanov and Chernomordik. There was also friendship and familyness between Blagoeva, and Alikhanov and Chernomordik. And a very notable friendship existed between Razumova and Lebedeva,[xv] and Alikhanov and Chernomordik. Alikhanov tried to suppress self-criticism by referring to conspiracies. Com. Blagoeva failed to expose it. I know com. Gopner as an authoritative party member, but in our group, she was pushed aside. The staffing of the Cadres Department was such that, even in the last months, undesirable individuals were admitted. A non-party member Loganovskaia,[xvi] whose husband turned out to be enemy of the people, was entrusted with handling top secret documents, which should be entrusted only to tested communists. I told cc. Blagoeva, Tsirul, and Manuilsky about a number of people who turned out to be enemies. My mistake was not to report it to the party committee secretary. Once I went and spoke about my suspicions regarding Pataki,[xvii] and I presented materials proving that he was a scoundrel. Nevertheless, he was removed only later, at the suggestion of the NKVD.
For some reason, references [kharakteristiki] for departing workers were given by the Cadres Department; the party committee and the social organizations were cut off.
It is not good when one person is in charge of the apparatus. The commission to verify the apparatus works [too] slowly.
The party committee’s fault is that, knowing the bad [facts] in Krajewski’s, [and] Chernomordik’s pasts, the party committee nevertheless made them speakers at the M[oscow party] C[ommittee]; it did not verify these people’s pasts.
I met Abramov in 1924, in the USSR embassy in Berlin, when the deceased c. Vulfson and I went abroad for the first time. Later we went to Italy, where Vulfson was a deputy trade representative, and after that to Vienna, where c. Vulfson was the trade representative, and I worked in the USSR consulate, and later in the trade delegation. In April 1927, we returned to Moscow. In June, I started working in the Inotass [foreign news agency] as an intern. However, I failed my English test and had to leave. At that time, Vulfson was not in Moscow, and so I called Abramov and told him that I was looking for a job. He suggested that I come to him. I called on him the next day. After working in the OMS for a week or two, I said that it was difficult for me to deal with the Eng[lish] lang[uage]. Then he recommended me to the Agit[ation and] Prop[aganda Department]. In the fall of 1927, Vulfson returned from his business trip. Abramov and his wife visited us three times in two years (1927-1929), and we visited them twice. In 1929, c. Vulfson and I again went abroad. I returned to Moscow alone, because c. Vulfson died in a Berlin hospital on our way back to Moscow. I went to work for the ECCI for the second time, after talking with com. Tsirul. I never again saw Abramov at home, but I called him at work when I was hospitalized for 5 months in the Kremlin hospital. I asked him to come to see me and asked if he could get me a place in a sanatorium. It was in August 1935. He came, and I repeated my request. He promised [to fulfill it]. In the final account, I got a place [in a sanatorium] thanks to c. Gopner, who also knew how badly ill I was during these 5 months.
That was the last time I saw Abramov and called him on the phone.
I can say that in our publishing sector there were enough scandalous cases: the Chernin case, and others. The party group has to know its members better. It is better to go too far, to commit mistakes when purging the apparatus, rather than to let the enemy stay. Each of us has to remain in his place. I promise to be vigilant, I will mobilize myself.
(NUZBERG: And what did you do in Kamenev’s Secretariat?)
I had the archive of the Political Bureau of the CC VKP(b) in the cabinet there. But I do not remember an instance when I actually held those files. I translated from English some pamphlet by Lansbury.[xix] I was called upon to translate when the Presidium of the Moscow Soviet received foreigners.[xx]
GOLUBTSOV[xxi] – I will give some examples of irresponsibility in our apparatus. In the C[ommunications] D[epartment] there worked one Yaschenko, Mueller’s shield-bearer. She protected his office as if it was a sanctuary. No mortal could come to see him.
For a long time Loganovskaia worked in the apparatus. About a month ago, I needed to see Alikhanov and ask him why leaving the doors open had become more frequent of late in the Cadres Department. She did not let me in to see Alikhanov. Yesterday she came again. Why did they let her inside the building[?] In the warden’s office there is a reception room, but that room is not being used. In this regard, we lack vigilance. Such a system of controlling people is no good.
Take Walecki. At the party committee meeting, he behaved in such a way as to stress that he was an old party member and that, therefore, there could be no doubts about him.
Last year, when Kotelnikov was on vacation, Alikhanov replaced him. We had to solve the problem of assistance to low-paid workers. However, he showed no concern for [these] people.
A new person, who did not know Mueller, was hired. When that new person asked Mueller for a pass, Mueller replied: “Tell Davydov[xxii] not to put anyone here without my consent” by which he meant that he wanted to secure [positions for] his people there, too. Abramov also threw a tantrum for us [when we] asked him to present his pass.
We received alarming signals from the warden’s office: In the Cadres Department, they used to leave rooms open; once a fire happened; there were cases when the light was not switched off, etc. Nevertheless, the enemy, the former head of the Cadres Department, did not pay any attention to our signals from below.
Chernin weaseled around to prove his guiltlessness.
Com. Moskvin was right when he said in his speech that we need honest people on whom we can rely. The party groups have to undertake a serious verification of their groups, of their composition. It is essential to review the whole system of party education, since among the leaders of the study groups there were many enemies. We have to promote honest and devoted people to become leaders of the study groups.
I would like to focus on the Mueller’s characteristics. Mueller organized drinking bouts, spent tens of thousands [of rubles] to decorate offices; many communists groveled before him. Kozhevnikov[xxiv] decorated rooms in the Rococo style, and spent 25,000 rubles on it.
When Mueller was coming, Kozhevnikov set up dinners with the most exquisite wines and dishes.
I talked about this with party leader Yankov,[xxv] but he only shrugged his shoulders.
Why did it take place? Because the party committee was removed from those sectors, it did not teach us vigilance. Bolshevik self-criticism is to be promoted regardless of the special character of our apparatus.
Kozhevnikov is a bureaucrat, it is necessary to purge such people.
One has to keep secrets, but at the same time to watch so that the people with the party cards do not squander party money.
No. 7. MERING.
After the harsh words in c. Moskvin’s report in which he demonstrated that we lack party vigilance, it is especially difficult to speak about myself. At the election meeting, I stood for Alikhanov; I had not seen any [evidence of] deviations by him since 1928 when I first met him.
There was a signal about Alikhanov at the election meeting. We should have paid attention to it. Alikhanov’s speech contained a suppression of self-criticism, it contradicted the plenum's[xxvi] line. We recognized his speech as incorrect, but let him off easy. It was my mistake, too. I had no personal ties with Alikhanov; we were connected by work and study. And I failed to see through him. I am blameworthy for a significant lack of vigilance. In 1932-33, I met with the double-dealer and enemy of the people Shatskin. I met him several times. We met because we were connected at work. I did not carry on political conversations with him. I never shared his anti-party views. We discussed only his departure from the opposition. When he asked, what’s new in the Comintern? I answered that I did not know. I aggravated my mistake by not reporting my meetings with him to the party organization.
TSITOVICH.[xxvii] We talk a lot about vigilance, but it was not us who exposed them, but the organs of the proletarian dictatorship. I think that the Central Committee and c. Stalin demand from us not the kind of criticism that we used to have. We repeatedly refer to the distinctiveness of our organization and talk about other practical considerations. If we raised all of the questions with complete party honesty, we would have exposed all the enemies much earlier. At the election meeting, when the discussion became very critical, Alikhanov raised the question about terminating the discussion. We talked about many wrongdoings, but we failed to notice the most important. Vulfson was wrong when she said here that it is no big deal if we go too far. No, it is necessary to hit the target, or else we will do our enemy a service speaking that way. This means that each small signal has to be investigated to the end. Obviously, it is not a pleasant thing to be investigated (I know it firsthand), but each party member and the entire party organization have to bring each undertaking to the end.
Mueller’s case is not clear to me. It turns out that, in the past, Mueller was a Trotskyist. I think that the party committee and the [party] leadership have to investigate this case further. We do not have here a single comrade who knew about Mueller’s Trotskyist past. I think that the party committee has to investigate who knew about Mueller’s Trotskyist past and remained silent.
Regarding Alikhanov. There were signals. 10 months ago, com. Grishenin (he works in the Far Eastern regional party committee) conveyed that Alikhanov was a good friend of one miscreant, an enemy of the people who committed suicide, and that this person used to visit Alikhanov in his apartment. I reported it. Goldshtein[xxviii] reported the same thing. This case lasted for 2-3 months. We thought that our suspicions were not grounded. Then came the party committee elections. That evening, when the Alikhanov’s candidacy was discussed, I had been mobilized and was out of Moscow. Later I wondered if Alikhanov mentioned this fact in his biography. As it turned out, he did not. Goldshtein was ill at that time and in the hospital, but a number of comrades who knew about the case were present.
Later, a small group of [party] activists met. There I heard for the first time information about Mueller. This information was given by the enemy of the people, Alikhanov. I spoke with c. Moskvin about this fact. I told him that this fact confused me a lot, and that I thought that the leadership should investigate whether the suspicions were groundless, or they were serious.
(MOSKVIN – This fact was reported to the leadership, and Alikhanov did not conceal that he was close with Kalzan).
However, the [party] organization did not know about those ties. I think that it should have been brought up at the meeting when he was giving his autobiography. We often think that if one is a leading worker, this is sufficient.
Walecki, Bronkowski, and I worked on the editorial board of the “K[ommunistichesky] I[nternatsional].” I have to say that, after Bronkowski and Walecki came to work on the board, the atmosphere there became very difficult. Kotelnikov was the only person with whom one could talk. In fact, a Polish faction, rather an enemy faction, was created in the “KI.” I used to feel uneasy whenever I walked in there.
The organization knew Walecki well enough from his work in different sectors. It is typical of him to be concerned about money. As soon as he came to the board, he brought up the issue of raising his salary. Everybody knows Walecki’s lifestyle, his looking down upon rank-and-file workers, often changing wifes. It seems to me that we have to keep an eye on a person who is hungry for money.
Conclusion: we have to undergo a profound re-orientation. Only then our collective, which is quite qualified, will be up to the tasks facing it.
The speeches by cc. Kotelnikov and Blagoeva are not quite sufficien. They criticized themselves enough, but in light of the newly discovered facts, the problems are now viewed differently and, therefore, we have to restructure our work on a new basis. Our vigilance is insufficient. It is essential to invent methods to restructure the work of our apparatus and to discuss in [party] groups all of the issues relating to this restructuring.
We have to study the methods of work of the enemy who operate in our apparatus. I realize that it is impossible to do now, but in the future, we must outline the methods of the enemies who are operating in our organization. For example, Alikhanov gained trust with his seeming straightforwardness.
Chernomordik and Alikhanov restrained criticism at the general meeting. Do not go too far, they said.
C. Kotelnikov has a formal approach, [and] he is not getting any deeper. Alikhanov and Chernomordik lorded over the party committee, in fact, they were the leaders of the party committee. Our party organization is not solid. [There are] bureaucratic struggles between the departments. It is necessary to raise self-criticism to a higher level. It is necessary to propagandize the good examples of the individual communists who displayed vigilance, who managed to expose the enemy. Com. Kotelnikov raises the question of no confidence in the party committee. I think that we should not do it, we only have to restructure ourselves faster.
No. 10. KOZHEVNIKOV.
Levchenko was quite correct in his speech. [They] had been squandering resources, not tens of thousands, but millions, for many years. I reject the accusation that I am a bureaucrat. It was not me who squandered the money, but those who were responsible for that money. I have been working in the apparatus for a little more than a year, and did not understand the situation of the supposed struggle of Mueller against the abramovshchina. How did my political blindness reveal itself? [It revealed itself] in the fact that I was never critical of what was going on around me. Thanks to that, subversive activities passed through my hands. There were signals, but the party committee, thanks to Alikhanov and Chernomordik, smoothed everything over. Here is one signal: One party member declared that he was going to give up his party card because wrongdoings were taking place around him and he was not able to put a halt to them. The party committee charged Mueller and Chernomordik with investigating this case. There was a signal, and it faded. The same enemies used to come to our sector with party tasks. Once it was Kotelnikov, but even he was guarded so that he did not see, better to say, so that he could only see what was shown to him.
I am at fault for trusting Mueller. There was drinking and degeneration, and we failed to take those signals into consideration, we did not pursue them only because we considered that it would undermine his authority.
SVINARENKO.[xxx] The system created under Mueller favored his activity; the party organization was neglected. Apart from the party leader, his work was done by his administration and office. This means that many people were [not] informed about party work.[xxxi] There were cases of suppression of self-criticism in the party group. There were cases when a whole newspaper would be completely sequestered. The cases of moral degradation were exposed by the old party member, Krumina.[xxxii] She received many signals, but she did not bring them to c. Moskvin’s attention. If she had managed to do it, we would have had a different picture. And she was the only one who could do it. I think that we need to examine the question of Krumina.
It is not correct when people who are removed from work for certain reasons remain in the apparatus for a long time. And we still have people who have no relation to us. They are removed from work, but still stay here.
The party group expelled Shok from the party. He was, in fact, Mueller’s right hand. We had cases of familyness in our party group, [and] in [our] work (when the party leader was not a VKP(b) member). The party group should have dealt with the questions of moral degeneration which were present in [our] work, etc. earlier.
Our fundamental task is to liquidate as soon as possible the results of the enemy’s activities, and to verify cadres. Here we have to help the party committee.
What were the reasons that we overlooked the enemies?
Kozhevnikov and others indicated that there were signals. It is not enough to be penitent, it is also necessary to explain why you permitted such carelessness, such blindness. We are responsible for not criticizing high-ranking workers. One cannot take refuge in that fact that that those people had authority.
The familyness in the Communications Department has no equal in other departments. Clashes between old and new workers took place. Self-criticism was not encouraged. Both Alikhanov and Chernomordik played the leading role in the party committee.
There was a signal regarding one party member, but Swierczewski[xxxiii] assured [us] that he could guarantee her honesty.
Things are going badly in the Komsomol committee. Bondarenko, the trade union committee member, is in an awful setting. The Komsomol committee studied the case, [but] did not carry it to the end, [rather it] decided “to take it under consideration.” To consider the question closed. The same [happened] in the case of Ozrin.
No. 13. PREDE.[xxxiv]
Abramov always surrounded himself with his people, and he protected them so that we could not remove the drunks and moral degenerates. Abramov’s wife was his number one assistant; I do not know where is she now. About the garage workers: [We] hired Shazner[xxxv] as a chauffeur, and it turned out that he had a Swiss passport, although he has been in the USSR for 15 years. Verner[xxxvi] wanted to transfer to the military aviation plant, and when he was denied permission, he said that he would go over to Hitler. He was fired; I think, he is in prison now. Walecki praised another chauffeur, Berger,[xxxvii] who is very suspicious.
It is essential to select trustworthy people. The party committee claimed that there were no signals. However, there were signals about Eizenberger during the purge, but the case was not resolved.
Luchinsky,[xxxviii] the study group leader, chattered that in a neighboring country everything is ready, including the partisan detachments. Such babble is harmful and inadmissible.
SAMSONOV -- We are examining a very serious question. Com. Stalin and Lenin said that capitalist encirclement of the USSR leads to confrontation between the capitalist elements and the USSR. It is essential to improve [our] study of the issue of the activities and methods of the bourgeois intelligence services which are struggling against us. How could it happen that the enemies Alikhanov, Mueller, Chernomordik were “the heart and soul of the organization[?]” It is a slap in our face. The speeches by c.c. Kotelnikov and Blagoeva are completely incorrect. At two meetings, the enemies completely discredited me. As is known, the enemies are trying to buy off honest people. Last year, Alikhanov managed to get 100 thousand rubles illegally from the Administration of Affairs office through the party committee. [That money] was given to social organizations. At the meeting, they justly criticized me on some issues, but the enemies consciously tried to discredit me. I fought this gang from a position of principle. The argument centered on questions of principle (estimate, etc.). This gang discredited me for defending the party’s positions. Why did they work over c. Gopner at the party committee for saying that the enemy Chernomordik behaved in a Trotskyist way[?] I insisted that all those who had worked in Zinoviev’s Secretariat should not work in the apparatus, but Chernomordik did not agree with this. Com. Drizul[xxxix] told me that Chernomordik was a dangerous person for our organization. Mueller [and] Alikhanov discredited the Stalinist constitution[xl] when, referring to “attention to real people,” they supported the enemies. I was absolutely right in my suppositions and in my struggle, I was not mistaken. When Alikhanov realized that I was struggling against him, he created his secret headquarters that intercepted statements and spread rumors about me. I sent Alikhanov a statement regarding one party member. It became known to that person, probably from Alikhanov. Things are going badly in the Cadres Department. It was clear to me that personnel files were in danger. Facts and signals were not followed through on. C. Blagoeva said that everything was fine in the Cadres Department. Why did c. Blagoeva say nothing today about suppressing criticism[?] Where was com. Kotelnikov when I was unjustly criticized, and he himself permitted incorrect criticism[?] A rumor was intentionally spread that I had a “tail” of 19 people. The verification showed that this was not true. Com. Kotelnikov does not have to cover me up. You have no such right, c. Kotelnikov. The party will set things straight and protect me. Influential members of the party committee, like Alikhanov, discredited me, and com. Kotelnikov did not straighten them out. Com. Kotelnikov, you worked in the Cadres Department yourself. Why was the “criticism” of familyness not directed to the Cadres Department, to the OMS and other departments, but only to the Administration of Affairs office? There is no answer to this question. I am accused of suppressing Gurevich, supposedly because he is a Jew; this comes from Alikhanov. The enemies bribed us. When I spoke against bribes, Alikhanov said that I was slapping the organization across the face. Regarding Pataki (there was a statement that he was a Trotskyist), nonetheless he continues to work. Mueller spoke at the meeting and said that he was supposedly annoyed that they did not criticize him. This is the mask of the enemy. I am not satisfied with the speeches by c. Kotelnikov and c. Blagoeva. At the last party committee [meeting] before the elections, com. Kotelnikov said that Samsonov ought to know how to behave, or else they would criticize him. I stated that I felt bad at the party committee, because more than half of them were Trotskyists. They said here that there were signals regarding some issues. We have to elect a commission to investigate how to look into those signals. The party organization has to discuss whether or not c. Kotelnikov and c. Blagoeva should continue to be members of the party committee.
TSIRUL – C. Samsonov spoke here regarding Pataki, that accusations against him were unsupported. If Pataki is at large now, it does not mean that he will be at large [in the future].
During the break, Samsonov remarked, let us see how Tsirul will speak. Comrades, I am not going to speak here as the accused. I had no personal friendship or ties with any of these enemies. My great fault is that I had to work together with three of these enemies for some time, and I failed to expose them. At the meeting, I supported Alikhanov against Zholdak, although I maintained closer relations with Zholdak.
I will speak individually about each of the five enemies which were removed from our apparatus.
Mueller – under him, there existed an atmosphere of groveling and bribery, which found its best expression during the New Year party; all the workers of the Communications Department praised Mueller, and even awarded him a prize for the best dance. Mueller had a secret system of bonuses; one would go directly to the accounting office to get his bonus. There was no political essence in this issue.
Walecki – he had a different style, an artificial rudeness. You say one word, he would say ten. He would yell [and] bang his cane. Once he wanted to beat a chauffeur because he did not like the car that he was given.
Krajewski – I worked with him occasionally since 1932. We thought him to be a badly organized person, an artisan doing everything by himself, a bad administrator. We criticized him hard for that. He was afraid to let other people know about his work.
Chernomordik – basically the same unorganized person, lacking any system. He kept papers in his drawer for about six months, and then wrote: to file, without even writing down the date. Now I understand that that was his method of work in order to conceal everything.
Alikhanov – this one had a different method. First, he worked in the Organizational Department. He could do nothing well, everything went bad there. I asked him: Why do you hang around here, not knowing the languages, not knowing the situation in the countries? And he replied that he had a stomach ulcer, and needed diet food and treatment, therefore he had to stay in Moscow, that is why he remained in the Organizational Department apparatus. This happened in 32. When I came to the ECCI again in 37, I was stunned by the Alikhanov’s enormous authority within the party organization and the leadership. I used to know him as a bad worker. Alikhanov artificially created an authority for himself. For example, we, the workers of the apparatus, never addressed the leading comrades as “ty,”[xli] while he addressed both c. Moskvin and c. Manuilsky as “ty.” He thus created a specific atmosphere of intimacy. I think that he artificially created his authority.
I can speak about Alikhanov more than about anyone else. Mering and I took classes on Marxism with Alikhanov. There Alikhanov had a fight with Furschik. Furschik used to be a Menshevik. It was not politically correct to defend a Menshevik, but in fact he had to be defended.
After the classes were over, Alikhanov went to Baku. He left at the same time as Lominadze[xlii] did. During the elections, he said nothing about this in his biography. He was asked about Baku, and he replied that he was removed for [engaging in] an unprincipled group squabble. I remember, during the purge, Solts asked him a question: Do you always exit with a squabble?
Alikhanov raised before the leadership the question of Borosh, Shenfeld, and Brann, about helping them.
Once there was a need to give to the leadership information about Krajewski. The information was written, but did not go anywhere because Alikhanov said, to send such information would mean that Krajewski would have to be removed.
Chernin – when he was expelled from the party, I thought that he was a bad communist, but I never imagined that he was an enemy. We expelled Chernomordik. I thought that, if he deceived the party, he should not be a member of the party, but again I did not think that he was an enemy. To some extent, we failed to follow com. Stalin’s principles of political verification and a businesslike approach. Here we frequently went to an extreme. For example, the party committee resolved to expel Walecki from the party, yet the commission headed by c. Moskvin decided to remove him from the “K[ommunistichesky] I[nternatsional],” but to continue to use him. Facts from Krajewski’s past were known. (Moskvin: They were known.) Someone knew about Mueller’s Trotskyism. (Moskvin: As soon as the leadership learned about it, we immediately called a meeting and worked out a line toward that type). Alikhanov worked under c. Moskvin, and from there he transferred to the Cadres Department. I think that c. Moskvin should have known Alikhanov’s biography, should have known that he was in Leningrad during the Leningrad opposition, and later was removed for [participating in] unprincipled group struggle in Baku. If you approached the issue more carefully, everything could have been investigated.
No. 1. VASILIEVA.[xliii]
The whole leadership of the Cadres Department was in the enemy’s hands. The problem of the selection of workers to the Cadres Department was not approached in a satisfactory manner. There was labor turnover; during the past 3 years, 45 people passed through the Cadres Department. Filing is still in bad condition. Com. Blagoeva did little to help expose the shortcomings and fight them. On the contrary, she sharply reacted to criticism, came down on those who criticized [her] using her authority as a party leader and a member of the party committee. It happened to me, too. In our department, enemies worked in such a way as to concentrate all activities in their hands, while removing from leadership such worthy workers as c. Gopner. The enemies in our department sought to put their work under control. Alikhanov opposed planning in work.
In her work, com. Blagoeva was closely connected with the enemies who were in the leadership of the department, and it prevented her from hearing the voice of the party members. I do not think that it is right to put Blagoeva on a par with the enemies, but she has to admit honestly that she, just like all of us, overlooked the enemy and can not get off with general phrases.
MINGULIN. The party committee did not work well enough, but we know that Kotelnikov bore the bulk of work. In connection with the most recent events, our organization must draw conclusions for itself. Com. Moskvin was right when he said that the recent removals [of people] demonstrate that not everything is in order in our organization. It is essential to undertake a purge of all sectors of our organization.
Why did we overlook these enemies? We had people whom we knew as spotless, but, after investigations, it turned out that they are not quite clean. There were signals, but we took them too lightly. Regarding some people, there were no indications at all. At this time, the organization faces the task of thoroughly investigating the political personality of each member of our organization, from the first to the last. Second, we have to thoroughly investigate each signal, and to verify everything using all of the available documents. Third, we have to verify the work of each [member of the organization]. This is the conclusion we have to make.
We heard Blagoeva’s and Tsirul’s speeches, and what they actually said was that one enemy worked here, he was removed and exchanged for another, and that one – for a third. And nobody noticed that they were enemies. It is impossible [to believe] that there was nothing subversive in their work. But the comrades are saying that secrecy made it impossible to detect everything. The party organization needs assurance that you will investigate this side of the issue.
Com. Moskvin spoke about familyness, and these comrades mentioned two people. Two people do not constitute familyness. This means that in order to fool people familyness was much more serious. Why did the comrades from the Cadres Department not disclose the methods of familyness to which com. Moskvin referred[?]
We face the task of making our party organization and our apparatus healthy again. We should not simply throw people out, but it is essential to investigate each case to the end.
SORKIN. After the CC Plenum and com. Stalin’s speech, our party organization did not learn all the [proper] lessons, it did not rise to the challenge. It turned out that, in practice, [despite] working side by side with enemies, we failed to expose them. It is especially hard on those comrades who worked together with those enemies, and had direct contact with them at work. I for one worked with the enemies Mueller and Leonidov[xlv] for six months, and discovered nothing. One has to know the enemy’s methods of work, to study them, and to take into consideration that, in the future, rather than just saying we are sorry we must say that we are responsible.
I would like to refer to some circumstances that I saw in connection to the work of Mueller, Leonidov, Menis, and others. What [tactics] did they use to mask themselves? They used the same as before – abramovshchina – and thus confused us. We gave in to this instead of struggling with abramovshchina and learning what was Muellerovshchina.
Another question is about bribery. After Abramov, bribery was used to demonstrate that there were great successes. The collective fell for it. In particular, the enemy gambled on the issue of cadres selection. Here, too, they dulled our vigilance.
Another question – the desire to demonstrate their own vigilance. Remember Mueller’s speech about keeping state and party secrets[?] At that time, he overemphasized minor details, and thereby deflected vigilance away from himself and his ilk. Mueller demonstrated his exceptional rhetorical vigilance, [he demonstrated his] vigilance in order to show off. Mueller showed himself to be especially vigilant toward a comrade who had lost his party card. He wanted to show how well he understood the tasks of the party.
There were a series of signals regarding the condition of work, but all these questions were obscured, and that was their goal. What was noticeable? A question that was very urgent, unable to wait a single day, would be dragged for months. If a whole series of issues were not delayed, we would have been able to expose someone earlier.
About the transferring of trust. The situation was such that it was not possible to discuss everything at a general meeting, and in fact a whole variety of issues were entrusted to other people. We have to conclude that we cannot transfer trust, that it is necessary to control, verify, and be attentive to all the signals. Each party member has to signal about everything he sees.
Now they are talking about Ginesin.[xlvi] But all this was known before. It is not a secret which was impossible to discuss at a general meeting. However, the issue was never raised. It is essential that each worker, even from a secret sector, if he has something to say, be able to see the leadership at designated times so that the leadership receives these signals. Even if 10-15 people do not provide a lot, nevertheless, these signals will be [received] earlier rather than later.
I think that we need to meet with the activists and to finally outline measures to liquidate the results of sabotage.
No. 7. KRYLOVA.
The enemies were hiding behind secrecy and lack of control. Therefore, it is essential to activate party control in the most secret sectors. Re-elections to the party committee are not appropriate, and will only play into the hands of the enemy. The enemy Alikhanov did not play the first tune in the party committee.[xlvii] I think that the enemy is trying to denigrate good party members. Now it is essential to rally around the party committee in order to purge the enemies who still remain among us. This is clear from the fact that, in the fascist newspaper “Angrif” of 18/VI, it was said that we have removed so many people from the apparatus. How did this become known to the fascist press? It is clear that [it became known] from the enemies who are still among us. The party committee must lean on the [party] activists for support, and it must meet with them and discuss in detail our future work. There are also enemies in our party education network. It is essential to improve this [network]. Towards that end, it is essential that all leading workers work as propagandists. Finally, the enemy is taking advantage of the situation when the solution to important problems is delayed. We need to resume [the practice of] convening working meetings.
Angaretis said many interesting and useful things, but he did not take self criticism to its logical conclusion. He should have told [us] why he, Angaretis, having worked with the enemies Krajewski and Walecki for years, did not notice them, did not expose them.
No. 5. ANGARETIS.
Why did the enemy find it so easy to work in our apparatus? Because many forget about real vigilance, second, because many workers are working not as party members, but as clerks. In the party group of the Propaganda Department, they investigated the case of Busch,[xlviii] whose father forged her party card, changed the date of her joining the party in order for her to be able to work in the CC CPG apparatus. And the party group in fact rehabilitated her, and party leader Zholdak attempted to gloss over the Busch case in the ICC. It was easy to expose her, because she had left the USSR in 1929 as a Komsomol member and returned as a party member from 1928. Not just enemies, but also other workers of the Cadres Department (Mueller or others) are responsible for not exposing her. Another thing, when L.[xlix] came, there was information that he was a traitor, but he nevertheless was admitted to the Congress. Who is responsible for that? He had to go through the credentials committee. After that, with the help of the enemies of the people Ortega,[l] Chernomordik and others, he sneaked into the apparatus. [His] case was studied by the ICC to decide whether it was possible to let him remain in the apparatus. The ICC raised a question about his membership in the party, and he was expelled from the party. Where were the other workers of the Cadres Department who handled this person? They have to give an answer.
Recently I found materials composed by com. Yakubovich,[li] which lay idle for a long time and have not yet been sent to the NKVD. Such cases, when materials are not sent to the appropriate office have to be revealed, and all those responsible have to give answer.
A number of enemies had not been arrested earlier because the Cadres Department failed to send materials that it possessed about these people. The problem is that there is no real vigilance, [there is only] a formal approach to work.
Com. Angaretis told us what the workers of the Cadres Sector should have told us, in particular what c. Blagoeva should tell us in her second speech, about the methods of the enemy in our organization. It is necessary to hold a political [information] day, in accord with the decision of the M[oscow party] C[ommittee].[lii] Com. Stalin said that it is essential to learn from the rank-and-file how to work, but Blagoeva did not pay attention to the workers’ signals. Our leadership has to take that into account. I do not understand why they did not let Kotelnikov go to the centers.[liii] Com. Kotelnikov cannot entrust that to others. How could the party committee have allowed workers from the centers to not be permitted to our general meetings? It is the party committee’s fault.
17 people are arrested. Chernomordik wrote resolutions about creating a commission to investigate upcoming cases. This resolution (according to his own directives, of course) has been put into cold storage. But who among the workers of the [Department of] Cadres could do it, i. e. put it into cold storage? It is necessary to investigate [this]. Com. Samsonov came to the ECCI with a “tail,” and he is wrong when he says that, because he does not have tea with them, he sees nothing bad in this. And what did they criticize Ryndin[liv] for? The 7 people whom he brought to work from Moscow will not criticize him. Now those expelled from our apparatus immediately find jobs in the Foreign Workers Publishing House. Yet the Foreign Workers Publishing House is closely connected with us. A number of the former workers of the publishing house have been arrested. Communists in charge of the Foreign Workers Publishing House have to be held responsible for employing those who have been removed from work here.
Martynov[lv] wanted to accuse c. Tsirul of Trotskyism basing himself only on c. Tsirul’s speech.
(MARTYNOV FROM THE AUDIENCE: I do not consider Tsirul a Trotskyist, but he defended Alikhanov. I have no other information but, during the elections to the party committee, c. Tsirul gave a positive reference to Alikhanov.)
(FROM THE AUDIENCE: Afonina[lvi] also gave Chernomordik a positive reference when he was elected to the party committee.)
TSENK. I worked for a long time with the exposed Trotskyist Chernin, and for some time with the enemy of the people Krajewski. I take the blame for not exposing them promptly. That is why our party group suggested expelling me from the party for [my] slackening of vigilance. This question has not yet been resolved, but I want to speak about methods in our apparatus.
Chernin tried to keep me away from the party meetings as much as he could. Each time he would find urgent and important tasks [for me]. The party leader called attention to this, but the administration made a decision and I complied. I spent days and nights at work, and physically could not perform party assignments.
The enemy did it in order to separate me from the collective and to make it easier to use me.
We know that criticism helps in work, but under Chernin, criticism was not allowed. When comrades came to [him to] point out my mistakes, Chernin always protected me and would not allow a discussion of these issues. Chernin himself never took vacations, and did not allow us to do so. I took vacation only after the decision by com. Ercoli when I was unable to work anymore. Chernin always stressed that nobody was able to do this work except me. What was his goal? [His goal was] not to let anybody know about his methods of work. I myself started to overestimate my performance. Arguments with comrades emerged, and I did not approach those arguments self-critically. All this played into the hands of the enemy.
Chernin never invited other comrades to do work, never called meetings of the staff. Therefore, the collective could not correct me. He did not attend party meetings [and] had no party assignments. The party leaders and the party committee knew this. He never spoke at meetings, [he excused himself] by saying that he was not a public speaker. He never spoke about his past. He never said that he had been an active Trotskyist, but he did like to speak about his participation in the defense of Tsaritsyn during the civil war. He spoke very nicely to everyone in the apparatus and almost never argued.
Nevertheless, I never thought that he was an enemy.
I also worked with Krajewski for a short time. I also did not think that he was an enemy. When he [first] came [to work], he said to me: I know that you had conflicts with Chernin; if you want to work with me, you have to trust me. If you have any doubts, come to me, we will talk.
He thus ensured that I would not discuss shortcomings at work with anybody else.
I lost [my] vigilance. It is true. But to accuse me of insincerity would be incorrect.
MOSKVIN. It seems to me that the discussion has gone off in the wrong direction. We will have to return over and over again to the question of how the enemy penetrated us, especially since today we do not have a complete picture of the enemies’ work. We will have to wait for the results of the ongoing investigation, which obliges us not to babble too much.
We are very weakly protected from external enemies. And I want to refer to a fact that com. Krylova told me about. The administrative decisions of the ECCI apparatus are already making their way to the fascist press. Consider this fact, and learn how to keep [your] mouths shut. Do not babble about what was discussed at the party meetings.
Each of us will have to talk about [his] mistakes in more detail. We need vigilance, not in words, but in deeds. It is essential to put an end to this idiotic disease -- carelessness. Lack of control and entrusting work [to others] facilitated the enemies’ work.
At the closed meeting of the Secretariat, we thoroughly exposed the shortcomings and mistakes present in our work. We planned a series of practical measures in this regard. I repeatedly spoke about my blindness toward Mueller. But it is not enough to talk. We have to mobilize ourselves and to work to rectify our mistakes. I think that the party committee will have to conduct the mobilization into this affair. Work discipline has deteriorated lately. It is necessary to improve it. For example, our papers are in terrible condition. God knows who has access to them. There is a certain sense of confusion among the workers of the apparatus. It is absolutely inadmissible, because panic will only favor the enemy. In order to unite ourselves in a Bolshevik way, it is essential to lead the whole apparatus on to the broad Bolshevik road.
Now about the discussion. There are reasons to criticize the party committee. We now have the right to demand more from it. But that does not mean that we can raise the question of dissolving the party committee. I spoke about familyness in the apparatus, the carriers of which were Alikhanov and Chernomordik. But it would be incorrect to heap the blame on others, for example on com. Blagoeva. We cannot lump together those miscreants and honest comrades. We have to help Blagoeva to learn this lesson.
In his speech, com. Samsonov correctly pointed out several issues. He made clear that it was no accident that Alikhanov and Chernomordik tried to target the Administration of Affairs [department], tried to attract attention to it. They wanted to distract attention from other sectors. However, Samsonov’s idea that all party work revolves around these two issues is incorrect. Therefore, his originally correct idea became unconvincing. He did not keep a sense of proportion.
We have not felt the party committee’s presence lately. Rogozhnikov is right when he says that throughout the [Soviet] Union, the mobilization of the party and non-party Bolsheviks to study methods to fight the enemy is underway, but we have failed to organize this. This [situation] has to be rectified quickly.
The Secretariat planned a series of measures to clean up the apparatus, and, in particular, the C[ommunications] D[epartment]. Com. Anvelt, who is currently reviewing the work of the C[ommunications] D[epartment], is coming to the conclusion that the existing system impedes the [proper] development of work there.
I believe that the party committee will be up to its tasks, but all of us will have to help it. Each of you can come to the leadership to talk about the shortcomings that you notice in your work.
As for those who are leaving, it is important that they do not leave us as enemies. If they are not the enemies, why not use them in the publishing house, why not provide them with jobs[?] We decided to move some comrades to other departments, from one sector to another. But the attitude towards these comrades has to be friendly. It will be necessary to thoroughly purge the apparatus. By the way, the KIM helped us a lot with cadres.
KOTELNIKOV. I agree with Samsonov that the party committee and me, when criticizing Samsonov, failed to expose even worse facts in the C[ommunications] D[epartment] and in the Cadres Department. It was our political mistake. However, one cannot agree with Samsonov when he says that it is necessary to liquidate alikhanovschina. The task of the whole party organization, including Samsonov, is to study, expose, and cleanse our party organization. Here the role of each individual party member has to be greater than [it has been] until now.
We talked here about familyness and mentioned Alikhanov and Chernomordik. It is a fact that Alikhanov and Chernomordik always supported each other at party committee meetings. On the Chernin question, Alikhanov defended his point of view, he was against expelling Chernin from the party. We expelled Chernin against the resistance of Alikhanov. In the case of Eizenberger, Alikhanov also offered resistance.
Alikhanov is an experienced enemy and double-dealer. He understood well the situation in the organization, [and] he utilized every fact to deceive us.
During the exchange of party documents, Alikhanov concluded his speech by stating that our entire organization, one and all, will come with new party cards. Did not he deceive the party organization when he raised a question about lifting the reprimand from Chernin? Alikhanov was an experienced enemy.
In its work, the party committee has guided itself by the decisions of the CC, [and] by directives of the M[oscow party] C[ommittee] and the D[istrict] C[ommittee]. We made mistakes. We failed to promptly expose these enemies.
There were voices here in favor of re-electing the party committee. It is the business of the party collective. It is difficult for me to discuss this since I am the party committee secretary. However, I think that we now need to strengthen the party committee. New comrades will help to overcome difficulties and shortcomings. If the general meeting agrees, we will raise the question in the district committee to let us supplement the party committee [with new members].
Political studies have weakened lately. The network of the party schools must be restructured. It may be necessary to replace some study group leaders. A series of comrades are retiring. It will be necessary to complete this work in the next few days.
You can blame the party committee for only now raising the issue of the arrest of several enemies in our apparatus. We did not raise it [before] not because we wanted to conceal [it] from the organization, [but rather] we did it in the interest of the cause. I do not think that a party crime was committed.
I suggest electing a commission that, together with the party activists and based on this discussion, will put together suggestions. Our collective will undertake the task of overcoming the current difficulties in a united, Bolshevik manner.
RESOLVED: To take the report into consideration. To charge the party committee, together with the party activists, to work out measures in connection with the lessons deriving from the latest arrests and removals from our organizations, to liquidate the results of sabotage and to further mobilize the organization to struggle against the remnants of the enemies’ subversive activities. Second, [to work out measures] to mobilize the party organization to study Bolshevism. And third, to charge the party committee to suggest in the higher party organs of the Moscow organization to permit electing additional members to the party committee.
TSIRUL. Martynov accused me here of being a Trotskyist. I do not know what motivated him, but I request that if there are any reasons to accuse me of Trotskyism, that they be investigated. If not, I request that this comrade be held responsible for this.
The majority of the party organization have known my work for several years. I was elected chairman of the purge commission, and there have never been any accusations against me. I am asking Martynov to state on which basis he called me a Trotskyist. He has no right to offend me, and the party meeting has to react to this. I have been struggling for the revolution for all these years, and will not permit [him] to offend me.
KOTELNIKOV. As far I as understand, Martynov referred to Tsirul’s speech, because when the meeting asked Martynov to repeat [his statement], he immediately rejected his formulation. Therefore, Martynov probably had no other basis for it except the speech by Tsirul.
MARTYNOV. I have never considered, and do not consider him a Trotskyist.
VOICES. Before you speak, you must think.
KOTELNIKOV. I see no reasons for passing any decision on this matter.
POLINOV.[lvii] Martynov is not well educated, so he blurted [this] out.
KOTELNIKOV. I think that the party meeting will take into consideration Martynov’s declaration that he had no basis to accuse Tsirul of Trotskyism. And second, the party meeting considers Martynov’s statement as irresponsible and not serious.
DEDKOV.[lviii] During the elections, Tsirul positively characterized Alikhanov, [he said] that he knew him well. I think that he then referred to him as a valuable worker. In this case, it is insincerity.
DEDKOV’S SUGGESTION IS PASSED.
KOTELNIKOV. I believe that no one deduced from c. Tsirul’s speech that c. Tsirul is a Trotskyist.
A suggestion is made to compare the two speeches by c. Tsirul about Alikhanov: [The speech] at the time of electing Alikhanov to the party committee, and [the speech] at the present meeting.
BLAGOEVA. The party meeting should know the following fact: that Kotelnikov and I have long been collecting and studying materials against Chernomordik. This fact must be taken into consideration in connection with the statement that Blagoeva joined this group. I also want to add that, under the leadership of Kotelnikov, I initiated the request of materials from the Irkutsk organization that exposed, although too late, Chernomordik.
Second note: com. Angaretis cited facts about the poor work of the Cadres Department. Comrades have to know that the secrecy was treated as the most important principle, and I was unaware of the facts cited by com. Angaretis. The new leadership of the Cadres Department will have to study this question.
Third note: I think that the party organization heard from me how I evaluate my responsibility, my grave error of trusting, along with the whole party organization and the leadership, the enemy Alikhanov.
We will discuss the elections when we are able to summarize the results of the subversive work that the enemies conducted here.
HEARD: Case of Shok. Com. Kotelnikov reads the resolution of the party committee: “For complete loss of party vigilance toward the enemies of the people, for failing to take appropriate measures to maintain secrecy in the entrusted sector, and for being a politically unreliable person, expel Shok from the VKP(b).”
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee.
HEARD: Case of Brun. Com. Blagoeva reads the resolution of the party committee: “For complete loss of party vigilance toward the enemies of the party and the people, expel Brun from the VKP(b).”
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee to expel Brun from the VKP(b).
HEARD: Case of Anikalchuk. Com. Kotelnikov reads the resolution of the party committee: “For complete loss of party vigilance toward the enemies of the party and the people, and for his criminal attitude toward stealing of the state funds by them, expel Anikalchuk from the VKP(b).”
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee to expel Anikalchuk from the VKP(b).
A suggestion is made to ask the administration to forward the case about illegal spending of the state funds to the organs of justice.
Declaration of com. Kotelnikov that the party committee is studying the question of Altshuller’s[lxi] relation to this case. (To take into consideration).
HEARD: Case of Bashurova. Com. Tsirul reads the resolution of the party committee: “ For complete loss of vigilance toward the enemy of the party and the people Mueller, expel Bashurova from the VKP(b).”
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee to expel Bashurova from the VKP(b).
HEARD: Case of Freier. Com. Blagoeva reads the resolution of the party committee: “For concealing during the verification and exchange of the party documents, his Trotskyist deviations in 1927, for failing to react to the slanderous attack of Ortega [S. Pestkowski], and for being politically unreliable, expel Freier from the VKP(b).”
A question by c. Kotelnikov: Who invited Freier to work in Chita?
Freier replies: At the time of the XVII Congress, [I] obtained Razumov’s[lxii] Moscow address from com. Razumova (a member of our organization). Freier discussed the job issue with him.
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee to expel Freier from the VKP(b).
HEARD: Case of Ballod, A. Com Tsirul reads the resolution of the party committee: “For complete loss of the party vigilance toward the enemy of the party and the people, and for being a casual fellow-traveler of the party, expel Ballod, A. from the VKP(b).”
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee to expel Balod, A. from the VKP(b).
HEARD: Case of Gregor-Mitrovich. Com. Blagoeva reads the resolution of the party committee: “For complete loss of the party vigilance toward the enemies of the party and the people, and for insincerity toward the party, expel Mitrovich, G. D. from the VKP(b).”
RESOLVED: To approve the decision of the party committee to expel Mitrovich from the VKP(b).
Chairman: F. Kotelnikov Secretary: Volk.
RGASPI, f.546 , op. 1, d. 388, ll. 49-87.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
* In this transcript, several people refer to the comments of speakers who appeared after them in the transcript, but who clearly spoke before them during the meetings. We have reproduced the transcript as it appears in the archive.
[i] Sofia Maksimovna Bialkovskaia (born in 1898). A member of the RKP(b) from 1919, she worked in the ECCI as an assistant bibliographer between 1932 and 1943. In February 1938, her husband, who had worked in the People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry, was arrested. On 29 January 1939, the Rostokino VKP regional committee gave her a harsh reprimand and inscribed on her party registration card “for slackening of political vigilance toward the enemy of the people – her husband.”
[ii] Smirnov – no information is available about him.
[iii] Berta Lazarevna Paglina (born in 1904). A member of the VKP from 1930, she worked in the ECCI as a stenographer-typist between 1932 and 10 January 1938. On 7 March 1938, she was expelled from the party. On 8 March, she was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced, by the NKVD Special Council, to eight years in prison. She was imprisoned until December 1946. In 1951, she was again arrested and sentenced to five years in exile in Kazakhstan.
[iv] Correct name: Grigory Petrovich Anikalchuk. Born in 1892, he joined the RKP(b) in 1921. After 15 January 1936, he worked in the Supplies Department of the ECCI’s Administration of Affairs Office. On 29 May 1937, the ECCI’s party committee resolved to expel him from the VKP “for a complete loss of party vigilance and a criminal attitude toward plundering of the state funds.” The Rostokino VKP raion committee changed the expulsion to a party reprimand.
[v] Anastasia Nikoforovna Bashurova. Born in 1903, she was a member of the VKP from 1930 to 1937. Between October 1936 and June 1937, she worked in the ECCI’s Communications Department.
[vi] Boris Semionovich Freier (real name – Seigel). Born in 1897, he joined the Bolshevik party in 1919. Between 1924 and 1934, he worked in the ECCI apparatus. In 1936-1937, he was an analyst in the Eastern Secretariat and a political analyst to O. Kuusinen.
[vii] Anna Reinovna Balod. Born in 1905, she joined the VKP in 1932. Between 5 January 1936 and 25 May 1937, she worked in the 5th sub-sector of the Communications Department. On 5 October 1937, she was arrested. On 18 March 1938, she was sentenced to ten years in prison.
[viii] Gregor (Grgur; real name – Vujovic; alias Mitrovich) (1901-1937). A member of the Komsomol of Yugoslavia from 1920, he joined the VKP in 1924. Between December 1922 and 16 June 1937, he worked in the ECCI’s OMS. In 1932-1934, he was CPYu representative in the ECCI. He was arrested and, on 28 October 1937, was sentenced by the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR to be shot.
[ix] Probably, should read “from within.” (Trans.)
[x] Mueller – B. N. Melnikov.
[xi] Albert – alias of Albert Zyltowski (aka Wiktor Bertynski). See Document 38 for his biography.
[xii] Refers to the Moskvin commission.
[xiii] Krokodil – a satirical magazine, published from 1922.
[xiv] Liubov Genrikhovna Nusberg. Born in 1904, she joined the VKP in 1924. Between 4 October 1936 and 16 March 1938, she worked as an assistant analyst in the ECCI’s Cadres Department. She retired on disability.
[xv] Varvara Platonovna Lebedeva (1902-1976). A member of the CPG from 1923, she joined the VKP in 1926. Between 1927 and 1933, she was an analyst in the ECCI’s Roman Lendersecretariat, and in 1933-1937, an analyst in the Cadres Department. After December 1937, she was a managing editor in the foreign publishing department of the ECCI.
[xvi] Maria Ivanovna Loganovskaia. Born in 1899, she worked in the ECCI apparatus in 1926-1927, and in 1929-1937. On 19 May 1937, she was fired from the Cadres Department in connection with the arrest of her husband, Mechislav Antonovich Loganovsky, a worker in the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Trade.
[xvii] Ferenz Pataki. Born in 1892, he joined the RKP(b) in 1918. Between September and 5 November 1936, he worked as deputy head of Administration of the ECCI.
[xviii] Tamara Akimovna Vulfson. Born in 1889, she joined the RKP(b) in November 1918. Between January 1921 and April 1922, she worked in the Secretariat of L. Kamenev in the secret archive. Between August 1927 and 15 April 1929, she was a technical secretary in the ECCI’s Organizational Department. Between 19 May 1932 and 14 December 1935, she was a translator in the Translations Department. Between 25 January 1936 and 22 March 1939, she was a translator in the Press Department. Her husband, Semyon Davydovich Vulfson, was deputy head of the trade delegation in Italy in 1924-1925, head of the trade delegation in Austria in 1925-1927, deputy chairman of Exportkhleb in 1927-1928, and a foreign director of Exportkhleb in Rotterdam in 1929-1930. He died in March 1932.
[xix] George Lansbury (1895-1940). A member of the British Social Democratic Federation in 1892-1906, he joined the Labour Party in 1906. After 1922, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Labour Party. Between 1927 and 1928, he was Chairman of the Labour Party. In 1929-1931, he was the Minister of Public Works.
[xx] In 1918-1924, L. B. Kamenev was the Chairman of the Moscow City Soviet.
[xxi] Pavel Aleksandrovich Golubtsov. Born in 1905, he joined the VKP in 1931. Between 1932 and 18 August 1941, he worked in the ECCI apparatus as a warden in the Administrative Office, and as an analyst’s assistant and analyst in the Cadres Department. Later he was chairman of the local trade union organization in the ECCI apparatus.
[xxii] Fyodor Alekseevich Davydov. Born in 1897, he joined the RKP(b) in 1921. Between 10 December 1925 and 15 November 1938, he worked in the Administration of Affairs Office. Between 1932 and 10 December 1937, he worked as a warden in the ECCI house.
[xxiii] Andrei Andreevich Levchenko. Between 1936 and 1938, he worked as a warden in the ECCI’s Communications Department. On 15 June 1938, he was arrested; on 20 June, he was expelled from the VKP as “the enemy of the party and the people,” and later repressed.
[xxiv] Ilya Abramovich Kozhevnikov (real name – Kozhevnik). Born in 1898, he joined the RKP(b) in 1918. Between 25 February 1936 and 1 April 1938, he worked as head of the radio center of the ECCI’s Communications Department. On 22 March 1938, he was arrested. On 16 May, he was expelled from the VKP as “the enemy of the party and the people.” On 12 October 1946, he was released from prison.
[xxv] Georgy Petrovich Yankov (real name – Zivko Stankov Petkov) (1898-1942). A member of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party (T) from 1917. Between March 1930 and 1937, he worked in the ECCI apparatus as a Secretary of the Bulgarian section of the ECCI, a cadres analyst in the Bulgarian section. After 1 February 1936, he worked in the ECCI’s Communications Department. In 1937-1939, he was in Spain as a member of the international brigades. On 26 June 1942, he was shot in accordance with the verdict of the Sofia military tribunal.
[xxvi] Refers to the VKP CC Plenum which took place between 23 February and 5 March 1937.
[xxvii] Yakov Iosifovich Tsitovich (real name – Lev Davydovich Khasin). Born in 1901, he joined the RKP(b) in 1919. Between January 1923 and June 1924, he was the EC KIM’s Ambassador in Vladivostok. Between November 1933 and December 1937, he was an analyst, and a member of the editorial board of Komunistichesky internatsional. After May 1938, he was an editor in the Publishing House for Foreign Language Literature. On 19 September 1937, he was expelled from the VKP; he was readmitted in February 1938.
[xxviii] Efraim Goldstein (alias Karlowski) (1900-1937). A member of the RKP(b) and the CPP from 1920. Between October 1934 and November 1935, he was a member of the regional secretariat of the CC CPP. Between June 1931 and December 1932, and between November 1935 and 15 February 1936, he was an analyst in the Polish-PriBaltic Lendersecretariat, and later, in the secretariat of M. Moskvin. He was arrested and, on 3 November 1937, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot.
[xxix] Evsei Idkovich Sholomov (1906-1938). A member of the VKP from 1926, he became member of the CPWB in 1932. In June 1935, he became a member of the CC and the Secretariat of the CPWB. After December 1935, he was the representative of the CP CPWB in Minsk. After 25 November 1936, he worked in the ECCI apparatus in Moscow as a political analyst to M. Moskvin. On 2 November 1937, he was expelled from the party, and arrested soon after that. On 25 September 1938, the NKVD Special Council sentenced him to be shot for espionage.
[xxx] Konstantin Pavlovich Svinarenko. Born in 1911, he joined the VKP in 1931. Between 8 December 1936 and 15 October 1939, he worked in the ECCI’s Communications Department.
[xxxi]As in the original text.
[xxxii] Germina Ivanovna Krumina. Born in 1888, she joined the Bolshevik party in 1905. Between February 1936 and June 1937, she worked in the ECCI’s Communications Department. She was retired as a result of staff reductions. On 9 December 1937, she was expelled from the party “for maintaining ties with an enemy of the party and the people.”
[xxxiii] Karol Swierczewski (1897-1947). A member of the RKP(b)-VKP in 1918-1944, he was a member of the Polish Workers’ Party and its CC between 1944 and 1947. Between 1931 and 1936, he worked in the ECCI’s Organizational Department as head of the military -political school of the CPP in the ECCI. In 1936-1938, he was the commander of the 14th International Brigade and 35th International Division of the Spanish Republican Army. In 1941-1945, he fought in WWII as deputy commander of the 1st Polish corps, deputy commander of the 1st Polish army, commander of the 2nd army of the Polish armed forces. In 1946-1947, he was second Vice-Minister of National Defense of Poland.
[xxxiv] Olga Yemelianovna Prede (maiden name – Antonova). Born in 1898, she worked as an accountant in the ECCI’s garage.
[xxxv] No information is available.
[xxxvi] No information is available.
[xxxvii] No information is available.
[xxxviii] Abram Pavlovich Luchinsky. Born in 1897, he joined the RKP(b) in 1921. Between 16 June 1936 and 10 June 1937, he worked in the ECCI’s Communications Department. He was fired for deficiencies in work and for carelessness in keeping secret documents.
[xxxix] Drizul – no information is available.
[xl] Refers to the Constitution of the USSR adopted by the 8th Extraordinary Congress of Soviets of the USSR in November 1936.
[xli] Ty – a familiar, friendly way to address a person, as opposed to Vy, a more formal address. (Trans.)
[xlii] Vissarion Vissarionovich Lominadze (1897-1935). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1917. In 1922-1924, he was Secretary of the CC CP of Georgia. In 1925-1926, he was a Secretary of the KIM Executive Committee, and between 1926 and 1927, a member of the ECCI Presidium. In 1930, he was a Secretary of the Trans-Caucasian regional VKP committee. A member of the CC VKP after 1930; in 1934, he was expelled from the party and later committed suicide.
[xliii] Vera Yakovlevna Vasilieva. Born in 1900, she joined the RKP(b) in 1918. Between July 1934 and September 1936, she worked as an analyst in the Secretariat of D. Manuilsky. Between September 1936 and September 1939, she was a senior analyst in the ECCI’s Cadres Department.
[xliv] Given that the meeting took place on 22 June, this date must refer to the day when the ensuing section of the transcript was typed.
[xlv] Leonid Vladimirovich Leonidov (real name – Kartsev). A member of the RKP(b) from 1918, he worked in the ECCI’s Communications Department between 15 November 1935 and 15 April 1937. He was fired and arrested for participating in a “Trotskyist-terrorist organization in the ECCI.” On 7 March, he was expelled from the VKP as “the enemy of the party and the people,” and later repressed.
[xlvi] Aleksandr Zinovievich Ginesin. Born in 1900, he joined the RKP(b) in 1920. In 1930-1932 and in 1934-1937, he worked in the ECCI’s OMS. On 13 December 1937, he was arrested and later repressed.
[xlvii]As in the original text.
[xlviii] Elli Busch. Born in 1909, she was a member of the German Komsomol in 1923-1927. Between 1927 and 1929, she was a member of the VLKSM. According to her papers, she was a member of the CPG from 1928 to 1937. In 1927-1929, she worked as a typist in the ECCI apparatus. Between 1929 and 1932, she was in Germany and worked in the apparatus of the Union of Red Veterans of the CC of the CPG, and in the USSR’s Trade Delegation in Berlin. Between 1932 and 1937, she worked in the Comintern apparatus. In June 1937, she was expelled from the party as “untrustworthy.” On 7 July 1956, she left for GDR.
[xlix] Probably refers to F. Likhte (R. Vuiovich).
[l] Ortega was an alias of S. Pestkowski.
[li] Viktor Viacheslavovich Yakubovich. Born in 1898, he joined the RSDRP(b) in November 1917. Between 1 March 1933 and 7 February 1936, he worked in the ECCI apparatus as the deputy head of, and later as an analyst in the Cadres Department.
[lii] The 29 May 1937 resolution of the 4th Moscow City Conference of the VKP read: “The Conference suggests that the Moscow city committee of the VKP work out measures to introduce communists to the goals and aims, practice and techniques of the sabotage, subversive and espionage activities of the foreign espionage organs in order to teach every communist how to precisely and promptly recognize and smash the enemies of the people…”
[liii] Refers to the centers of communications in the ECCI apparatus, most of which were located in the Moscow suburbs.
[liv] Probably, Kuzma Vasilievich Ryndin (1893-1938). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1915, he was a Secretary of the party’s CC in 1924-1937. Between January 1934 and October 1937, he was First secretary of the Cheliabinsk VKP regional committee. On 12 October 1937, he was arrested.
[lv] Aleksandr Ivanovich Martynov (1904-1949). A member of the VKP from March 1925, he worked as an administrator of the ECCI’s Communications Department between January 1935 and December 1938.
[lvi] Favsta Nikolaevna Afonina. Born in 1888, she joined the VKP(b) in 1921. Between 21 May 1938 and 1 February 1937, she worked in the ECCI apparatus. Until 20 May 1936, she was secretary of the commission of the Cadres Department; she later worked in Passes Bureau of the hotel “Luks.”
[lvii] Polinov – no information is available.
[lviii] Grigory Petrovich Dedkov. Born in 1903, he joined the VKP in 1925. Between 14 December 1936 and 7 October 1938, he worked as deputy head of the Administration of Affairs Office of the ECCI.
[lix] Yakovlev - no information is available.
[lx] Medvedev - no information is available.
[lxi] Moisei Naumovich Altshuller. Born in 1891, he joined the Bolshevik party in 1907. Between 16 July 1936 and 1 February 1938, he worked as an administrative deputy to the head of the ECCI’s Communications Department.
[lxii] Mikhail Osipovich Razumov (1894-1937). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1913, he was a member of its CC in 1934-1937. In the 1930s, he worked as the First Secretary of the East-Siberian VKP regional committee. On 1 June 1937, he was arrested and, on 30 October 1937, he was shot.