Letter from M. Simeonova to Dimitrov about popular attitudes towards foreigners



Dear comrade Zhdanov!

I am sending you the enclosed letter for your consideration.

If [the information] expounded in the letter conforms to reality, then corresponding measures should possibly be taken.


With fraternal greetings /G. Dimitrov/

13 March 1938[i]

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Moscow, 10/V-38.

Comrade Dimitriev![ii]

You might be surprised that I am writing to you, and not to com. Stalin. I had also written several letters to him, but it seems they do not transmit to him letters from such humble and illiterate [people], and this is wrong, under Soviet power we have learned how to read and write. He himself called on us to signal about disorders, which are still plentiful, but the truth about the current situation is being [concealed] from him. I am working at a factory, I am a Stakhanovite, and sympathize with the party. Last piatidnevka,[iii] a week ago, my son comes from school and says that all the boys are preparing a pogrom and will beat up all other nations, the Poles, Latvians, Germans, because all their parents are spies. When I tried to find out who said this, he says that one boy's brother is a Komsomol member and works [in the] NKVD, and said that soon all the foreign spies who lived in Moscow would be put on trial, and their families [in the apartments][iv] and children at school would be beaten up as Yids were under the tsar. I went to the school to see the director, but he says that it is all the parents' fault and that he could not track down every rumor. Today again, I saw a group of women at our factory discussing the sign "Kill the Latvians, the Poles" [that appeared] on the wall in the morning. It is a bad deal. I had also written to com. Stalin, and other women suggested to inform you too because one can hear this kind of talk every day. Even the party members are all scared, but still there is talk in private about whether the children and women are guilty, [and] that they would be beaten up and thrown out of their apartments.

M. Iv. Simenova

/Received 11 May [1938]/


RGASPI, f. 495, op. 73, d. 61, ll. 17-18.

Original in Russian. Typewritten from a handwritten original.




[i] Given the dates that the letter was sent and received (10 May and 11 May), the 13 March 1938 is clearly wrong and should read 13 May 1938.

[ii] Mistaken spelling in the document (Trans.).

[iii] Five-day week (Trans.)

[iv] The typed letter reads “po kvarty(?),”suggesting that the person who typed the letter could not read this phrase in the original handwritten letter. The original could not be found. (Trans.)