Stenographic report of the ECCI Secretariat's meeting to discuss the results of the work of the commission to investigate the case of Bela Kun.
7. IX – 36.
OF THE SECRETARIAT’S MEETING of 5. IX – 36.[i]
Regarding Bela Kun.
Bela Kun: Comrades, it is difficult for me to speak because this blow is the hardest blow for me. But I think that it will also be a lesson for me.
[This] blow is particularly hard because it makes impossible my [giving] further assistance to the party that I took part in creating.
I think that the conclusion that all of my work and assistance are harmful is unfair.
However, comrades, I realize that a situation has been created when it would be better if I no longer participate in the work of the CP of Hungary and, even better, if I will be completely separated from the Hungarian emigration. I have thought this over seriously and I am asking the appropriate VKP(b) organs to send me to work in some province far from Moscow.
A situation has been created in which, whether or not I wanted it, I became some sort of point around which the disgruntled elements of the Hungarian [party] gathered.
Therefore, I consider unfair the formulation that my work is considered harmful. At the same time, in contrast to what I used to write 3-4 months ago or even a month ago, I have come to a conclusion that it would be better if I leave the Hungarian CP’s leadership. I also consider the conclusion that it is impossible to use me in the ECCI apparatus any more to be correct. Why? I think that it is not because of political considerations nor because I was resented, but because, due to my nasty, nervous nature, I did not develop the correct attitude towards the leadership. Despite all this, as I have written, I consider the Comintern policy to be absolutely correct and I think that this leadership is in order.
Now regarding specific issues. It is correct that I overlooked the contamination of the party, not just now but also in the past. It is correct that frequently I approached the selection of leading cadres on the basis of factionalist principles. And in doing so, I committed a double mistake. On the one hand, I would promote my friends; on the other, I would promote [people] from other factions thinking that, by doing so, I would liquidate the factionalist atmosphere. I told com. Revai at [the meeting of] the Secretariat of com. Ercoli[ii] that the majority of the members of the CC [CP of] Hungary were not from my group but from other factions. But the factions remained there and it was therefore impossible to work in an appropriate way.
[I] overlooked the contamination of the party by provocative elements precisely because, while working here in the Comintern, I was loosely connected with the party’s work.
As to Magyar, I think that my speech was incorrect, inappropriate.[iii] Regarding Magyar, I have to say the following. After I delivered this speech, I warned some comrades about Magyar’s bad attitude. Of course, I did not know that he was connected with that counterrevolutionary gang of Zinoviev, Kamenev et al. I had an impression that he was not loyal to the party: writing and saying one thing, and thinking another. I warned comrades, if not at that very time, at least while he was still in our apparatus.
I also had a mistaken attitude towards certain comrades. This was a result of that situation which I have already referred to.
I am finishing, comrades.
I ask you to believe me [when I say] that in [whatever] work that I will undertake, I will gain your confidence and you will return me to Hungarian work and to international work.
I do not think that I am a person who cannot be trusted. But if there are [people] who do not trust me, I will prove by my work that I deserve to be trusted, and that it will be possible to return me to work in the CP of Hungary and to the Comintern.
DIMITROV: The commission has unanimously adopted the resolution. I think that Bela Kun’s statement is known to everyone and that we should not open a discussion on this question.
To take into consideration the commission’s conclusion and to relieve com. Bela Kun from work in the Hungarian party and in the Comintern apparatus.
BELA KUN: I am asking only to change [some] formulations:
1) Regarding considering my work harmful. I ask [you] to replace this formulation with another.
2) Regarding Magyar. I consider this decision unfair. To be exact, I warned Knorin about Magyar when they wanted to send him to work. However, Magyar was then included in the commission to work out the draft of the first point.[iv]
It would have been double-dealing if I considered it [this decision] fair.
MANUILSKY: In order to give [Kun] a chance to work in the VKP(b), we will have to soften this formulation.
ANVELT: I consider [it] impossible [to do so] because this is the minimal [version of] what we have written. We did not write down the speech at the purge [commission] when Magyar was found trustworthy on the basis of com. Bela Kun’s speech.
BELA KUN: I recognized this mistake before and I do it now.
ANVELT: As a member of the commission, I consider it impossible to suppress this fact, particularly in such a serious situation.
DIMITROV: I think that we can do the following. To agree with the commission’s decision regarding Magyar, and regarding the “harmful work” say: to consider inappropriate Bela Kun’s work in the Comintern, as well as using him as a worker in the Comintern apparatus.
Who is for softening [the formulation]? (Adopted unanimously).
Consider using com. Bela Kun in the Comintern apparatus [to be] impossible.
RGASPI, f. 495, op. 18, d. 1112, ll. 52-55.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
[i] At the 5 September 1936 meeting of the ECCI’s Secretariat, Anvelt presented the report of the Secretariat’s commission “On the behavior of Bela Kun.” Anvelt chaired the commission. The materials collected by the commission were presented at the meeting and, along with the commission’s report, formed the basis of discussion.
This document is a typewritten fragment of the stenographic report containing Bela Kun’s speech. The report of the Anvelt commission is missing from the files of the ECCI’s Secretariat.
[ii] Bela Kun refers to either the 10 March or 29 March 1936 meetings of Ercoli’s Secretariat on issues relating to cadres and other affairs of the CP of Hungary. I. Revai attended those meetings.
[iii] Refers to B. Kun’s speech at the 21 November 1933 meeting of the “purge commission” of the ECCI’s party organization. In that speech, Bela Kun gave a positive evaluation of Magyar.
[iv] Refers to the commission headed by O. Kuusinen to work out the first point (the report on the ECCI’s activities) of the 7th Comintern Congress’ agenda. On 3 June 1934, the ECCI’s Political Secretariat appointed Magyar to serve on this commission. Other members of the commission were: W. Pieck, W. Knorin, Wang Ming, D. Manuilsky, I. Pyatnitsky, G. Dimitrov, E. Varga, S. Lozovsky, B. Kun, B. Bronkowski (B. Bortnowski), A. Vassart, R. Makilom, P. Shubin, G. Lorenz (S. E. Schukin), G. Sinani (G. Skalov). Ercoli (P. Togliatti) and F. Heckert also participated in the work of the commission.