Protocol of the closed joint meeting of the ECCI’s party organization of 28 December 1934 regarding the case of Magyar, and a resolution about the expulsion of Magyar from the VKP[i]
/5/ Pag. la.
29. XII. 34.
OF THE CLOSED JOINT MEETING OF THE ECCI’s PARTY ORGANIZATION AND THE ECCI KOMSOMOL ORGANIZATION of 28. XII. 34.
PRESENT: [...] members
PRESIDIUM: Party Committee and Political Commission
PRESIDING: c[omrade] Chernomordik
AGENDA: The Magyar case (Report by c[omrade] Kotelnikov[ii]).
SUBJECT OF HEARING:
1. The Magyar case. (Report by c[omrade] Kotelnikov)
KOTELNIKOV: Comrades, each of you read yesterday the indictment of the actions of the counterrevolutionary group of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist bloc. When reading this document, each of us saw the display of the foulest actions of these renegades, traitors, counterrevolutionaries. The goal set by this counterrevolutionary group was to eliminate the leaders of the party, the leaders of our proletarian state by terrorist means. They aimed at the leaders of the party. And only vigilance was able to guarantee against the villainous hand murdering the headman, the leader, our great beloved com. Stalin.
You know that this counterrevolutionary group snatched from our ranks a favorite, a tribune, a party leader, com. Kirov. To accomplish this villainous act, they recruited forces of the <…> defeated, yet active Zinovievite factional, anti-party, anti-Soviet counterrevolutionary group. In order to conduct their active struggle against our proletarian state, this counterrevolutionary group linked itself with representatives of bourgeois countries to struggle against Soviet power.
This document clearly shows what those who chose the road of struggle against the party are capable of. It shows where the logic of factional struggle leads.
Comrades, it was only days ago that we discussed the case of a former member of our organization, the counterrevolutionary Safarov.
We unanimously decided to expel him [from the party]. We unanimously decided to approve the measures that the organs of the proletarian dictatorship are taking against Safarov and other counterrevolutionaries.
Com. Manuilsky in his report about the counterrevolutionary group activities[iii] called for [strengthening] our militant Bolshevik party vigilance. It was especially necessary since Safarov, a liar and counterrevolutionary, spent year after year in the ranks of our organization, and we proved incapable of unmasking this counterrevolutionary until he was arrested. Naturally, this appeal by com. Manuilsky found a due response, could not but find a due response in the heart of every Party and Komsomol member. Thus, the party group of the Eastern Secretariat,[iv] following com. Manuilsky’s appeal, raised once again at its meeting the question of how it was possible that Safarov, after having worked with the same people for several years, could not have been exposed by those people. And this party group failed to find the right answer which is that the party group displayed insufficient party vigilance.
In addition to that, the party group examined the Magyar question. And now, as com. Chernomordik has announced, the Magyar question is on today’s agenda. I will examine in detail why it is that today the party committee raises the Magyar question.
You know Magyar. But we have not known him well enough, we knew him badly. And that superficial knowledge prevented us from fully and completely understanding Magyar as a party member, as a Bolshevik. Today we can state, firmly and resolutely, that Magyar was not a Bolshevik, not a real communist, not a communist [at all].
What are the facts? First, Magyar’s connection with Zinoviev, Safarov, Gorshenin.[v] The names of these people are familiar to you: they are on the list, they are mentioned in the resolution adopted by the organs of the proletarian dictatorship [NKVD]. These people have been exiled as counterrevolutionary elements.
Until recently, Magyar maintained ties with Zinoviev. I repeat, Magyar maintained ties with Zinoviev until the last moment. Their meetings took place when Zinoviev worked on the board of “Bolshevik.”[vi] They continued to meet after Zinoviev was kicked off that board. They were meeting even after com. Kirov was killed.
Where did those meetings take place? They took place in the editorial office or in the street. As it happens, these former comrades in arms in the struggle against the party, against the leadership, against com. Stalin, they found a time and place to meet. They met, despite com. Pyatnitsky’s repeated categorical warnings to Magyar against maintaining connections or meeting with Zinoviev. These warnings notwithstanding, Magyar continued to meet with Zinoviev, this miscreant, factionalist, wrecker. His counterrevolutionary activities are well known to the Party and the working class of not only our country. In his capacity as a Comintern official, Magyar had no practical need to see Zinoviev. Their meetings could not but bring about certain harm.
What brought them together? What brought Magyar together with Zinoviev? At the meeting of the party group of Eastern L[ender] S[ecretariat] and at the party committee [meeting], Magyar claimed that during his meetings with Zinoviev, he discussed politics only, that he could not discuss other issues. In Zinoviev, Magyar discovered a consultant on the questions of international politics, on the questions of theory. “Consultant” Zinoviev discovered a patient who struggled with him against the party for many years. And if Magyar was capable of really breaking [with Zinoviev] ideologically and organizationally, if he could overcome and understand the essence of this Zinoviev, he would have never joined him.
From this flows the conclusion that Magyar shared with Zinoviev common ideological conceptions. Magyar returned to the VKP(b) having not completely abandoned his factionalist ideas. Magyar still remained a Zinovievite, the residue of factionalist ideas remained deeply implanted in his consciousness. There is no other way to explain it. I repeat, the fact that Magyar and Zinoviev were former active factionalists served as a pre-requisite for their meetings, drew Magyar into receiving consultations from Zinoviev. Magyar’s repeated meetings with Zinoviev did nothing to help the party to expose the [real] person [and] the double-dealing and treachery of Zinoviev. He signaled nothing to the party. Magyar and Safarov are two inseparable, closely knit links of the common struggle against the party. Magyar and Zinoviev. The Safarov group – Magyar, Safarov, <…>, Vardin.[vii] It survived as a group and continued to struggle against the party even after the XV Congress.[viii] However, when Magyar was asked at the party meeting of our group, why this Safarov-Magyar-Vardin group made its statement later than Zinoviev’s group, Magyar asserted that, in contrast with Zinoviev’s group, this group had no plans to conduct an anti-party struggle, but rather to return to the party honestly and with no [intention of] double-dealing. Having been out of the party’s ranks after the XV Congress, they considered it honest to continue the struggle against the party. This group defies the [party] leadership [bezvozhdentsy].[ix]
(KNORIN: [A group] of which Rumiantsev[x] was a part).
Comrades, what does Magyar think about this active factional struggle against the party? They “honestly” remained out of the party ranks and against the party, and only in the late summer of 1928 did they again fraudulently sneak into our party. Year after year, they “honestly” remained in the ranks of our party and continued their double-dealing. And [now] we see the names of these “honest” people in the indictment, referred to as counterrevolutionaries.
We see how they are sent by the organs of the proletarian dictatorship into administrative exile, and how this “honest” Safarov, “honest” Vardin and “honest” Magyar continue their ties with Zinoviev. Be damned this “honesty.” There is no place in our Bolshevik Communist Party for such “honesty.” It is a pity, comrades, that they have been able to deceive our party for a long time. Such “honesty” dulled Magyar, destroyed his Bolshevik flair, and his old background took over, upon receiving from Zinoviev the charge [to engage in] factionalist struggle.
They arrested Safarov. Magyar is the first to learn about this arrest. And again it so happens that Safarov’s maid rushes first to Magyar to inform him. Why Magyar? Again, their connection can provide the answer to this question, their connection in the enduring struggle against the party. Safarov, the counterrevolutionary, is taken to Leningrad. Magyar provides material support to Safarov through that very housemaid. Why Magyar? Why would Magyar display philanthropic sentiment toward a person arrested for his counterrevolutionary activities by the organs of proletarian dictatorship? -- This fact cannot be considered as anything other than an anti-party, anti-Soviet action by Magyar.
The Comintern party organization meeting is held. Well, not only in the Comintern, throughout all our country party meetings are taking place and are actively reacting to the counterrevolutionary activities of this counterrevolutionary group. Magyar remains silent. You remember the big [December] meeting in MAI[xi] when the assembly room could not seat all the comrades eager to take an active part, to express their indignation with the counterrevolutionary activities of Safarov and other members of the counterrevolutionary group.
Magyar stayed out of this activity. Magyar cut himself off. Magyar claims he did not know about it. But it is hard to believe, comrades. It does not turn out that way. From the moment this meeting was announced, I and many other party committee members were literally besieged by our comrades who had not been transferred to the VKP(b). They demanded to be allowed to be present at this meeting. News about this meeting spread at lightning speed. Comrades from MAI and other places wanted to be present at this meeting. Magyar, a worker in our apparatus, did not know about it for some reason.
Next, feeling the weight of a number anti-party, anti-Soviet actions (he could not but feel it), Magyar remained silent, he did not attend the party meeting, he did not raise a question to discuss. Only when the [party] group of the Eastern Secretariat raised the question, pulled Magyar out, made Magyar speak and respond, only then did he start to talk about his conduct. I must say that neither at the party group [meeting], nor at the session of the party committee did Magyar give a political evaluation of his actions. And [now] Magyar is surprised at the party group and the party committee meeting, [and wonders] why the party group and the party committee consider his political explanation of his ties to Zinoviev and others totally unsatisfactory. It is very simple. He failed to tell the party committee and the party group about everything that tied him, united him with and attracted him to Zinoviev and other counterrevolutionary elements. Magyar tried and still tries to hide behind a formal explanation that they supposedly deceived him, that Magyar was some sort of dummy incapable of understanding the actions and politics of this counterrevolutionary group. Since when has Magyar become such a dummy? The party organization knows Magyar as a politically educated, trained, mature person. And yet today he is trying to present himself to the party organization in a different light.
This will not work. We do not need such an evaluation, such a political revelation. We need a real political evaluation of those facts and actions which Magyar has committed of late. Magyar has not given us an answer as to why he was connected with Zinoviev, why he turned to Zinoviev for consultations, why Magyar was so attentive to providing material support to Safarov, why Magyar was silent until lately, why Magyar failed to help the party to expose the people with whom he, Magyar, was closely connected. For all that, he could feel and understand those people’s attitudes better. Magyar does not give any answer to this question.
It seems that Magyar wants to hide behind this formal answer, to elude, to pretend that he has been an honest member of our Bolshevik party. This time it will not work. The party organization, the party group and the party committee have decided to expel Magyar from the party for all his actions.
Magyar is trying to cast suspicion over, to slander the organs of the proletarian dictatorship. He declared at the meeting that the organs of the [proletarian] dictatorship arrest in bunches and investigate later. No, comrades. The organs of the proletarian dictatorship arrest when they possess enough material and have evaluated those people who deserve to be removed by the iron hand of the proletarian dictatorship from the ranks of the working class and our party, those people who hinder our successful socialist construction, who obstruct our overcoming difficulties, who attempt to strike a counterrevolutionary blow in the back of the proletarian state, who plot against the leaders of the party and the working class of our country. That is why Magyar slanders the organs of the proletarian dictatorship.
Magyar declared at the meeting of the party group and at the party committee meeting: “Whatever is being told to you, you will not believe anyway, you will pervert everything.” No, comrades, the party organization has no interest in perverting the facts, does not want to and cannot do so. The party organization wants to look into these facts and evaluate them properly.
This is a distrust of the party organization, this desire to cast suspicion over the decisions and materials and then to twist these materials so as to extricate oneself. However, the party organization possesses a number of specific facts which I have cited. One cannot elude them, and Magyar, as a former member of our party organization, must respond for them before the party organization.
Comrades, I want to finish my report on Magyar with the following. For the second time our party organization is discussing the actions of our organizations’ members. We are placing before our audience a second member. The first was [exposed] with the help of the organs of proletarian dictatorship, and the second is being discussed today by the party organization itself. This fact points to the necessity to improve even more our party vigilance, to once again examine and penetrate deeper into our party ranks. We should implement in practice, in deeds, the appeal of com. Manuilsky to the party organization. We should raise our party vigilance, our party work in the common struggle against the smallest manifestation of political indifference and other elements of liberalism toward enemies of the working class.
Comrades, we have to organize more tightly, more strongly the ranks of our party organization, to rally around the Central Committee of our party [and] around our beloved leader great com. Stalin. (Applause).
CHERNOMORDIK: The floor belongs to com. Magyar.
MAGYAR: Comrades, if I were not standing here but sitting there among you and if I had to vote on such an issue, on the issue of the party membership of a comrade, of a former comrade (I do not know which to consider myself), who is being accused of such crimes against the party, against the working class, against the revolution, against our Soviet country, I, comrades, maybe with a heavy heart but with no hesitation and firmly, would have voted for the expulsion of such a comrade, or a former comrade, from the party. But, comrades, when I am speaking before you, I do not plan to defend myself or to deliver a speech in my defense. So, if I will argue against some formulations of com. Kotelnikov, it will not be over the political essence of the question, but over secondary issues, over some practical issues, and later over the most important question which I will address later.
What I do admit before the party organization? The facts that I am going to admit before you, each of those facts, maybe one-tenth or one-hundredth part of those facts are quite sufficient to expel me from the party. What are these facts?
The first fact: in 1925-26, when in the USSR, I was an active member of the Zinovievite opposition. When the party sent me to China, I was unable to actively participate in the opposition’s activities anymore, but I did not disarm myself before the party, did not recognize my mistakes, and continued to maintain connections with the Zinovievite group. I shared with the Zinovievite group views on a number of vital questions of our policy. It was not today, comrades, that I understood that the Zinovievite opposition was an anti-Soviet, anti-party, Menshevik, counterrevolutionary opposition within our party; I understood it earlier and declared it to the party. As to a factual remark which does not justify me, but rather aggravates my situation: com. Kotelnikov is not quite correct when he says that I returned to the party. I was not expelled from the party; the party was extremely lenient toward me. I received an extremely mild party reprimand for my active participation in the Zinovievite, anti-Soviet, anti-party counterrevolutionary group.
Well, comrades, you know what the Zinovievite opposition turned into. People who participate in politics and whom the party entrusts with such work as the party entrusted to me have no right to seek out, to beg for, to demand leniency for committing such major political mistakes. If I failed to understand the nature of the Zinovievite opposition then, it is quite clear now what this Zinovievite opposition actually was. This fact alone is sufficient to expel me from the party.
Second fact: after the XV Congress, I returned to the USSR. I the broke with the Zinovievite opposition. [But] I did not come over to the party’s position. I was a member of the so called Safarov-Vardin-Magyar group, if you like.
(KNORIN: The one Rumiantsev was a member of?).
No, worse. As a matter of factual reference: the one Kotolynov[xii] was in.
Again, comrades, as a matter of reference, I did not defend the Safarov group before either party group or the party committee [meeting]. I do not know why comrades insist that I wanted to portray our group as an honest one. I repeat, the Safarov group was as anti-party, anti-Soviet, [and] counterrevolutionary as [are] the Zinovievites, as [are] the Trotskyists.
We broke with Zinoviev not because we wanted to lay down the arms before the party. We broke with Zinoviev because he capitulated to the party. We knew that this capitulation was a false one, that he deceived the party. Maybe, it would be absurd to say that we were more honest than Zinoviev, that we did not deceive the party while remaining as a group. It could be absurd, but comrades, let us not pick on specific words.
The Safarov group was an anti-Soviet group, which defied the leadership, an anti-Soviet, anti-party counterrevolutionary group, if you like. Besides that, this group had another quality: it was ridiculous, worthless, it was a wretched group. So, what kind of a “group” was ours? This is the second point.
Third point. In politics, one has to judge people, especially people participating in the workers’ movement, [not] by their intentions, but by the results. People must be judged by their deeds, not by their words. I think I must tell you directly that when I participated in the Zinovievite opposition, when I participated in this anti-leadership group, I did not realize what this could lead to. I did not realize it then. But the point is not this, the point is that in politics one has to judge not by intentions, but by results. I referred to the results when I said to the party group and to the party committee that I profoundly felt my political responsibility for having planted at some time seeds which gave fascist shoots, responsibility for the fact that from these kinds of groups emerged bandits who killed a member of the Political Bureau of our party, com. Kirov. This is what we are responsible for – to a degree to be determined by the party and the organs of Soviet power.
(KNORIN: Not just for this).
I will say now – and a full political responsibility. For this, it is quite clear, I also deserve to be expelled from the party.
Fourth point. In June 1928, I appealed to the party claiming to have recognized my mistakes and to have embraced the correct Leninist policy of the Central Committee. However, I retained personal connections with Zinoviev, Safarov, Vardin plus some others, had meetings with them, held talks and conversations with them.
(A voice: Which others?).
I have named them and, if necessary, I will name them [again]. After that I appealed [to the party] claiming to have recognized my mistakes throughout the whole period – precisely at the time when I met with them most frequently, in the period when I maintained a personal friendship with Safarov. Moreover, when it turned out that we worked together in the same collective in the Comintern, I expended considerable effort to retain Safarov, to the extent possible, in this collective.
Speaking about my personal connections with these people, I would like to say, comrades, that com. Kotelnikov was right when he said that once there were meetings, once conversations took place, they were of an exclusively political character. We discussed political issues only, and I failed to discern in these conversations, during these meetings, the real attitude of these people. I did not recognize it.
I know, comrades, that you do not believe this statement.
I know it. Yet, I would ask comrades not to interrupt me, if possible.
(Voice: You are asking for too much).
I characterized this fact to the party group and to the party committee, I consider myself a worthless party member, a person who, from the party’s point of view, can be characterized as “some fool [who is] more dangerous than the enemy.”
(Knorin: Very smart!).
For this, comrades, I deserve to be expelled from the party.
Fifth point: after Safarov’s arrest, I received the [house]maid whom Safarov had sent to me with the news about his arrest. Here I have to give a factual reference which com. Kotelnikov did not provide. This took place on the evening of 18 December and, on the morning of 19 December, my first trip was to the party organization where I informed com. Kotelnikov and com. Mif[xiii] about this, asking them to further inform the leaders of our collective. Therefore, I did not conceal this fact.
Next. I gave this maid money so that she could go to Leningrad for a meeting and to give [a package to Safarov], since she informed me that Safarov was transferred to Leningrad. After I did it, I immediately informed the party organization about this act. Similarly, I have never concealed that Safarov’s wife, upon her arrival, visited me and talked with me. I am not going to confuse [this] general meeting with detailed descriptions of those relatively unimportant conversations. I say “relatively” because I immediately told everything to com. Kotelnikov and com. Mif, and told it to you in detail before the party group and the party committee.
How did I assess this fact and how do I assess it now? This fact revealed that I am still very much the petty bourgeois, that I have a lot of blue-blooded individualism, that I set my opinions, my judgments against the opinion of the party and the judgments of our authorities, that my conduct was anti-Soviet, anti-party. Well, I committed this anti-party, anti-Soviet action under the conditions which I have explained. For this action I also deserve to be expelled from the party.
I stress that I understand very clearly that each of these actions of mine, separate parts of these actions, are quite sufficient to expel me from the party.
What, comrades, do I not admit? There are, comrades, some specific minor issues and there is also one question, a most crucial one. Regarding the meeting: I did not attend it. I do not know, comrades, whether I should dwell on this fact in great detail. I did not receive any information about the meeting, I did not know [about it]. I did not know that the meeting would take place and, therefore, I did not attend it.
The second fact, that I cast aspersions on the organs of the proletarian dictatorship. I do not admit it. I do not admit casting aspersions on the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat. I do not know how comrades there understood me and how my words were written down. The meaning [of my words], my idea was the following. After it was revealed that members of the former Zinovievite opposition, these fascist scoundrels, killed com. Kirov, I personally considered that it would have been logical to arrest us all and later to examine who is culpable and to what degree. I still think so.
I am very much afraid that you might take this [simply] as big words, empty phrases, but quite sincerely I would consider it fair if my case was also investigated there. They can investigate well, they investigate effectively. This case has to be investigated well and effectively.
Next, comrades, as I have already mentioned, I did not admit to the party group that I tried to portray the Safarov group, the group that defies the leadership, as something better that the Zinovievite, Trotskyist and other anti-party groups.
(Voice: Did you want to portray it as an honest group?).
Permit me to explain. Comrades, including com. Kotelnikov in his speech here today, accused me of not displaying any form of initiative, of not expressing my attitude toward this question. Well, comrades, I was in such a position that it was impossible to do the right thing in general. I thought and I think now that if I showed initiative, it would look like an attempt to extricate myself, everyone would have thought that “he’s given the game away,” but the situation turned out to be…
(Fainberg:[xiv] Is there anything to discuss here?)
The situation was such… Comrades, I will not answer heckling comments. The situation was such that it was impossible to trust our words, the words of the former Zinovievite opposition. Prattling before you, before the party - no one can believe us now. Declarations? Delivering speeches? You know, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Safarov and others wrote articles, spoke from the Congress’ rostrum, were published, gave talks – and here is the result.
(Knorin: There are some [people] who are trusted.)
Now, comrades, I do not admit to the most essential and important. This is most essential and important – whether or not I was a member of the group after 1928, when did I come back to the party line? No, I was not a member [of the group]. I do not admit it. Did I deceive the party by coming and saying that I am with the party, that I consider the party line correct, and later affiliated, organizationally or ideologically in any other form, with another anti-party group? Comrades, I do not admit [it]. I did not belong to any group or grouping, I did not retain a wall between me and the party. This I cannot admit. I do not admit, comrades, that I knew that those people with whom I belonged to the same faction were preparing weapons, were at any time planning a crime against the party. Comrades, I do not speak about the terrorist group, I speak about the political group which the terrorist group grew out of. I do not admit it.
What political lessons did I draw for myself? Comrades, since I re-embraced the party line, I have been trying to conduct the party line to the best of my ability, I struggled against Trotskyism, I struggled against the ideology of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist opposition. But at the same time, I maintained a liberal-blue-blood friendship with members of the former anti-Soviet groups and, as it is clear today, anti-Soviet, anti-party groups which continued to exist. I combined work according to the party line with personal relations with people who were enemies of Soviet power.
Another lesson. Comrades, I knew Zinoviev and what Zinoviev was worth better than anybody else and, nevertheless, I continued maintaining personal relations with him.
Comrades, I realized earlier that groups, factions, blocs and plots against the party led to the opposite side of the barricades. I realized this after I re-embraced the party line. But what I failed to understand, comrades, was that in the present situation, the struggle against the party, against the policy of the party’s Central Committee, the class struggle in general in our country was taking on new forms, adopting new methods. New forms and new methods which, in the final analysis, led to terror. These new forms, these new methods of struggle against the country, against the government, against the party – this is what I did not understand. And it led those people who dragged me, along with themselves, into the dirt, into shame and disgrace before the party and the working class.
Another lesson for me: I understood the correctness of the party's policy, the policy of the Central Committee, but I tolerated liberal gossip, I myself driveled. I tolerated expressions of agreement with the party line conveyed in a tone which should have indicated to me that there was no [actual] agreement, that [in fact] there was a struggle against the party policy. This, comrades, is important not only for me personally. I realized once again…
(At this moment com. Martynov[xv] approaches Presidium, talks to the Presidium and smiles.)
Comrades, no laughing at civil funerals.
(Knorin: Such mean speech deserves to be laughed at.)
I will not respond to com. Knorin.
(A voice: He conducts propaganda in the form of political speech and yet wants us to listen to him!)
I am finishing. I declare once again to this party organization: although these facts are insignificant because they are connected to me… My whole behavior again revealed my petty-bourgeois individualism, my blue-blooded individualism which I brought with me from that social milieu from which I came. During the first purge which I went through after being exchanged, comrades, members of the purge commission warned me about it. That proved to be insufficient for me and I did not learn the lesson. You remember my last purge when c. Solts[xvi] again pointed this out. Again, I did not learn the lesson and did not realize, did not overcome these mistakes of mine.
Another lesson: for a long time I have been on sort of bureaucratic work. I did conduct mass work all the time, but for the most part my work was sort of bureaucratic. I did not work on the ground. I think, comrades, that this is not related to me directly, this is already out of the question in my regard. This question is to be discussed with regards to people of the same social origin as mine, to people coming from the same social environment as I do. They should not stay in bureaucratic work for a long time, comrades. I am finishing.
Comrades, I am finishing and making the following conclusion regarding those actions which I have admitted.
(VOICE FROM THE HALL: And where are those people, whom are you referring to? Which people are of the same origins as you? Who are you addressing?)
I am of petty-bourgeois origin…
(KOTELNIKOV: The comrades are asking – if [they] are not to be in bureaucratic work, then where they ought to be?)
I am not talking about myself. What I mean is that if they have been in bureaucratic work for a while, they should be sent to lower-level work again, so that they do not to stay too long in bureaucratic work. It is no good either.
Permit me to make a conclusion. I think that for those actions which I have admitted I deserve being expelled from the party.
(A VOICE: For the work in the past?)
(MARTYNOV: The past is waiting after 1928?)
No. I never said anything like that and please do not attribute it to me. I have declared that I did maintain, even after 1928, personal connections with Zinoviev. Haven’t I told you that until the last days it was friendship that I maintained with Safarov, until the last days? Actions that I committed after Safarov’s arrest, were they in 1928? I have clearly indicated the you those five points which I recognize as my guilt toward the party organization.
(MIF: But did you plant anti-party seeds only before 1928, or before 1928 and since then, too?)
I have declared…
(MIF: And what you have been declaring here, aren’t these the anti-party [declarations]?)
(VOICE: We want you to tell [us].)
This party organization will judge it. However, I declare that I have been working in this organization for 6 years. You have to prove where in my works I did it. I worked on issues concerning 22 parties in the Comintern. Where did I plant seeds? Comrades, you have to prove [it] since I re-embraced the party line. Who is capable of proving it?
Let me finish. I deserve to be expelled from the party. However, I declare: since I declared my agreement with the party’s policy, I have not consciously deceived the party.
BELA KUN: Magyar, our former comrade, as he, I believe, called himself, declared here with rhetorical bombast: “No laughing at civil funeral.” It is true, of course, as well as that at civil funerals they deliver graveside orations, not a lawyer’s speech.
I do not really know what Magyar was talking about today, to be correct, what did he admit in his speech? He recognized that he deserves being expelled from the party. I was sitting in the back and did not hear well enough, but I understood that, after he started his graveside oration and mentioned civil funeral, he continued on as a lawyer would.
I must say that if, in the near future, I confront a class enemy, stand before the court of a class enemy, I will construct my speech the same way as Magyar did here before this clearly hostile audience, before this organization [which is] obviously hostile to him.
I, comrades, am not going to look into particular details. I think that the party organization learned the factual side of this case at the party committee and party group meetings well enough. I would like to dwell a while on characterizing the roots of this group’s counterrevolutionary activity, better to say, not of the group itself, but of Magyar in particular.
I think that Magyar did not really mean that he turned out to be just a fool. Magyar is no fool. Magyar is a clever person. Magyar is an educated person. Magyar is a well-read person. Magyar knows his way in international politics, his way in inner-party life, and so on and so forth.
If he did not assume that he is totally untrustworthy, if he did not assume that one cannot believe their promises, even if they are telling the truth, he would then, obviously, describe differently the sources of that shameful activity which was reflected in his latest actions, reflected in the fact that, after the murder of com. Kirov, after the murder of one of the best leaders of the best sections of the Comintern, he supported the obvious counterrevolutionary Safarov.
He did not want to, but he had to prove sociologically, referring to his social origin, that his evolution was, so to say, historically justified. Naturally, his evolution was rather complex and, clearly, under those conditions in which he worked [and] grew in the party, it was inevitable and natural that he came to the road of political degeneration, to that political swamp which soaked up the scoundrels of the Zinovievite counterrevolutionary group. By that swamp there stood a guard, a protector of the interests of international capitalism, an ingenious protector of the interests of international capitalism, a representative of a capitalist, probably fascist, state. I think it is no accident that Magyar, being liberated by the Soviet state, by the Soviet Union, from the prison of Horthy,[xvii] the hangman of Hungarian proletariat, found himself in the camp of enemies of the Soviet Union.
I do not want to say that I foresaw it. On the contrary, I must say that I did not foresee it and, during the purge, when I defended com. Magyar then…
(MANIS:[xviii] Yes, yes, we do remember.)
…I then tried to explain it in such a way that he, as an intellectual, was acting according to the motto: to be on the side of the weak in presence of the strong one. But, comrades, such a psychological approach was wrong. It is possible that I could not see through Magyar. I repeat, Magyar was considered a learned man, a specialist on issues of international politics, international economics, a person who read a lot. He was considered a Marxist. And it turns out that the more he read, the more harmful to the party he became. What kind of Marxism is it if it is harmful to the party? Probably, someone would say that Magyar wrote many articles, he himself said, let them prove where in my writings, in my work, I planted anti-party seeds. What kind of lesson should we learn from this? [The lesson is] that we can write whatever we like and do whatever we like. However, one can write one thing and do the other.
This is the first lesson we should learn. Our vigilance should be aimed not at what is being written, as it usually happens. Our vigilance should be aimed, first of all, at what is being done. This is exactly what com. Stalin has said and written, that one has to test the Social Democratic leaders of the II International not by their words, not by their writings, but by their deeds. It refers to this case as well. Then, of course, we will never fail to foresee further evolution of such people who write one thing and do the other.
In his speech, Magyar said that he worked and wrote, and that one can examine his work and what he wrote. This reminds me of the methods of Zinoviev’s leadership in the Comintern. If you permit me, I would like to dwell on this in a little more detail. Zinoviev, as an anti-Soviet element, as a counterrevolutionary, has now been completely exposed. However, there are some very compelling political reasons to look into the question of Zinovievite methods of leadership in the Comintern.
What characterized the Zinovievite methods of leadership? Only a few know about it. Those who occupied positions of leadership in the Comintern at the time of Zinoviev, those who have to carry out the work of exposing completely the Zinovievite methods, have taken a sort of monopoly position on this issue. Zinoviev had always two pockets and two perspectives.[xix] This is the main method of the Zinovievite leadership: to have two pockets, and in each pocket to have one perspective. And, depending on what is to be emphasized, pulling out this or that perspective. This is what is called the Zinovievite leadership.
However, comrades, this was connected with another major method of leadership by Zinoviev. He repeatedly made statements about his implementing the Leninist line in the Comintern, or of him being Lenin’s deputy in the Comintern.
Zinoviev had always two pockets and two perspectives, however, he always had one policy toward the Comintern cadres. Of course, he did not manage to deceive the Comintern’s cadres, the cadres of Communist parties. Many of us remember how at the time when the implementation of the United Front tactics began, Zinoviev supported these tactics before Lenin and [at the same time] tried to persuade us to speak up against the United Front tactics at the preliminary meeting.
This kind of unscrupulousness, comrades, was the basic tone of today’s speech by Magyar. I wrote everything correctly, I behaved properly and yet I deserve to be expelled. How one can understand it? Isn’t it the final stage of political degeneration? Isn’t it an attempt, a new attempt to hide behind the expulsion and leave the back door [open] so as to come back to the party at a time when vigilance is lower than it is now? This is the real ideological connection with Zinoviev and those methods which Zinoviev employed in the Communist International. Comrades, vigilance alone, decisions alone, are insufficient to [struggle] against these methods. We have to expose completely the Zinovievite methods of leadership and to oppose them with new, truly Bolshevik methods of leadership which are being employed in the Comintern with more and more success since Zinoviev’s removal. Probably, we still have shortcomings. But I have to say that the quality of the Comintern’s leadership [is now] higher, much higher than it was under Zinoviev. If we look back, [we see nothing] but the policy of two pockets and two perspectives which surfaced, for example, when Zinoviev, at the time of the Anglo-Soviet Committee, declared that the route of the revolution had been changed, [that] we are going toward the revolution on the road of the British trade unions. But then, six months later, [he] accused the party of opportunism because it created the Anglo-Soviet Committee. Besides that, an important method of Zinovievite leadership was dilettantism, despite the fact that many [people] wanted to create a picture of Zinoviev as a super-human, a great leader who guided the Comintern at a very high level. I think that we do not have to be ashamed of our leadership. On the contrary, the quality of our leaders, of our leadership is higher than ever. We now have to rally around this Comintern leadership and, under the direction of these leaders, to weed out the roots, to eliminate all of the remnants of Zinovievite methods. Then, I think, we will be able to foresee such developments as Magyar has gone through, towards [his sinking] in that swamp where there are undoubtedly still scoundrels of the Zinovievite, anti-Soviet group. To drain this swamp, [the support of] the power of the Soviet and international proletariat under the leadership of our great leader com. Stalin [will] surely [be needed]. I, comrades, vote for expelling Magyar.
CHERNOMORDIK: A suggestion has been received to fix the time limit to ten minutes. (Accepted).
MIF: Magyar started his speech by declaring that he was not going to defend himself. One has to give him credit for that: he indeed did not defend himself, but continued at this meeting his foul attack against the party and its line.
Magyar wants to portray himself as being an imbecile, which can be more dangerous than the enemy. I would like, comrades, in two words to dwell on the question of party vigilance and how, in light of the recent events, we should treat such attempts by Magyar.
Exactly three years ago, in late December, we waged a bitter struggle against the mistakes of Safarov-Magyar and other people. This testifies to party vigilance. Of course, it is difficult to expose a person who disguises himself masterfully. However, at that time Safarov dared to come out with a 300-page anti-party book.[xx] We then started a struggle against Safarov and Magyar, but did not bring it to the end.
I put this question to myself, to the whole party organization. We must honestly admit that we did not bring this struggle to the end, even when it was very clear that this struggle had to be waged, when the enemy did not even try very hard to conceal his views.
(A voice: That is right).
I remind the comrades of this because three years have passed and we have not yet adopted a formal resolution of our party organization on this question, on this discussion. Safarov then pledged an oath that he would come out with a refutation [of his views], but he did nothing to refute [them] and our party organization let it slip by and for its part did nothing to make Safarov recognize, at least orally, the erroneousness of his views.
Comrades, I recall that discussion and those lessons only to emphasize once again that we lacked party vigilance in the past.[xxi] And we have today a second lesson which is especially important for us, the workers of the Eastern Secretariat. Safarov worked alongside with us for a number of years and it was not us, those who worked with him, members of the same organization, who revealed his counterrevolutionary nature, it was not us who helped the party and the whole country to expose this enemy of the working class.
Today, comrades, in the present conditions, when the enemy, this whole Zinovievite scum is taking up the gun, taking the road of terror, talking to us in a language of bullets, if only we had demonstrated our party vigilance toward them earlier, there would have been no place for them in our ranks. Today, when we are trying to learn a necessary lesson from these events, when we are trying to improve our party vigilance, when we have to finish off the brutal class enemy, now, when history has irreversibly pilloried this Zinovievite scum, when we hear from the workers “Take what you deserve, vermin,” when the workers learn from the indictment where the money for these counterrevolutionaries came from, who inspired them, who trained them for these anti-Soviet acts – at this very moment, Magyar is trying to get away with infant fairy tales and to consciously slur over both his past and present.
It is not true that he gives a correct appraisal of his past. Because at the party group and at the party committee [meetings], and today, he is trying, by other words, to disprove [xxii] this unimportant fact which I do not want to concentrate on right now, namely, that the Vardin-Safarov-Magyar group supposedly distanced itself from Zinoviev in 1928 because they could not agree with his double-dealing and wanted to return to the party ranks. When several times they pointed out to Magyar the anti-party character of their position and their group, what they insisted on was the impossibility of continuing the anti-party struggle. (Of course, Zinoviev is a double-dealer and a scoundrel, no one is trying to justify him, but [he] is still far from the [“]honesty[“] of the Magyars, Safarovs and Vardins who considered it necessary to continue the anti-party struggle). Even if they declared that they wanted to work honestly, it was still a cheap declaration. Such a busy man as Magyar, why did he find time for rather frequent meetings with no one else but such people? Why did he find time to discuss the most burning political issues with no one else but these counterrevolutionary people who were harboring a grudge. What does it prove? What sort of topics were discussed. We can only speak about what Magyar has declared, and he did not tell us a fraction of what was going on. He followed the tactics of telling what was already known, telling only half [of the truth] in order to make it easy to cover up his traces, in order to make it easier, with greater skill, to cover up his true behavior.
However, even according to Magyar’s own declarations, what was the topic of these conversations? It turns out that Safarov and Magyar discussed the difficulties in 1932.[xxiii] It turns out that Magyar discussed with Zinoviev our Central Committee, the Political Bureau, com. Stalin and, in particular, he consulted with Zinoviev on the question of what was Lenin’s attitude toward the military alliance between the Soviet Union and capitalist countries, and what should be the position of the party and the party’s tasks on this question. It also turns out that there were other topics touched upon in the conversations, as some comrades have revealed. For example, com. Sinani[xxiv] told the Roman Secretariat [party] group [meeting] that, during the November [revolution] anniversary, Magyar recounted to him his conversation with Zinoviev, and that in that conversation, Zinoviev had said that he hoped to return to being a party leader or to the party leadership in the nearest future. Magyar did not tell us about it either at the party committee or party group [meeting]. Com. Sinani will probably speak and confirm this.
(SINANI: Not quite so, another variant).
I cannot be sure that these were exactly Sinani’s words, but it is not so important.
And what is especially interesting, at the [party] group [meeting] and at the party committee [meeting] Magyar declared, in considerable detail, his complete solidarity with all those views which were expressed by Safarov, Zinoviev and other counterrevolutionaries during those cordial conversations.
Did you ever, somehow during these conversations, disassociate yourself from them? No. Did you notice anything of an anti-party character in those conversations? No. And those were [your] old friends, friends in struggle against the party for many years. Who else but Magyar would they be open and sincere with? Magyar himself says that he and Safarov were close friends. No one but Magyar was such a good friend of Safarov’s. If Magyar did not identify himself with those conversations, it would have been much easier for him to expose the anti-party character of those moods.
You read the indictment yesterday. You know in what conspiratorial manner they organized their work. They did not have party cards, did not hold party meetings. Everything was limited to occasional meetings between two people. The question is, if Magyar systematically met with these people, why would he not, until now, name all of them, all of those with whom he met, how, when and where, under what circumstances did they meet? He claims that those meetings were casual, in the dining-room, in the polyclinic, etc. Well, even now he does not even try to tell what he might suspect is known to the party organization. So the question is, could these counterrevolutionaries, this Zinovievite scum, consider him a member of their organization, be at one with him? They had all reasons to do so. They could count on him as on one of their own. Let Magyar try to disprove it. Let Magyar try to prove that they could not consider him a member of their organization. This is an objective fact which cannot be slurred over. These are the real seeds, Magyar, not the seeds of the past. This is not a case of his past.
By the way, he declared here rather loudly that he worked in 22 parties, if I am not wrong. Unfortunately, I have no possibility to speak openly here at this meeting about what some members of the party committee know and about what members of the Political Commission know, but I can declare forthrightly that in the international affairs, too, he has been at the jam pot. Here, too, there is grounds for referring to him as a skillful agent of Zinoviev. I hope, com. Knorin will support my words.
Regarding [his] support for Safarov, Magyar today claims it to be a counterrevolutionary act. But when did you actually recognize that this was a counterrevolutionary act to maintain counterrevolutionary ties with this counterrevolutionary, only after Safarov’s arrest? Immediately? Does it mean that you consciously decided to engage in this counterrevolutionary action? Or you were compelled to admit it just now? Today you tried to explain this support for, this connection with the counterrevolutionary Safarov, today you tried to justify it by the fact that they arrest in a bunch and investigate later. This is precisely why today Magyar declares that he would prefer to be arrested. It is typical, because he is trying here to oppose the party organization to the organs of proletarian dictatorship. Here is what Magyar actually wants to say: “You are not able to understand, you are worth nothing, it is useless to speak to the party organization because they will say that ‘he had given away the game,’ I cannot find common language with the party organization, the party organization cannot understand me and appreciate me properly,” etc.
The party organization is an organization hostile to him. He is trying to slander our party by praising the organs of the proletarian dictatorship. Of course, those organs are very good and each of us praises them, however, we will give a smack in the face to any attempt to oppose these organs to the party organization.
On this [note], I am finishing.
I really think that we have, with all seriousness, to draw lessons regarding our party policy from that discussion which took place three years ago. These are important lessons, [but] their political importance is [nevertheless] much less than our current discussion and the latest events. However, if we are to draw all these lessons, we have to sweep away, with an iron broom, without a moment’s vacillation, all these remnants of foul counterrevolutionary groups, all these remnants of anti-party, anti-Soviet, Zinovievite groupings and, having rallied even closer around the C[entral] C[ommittee] and com. Stalin, to go on confidently to new victories. (Applause).
CHERNOMORDIK: Com. Goretsky[xxv] has the floor.
GORETSKY: Today I listened for the first time to a leader of an anti-party, anti-Soviet group. He is a leader of the anti-party group which defies leadership. He took part in the anti-party and anti-Soviet struggle.
What was my impression of the Magyar’s speech delivered from this rostrum? At first, I thought that Magyar would speak here and in fact tell [us], reveal to the party organization his real face, his actual crimes in order for the party organization to draw proper conclusions. But what actually happened? What happened, in my opinion, was that Magyar, in a very refined form and, I would say, with irony, has revealed the full power of resistance of the Zinovievite counterrevolutionary group which reveals itself in all of the line of this anti-party, anti-Soviet group throughout the years of its existence.
I will dwell here only on a couple of questions referred to by Magyar. Today, comrades, already after we have read the indictment, when the counterrevolutionary essence of this group and this group’s connection with Zinoviev is clear to the whole working class, to the whole party, [Magyar] today explains his relations with the arrested and exiled counterrevolutionaries Zinoviev and others in the following manner (at the same time claiming that it is the way it has to be): that at such a moment it is necessary to arrest all former oppositioners, exile them and investigate later. In other words, here, in a disguised form, Magyar said the following: Zinoviev and all the counterrevolutionary group are not culpable of anything, they were just arrested and later their case will be investigated and they will be released soon. This is the meaning of those words. He, in fact, defended Zinoviev from this tribune and opposed those charges in the indictment.
Second. How one can understand Magyar’s repeated claims to the party committee [meeting] and from this tribune that no matter what he would say, and how [he said it], no one would believe him anyway. This, comrades, is the most refined implementation of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist policy, of the anti-party counterrevolutionary policy towards the regime of our party. It is implied in his declaration. There is no other way to interpret it.
I do not want to occupy your attention with my speech for long. In my opinion, the speech of Magyar only demonstrates his hidden attempt to systematically and persistently struggle against the party, an attempt which lives in the whole Zinovievite counterrevolutionary group. This is what is implied in his today’s speech.
I think that we should have taken a closer look at the works written by Magyar. I did not know Magyar before. I did not know that he was in the Zinovievite opposition. When I was recently visiting the region, I stayed there a couple of days longer and had a chance to review some materials. In particular, I read Magyar’s article in the “K[ommunistichesky] I[nternatsional]) No. 25, in which he reviews Goebbels’[xxvi] book. I am to blame for not taking a closer look at that article. However, if you take it and compare it to Trotsky’s article about the roots of fascism, you will not find any difference between the two. Only today did I understand how capable he is of skillfully working in Trotskyist propaganda.
He seemingly speaks about Goebbels only, but in fact he introduces [the idea] that fascism is based on the elements which were demoralized during the imperialist war. It is a Trotskyist theory of fascism.
On this [note], I am finishing. I only want to add that the example that Magyar has taught us today should serve to strengthen our vigilance even more and to rally around the C[entral] C[ommittee] and around Stalin.
HECKERT:[xxvii] The last weeks have shown that our class vigilance is not as up to the mark as the situation requires. Therefore, we must be more alert than ever to each word said by our comrades. Magyar said here that the group to which he belonged intended to be honest towards the party. In this regard he said straightforwardly: “We know that Zinoviev’s declaration was hypocritical towards the party.” The party believed Zinoviev’s statement to be honest. Magyar considered it hypocritical. Despite this, Magyar maintained connections with this hypocrite until the very last days. It is a rather strange kind of attitude of a Bolshevik toward the party.
Today Magyar said also that the Zinoviev group fooled him. Meaning that he was an unfortunate fool, that he was fooled by a scoundrel. But he knew that Zinoviev intended to fool the party with his behavior. Thus, he did not need to mention that petty trick with which he himself was fooled. He contradicts his own statement.
But this trickery of the last weeks has shown us that we need to display the strictest vigilance toward all the groupings. The case is not just that someone said that he was merely a passive fellow-traveler. We know, not just from this case, how factionalist groups behave. Magyar himself said that any such group eventually finds itself on the opposite side of the barricade. Nevertheless, he joined this group. And now he is surprised to find himself on the opposite side of the barricade.
Now he wants to explain everything by his petty-bourgeois origin, by his aristocratic ideas, by his hypocritical views. This is too superficial. Take a look at this group of Zinoviev’s. It has never been connected to the proletariat, otherwise it would have never been able, especially in the current situation, to come to such a wild idea as to develop a new opposition on the old platform. But Zinoviev is very well known. For many years he duped the Comintern with his theory of two perspectives. He was expelled from the party three times, and three times he appealed [for readmission]. Three times he betrayed the friends to whom he was tied. And such an educated man as Magyar considered Zinoviev a distinguished personality, from whom he received advice. I am completely unable to understand it. It can be explained by the arrogance of an intellectual who despises the proletariat, who thinks that politics can be made at the expense of the proletariat, not for its sake. We have clearly seen it with the example of Safarov. This man’s arrogance was so excessive that he even despised the Comintern’s organs. He would give directives to the parties behind the back of these appointed organs. Parties’ representatives did not exist for him. And if he was reproached for this, he would have felt himself offended. Only a person who has completely separated himself from the proletarian class can demonstrate such attitude. Therefore, we have to admit today that Magyar also bears responsibility for what Zinoviev’s group has done. It cannot deny [its] responsibility for Nikolaev and his shots in the back. And people who were members of this group, who advocated such a criminal policy, are therefore accessories to the crimes committed. They cannot be tolerated in the ranks of our party.
BURZYNSKI:[xxviii] At the Eastern Secretariat party group meeting, at the party committee meeting yesterday and today, Magyar tried to manipulate [us] with the following assertions: I am a fool, which is more dangerous than the enemy. Already yesterday it was said to Magyar that this declaration was good only for fools. Moreover, it was clear yesterday and today that only one part of this declaration is correct, namely that for us Magyar is an especially dangerous enemy. And his speech today proves it, proves that he is an enemy, a dangerous enemy, an enemy who has managed to mask his hostile attitude toward our party, toward our leadership for a number of years, an enemy who it is essential to expose at last.
Magyar spoke here about the forms of class struggle, about his failure to understand forms of the class struggle in our country, the ways in which the class enemy disguises itself. Magyar’s speech is one of the ways by which agents of the class enemy infiltrate our party. He spoke here in a tragic manner, I would say, in a tragicomic manner, and declared that there is no laughing at civil funerals. Yes, Magyar, if you were our friend, our comrade, we would not laugh. But when one is our enemy, our class enemy, we rejoice. Each of us is happy because we have exposed you as an enemy, that we have a chance to finally expose you and to banish you from our party. This is what our happiness is about.
Let me take only what Magyar himself has said, what he himself has admitted. And he, no question about it, does not admit to even a hundredth part of what he did, with whom he met, which conversations he held and which actions he committed. He admits that he had systematic meetings with Zinoviev. What did he discuss with Zinoviev? It turns out that, besides all those questions named here by com. Kotelnikov, he asked Zinoviev a question about what was Lenin’s attitude toward a military alliance between the Soviet Union and capitalist countries and what should be the tactics of the Communist party in this country. He, Magyar, who had seemingly honestly abandoned the opposition, who had seemingly honestly recognized his mistakes, could not find a person other than Zinoviev to ask and Zinoviev gave him an answer about Lenin’s attitude, about how Lenin formulated this question. And he wants [us] to believe him that he did not know about the anti-party views and anti-party moods of the people he met with. There is here, no doubt, an attempt to politically justify these people.
Let us [pretend that we] believe Magyar. If it is so, then why did not you sense it, [why] did [you] not sense these anti-party moods? You are an educated person. You did not sense [it] because you were close to them ideologically, because there was no difference between you and them. This is why you failed to sense their anti-party moods.
He knew about the anti-party moods, he himself had an anti-party mood and he, together with them, there is no doubt about that, it cannot be doubted, conducted anti-party work. Magyar has indirectly admitted himself that he did not agree, in the way Zinoviev did not agree, with the criticism by the party of some incorrect, mistaken formulations by Engels. Here again is an ideological consonance between Magyar and Zinoviev. How could it happen? Is it accidental? No, it is not accidental.
Nobody doubts that Magyar was with them both organizationally and ideologically. Magyar declared: I find myself in such a position that I cannot act correctly. It is not true. There were people in the opposition who have honestly exposed themselves and found ways to do it. Those who do not want to [do so] cannot find ways to do it. You, Magyar, do not want to find those ways. We are expelling you not because you were in the opposition, but because you did not break with it ideologically and organizationally, and because today you do not want to expose honestly and completely what you heard in the way a party member should. For this we expel you as our enemy, as an enemy of our party and the Soviet power.
Those comrades who say that Magyar had only dilettantism and petty-bourgeois individualism are not correct. Guralsky[xxix] said it yesterday. It is not correct. And Magyar himself is ready to admit it. No, this is not dilettantism. You have not broken with the ideological counterrevolution until now, you were connected with a counterrevolutionary group. You do not want to expose yourself, you do not want to tell [all] that you know, and that is why we expel you. By expelling people like Magyar, we will rally even closer around our C[entral] C[ommittee], around Stalin and will achieve new victories. (Applause).
GURALSKY: Comrades, I was an active member of the anti-Soviet Zinovievite-Trotskyist opposition. At some point, I was expelled from the party by the XV party Congress. Probably, this expulsion from the party was the very best and the most serious lesson that I have received from the party, which made me not only break with the opposition and personally with its members, but also to thoroughly review all [my] incorrect conceptions on all major questions.
When I was listening to Magyar today, I was thinking: This person has not yet thought seriously about what the expulsion from the party means. Magyar brought forward three points that he wants to use to morally threaten [us]. If I ever followed at least one of these three points, I would never have become an honest party member.
The first point: The situation is such that I cannot act in a right way. Is it the point of view of a revolutionary? It is the point of view of scum, of degenerates. There is no such situation in which a person cannot say to himself: I must serve my proletarian class. There is no such situation. If a person claims that there is a situation in which he cannot properly serve his class, it means that he has lost himself, that he can not find his way.
Magyar’s second statement is of a similar nature: They will not believe me anyway. I am sure that Zinoviev managed to keep whole groups in the opposition precisely by maintaining this point of view--they will not believe you--with the point of view that a correct position is not possible. And finally, it is not true what Magyar says, that he does not consciously deceive the party. Isn’t he deceiving the party and himself today? He does, fully and completely. Today in his speech Magyar, on the one hand, covered up the role of the Zinovievite faction and on the other, he did not explain what connected him with the Zinovievite faction.
Comrades, was it just [because of] personal relations that Magyar wanted to consult Zinoviev on every major problem of the Comintern and international politics? I declare: No, that was the old conception of the Trotskyist-Zinovievite opposition, a conception that does not recognize the whole Stalinist epoch in the VKP(b) and in the Comintern’s history. This was the opposition’s basic position, that from the time of Zinoviev’s departure [from the Comintern] the history of mankind has collapsed. There is not a million-member party. This is a Trotskyist point of view. This is what Zinoviev embodied in the fascist shot. There is no party left, only its elite. There is no more history of the socialism’s immense victories. There is no more history of the transformation of the Comintern from a small German-French party into a world party. What is the Comintern? When I came to work in the Comintern, I heard rumors that Zinoviev told different people with whom to work and what to do. There is no Stalinist epoch, there is no new era of the international workers’ movement, there is no new epoch of the creation of a world party, there is no VKP(b), no industrialization, no collectivization. Only on this basis could one step away from the Comintern to perpetual reading [of Zinoviev’s thoughts]. But what does Zinoviev say, what does Zinoviev know about Lenin’s opinion on the global questions? The revolutionary policy became a secret of Zinovievite renegades and not the political line of the Comintern and the VKP(b).
I do not want to deal with the question of whether or not Magyar thought this over. He felt that way. I remember times [when I was in] the opposition, when we felt this not in a revolutionary, but in a counterrevolutionary way. And he was 10 years further along. That is why I think that Magyar has to understand that he has adopted the major Zinovievite positions, that there is no Stalinist epoch.
Second, what did the work of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist opposition consist of? It lived a near-party life, it lived as if it were in emigration. The facts have shown what this near-party life, these emigration moods could change into. Magyar supported these moods, he displayed support for them twice. He supported them when he shared his impression with Zinoviev that there are people in the Comintern who are with him [Zinoviev], who are waiting for him, who seek his advice. He supported them when he committed an anti-Soviet act by lending money to Safarov.
I am interested not only in the anti-Soviet side of his action, I am also interested in the political side of it. Zinoviev and Trotsky say: The people would support us, but the party elite does not let them. Magyar supported this thesis, he supported this idea and this is extremely important. Magyar still has not thought deeply enough about this question, he is still hostile, he has not yet overcome [his mistakes], he does not yet feel the atmosphere that we have here, he thinks, “maybe I am giving my game away, too.” He still thinks that he is in the enemy’s camp, he has not yet overcome [this], he is still standing firmly by the position of the Zinovievite opposition.
Comrades, it seems to me that this is the most important and the most harmful [thing] from which the embellishment proceeds. He portrays the case in such a way: a small group, a group of fascists, a hated group wanted to kill Kirov. And this group wanted to kill the party’s leader, the best person created by the proletariat. And, on the other hand, in light of these hostile ideas <…>.[xxx]
Comrades, I am ashamed to admit that I was in the ranks of the opposition, but I do not feel any guilt at all in this case. One cannot interpret this question so hopelessly: I planted wrong ideas, and ten years later terrorists grew up. No, the case is different. I think that if Magyar disarmed today, if he could understand it, he would have come and told the meeting. He would have then fulfilled his role if he revealed everything he knew, [and] why those ideas were mistaken. Then all of us, knowing the milieu, would [be able to] expose not just the ideologists but also the direct perpetuators and instigators of the murder.
Have they not provoked hatred for 10 years? Have they not been saying, for 10, 11 and 12 years that all danger is in the hated party elite? Have not [they] been inciting the mood that everything that happened in the Soviet Union, in the Comintern, is a failure? Have not Zinoviev and others been trying to prove that, probably, the October revolution was Lenin’s mistake, that Trotsky was right, that there is no way out? All these are facts. Zinoviev and Kamenev are finished, morally and politically, in the eyes of the proletariat and the peasantry of the [Soviet] Union and in the eyes of revolutionary workers. And this is what Magyar failed to understand. He should have understood this, and proceeded from this point of view to re-evaluate his own connections, to explain to himself that politically they meant not what he wanted, not what he thought, not what he felt, but what they had become politically. Politically, they have become a force hostile to our party. That is why I think (I was not cited quite correctly here, I do not know the facts) that, as they said, Magyar represents a mixture of political mistakes, of well known philistinism and apoliticicism. I heard Magyar, I already know about the major facts, and it is clear to me that this is [an expression of] the Zinovievite degeneration. And let Magyar understand that for the party which clearly wants to remain a revolutionary party, a party of the second round of wars and revolutions, there is only one way: to close its ranks, to forge vigilance, to more actively pursue ideological integrity, to watch very carefully, to judge people by [their] deeds, to never tell people that there is no way out, but to see the situation as it is. Only such a party will be able to fulfill its obligations.
(A VOICE: And what shall we do with Magyar?).
Expel him from the party. It is clear.
KON SIN:[xxxi] In his speech, Magyar called himself a fool. But he has been masking himself as a fool for a number of years now. Coming to this meeting today, he continues to act in the same way and today too he was masking himself as a fool. Magyar said today in his speech that he has been working for a long time in the Comintern, for 6 years, but in fact he has been working for the benefit of our class enemy. Magyar struggled and continues to struggle against the party, against the C[entral] C[ommittee] of our party, against Soviet power, and we can say that Magyar also struggles against the Chinese party and supports counterrevolutionary Trotskyists.
At present, the Chinese Communist Party is at the head of Soviet power in China and the Chinese Red Army, under its leadership, organized Soviet power and the Red Army. Magyar claimed that there are supposedly groupings in the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party. Our class enemy also charges that the C[entral] C[ommittee] of the Chin[ese] Communist Party, that our CC is Stalin’s faction. Magyar also considers the CC of the Chin[ese] Communist Party [to be] a faction, a grouping.
In the Chinese Soviet regions, the counterrevolutionary Kliuev[xxxii] has been exposed. He was arrested. However, when Magyar and Safarov learned [about it], they claimed this arrest was wrong, they thought that Soviet power in China oppresses good comrades. Thus, they too supported the Chinese counterrevolutionary-Trotskyists. Safarov and Magyar suggested sending a telegram [demanding] the liberation of this counterrevolutionary-Trotskyist. Therefore, we can see that Safarov and Magyar not only struggled against the VKP(b) and against the CC VKP(b), but at the same time, via the Comintern, they struggled against the fraternal parties and against the Communist Party of China.
Therefore, not only do we have to direct our wrath against Safarov, against Magyar, against our class enemy here, but our foreign comrades at the same time have to take note that, in the capitalist countries, those connected with Magyar and Safarov should be exposed. We must also raise class vigilance toward these elements. You have seen that even now Magyar acts like a fool in order to deceive our party, to deceive us. Today at this rostrum Magyar behaved very modestly, very pathetically, as if he wanted to present himself to our party committee as a communist in order to deceive you once again and to continue struggling against our party.
I think that there is no difference between the crimes of Magyar and Safarov and that of the murderer of com. Kirov, Nikolaev. Therefore, I think that it is not enough to expel him from the party. I think it will be very regrettable if he is not arrested now.
KNORIN: Comrades, when on the evening of 1 December the news about the murder of com. Kirov spread, the heart of each communist was filled with deep sorrow and anger, because it was clear that the enemy inside the country is still alive. The enemy inside the country is still alive.
But the sorrow which filled the heart of each communist became even more bitter when we read, on 16 December, the resolution of the Moscow and Leningrad [party] committees indicating that the murderers of com. Kirov were party members, that the enemy dwelled in our own house, that the enemy turned out to be inside the party.
More than 30 years have passed since the creation of the Bolshevik party. The eminence of Lenin was demonstrated when he immediately managed to discern in the first minor contradictions of statutory and programmatic questions another party, the Menshevik party, a party which works against the revolution, a party which has become the worst enemy of the proletarian revolution, the Menshevik party.
Stalin’s great intellect and intuition were demonstrated 20 years later when, in 1923, at the time of the opposition’s first actions, he discerned in it a new Menshevism, neo-Menshevism, the beginning of the new anti-party group, an anti-Soviet party, a counterrevolutionary party.
More than 30 years of development have brought Mensheviks to forming a bloc with all sorts of trash, with the counterrevolution. They were with Kolchak,[xxxiii] with Denikin,[xxxiv] Bulak-Balakhovich,[xxxv] [and] with all sort of rabble which attacked the Soviet Union.
More than 10 years of development by the Zinovievite opposition have demonstrated that this group, this anti-party group managed to form a bloc with the most ignoble elements inside the country, with the last fragments of the counterrevolution inside the country, and with the foreign bourgeoisie.
At present, in the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, in the conditions of sharpened class struggle, counterrevolutionary groups develop, form faster, much faster than in the previous historical period.
Here Magyar delivered a speech which cannot be called anything other than ignoble, infinitely ignoble and impudent, in particular those arguments which he brought up and from which his expulsion followed. If the case was such [as Magyar portrays it] neither of these arguments would justify his expulsion.
It was a cleverly organized, defensive speech. Our comrades have absolutely correctly indicated that today we expel Magyar, exile Safarov, [and] banish Zinoviev not for those seeds of distrust toward the party, of opposition to the party, which they planted in 1923-1925. Magyar applied to that period all those definitions which we attach to his group today. Then we referred to those groups as no more than a Social Democratic deviation in our party. Then it corresponded to the actual situation. In 1923-24, it was still a group within the party. By 1927, it had already grown into a different party. It was then that we had to raise a question of expelling them from the party. Organizationally they had formed themselves as another party. Then we had to remove them from the party’s ranks.
Around which questions did they organize themselves? Around all major questions, being the enemies of Socialist construction in our country, being enemies of Socialism, as a party, a group which wants to lead our country back to capitalism. They were expelled in the late 1927. In 1928, a significant part of them was readmitted. Magyar avoided expulsion. However, all the double-dealing of this group can now be seen. We have in our possession a letter from Zinoviev to Rumiantsev,[xxxvi] a leader of the Leningrad center of the Zinovievite oppositional scum. In this letter, Zinoviev advises Rumiantsev to re-join the party, that he file an application in such a way that the C[entral] C[ontrol] C[ommission] would admit him, that he write whatever is necessary, whatever the party would require [from him to be able] to return to the party. Because, he says, the party is facing new difficulties and then the party will need us to struggle for Leninism, i. e. for the Zinovievite oppositional line. This is what Zinoviev wrote to Rumiantsev. This is how he instructed his buddies to return to the party, to capitulate formally in order to struggle against the party.
Of course, one of the conditions was to retain all connections, not in the form of a broad structured organization, but in such a way as to be able to survive, to bide one’s time for struggle against the party. At the same time, Zinoviev was writing his famous variants regarding which ways he could take: One with Trotsky outside the party, to struggle against the party from the outside. Another way, according to Trotsky, to struggle against the party from inside the party, as Trotsky did. The third way, he says, is to capitulate to the party. It means capitulation. This is the central line which Zinoviev planned at that time.
It was exposed by us one more time. As soon as Zinoviev sensed some oppositional groups, there he was, he came knocking again [at the door]. We also smashed that group completely. It got no response in the country. A dozen counterrevolutionaries were exiled. Those who maintained connections with them, like Zinoviev, Kamenev and others, were punished.
It seemed that we had finally defeated the opposition, destroyed this group. But some minor fragments remained, and that is why, by no accident, they were repentant at the XVII Congress.
Yes, they were defeated. Nothing was left but some isolated persons, miserable scoundrels who wormed their way into cracks of the party, who were hostile to the party. However, these people maintained connections with each other. It took only a short time [after they were] back in the party to re-establish old friendships; they reached out to those who remained in the old positions. The case is not that simple as Magyar described here.
The Leningrad center, part of which directly organized the attempt on com. Kirov, this Leningrad center maintained connections with Moscow, with the Moscow center which was headed by Zinoviev [who was] the ideologist, the leader, the unifier of forces within the party so as to struggle against the party, to struggle against the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the return to capitalism. Their program was a program of returning to capitalism.
Magyar did not belong to this leading center. It is obvious, and one should not call him a leader. He is not fit to be a leader. He is far too insignificant. He is much more obscene than a leader. But what in general was the essence of the organization, the essence of the opposition’s existence?
The people, the leaders, the bosses maintained connections, they reached out to those who supported old concepts, old positions, who could be reliable, who could be picked up in order to make a move as soon as the situation was favorable, as soon as new difficulties were created.
One of the accused admits: “We watched for some sort of contradictions in the party leadership. We relied on any crack to help us come to [be the] leadership, to come to power. That is why we preserved our cadres, we established connections with everyone who was against the party leadership, who had an oppositional sentiment. Until the very last moment, we cherished hopes that, in this way, through some disagreements, through some difficulties, we would be able to rise to [positions of] leadership and turn the country to another road, to our road.”
And so I am asking, did Magyar belong to this organization which was based not on solidly shaped cells, but was an organization built on connections, on gathering forces? Yes, he belonged to this organization.
Probably, obviously, he was not in its leadership, but he did belong to this organization. Hence, Zinoviev’s connection with him. Zinoviev is not an apolitical person, he is not a person whose relationships were based on personal friendships and acquaintances. This connection is political, this connection is organizational, this connection meant gathering their people, their forces. That is why the Rumiantsevs and Kotolynovs were coming to Moscow, to establish ties with the Moscow elements. That is why Muscovites traveled to Leningrad to establish ties with Leningrad groups.
Let us take another question. It is quite clear that Safarov has not always been connected with the centers of this counterrevolutionary group in the same way. They say that his connections to this group in late 1933, in 1934, became more frequent, became stronger [and], that since that time he has become more outspoken, more open with his counterrevolutionary views on questions regarding the Soviet Union, as well as on questions regarding the Communist International. Here is the question: The people who were constantly exchanging their political opinions, how could they have not known it? People who engaged in anti-party, anti-Soviet conversations in their environment, how could they not know about it, not see it? Nobody would believe it.
(MAGYAR: It did not happen in 1934).
In 1934, you were engaged in anti-party conversations – outside the Soviet Union. In 1934, you were waging a campaign and a struggle against the German Communist Party. You transferred the Zinovievite concepts here when speaking about the concentration of leadership, about transferring the leadership to the conciliators,[xxxvii] etc. You did it there. These are proven facts which you cannot escape.
Your role here was one of providing connections and information on the international questions, as well as the role of a transmitter. This is the state of affairs. You want to deny it. It won’t work. I will dwell on this question later. This case is rather serious. One can, and should, speak only about that which today is quite clear, is obvious, that this political connection was [also] an organizational connection, which means that Safarov and Magyar belonged to a particular political anti-Soviet organization. It is the only way to see it. We are not little children who believe that friendly conversations between two seasoned politicians who, over the course of many years were tied by shared political concepts, would not lead to some further goal. This is not the case. And if in 1934 there were still people in the Zinovievite opposition who dreamed of returning to the party some day, this was the common course for the whole Zinovievite group. And, as it was in 1923 and as it was in 1934, this organization, these ties nurtured the Leningrad group of Rumiantsev-Kotolynov-Nikolaev. They supported this group in those forms of struggle which it took on. This is the essence of the question.
If Zinoviev and Kamenev had sincerely returned to the party, if Zinoviev and Kamenev would have said that they capitulated to the party, there would have been no Rumiantsevs, Kotolynovs or Nikolaevs. They would have not been able to organize themselves and to organize their attempt [on Kirov]. If at the XVII party Congress this was seriously exposed, if it was terminated once and for all, if these elements, with their anti-Soviet counterrevolutionary activity, did not group around Zinoviev, the Leningrad group of Rumiantsevs and Nikolaevs would not have been able to count on Zinoviev. This is the essence of the question.
This group was small, it was insignificant, but it inflicted on us a heavy blow. We can say now we have definitively finished with the opposition within the party, once and for all. We are united, and no group can shaken the powerful unity of the party. No group can incapacitate the forces of our party.
Let us take what Stalin said two years ago about the kulak. Now it is no longer the big-bellied kulak who comes out in open struggle against the Soviet power. And the inner-party enemy now is not as it used to be several years ago when the opposition was openly led by Zinoviev, Trotsky, etc. The inner-party enemy is now hiding. Like a kulak in a kolkhoz, he is trying to be a steward, to be a keeper of some property, to work on some editorial board in order to smuggle its contraband, in order to say we are still alive, do not forget us, we still exist, count on us.
Such is our inner-party enemy today. Against this enemy, other, harsher methods of struggle are needed, and higher vigilance is required of each of us. We are a strong party, a powerful party, and no one can reverse our country’s course. Let the Kotolynovs and all others preach the return to capitalism, let them preach about intervention. Under Stalin’s leadership, we will move forward at a faster pace. (Applause).
SINANI: Comrades, I must admit with all sincerity that, until I heard today’s speech by Magyar, I could have not imagined all that abyss, all that class hostility of Magyar which he revealed today at our meeting. His humble, penitent speech, as comrades have already said, is a hidden form of an offensive and of a defense of his old positions. We should not be fooled by the form.
I cannot dwell on all those points that comrades have referred to, I want to deal with one question: Magyar’s attitude toward the party, Magyar’s understanding of the Bolshevik party, as he revealed [it] today.
Magyar conducts, in his own way, liberal discussions regarding the politics of our party. And he himself reacts favorably to such liberal discussions. Comrades, can there be any liberal discussion in our party, discussions which reject, contradict or oppose this or that principle of our party? What is liberalism in our party but counterposing one’s point of view to the party’s general line? Such an understanding of the party is not ours, it is not a Bolshevik understanding of the party.
According to his own words, Magyar maintained relations with Zinoviev for a number of years. At the same time, he informs [us] that those connections were, of course, not tea-party relations, but were of a political character. Magyar argues that, if Zinoviev was admitted to the party, then there is nothing wrong with conducting political discussions with Zinoviev. This is not our understanding of political principles. This is not our understanding of the party. Comrades told me that Magyar today also spoke at the party committee [meeting] (I was not there). I would say that he treated our meeting with political mistrust. He deemed that no matter what he says, no one would believe him. This is a non-party attitude toward a Bolshevik organization, it is a misunderstanding of the very basis of the Bolshevik party. Magyar’s understanding of the party is a Zinovievite-Trotskyist understanding of our party as a coexistence of different factions, as a coexistence of different nuances, of liberal groupings of different kinds which oppose themselves to the party line. And this, of course, is very characteristic of the fact that Magyar became alien to our party not just today. I am not interested now in the political question of how Magyar came to this road, I am not interested in Magyar’s psychology in each period of his party membership. Although it is indeed unclear how, in fact, he became a double-dealer, whether he became a double-dealer consciously, we are not interested in psychological questions. But this political double-dealing is now obvious. Com. Mif spoke here about what I told Magyar at the meeting of the Roman Secretariat.[xxxviii] Com. Mif did not reproduce my words quite correctly. I feel it necessary to repeat them. When we were leaving the Red Square on 7 November, Magyar told me, in one of the conversations, that Zinoviev still wanted, still counted on returning to leadership, still counted on occupying a prominent and important position in our party. He, Magyar (I quote him), supposedly explained to Zinoviev that it was impossible, that our party had been educated in the recent years in the struggle against the Zinovievshchina. I do not know what was the real tone of these conversations. If, comrades, such conversations did take place, we can see what have they led to now. We do not believe Magyar, [we do not believe] in the exaggerated foolishness which he is trying now to present. Is it really possible that, during such political discussions, Magyar was unable to understand, to sense, to see as a Bolshevik, if he was a Bolshevik, what those conversations meant and where they were leading? Today Magyar did not tell us everything. He did not tell [us] about the contents of discussions with Zinoviev.
I was ill lately and was not in the know about the latest meetings. I did not attend the last party meeting nor those group meetings where the anti-party acts of Magyar and his anti-Soviet support of Safarov were discussed. Safarov was arrested by the organs of the proletarian dictatorship, and his support of Safarov means that he, together with him, is against the organs which guard our Soviet laws.
Until today’s speech by Magyar, I have had the mistaken notion that Magyar could somehow still win the trust of the revolutionary proletariat, that Magyar could yet demonstrate with his work that he can still be a proletarian revolutionary. But, comrades, after today’s speech by Magyar, I have no doubts that such a possibility is ruled out. We are not expelling Magyar for just a period of time during which he should be able to demonstrate his revolutionary zeal, during which he should be able to assess his anti-Soviet action.
For us, for the party organization, his action is clear.
Now some words about vigilance. I think, comrades, that not only does all of our party organization have to improve vigilance, but that each of the comrades who had been in the opposition or were former members of other parties have to very carefully and critically assess themselves. I am a former Menshevik and I left the Menshevik party 15 years ago. I had to test my attitude to Menshevism during the Civil War when I was working in the GPU and was liquidating Menshevik organizations. Nevertheless, I still have to and, in the future, will have to test my attitude, my position regarding this or that question, not by some sort of obsessive intellectual self-analysis, but by analyzing those positions which I took in the struggle and in action.
I have to say that I do agree with Mif that our discussion on the question of the Safarov’s book[xxxix] was incomplete. It was incomplete in the sense that our vigilance was not improved to the fullest and I in particular failed to demonstrate adequate vigilance at that time.
Another aspect. I have to say that I personally, somewhere in May-April of this year, also failed to demonstrate adequate vigilance. Safarov wrote a book on the history of China. In that book, in the chapter about the Wu-han revolution,[xl] Safarov harshly scolded Trotsky, sharply criticized the Trotskyist assessments, but at the same time, he himself analyzed the Wu-han government in such a way that made the entire policy of the Comintern not just unclear, but mistaken. At that time I pointed out this part of the book to some comrades. I did not call this position Trotskyist at that time, but in essence, I did so. I spoke about it with Mif and Kuusinen. Nevertheless, I let this passage of Safarov’s stand. I pointed out to him, and he agreed, that this passage was not a good one, that it had to be revised. I did not inform the party organization about it. I thought that this was an accidental mistake since other parts of the work demonstrated correct anti-Trotskyist positions.
This was a lack of vigilance on my part. At the same time, it demonstrates that it was not accidental that Safarov supported these anti-party positions, he supported them for several years, he continued to hold anti-party positions to which we were not sufficiently vigilant.
And so I think that we have to demonstrate much more vigilance in our work than we displayed up to now. However, there is one more specific fact to be addressed. It was quite wrong that, in the old [Party] Bureau, of which I was a member, and in the current Bureau, some oppositionists and former members of other parties, who are working in the Comintern, are not members of our [party] organization. Throughout all the years he worked in the Comintern, Safarov was not a member of our organization. He worked in the factory and, during the purge, our party organization was not represented [there]. This, of course, was one of the factors that prevented us from exposing Safarov’s counterrevolutionary position. It is one of the reasons, and I think that it will be necessary to correct this mistake in the future. I think that it should be clear to all foreign comrades, that for their own work in their own parties they have to draw [corresponding] conclusions about how the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie on the international scale reflects itself even in the ranks of our own party.
We are responsible for this by strengthening, improving our vigilance, by solidifying the ranks of our party, by further rallying our party around com. Stalin, around the C[entral] C[ommittee] of our party. No remnants of the Zinovievite opposition, no Safarovs, no Magyars will be able to break or shake our unity. (Applause).
KOROLKOVA: I would like to ask com. Sinani a question. How did it happen that they were just walking in Red Square and he happened to have a conversation about this with Magyar? On what basis did his conversation with Magyar occur and how did it happen?
VENIKAS:[xli] Did you inform the party committee about this conversation?
SINANI: No, I did not inform the party committee about this conversation.
(A VOICE: It is bad).
Of course, it is bad. However, conversations of exactly this kind now look, in light of these events, much more striking than before. As to why this conversation with him took place (there was a conversation regarding how bad [it was]), I do not remember the beginning of that conversation, but it was an insignificant conversation. Later this conversation turned to [the fact] that our leaders were concentrated in one place on the Red Square and, I think, that they were insufficiently guarded. And then [it turned to] the fact that their being in one place provides the opportunity for some sort of criminal act against the leaders. This was the beginning of the conversation which later led to this conversation.
CHERNOMORDIK: The floor belongs to com. Alikhanov.
ALIKHANOV: During Magyar’s speech, we here in the Presidium were laughing, but not about Magyar’s speech, but rather about Martynov’s insisting that we give him the floor. And we were saying that Martynov should not be given the floor because he was ill. The laughter was about Martynov’s persistence, not Magyar’s speech.
(MAGYAR: In this case I am very sorry).
Of course, there is not much funny, to say nothing about joyful, regarding your speech. I think that com. Burzynski is not rejoicing anymore than are all of us attending this discussion of Magyar’s speech. It’s true that there is nothing funny [here], but does Magyar think that we came here to cry? Does he think that we came here to shed tears? No, comrades, we came here not to cry but to expose the anti-party nature of Magyar, to expose Magyar’s dishonest behavior, his dishonest behavior the day before, and yesterday, and at today’s meeting. This is how I understand our task in light of those facts of which I became aware in relation to Magyar. I am not going to distort these facts, since they have been discussed enough today.
Magyar also assesses these facts, but he derives from them a different conclusion than a Bolshevik should. Was Magyar speaking here honestly? Did he speak sincerely at our today’s meeting? What was he saying? He was saying that one cannot believe the declarations of anyone who once was in the Zinovievite opposition.
This is not correct. We know people who have honestly disassociated themselves from Zinoviev. We also know people who have proved their honesty by [their] deeds, by the struggle against the Zinovievshchina. Therefore, it is not correct that, as Magyar says, one should not believe their declarations. Is he saying it sincerely? No, he is not speaking sincerely because, if he sincerely thinks that one cannot believe their words, then why did he try for a whole hour to whitewash himself through skillful arguments and intricate maneuvers to prove that he was not guilty of what he is accused. It is an insincere speech.
Is it honest on Magyar’s part to call himself a fool at the party meetings the day before, and yesterday, and today? It is dishonest and insincere. It needs no proof. Don’t we know Magyar?
Is it honest of Magyar to put forward the thesis that the guilt of the opposition’s leaders, of Zinoviev and others, that the guilt of the active participants of the Zinovievite group and Magyar’s ties to these vile murderers lies not in the present but in the past activities of the opposition? Is his declaration sincere about them planting seeds then, and that now there are fascist sprouts?
I think, comrades, that it is clear that the question here is not only about the opposition’s past. We have enough facts proving that they not only planted [seeds] some time ago, but that they have been tending those sprouts in the present. These facts are known to the whole country, these facts are known to Magyar. Is it honest on his behalf to declare in his speech that it is only relevant to what he did some time ago? Is it honest to shield himself, and Safarov, and Evdokimov,[xlii] i. e. those who are now under investigation and those exiled?
This speech is dishonest and insincere. It is fairly clear to all of us.
Magyar said that he helped Safarov after his arrest and clearly characterized this act. He said he committed a counterrevolutionary act. That’s what he said. But is he saying it honestly? No, comrades, not honestly. Because this man explains this counterrevolutionary act by his petty-bourgeois individualism, that it was precisely this petty-bourgeois individualism that pushed him, Magyar, to support Safarov when Safarov was arrested.
Who is going to believe it? How is individualism related to this? In my mind, by this act he revealed not individualism but collectivism. Collectivism towards whom? Towards the counterrevolutionary Safarov. Why would Magyar need to express this feeling of his in such a way? Why would Magyar be concerned about Safarov’s arrest, about his exile, be concerned that his feet not get cold, take trouble to buy him something and give him money?
Why is this petty-bourgeois individualism and not an expression of solidarity with Safarov? He knew Safarov well, perfectly well, and if he, as he says, had any doubts about Safarov or Safarov had cheated him, then, after Safarov was arrested and Magyar not, would not it become clear to Magyar that to express solidarity with Safarov meant expressing solidarity with Safarov’s line? And he speaks at the party meeting and tries to explain the counterrevolutionary act as a result of petty-bourgeois individualism. It is dishonest, comrades. Does not Magyar understand that it has become clear to the party organization, and not just to the party organization but to the entire working class, to the whole country, that the Zinovievite counterrevolutionary group organized the murder of com. Kirov. Didn’t Magyar try here to deny this fact, to interpret it in a different way, as if it was not the case that the Zinovievites organized [the attempt], that somebody else utilized the Zinovievite ideas. As if it was not the case that the Zinovievites had their terrorist group not just in Leningrad but [also] had their own Zinovievite center in Moscow, and that these were connected. It is all clear. Magyar is trying to confuse these explanations, to disavow the facts which have become so obvious to the whole our country.
The last point. I want to talk about another side which was not stressed and which, in my mind, is characteristic of Magyar. I am referring to Magyar’s method of self-defense. What did Magyar think about com. Kirov’s murder? Did he think the same way as all party members? Was he overwhelmed by the same grief and indignation as were the whole party and the entire working class? No, comrades. No, because as Magyar claimed here, he was thinking then not about Kirov, but about himself. He said: If I spoke, if I came to the party organization and said that I, as a former member, as an active member of the Zinovievite opposition, bear responsibility for this vile act, then they would say: “He has given his game away.” This is what he thought. He thought about himself, about how to conduct himself so that no one would think that he is giving away his game, how to conduct himself so as to divert the attention of the party organization from himself, not how to take any initiative to honestly declare that he bore responsibility. Instead, he decided to sit quietly on the fence, to ride out the storm, to hold out until the party organization called on Magyar and told him: report, what did you do? Prior to this event, how did you behave towards those people who had ties to terrorists?
From here on begins the exposure of Magyar. The unmasking of Magyar revealed his anti-party nature. I think it is more than clear to us, and that we have to say unanimously: there is no place for Magyar in the ranks of our party. (Applause).
KUUSINEN:[xliii] Comrades, I took the floor in order to emphasize some of the principle lessons of this case, lessons which are important to all of us.
The first lesson relates to our attitude toward the class enemy. The second lesson – our attitude toward the party.
In our apparatus, yes, in the Eastern Secretariat itself, there was a worker connected to the terrorist, counterrevolutionary opposition. Our great leader, one of the greatest leaders of our Soviet power, com. Kirov, fell victim to this organization. And Safarov who, as it now has turned out, was nothing but a political agent of this vile counterrevolution, had worked by our side for many years.
What conclusions can be drawn from this? Only one conclusion: to heighten political vigilance in our work, to improve organizational and political vigilance.
We talked with Safarov only about questions of current work. However, I remember one personal conversation with him three or four years ago. It was at the time of the first successes on the kolkhoz [collective farm] front. Then Safarov, after the discussion of some resolution, wanted to add something and said it, or so it seemed to me, in a very sincere manner. But we now know that it was a false sincerity. He said that after all those victories on the peasant issue, only then did he finally understand what a harmful and criminal position he had maintained in the past. It was all lies. He was consciously deceiving us. All that sincerity was false. And the conclusion is: never take anybody’s word, especially that of the former oppositionists, at face value.
Mif mentioned here Safarov’s book. This question was raised here at the [party] cell [meeting]. I think that Mif should not have raised this question now. We exposed Safarov’s book and qualified it as a Right-opportunist deviation. The cell made this decision. Possibly, the resolution was not completely worked out, but I want to say that, if we acted on all questions as we did on this question, that would be sufficient. If we exposed [everyone] to the same extent as we tried to expose Safarov, it would be good.
Now more than ever we need political vigilance. But this is not the most important [aspect of] our attitude toward Safarov. He displayed more a kulak deviation than a Trotskyist deviation. Today I am absolutely sure of that. He did struggle against the Trotskyist’s views, but he demonstrated a rugged Right-opportunistic deviation.
But we failed to see his fraud in his current work for many years. Did his Menshevik Zinovievite conception negatively affect current work in the Comintern? This question has to be raised. I think that in general the answer is no. As to the resolutions, Safarov wrote very many draft resolutions; but our attitude towards his projects was one of mistrust. I think there was a mistrust on our side, we corrected [those drafts] and I think that, if one were to check them, there would be little of Safarov’s personal opinions in them. We distrusted him and, of course, would not permit him to develop a political line of his own. But what I am particularly worried about is that he had the opportunity to speak in the KUTV school.[xliv]
(A voice: This is right).
Or [the fact that he was able to talk] with some colonial comrades, with whom he had an opportunity to speak without witnesses, without anyone from the Eastern Department being present. There is a possibility that he could have palmed off his Zinovievite views. Therefore, we will need to check this out in the Eastern Department.
However, there is no more need to discuss here the agent of the counterrevolution Safarov – simply because the question raised here is not directly [related to Safarov], but to Magyar. Until recent years, we have considered Magyar a capable and useful worker. What we have learned was a complete surprise to us. And the fact that we have only now learned about these ties [of Magyar] to Safarov and Zinoviev and other members of this counterrevolutionary center demonstrates the lack of political vigilance. Magyar stressed in his speech here that there was a lack of political vigilance. Magyar stressed in his speech here that he did not belong to this Zinovievite group. However, one can see from the testimony of one of the arrested counterrevolutionaries that they possessed information that Magyar belonged to their group or had connections with their group. Where is the truth here? Magyar himself says that one cannot take words for face value. Do I want to say that I believe that arrested counterrevolutionary more than [I believe] Magyar? No, I do not want to say that. It is possible that Magyar is right. But it can also be that Magyar and that counterrevolutionary are both right, that Magyar belonged and [at the same time] did not belong to the group; it is very possible. As com. Magyar himself stated here, his attitude toward the leading members of this group was one of conciliation to the extent that they might have considered him, if not a member of the center, nonetheless a member of their periphery.
One can consider Magyar a member [of the group] who attached himself to them; however Magyar takes a juridical view of the case, while we are talking its political aspect. Magyar had a friendship with Safarov. Besides that, he sustained his friendly relations with Zinoviev and some other members of this counterrevolutionary opposition. The result was that he did not tell everything about the conversations that they had to the leaders of the party and to the leaders of the Comintern. He now says that at least the tone [of those conversations] was anti-party and anti-Soviet. However, when Magyar spoke to us or to any other comrade, he gave an impression of a very open comrade who tells everything. It turned out that he talked about everything except for the anti-party moods and anti-party tone of Zinoviev, Safarov and others.
He says that he and Zinovev had only political conversations. But this is the most important. And you had personal friendship with Safarov. Is it conceivable then that you did not know Safarov’s mood, his anti-party, anti-Soviet mood? This friendship of yours with Safarov, who was directly connected with the counterrevolutionary group, was, as it turned out now, an indirect link to the group which committed a vile terrorist murder. Magyar, such a friendship results in hands being spit upon with blood.
The basic obligation of each party member is to not maintain such friendships and such personal relations which even for a moment [might betray] the slightest overtones [and] might be embarrassing to reveal to the party. How else will the party be able to conduct its struggle if we do not educate our comrades in such a party spirit? We have to rally closer than ever around the Bolshevik Stalinist party, around Stalin whom these vile counterrevolutionaries also wanted to kill. It is also a necessary lesson for us.
Also revealing is Magyar’s attitude toward the party, and even toward Soviet power, at the time when Safarov was arrested. It often happens that when our comrades are arrested in the capitalist countries, we become worried, we want to take some immediate measures to alleviate their situation, etc. But here a person was arrested under Soviet power, under the dictatorship of the proletariat as a result of a real crime committed, and Magyar becomes worried, he wants to, he tries to help him. He does not sufficiently trust the organs of Soviet power, their fairness, the results of their investigation.
He tries to intervene to counterbalance these actions. How can this be compatible with party membership? How can this be in the least compatible with a Soviet mentality? Com. Magyar said here several times that he deserved being expelled from the party. I share the opinion that the decision about the expulsion has to be taken. However, this conclusion of Magyar’s is not complete. If a comrade still retains remnants of party consciousness, he should not only make a conclusion like “I deserve to be expelled from the party.” Even though if he might have committed a grave crime, he can still ask the party organization, “even though my fault is such that I deserve to be expelled from the party, I am asking you, since I consider that I still have party consciousness, that I can still be useful to the party, I am asking you to readmit me to the party.” I have not heard such an appeal from Magyar. I was waiting for him to make such an appeal, I would have been delighted to hear it. Maybe he considered that it would be humiliating. Anyway, I think that his conclusion “just expel me from the party” is a non-party one. It cannot be explained other than as a lack of party consciousness, a lack of a truly Bolshevik attitude.
Personal relations, personal interests, no matter how cherished they might be, must be unconditionally subordinated to party interests. There is no other attitude for a communist. It is natural to old Bolsheviks, they do not even have to think about it, but all of us, we, foreign communists, need [to learn] this lesson. We must develop in ourselves a party discipline, an iron discipline. Not a mechanical but a living discipline. We have to educate ourselves in the spirit of always subordinating personal interests and personal friendships to the interests of the party. And what are the party’s interests? They are simply the interests of the revolutionary class, the interests of the revolution, the interests of the workers’ cause.
At another meeting a couple of days ago, com. Manuilsky reminded us about the example of the civil struggle which the movie “Chapaev”[xlv] demonstrated. Comrades from KIM reacted enthusiastically to the mention of this example. What sort of lesson can be derived from this example? It is a lesson from the times of the Civil War when people thought that the most cherished, the most important [goal of all] was the cause for which they struggled, when they did not think for a moment that one could put some personal interests before their dedication to the cause. They do not think about their private life, they sacrifice it. But we still have another anti-Soviet war waiting for us. How are we going to face it if we do not educate ourselves and all the rest in this spirit? This lesson is even more important than before. We have to learn this lesson and never forget it for a moment. We have to educate all young comrades in the spirit of these lessons. (Applause).
BRONKOWSKI:[xlvi] Comrades, as soon as the first word spread about the foul murder of one of the Bolshevik party leaders, com. Kirov, it was immediately followed by the rumor among the party activists, to whom Magyar belonged at that time, that it was committed by a party member. This news, I must say, spread among the party activists very rapidly. Our first move, our first thought was to look around ourselves, to look at our ways and at the activities of different degenerates, different groupings which nurtured such renegades who went so far as to embrace such a foul act as the murder of com. Kirov.
And what Magyar was doing at that time? Magyar visits Zinoviev to conduct political discussions. What was Magyar doing after the whole group was exposed, when it was determined who was responsible, politically responsible for this foul act, when after that one of the responsible organizers connected with this group, Safarov, was arrested? He was organizing help for Safarov.
What was Magyar doing when, at the [party] cell [meeting] a question was raised not only about Safarov but already about Magyar? He was actually defending, covering up for Safarov, covering up for himself.
I ask you, comrades, in the current situation, when there is no other way left for the scum of the anti-party groups to struggle against the party but underground counterrevolutionary struggle which embraces terror, at this moment can there be a better lesson than this open display of solidarity with and support for those who are responsible for this foul murder, who in one or another way are connected with the organizations, with the executors of this crime?
It seems to me that this alone is quite sufficient to assess the role of Magyar. And Magyar did belong to the grouping to which also belonged the direct organizers of the murder, Kotolynov, who directly passed the revolver which fired the deadly bullet at Kirov.
If this person had even an inkling of party consciousness and party responsibility left, would he not be compelled to think about all of the connections that he might have had in the past and in the present, and then to come to the party organization, to go to the Soviet organs, and to ask [them] to investigate to the end everything that might help illuminate the real role of the inspirers of the murder and of the murderers themselves? Did Magyar do it? We know that he did not do it. We know that what he did was, in fact, as they said here, to express solidarity with the organizers of the killing and its political inspirers. This is the way in which to describe the essence of this case in its present form. I think that this is sufficient for a verdict on a former party member.
I am not going to speak about Magyar’s false and deceitful stories about his ties to Zinoviev. Com. Heckert has explained to us very clearly the point that, given Magyar’s assessment of Zinoviev, an assessment of him as a double-dealer when all the time he was giving false testimony to the party, given such an assessment of Zinoviev, Magyar’s visits to one of the very important political workers of the Comintern could not have the character of consultations, [or] political discussions about general topics of party life, they could only have a group character.
Com. Magyar is actually trying to reduce everything to his liberalism, to his petty-bourgeois origin. I think it is not the liberalism of Magyar. In fact, Magyar is counting on the liberalism, the remnants of that liberalism which still survives in many of us. This liberalism reveals itself when, out of tolerance, in particular with respect to the comrades with an anti-party past, we do not attempt to look for the political roots of [their] political essence and thus become incapable of revealing their true face. I think that the conclusions for us, the Comintern workers, have to be particularly acute, since our vigilance has to be higher [and] sharper than in other places, than in any other party organization. Why? Not only because we have Safarov and Magyar, not only because we have had someone else before. It was said here that Zinoviev has not played [his] final role in the Comintern. But if we are to assess this role in the past, we will have to approach it from the view point of which heritage, which remnants of it we still retain. And it looks like there is still something left. [This role has to be assessed] in the Comintern in particular. <…>[xlvii] It is possible that such people with anti-party pasts [are attracted] to the Comintern since it is hard for them to get on in the VKP(b) where it is easier to reveal their [true] face by judging directly their work for socialist construction. Finally, because in the Comintern we are dealing with a great number of parties. With rare exceptions, in the individual parties there are a number of people who have committed mistakes, demonstrated their political inconsistency in other parties, and can serve as the basis for anti-party activities of the different anti-party elements here in the USSR and in the VKP(b). There are two kinds of such elements and it is worth mentioning them here.
There are Poles, there are Hungarians, there are other nationals who have worked closely with the VKP(b), who have revealed their political face here. They had been in the opposition before, had been expelled from the party and came back later. Many of them, I can name them, do not want to reveal their face, do not demonstrate their loyalty to the party through everyday work, i. e. in the socialist construction, where they had been exposed and expelled, i. e. as in the VKP(b). They are either working in other parties or conduct work in the Comintern. Such tendencies are noticeable, because the easiest way to reveal such people’s face is through practical work of socialist construction. It is in such work that is the easiest to expose them. This is the first point.
Another type of comrade are those who, on the contrary, revealed their inconsistency, were deviationists and transferred to the VKP(b) in order to re-educate themselves in the environment of the Bolshevik party and to reveal their face. This kind of comrade considers it possible to retain false views regarding foreign parties, while remaining the VKP(b) members. Is it compatible? Hardly so, and it represents that particular ground which is so fertile for the seeds of anti-party opposition of a different kind, since the VKP(b), the leading section of the Comintern, for the most part determines the line and attitude toward these or other parties. Discontent with any particular party and the Comintern cannot [help] but influence strongly the attitude towards the VKP(b) and its leadership.
We will have to improve our vigilance along this line, we will have to do away with liberalism. Only on this basis will we be able to move forward, having purged our apparatus of the Magyars. We have to purge ourselves of Magyar as soon as possible. Only then will we be able to actually strengthen our cohesion and to advance further our work [which is] aimed at bringing the proletariat closer to the world revolution, basing ourselves on the example of the VKP(b) and under Stalin’s leadership.
RYLSKI.[xlviii] Our party collective is living through a very difficult time. We are expelling from our ranks already a second member of our party. The first one was Safarov, Magyar is the second.
And for our collective, for all our party, the murder of com. Kirov became the event which proved, fully and completely, what our leader com. Stalin said at the XVII party Congress,[xlix] [namely that] the enemy has turned to new methods of struggle against our revolution and our international revolutionary movement. The enemy cannot act openly in the USSR anymore, it acts on the sly and delivers a lethal blow to the working class of the USSR and the whole world.
And, comrades, if some of us belonged in the past to different positions or to different nuances of the anti-Comintern or anti-Bolshevik movement, or if some of us who had been in those currents actually embraced the Bolshevik party line, the Bolshevik line, then, from this follow specific rights and obligations for us. Magyar spoke to us here today regarding his expulsion from the party. He still spoke as our party comrade, and he spoke about his personal connections. But we understand something about conspiratorial work, we understand a bit of politics [and] what sort of personal connections there might be if people are not connected with some idea or at least some fragments of this idea. And Magyar does not conceal it. He says there were conversations, there was chatter. Magyar himself concluded that it was improper for him, with his petty-bourgeois psychology, as he calls it, to become an informer, which is the duty of each of us given the political conditions. At the same time, in his published articles and his books (he contributed a lot to the VKP(b) organ), he often published articles on international topics there – do personal ties consist of meeting to have a cup of coffee or tea or to smoke a cigarette? Proof of that is what happened to Magyar. When Safarov, who was exposed as a member of a counterrevolutionary group, was arrested, the first place he struck was precisely Magyar. It seems that Safarov fully counted on Magyar’s support in this or that form. Let us assume that Magyar was unfortunate not to be clever, but to be a fool, as he said. No one believes it, but let us allow that possibility. How did Magyar behave after that and how did he come to our meeting? What did he come to our meeting with? “Fine, throw me out.”
Magyar’s speech produced a heavy impression. I have lived through factional struggle. I was beaten very hard. True, I did not have anti-Comintern and anti-Bolshevik ideas, but comrades beat me very hard. When they told me that they were going to expel me from the party, I took it very hard, comrades. Very hard, there are witnesses to that. And I was looking for ways to save myself, to remain in the party, not by cheating, not by declarations, not by signing everything on earth, no, not by accusing the party or the Comintern, but by proving that I was not against the Comintern, that I was not an anti-Bolshevik. At the same time, I tried to prove to our part[y] collective that I was worth keeping in the party. However, Magyar accepted it very easily: “I am not going to say anything.”
(Magyar: One cannot take such a responsibility upon himself).
One cannot do so. One has to admit his mistakes in such a way that it is possible to test his admission in practice. One has to address the collective in order to prove that [the admission] was sincere and not to speak against the party, against the Comintern. You are responsible for what you are doing.
I think that there is no one comrade among us who would doubt the correctness of Magyar’s expulsion. Magyar is to be expelled not for his past mistakes, not for being in the opposition and returning to the party, but because he refused to renounce his positions. We are not a group of avengers for past mistakes. Magyar is to be expelled from the party for his crimes against the party.
Obviously, if the party expels from its ranks untested, disloyal, unreliable people at the present moment when intervention against the Soviet Union is being prepared, when the international counterrevolution and our internal, Zinovievite counterrevolution are raising their heads and engaging in acts of terror against our leaders, if at this moment the party expels such elements, it no doubt means that the party is taking a healthy road and it is of benefit to us. We should not think that we are expelling Magyar just because it is the “season.” No, we will not permit you to appeal to a higher party body after our meeting and claim that our meeting did not listen to your voice.
(Magyar: I am not going to do it).
What did you say? “Fine, throw [me] out.” Of course, it is necessary to throw [you] out. We will leave this meeting more united than before, we will strengthen our ranks by our work and will go forward to [new] victories under the leadership of the C[entral] C[ommittee] and com. Stalin.
MANUILSKY: Everything substantial has been said. Magyar, for the last time -- he is now citizen Magyar, and you still have to earn [the right] to be called a citizen of the Soviet Union -- citizen Magyar asked here at the party meeting for a pass to the [ranks of] non-party members. You will be granted this pass.
I am not going to dwell on this question any longer. I want to draw some political conclusions from what has happened here.
When citizen Magyar spoke here, he said that it was a civil funeral taking place here. No, citizen Magyar, we do not serve civil funerals for Magyar. We have lived through a big funeral, a funeral which stirred the entire party, which stirred all of the workers and kolkhoz peasants of our country. Here, comrades, a political execution is taking place, the execution of a man who deceived the working class, [who] cheated the benevolence of the party which had forgiven him and accepted him unconditionally to its ranks. In this sense it is a political execution that is taking place here and we must say plainly and clearly what we are accusing Magyar of. Do you want to know, citizen Magyar, what we are accusing you of? Try to deny it! We are accusing you, and this is a major political accusation, of having the blood of com. Kirov on your hands and on the hands of that group to which you belonged, on the hands of the group of former Zinovievite opposition. Try to wash that blood out! (Applause).
You did not need to deliver those sorrowful, penitent speeches. Even if you cried from this rostrum, you would not have been able to wash this blood off the hands of the Zinovievite opposition, wash off this political, moral-political responsibility.
It is not important whether it was Magyar or Zinoviev or anybody else from the former Zinovievite opposition, whether it was Kotolynov or Shatsky[l] (who then shadowed [Kirov]) who put the revolver into Nikolaev’s hands. Who is Kotolynov? Kotolynov developed out of that ideological school whose leaders were Zinoviev and others. Where was citizen Magyar’s ideological vigilance? That group of criminals which dared to attempt the life of com. Kirov grew and developed in this rotten swamp, in underground circles, in the circles directed not against the class enemy as the German party is struggling now, but in the underground circles directed against the dictatorship of the proletariat, in the circles where everything is poisoned by the miasma of distrust, gossip, slander against the party, against the working class, against socialism. They say that Zinoviev was an ideologist of this group. But is Zinoviev the only one responsible? No. This whole current which had been conducting the struggle against the party for a number of years is responsible. It is from here that this miasma grew. And this is the first accusation, citizen Magyar, which the party brings against you and you cannot wriggle out of it.
Second. Magyar said here that, after Kirov was shot, it became crystal clear to him that the opposition had degenerated into an anti-Soviet, white-guard, fascist group. It became clear to you only now? Then tell all the comrades who are present here, what happened on 7 November 1927? Here on the streets of Moscow anti-Soviet demonstrations took place which we, the party members, had to liquidate.[li] It was the day when Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev were touring the workers’ districts. For the first time then this group acted as an anti-Soviet group. And that was not a decisive event for you? You had to wait for the shot at com. Kirov to understand the counterrevolutionary nature of the opposition? This is our second accusation to citizen Magyar.
Citizen Magyar said here that he maintained only personal and private relations with Zinoviev and Kamenev, you see. The one who maintained such relations after 7 November 1927, has no right to come and speak today about personal relations only. It is quite clear that what we have here is maintaining [relations] with an organized group, a counterrevolutionary group which had organized anti-Soviet demostrations.
We are accusing citizen Magyar of a third point. Magyar said here that he conducted political conversations with Zinoviev but never noticed anything anti-party in those political conversations, you see. Stop it, citizen Magyar, stop it. It is not true.
It is not true and, if from this rostrum here today you talked about what you were actually discussing with Zinoviev, I assure you that there would have been a sudden change in the mood of this party organization which is judging you today. If Magyar spoke sincerely about what he discussed with Zinoviev, it would have happened. Don’t we understand that Zinoviev, who had been conducting the anti-party struggle for a number of years, that Zinoviev and Kamenev who occupied unimportant positions and were dissatisfied with it, did we really think that they never raised political questions about the change of leadership? Excuse me, no one will believe you if you say so, and in this lies your lack of sincerity towards the party.
Comrades, besides those major accusations, here are three political accusations which today are being brought against Magyar. And this party trial is to decide today whether Magyar is guilty or not. I am convinced that the party meeting will unanimously say that Magyar is guilty and does not deserve mercy. (Applause).
There is one more political lesson of tremendous importance and I want our foreign comrades in particular to understand this political lesson. It is the complete fascist degeneration of Trotsky. It is a new stage in the development of this opposition towards fascism. But is it actually a new stage? No, comrades. Those who witnessed the origins of the opposition in its very first discussions, those who followed its development up until the anti-Soviet demonstration of 7 November 1927, cannot doubt this concept. It is one of the most important political lessons.
I remember, and I want to finish on this, I remember how we all, the delegates to the XVII party Congress, were listening with particular attention to the speech of Sergei Mironovich Kirov. He was standing at the rostrum, so close, so dear to us and said: “We have won now, we have gained a number of victories and our mighty, solid, strong army is advancing, its marching sounding like a militant song. But there are still some fellow-travelers lagging in the rear. They are trying to keep pace with this mighty class army, they also want to sing, but they sing out of tune.”
Com. Kirov was mistaken in one thing: Fellow-travelers turned into white bandits with sawed-off guns shooting in the back. And com. Kirov fell [their] first victim.
Comrades, our great army, called the All-Union Communist Party, is going forward towards new victories and it is led by the great field-marshal, our glorious Commander-in-chief, our beloved Stalin. (Applause). This army is not afraid of difficulties, it is not afraid of the class enemy, it is not scared by the capitalist world and the Magyars. It will sweep away all those standing in its way. It will, as a powerful wheel of history, smash Magyar and the rest. Our party is going towards new victories under the leadership of our great Stalin. Away with Magyar from the party. Long live the VKP(b) and Stalin. (Applause).
CHERNOMORDIK: Com. Kotelnikov is foregoing his concluding speech. Are there any declarations?
Let me give the floor to com. Alikhanov to announce the resolution of the party committee.
(Com. Alikhanov reads the resolution of the party committee). (Applause).
CHERNOMORDIK: Are there any declarations or motions regarding this resolution? It is possible to adopt it in principle now. I put it to vote. Who is for adopting the decision of the party committee in principle? All those present here vote, and then, separately, the VKP(b) members. Who is for adopting the resolution in principle? Who is against? Who abstained? (Adopted unanimously in principle).
(A VOICE: I suggest combining both resolutions and then updating them in accordance with today’s speech by Magyar).
A suggestion has been made to combine both resolutions stylistically [and] editorially. Any objections? (None). Accepted. Second, a suggestion has been made to highlight what is new that was said at the meeting (although I think that Magyar has not added anything new), and to evaluate his behavior at the meeting, based on his speech. (Accepted).
(GERISH: I suggest changing the paragraph which says that Magyar failed to demonstrate vigilance towards Safarov, because he was connected with him).
There is a suggestion to change this paragraph so that it conforms to the whole resolution. (Accepted).
(ISKROV:[lii] I suggest adding the following statement: the fact that Magyar helped Safarov after his arrest is an open manifestation of [his] hostile attitude toward the organs of Soviet power and proletarian dictatorship).
It has been [already stated] here. Com. Iskrov suggests giving a sharper formulation by stressing that it is not only the lack of vigilance but an open demonstration against Soviet organs. (Accepted).
(A VOICE: To mention that there was a connection with Kotolynov).
There is a suggestion to mention connection with Kotolynov. (Accepted).
Let us vote [for the resolution] in general. Those voting for the resolution, please raise your hands. Those against… Those abstaining… (Adopted unanimously).
I can now announce that the Political Commission made a decision yesterday to
remove Magyar from the Comintern apparatus.
00002 (4), A. C.
PROTOCOL No. …
of the closed meeting of the Party Committee of the ECCI – 29th December 1934.
1. HEARD: The final version of the resolution of the general closed meeting of the party meeting of 28.XII.34 about the MAGYAR case. (c. Kotelnikov).
RESOLVED: 1) To adopt the final text of the resolution; 2) to propose that the decisions of the E[xecutive] C[ommittee] and of the joint plenum of the M[oscow] C[ommittee] and of the M[oscow] C[ity] C[ommittee] of the VKP(b)[lviii] be discussed in the party groups; 3) to discuss in all the party groups the question of SAFAROV and MAGYAR and of improving party vigilance; 4) to hold, in early January, a general party meeting [dedicated to] the decisions of the EC plenum and the joint plenum of the MC and MCC VKP(b), and the practical measures to implement them in our organization.
5) To charge the mestkom’s[lix] party group to inform at the general party meetings the ECCI workers who are not party members about the decisions of the party committee regarding Safarov and Magyar, [adopted at] the general party meetings.
Deputy Secretary of the ECCI’s Party Committee: (Kotelnikov)
to the Secretary: (Pivovarova).
RESOLUTION OF THE GENERAL MEETING
OF THE PARTY ORGANIZATION OF THE ECCI’s APPARATUS ABOUT THE EXPULSION OF MAGYAR FROM THE PARTY.
Having heard and discussed the information of the representatives of the Party Committee and the party group of the Eastern Lendersecretariat regarding the behavior and actions of Magyar, and Magyar’s explanations, the general meeting resolves:
Magyar, along with all active participants of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist bloc, as a participant and supporter of this bloc, bears full responsibility for the vile murder of com. Kirov which was carried out by the black hundreds of the Zinovievite counterrevolutionary group. Along with Zinoviev, Evdokimov, Bakaev,[lxii] Safarov and others, Magyar’s hands are stained with the blood of Kirov, a friend and comrade-in-arms of the great Stalin.
Magyar, who has not been exposed by the organs of proletarian dictatorship [NKVD], who is still carrying his party card, who is aware of his full responsibility for the fascist, black hundred (chernosotennoe) action by the scum of the Zinovievite group, has not taken a single step to admit this responsibility before the party organization in order to assist the party and organs of proletarian dictatorship in thoroughly exposing all the participants, all direct and indirect perpetrators [of the crime], all the organizers and inspirers of the assassins of the popular tribune, of the assassins of one of the leaders of our party.
And even after the whole country had already recognized in Nikolaev, Kotolynov, Rumiantsev and others the familiar vile image of Zinovievschina, Magyar was preoccupied with only one concern: How to hide himself, how to remain silent and to keep a low profile, how not to stick out in order to save his own skin, in order not to attract any attention to himself.
Only after the ECCI apparatus party organization, on its own initiative, demanded that Magyar speak and explain his ties with the counterrevolutionaries of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist bloc, was Magyar obliged to speak and to abandon [his] tactics of dishonest silence. But he replaced [that silence] with the no less dishonest tactics of insincere, hypocritical behavior before the party organization, tactics of unscrupulous defense of himself and of Zinoviev, Safarov and Co.
The whole anti-party behavior of Magyar derived primarily from the fact that he, until the very last day, maintained permanent connections with Zinoviev, Safarov, Vardin, Gorshenin and other members of the counterrevolutionary group. Magyar maintained ties to these elements despite the timely and categorical warning of c. Pyatnitsky and despite the fact that this connection could not be justified by any practical necessity arising in the Comintern apparatus. On the contrary, [this connection] hampered the work of our apparatus.
By maintaining permanent connections with Zinoviev, by consulting with him about vital political questions (the construction of socialism in one country, the role of Stalin, the murder of c. Kirov, Lenin’s opinion about the military alliance, etc.), Magyar tried to prove to the ECCI’s party organization that Zinoviev held correct party positions on all questions.
By maintaining close friendly relations with Safarov, discussing with him vital political problems, Magyar is trying to prove that Safarov had no anti-party or anti-Soviet views or moods.
Although Magyar maintained close, personal, intimate and permanent relations with these traitorous elements and was, no doubt, aware of the real moods of these counterrevolutionary elements, he not only failed to promptly signal the party about them, but, at the party meetings, he did not expose them politically or assess the true worth the anti-Soviet Zinovievite group’s actions [or] his own connections with the group’s leaders and members. The general meeting deems Magyar’s attempt to portray himself as a “disoriented fool” and to thereby justify his anti-party behavior as an obviously calculated maneuver by which Magyar attempted to obscure the case and to avoid party responsibility.
The meeting notes Magyar’s insolent attempt to portray, in retrospect, the group of Magyar, Vardin and Safarov, to which belonged Kotolynov, a direct organizer of the murder, as the most honest and sincere part of the Zinovievite opposition.
The general meeting notes with disgust the counterrevolutionary behavior of Magyar as reflected in his maintaining relations with Safarov after his arrest. He gave advice to people close to him and gave money to Safarov, who had been arrested in connection with com. Kirov’s murder. This miscreant, anti-Soviet act of Magyar is nothing but an [open] demonstration by Magyar against the organs of proletarian dictatorship and their struggle against the scum of Zinoviev’s counterrevolutionary group.
Considering that Magyar is an alien and hostile element in our party, who has retained ideological-political and organizational ties to the Zinovievite counterrevolutionary group, [the party meeting resolves to] expel Magyar from the VKP(b).
RGASPI, f. 546, op. 1, d. 257, ll. 32-135.
Original in Russian. (Fritz Heckert’s speech in German). Typewritten.
[i]On 29 December, the day after the meeting, the party committee's leadership met to attend to issues raised at the meeting: Writing the final resolution to present to the party organization for approval, and initiating investigations into several comrades. The protocol of that meeting precedes the resolution on Magyar's expulsion passed by the party committee.
[ii] Fyodor Semenovich Kotelnikov (1893-1972). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1919, he worked in the ECCI apparatus from 1931 to 1940. In 1934, he was deputy head of the Eastern Lendersecretariat (in charge of the cadres). Between 1935 and 1936, he was Secretary of the party committee of the VKP Cadres Department; in 1936-1939, Secretary of the VKP(b) party committee of the ECCI apparatus. In 1940, he transferred to work in the Rostokino Moscow district committee of the VKP.
[iii] Refers to the speech of D. Manuilsky “About the counterrevolutionary group of the Zinovievite-Trotskyist bloc,” delivered on 23 December 1934 at the closed meeting of the ECCI’s party organization.
[iv] The ECCI’s Eastern Secretariat (originally Far Eastern Secretariat) was created in 1920. In 1921-1922, it was called the Far Eastern Department, in 1923-1926, the Eastern Department, and after 1927, the Eastern Secretariat. In the fall of 1935, it was renamed the Secretariat of O. Kuusinen.
[v] Ivan Stepanovich Gorshenin (1894-1936). Member of the RKP(b) from 1919. Until his arrest on 12 December 1934, he worked as a head of combined planning sector of the Gosplan of the USSR. On 16 January 1935, he was sentenced to eight years in prison by the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR in the case of the so-called “Moscow center.” On 2 October 1936, the same Board sentenced him to be shot.
[vi] Bolshevik – a theoretical and political journal of the CC VKP(b), it was published from 1924 to 1952, when it was renamed Kommunist. From 1933 until his arrest on 16 December 1934, G. Zinoviev was on its editorial board.
[vii] Illarion Vissarionovich Vardin (real name – Mgeladze) (1890-1943). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1907, he was expelled from the party in 1927 as an “active member of the Trotskyist opposition.” In 1930, he was readmitted to the party, and again expelled in 1935. Repressed.
[viii] The 15th VKP Congress took place on 2-19 December 1927. It declared “belonging to the Trotskyist opposition and propagandizing its views incompatible with membership in the Bolshevik party.” The congress expelled 75 leading members of the Trotskyist-Zinovievite bloc from the VKP.
[ix] Bezvozhdentsy – refers to a group of left opposition in the VKP(b). It was formed in late 1927 by the former supporters of Zinoviev who were dissatisfied with his rupture with Trotsky on the eve of the 15th party Congress. By 1930, this group ceased to exist.
[x] Vladimir Vasilievich Rumiantsev (1902-1934). A member of the RKP(b) from 1920, he was an active member of the Zinovievite opposition. In 1925, he was Secretary of the Leningrad Komsomol provincial committee. In 1927, he was expelled from the VKP, but readmitted in 1928. The Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot for “participating in a counterrevolutionary terrorist group and committing a terrorist act against S. M. Kirov.”
[xi] Abbr. of Mezhdunarodny Agrarny Institut, the International Agrarian Institute. It was created in January 1925 under the auspices of the Krestintern (Peasants’ International) and studied agrarian and peasant questions in different countries. MAI was dissolved in 1940.
[xii] Ivan Ivanovich Kotolynov (1901-1934). In the mid-1920s, he was Secretary of the Leningrad Provincial Komsomol Committee, and member of the Komsomol Central Committee. In 1927, he was expelled from the VKP(b), but later readmitted. On 3 December 1934, he was arrested, and on 29 December, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot.
[xiii] Pavel Aleksandrovich Mif (real name – Mikhail Aleksandrovich Fortus) (1901-1938). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1917, he worked in the ECCI apparatus between 1928 and 1938. From 1931 to 1935, he was deputy head of the Eastern Secretariat, and in 1935-1936, a political assistant on China in the Dimitrov’s Secretariat. In December 1938, he was sentenced to the shot.
[xiv] I. I. Fainberg. He and his wife, Eta Rubinovna Fainberg, worked in the ECCI apparatus.
[xv] Aleksandr Samoilovich Martynov (real name – Pikker). A member of the Menshevik party in 1903-1918, and a member of its Central Committee in 1907-1912; after 1923, a member of the Bolshevik party. After 6 February 1924, he worked as an editor of Komunistichesky Internatsional.
[xvi] Aron Aleksandrovich Solts (1872-1945). A member of the RSDRP from 1898. In 1920-1934, he was a member of the VKP's Central Control Commission, and after 1923, of its Presidium. Between 1924-1934, he was a member of the Comintern’s International Control Commission. In September-November 1933, he was a Chairman of the commission created to purge the party organization of the ECCI apparatus. Solts was one of the USSR's leading legal theorists in the 1920s and 1930s. For a discussion of that role, see Solomon.
[xvii] Miklos Horthy de Nagybanyai (1868-1957). An Admiral, he was the leader of Hungary from 1920 to 1944. In 1919, he led the crushing of the Hungarian revolutionary movement. In October 1944, he was interned by the Germans. After 1949, he lived in Portugal.
[xviii] Manis – no information is available about him.
[xix] Refers to a thesis proclaimed by Zinoviev at the 6th Enlarged ECCI Plenum which read that the Comintern should be ready for the outbreak of the world revolution in the coming 3-5 years, as well as for its delay until some undefined time.
[xx] Refers to the discussion of the manuscript of Safarov’s book, Problems of National-Colonial Revolution, which was published in 1931. On 27 December 1931, a party meeting of the ECCI apparatus was dedicated to the discussion of Stalin’s letter “Regarding some questions of the history of Bolshevism” to the editorial board of the Proletarskaia revolutsiia magazine. At this meeting, Mif accused Safarov of promoting a “Trotskyist-Zinovievite line” in his book. Kuusinen argued against this accusation.
[xxi] Although Mif labelled Safarov’s book as Trotskyist in 1931, the Political Secretariat of the ECCI did not support his position. In this light, Mif’s comments can be seen as a criticism of some ECCI’s leaders’ lack of vigilance.
[xxii] This word is probably a mistake. (Trans.)
[xxiii]Mif is presumably referring to the 1932 Riutin Platform, which criticized Stalin's leadership and policies, and possibly also to Trotsky's failed attempt in that year to revive the Left Opposition within the USSR.
[xxiv] Georgy Borisovich Sinani (real name – Skalov). Born in 1896, he was a member of the Menshevik party in 1916-1918. In 1919, he joined the Bolshevik party. Between 1921 and 1924, he was Chairman of the Cheka in Turkestan. In 1925-1927, he worked in China. Between 1930 and 1935, he worked in the ECCI apparatus as an instructor and later as deputy head of the Secretariat for South and Central America. On 10 March 1935, the party committee of the ECCI aparatus expelled him from the party. One of the reasons for expulsion was “conducting conversations with Magyar in the course of which Magyar explored anti-party counterrevolutionary views, and the fact that Sinani reported about these conversations only after Magyar was arrested and expelled from the party.” On 29 March 1935, he was arrested by the NKVD. On 27 July 1935, he was sentenced to ten years in prison by the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR in the so-called “Kremlin case.”
[xxv] Mikhail Osipovich Goretsky. Born in 1900, he was a member of the CP Romania in 1918-1929. After 1929, he was a member of the VKP. In 1933-1934, he was an analyst in the Balkan Lendersecretariat of the ECCI, and in 1935-1936, an analyst in the Secretariat of W. Pieck.
[xxvi] Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945). In 1922, he joined the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), and in 1928, headed its propaganda department. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, he became the National Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. At the end of World War II, Goebbels committed suicide. M. Goretsky made a mistake: in issue No. 25 of Kommunistichesky Internatsional in 1934, L. Magyar published a review of Hermann Göring’s book The Revival of Nation.
[xxvii]Friedrich (Fritz) Heckert (1884-1936). A member of the SDP from 1902. During WW1, he was a member of the Spartacus League. From 1919, a member of the CPG and its CC. After 1925, a member of the Political Bureau of the CC; between 1929 and 1932, a member of the Secretariat of the CC CPG. In 1932-1935, he was the CPG representative in the ECCI. After January 1935, Secretary of the Red Trade Union International (Profintern). After 1928, he was a candidate member of the ECCI’s Presidium. Between 1933 and 1935, a member of the Political Secretariat and the Political Commission of the ECCI.
[xxviii] Klevens Burzynski (real name – Kielman Zalcman) (1903-1938). A member of the CPP from 1919; in 1923, he joined the VKP. After 1933, he worked in the ECCI apparatus. Between 1935 and 1936, he was deputy editor-in-chief of Kommunistichesky Internatsional. On 22 October 1936, he was arrested. On 27 November 1937, he was sentenced to be shot by the NKVD and Office of the Procurator General. The sentence was carried out on 11 November 1938.
[xxix] Guralsky (real name -- Abram Yakovlevich Kheifets) (1890-1960). A member of the Bund from 1904; in 1917-1918, he was a member of Bund’s Central Committee. In December 1918, he joined the Bolshevik party. In 1927, he was expelled from the party for participating in the Left Opposition, but was readmitted in 1928. Expelled again in 1936, and readmitted in 1939. In 1950, he was again expelled. In 1919-1926 and in 1929-1935, he worked in the ECCI apparatus, and on assignments in Germany, France, and Latin America. In 1936, he was arrested by the NKVD and released in 1938. In 1950, he was arrested again. On 19 March 1952, the Special Council of the MGB sentenced him to ten years in prison. He was released in mid-1950s.
[xxx] Illegible part of the text. (Trans.)
[xxxi]Kon Sin (real name, Kang Sheng) (1901-1975). Born in China, he was a member of the CPC (Communist Party of China) from 1925. In 1931, he was elected to the CPC's Poliburo and the head of the CPC's Orgburo. In 1933, he was elected to the ECCI Presidium and, in 1935, a candidate member of ECCI Presidium. He returned to China in 1937. In 1945 he was elected to the CPC's CC and Politburo. After the 1949 Chinese Revolution, he held various leadership positions in the CPC, specializing in issues relating to organization, cadres, security, and relations with foreign CPs. From 1966, he was a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC's Politburo. In 1980, he was expelled retroactively from the CPC for his alleged complicity with Mao Tse-tung's widow.
[xxxii] Kliuev (real name – Pun Tziazhan). Born in 1904, he was a member of the CP of China from 1924. In 1926, he joined the VKP(b). In 1923-1925, he studied in the Communist University of the Toilers of the East (KUTV); and in 1928-1930, in the International Leninist School (MLSh). He later worked as an instructor in the provincial committee of the CP of China.
[xxxiii] Aleksandr Vasilievich Kolchak (1873-1920). A Russian Admiral, monarchist, one of the leaders of the White movement. During the Civil War in Russia, he was proclaimed the “Supreme Governor of the Russian State.” The Irkutsk Revolutionary committee sentenced him to be shot.
[xxxiv] Anton Ivanovich Denikin (1827-1947). A Russian General, he was one of the leaders of the White movement. He was a Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russia’s South and a deputy Supreme governor of Russia. He lived in emigration after 1920.
[xxxv] Stanislav Nikolaevich Bulak-Balakhovich (1883-1940). In February-November 1918, he was a regimental commander in the Red Army, but later defected to the White Army. From August 1918, he worked for the Estonian, and later Polish, governments. After the Soviet-Polish war, he formed a “people’s volunteer army,” which was defeated by Soviet troops.
[xxxvi] Refers to the letter from Zinoviev to Rumiantsev of 30 June 1928. This letter was used to "prove" Zinoviev's double-dealing. As a CC member, Knorin was privy to various materials on former oppositionists, materials he quoted from in his speech.
[xxxvii] Conciliators – a group in the CPG which occupied a centrist buffer position between the party’s Right wing (Brandler, Thalheimer), and the supporters of the CPG Chairman E. Thälmann who sided with Stalin.
[xxxviii] Roman Lendersecretariat of the ECCI existed from 1926 until the fall of 1935. It oversaw the Communist parties of France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
[xxxix] He is referring to G. I Safarov's book, Ocherki po istorii Kitaia (“Essays on the History of China”) (Leningrad, Sotsecgiz, 1933).
[xl] He is eferring to the final stage of the Chinese revolution of 1924-1927. In December 1926, the Nationalist Kuomintang government and its Central Executive Committee moved from Guanzhou to Wu-han. In the spring of 1927, it became a coalition government after including two communist ministers. In July of the same year, a coup took place in Wu-han which led to formation of the Wang Ching-wei government. This government declared the CP of China illegal. In September 1927, the Wang Ching-wei government was overthrown by the Chiang Kai-shek's troops.
[xli] Alla Fyodorovna Venikas. Born in 1905, she was a candidate VKP(b) member from 1931. Between 1 June 1931 and 20 October 1935, she worked in the ECCI apparatus as a secretary of the Press Department, a technical editor, a head of the ECCI’s orphanage, and secretary of the Eastern Lendersecretariat. In 1936-1937, she was deputy head of the Educational Department and in charge of the party room in the Scientific Research Institute of National-Colonial Problems.
[xlii] Grigory Yeremeevich Evdokimov (1884-1936). A member of the Bolshevik party in 1903-1927 and in 1928-1934. In 1919-1920 and in 1923-1927, he was a member of the party’s Central Committee. In 1926, he was a Secretary of the CC VKP. In December 1934, he was arrested. On 16 January 1935, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to eight years in prison; on 24 August 1936, it sentenced him to be shot.
[xliii]Otto Wilhelm Kuusinen (1881-1964). A member of the Finnish Social Democratic Party from 1904; in 1911-1917, President of the Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. Between January and April 1918, he was a member of the Council of the People’s Representatives of the government of the Finnish Workers’ Republic. Kuusinen was one of the founders of the Communist Party of Finland (CPFin) in 1918. In 1921-1939, he was a Secretary of the ECCI. Between December 1921 and December 1922, he was the General Secretary of the ECCI; after December 1922, he was a member of the ECCI’s Presidium. In December 1939, he was the head of the so-called government of the Finnish Democratic Republic. Between 1940 and 1958, President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic, deputy President of the USSR’s Supreme Soviet. After 1941, he was a member of the CC VKP. From June 1957, he was a member and Secretary of the Presidium of the CC CPSU.
[xliv]KUTV--Communist University for Toilers of the East.
[xlv] The movie “Chapaev” (dir. Sergey and Georgy Vasiliev) was made in 1934. It was based on the story of the Red Army military commander during the Civil War.
[xlvi] Refers to B. B. Bronkowski.
[xlvii] The text is blacked out. (Trans.)
[xlviii]Ignacy Rylski (real name – Jan Lubiniecki) (1893-1937). A member of the SDPKPiL from 1917, he was member of the CPP from 1918 and from 1921, a member of the CC CPP. In 1922-1925, he was imprisoned. In 1928, he was removed from the party work in the CPP for factional activities. In 1928-1929, he studied in the MLSh and, after graduation, worked in the ECCI. He was arrested on 20 July 1937, and sentenced to capital punishment; he was shot on 26 October 1937.
[xlix] I. Rylsky was referring to a passage in Stalin’s speech of 7 January 1933, “The Results of the First Five-Year Plan,” delivered at the joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the VKP.
[l] Nikolai Nikolaevich Shatsky (1899-1934). A member of the organization of anarchists-communists in 1916-1917, he was a member of the Bolshevik party in 1923-1927. In 1925-1927, he supported the Trotskyist-Zinovievite opposition. His last place of work was the Leningrad Electromechanical Plant, where he worked as an engineer. On 5 December 1934, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot on the charges of participating in the “counterrevolutionary terrorist group and committing a terrorist act against S. M. Kirov.”
[li] On 7 November 1927, supporters of Trotsky and Zinoviev organized counter-demonstrations in Moscow and Leningrad, which were dispersed by the police and voluntary patrols.
[lii] Peter Khristov Iskrov (1891-1938). A member of the Social Democratic Party of Bulgaria from 1914, he joined the Bulgarian Communist Party (CPBul) in 1919. From 1924, he was a member of the CPBul’s CC, and from 1925, its International Bureau. After 1928, he was a member of the ECCI’s International Control Commission. In 1931-1935, he was a representative of the CPBul in the ECCI. Between 1936 and 1937, he was the head of the Bulgarian section of the Foreign Workers Publishing House in Moscow. He was expelled from the party in August 1937. He was later arrested, and on 10 January 1938, sentenced to be shot
[liii] Aleksandr Petrovich Grunberg (correct name – Grinberg). A RKP(b) member from 1920, he was an editor-in-chief of Kommunistichesky Internatsional in 1932-1937. Repressed.
[liv] Suleiman Mikhailovich Miller (1906-1946). A member of the VKP from 1929, he worked in the ECCI apparatus between 1931 and 1943.
[lv] Villis Yanovich Segant (1892-1967). A member of the VKP from 1929, he worked in the ECCI apparatus.
[lvi] Yakov Tsodikovich Mirov (real name – Rozkin). Born in 1894, he was a member of the Jewish Social Democratic Workers’ Party in 1917; in 1918-1919, a member of the Jewish Communist Party. In 1920, he joined the RKP(b). In 1924-1937 and 1939-1943, he worked in the ECCI apparatus; between October 1934 and October 1935, he was a head of the Roman Lendersecretariat.
[lvii] Fedosia Kirillovna Pivovarova (1899-1978). A member of the RKP(b) from 1920, she was an assistant to the Secretary of the party committee of the ECCI apparatus in 1933-1936. Between 1936-1939, she worked in the secret archive of the ECCI’s Communications Department.
[lviii] Must be a mistake. The resolution suggested that party groups discuss the decisions of the November 1934 CC VKP Plenum and of the joint Plenum of the Moscow Committee and the Moscow City Committee of the VKP, which took place on 15-16 December 1934. The resolution of the joint Plenum, in particular, referred to the necessity of finally rooting out “the vile counterrevolutionary remnants of the Zinovievite anti-party group.”
[lix] Mestkom – abbr. of mestny komitet, local (trade union) committee. (Trans.)
[lx] Aleksandra Vasilievna Lepeshinskaia. Born in 1897, she was a member of the Bolshevik party from March 1917. In 1924-1926, she was a technical secretary in the editorial board of Kommunistichesky Internatsional, and later an interpreter. In 1927-1928, she supported the Zinovievite opposition and was expelled from the party. However, after she broke with the opposition, she was readmitted to the party. In 1934-1935 she worked in the editorial board of Kommunistichesky Internatsional as the head of the Department of Bibliography and Chronology.
[lxi] Refers to Magyar’s wife, Alice Abramovich (1901-1971). She was a member of the CPG from 1920, and a member of the VKP from 1928. In 1922-1928 and in 1932, she worked in the ECCI apparatus. After Magyar’s arrest, the ICC expelled her from the party for “double-dealing” on 25 January 1935. Soon after that she was arrested by the NKVD and, in 1939, convicted. On 14 May 1945, she was convicted for the second time. The military tribunal of the NKVD troops of the Vologda region sentenced her to ten years in prison. In 1955, she was released and left for the GDR for permanent residence.
[lxii] Ivan Petrovich Bakaev (1887-1936). A member of the Bolshevik party from 1906, he was a member of the party’s CCC in 1925-1927. In 1927, he was expelled from the VKP, and readmitted in 1928. Until his arrest on 9 December 1934, he worked as a manager of the Main Directorate for Electrical Lines. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in the case of the “Moscow counterrevolutionary center.” On 24 August 1936, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot in the case of the “anti-Soviet Trotskyist-Zinovievite center.”