Dimitrov's speech to the general closed meeting of the ECCI party organization dedicated to the lessons flowing from Kirov’s murder.
2538 (5) s pech. la.
9. III. 35
DIMITROV. (Applause). Comrades, as we saw from the report at the last meeting,[i] through common effort, our party organization has conducted a serious Bolshevik self-cleansing in connection with the lessons that we all, all the Comintern, learned from the foul murder of com. Kirov. And let not the penitent transgressors like c.c. Guralsky, Kurella[ii] and others attempt here to reduce to a trifle this work, which is extremely important for the party organization, reduce it to “legends” and personal squabbles. This question is too vital for anybody from our party organization to be able to diminish the importance of the work done.
That which has already been done, as well as all those suggestions that the Party Committee has made to the party organization and those to be adopted at today’s meeting – all this is good. Yet, I ask – will it be sufficient? And I permit myself to answer straightforwardly: This is not yet sufficient. This is insufficient, not only because there was no chance to clean out at one stroke everything rotten that probably still exists in our ranks. We will have to work on it in the future, to expose it and flush it out. Whatever has already been done is not sufficient also because our party organization is not an ordinary VKP(b) organization. Our party organization has a special character.
First, the composition of our party organization is international. Out of 468 members of the party organization, 280 are foreign comrades, members of different parties from all parts of the world. Second, this is a party organization of the workers of the Comintern apparatus, who work for the leadership of the world Communist movement. Thousands of ties, thousands of roads lead from Mokhovaia[iii] to all of the countries of the world – to China, to Germany, to Spain, and to the Balkans.
The work of the members of our organization is directly linked to the life, to the situation, to the struggle of the Communist movement in all countries. Naturally, the class enemy attempts by all means to sneak into our ranks, has attempted, is attempting, and will attempt to find conscious or unconscious tools within our own ranks, is paying and will pay attention to Mokhovaia, to our organization, to the members of this organization.
Comrades, if this is correct, and it is no doubt correct, then the question is, do some special tasks for our party organization derive from this? Should our work regarding the raising of the Bolshevik vigilance, the struggle against the enemy’s new methods of work, be of the same character as, for example, in the party organization of some factory or some Soviet office? No. We need special measures, special methods to protect the Comintern apparatus from infiltration by the enemy’s agents and from the danger of double-dealing. As far as I know, insufficient attention has been paid and is being paid to the special tasks and the special demands that our party organization faces. While in other party organizations Bolshevik vigilance and the strengthening of vigilance is necessary, in our organization this vigilance must be even higher. While in other places it is vital to verify people, the constant verification of people here is even more important. We see that, in the Comintern apparatus, there are working many foreign comrades who are members of our organization and who in their countries, in their parties used to occupy or still occupy leading positions and are more or less important leaders there. They usually think that they possess significant political experience and do not pay sufficient attention to connecting themselves more closely and directly with the VKP(b), with party life in the Soviet Union.
It is not a secret that a number of foreign comrades who have been living and working here for years do not study Russian. Sometimes, they do not know a word of Russian. Yet they feel that it is necessary to familiarize themselves with the life and work of the Russian Bolshevik party and the socialist construction in the USSR, to use the tremendous experience of the Russian comrades. It is good and correct that the suggested resolution points to the necessity to intensify the study of the history of the VKP(b). Given the special character of our party organization, it is also necessary to pay serious attention to the study of the struggle against deviationists, against factionalists and against enemies in other fraternal parties, using the experience of the Communist movement in other countries for the struggle against the class enemy.
In our ranks, comrades, there are still many revealing petty-bourgeois prejudices. Two such cases were discussed here. Any member of our organization who values his personal ties and places his personal situation above that of the party, who, due to false comradeship, does not conduct a struggle against intrigues, squabbles and plans aimed against the party and the Comintern, is not a revolutionary and not a Bolshevik. He who does not notify, who does not promptly signal the party organization about any such danger, is an accessory to the enemy. We urgently need Bolshevik re-education. Members of the party organization, notwithstanding their skill, notwithstanding those positions that they used to occupy or now occupy in this or that party, have to re-educate themselves in order to subordinate their personal life, all personal ties and actions to the interests of the party. The party is everything for us -- this is our slogan, this is our Bolshevik law that we must follow in all our actions.
Comrades, in connection with the resolution suggested here, I would like to make a special proposition: to charge the party committee, in light of the special character and tasks of our party organization, to discuss measures to strengthen political-educational and instructional work, as well as other organizational measures which are necessary, in order to ensure Bolshevik vigilance and a Bolshevik re-education of the members of our party organization. To oblige the party committee, after discussing these measures and working out a concrete plan of work in this direction, to give suitable proposals to the part[y] organizations in order to thereby mobilize the party organization to struggle to raise our work to an even higher level. Upon completion of the first phase of our Bolshevik self-cleansing, we have to provide a more formidable basis for the future struggle against the agents of the class enemy, against double-dealing, against spinelessness, against slackness, against squabbles, against anti-party gatherings, against everything that can be useful to the enemy and harmful to our party and the Comintern. (Applause). <…>
RGASPI, f. 546, op. 1, d. 274, ll. 93-96.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
[i] The closed general meeting of the ECCI party organization on 20 February 1935 continued the discussion of the report by F. S. Kotelnikov “On the work of the party committee during the last two months,” which he had presented to the 16 February 1935 meeting of the ECCI party organization.
[ii] Alfred Kurella (1895-1975). A member of the CPG from its creation in 1919. In 1919-1934, he was a Secretary of the EC KIM; in 1925-1928 and between February 1934 and April 1935, he worked in the ECCI apparatus. He was removed from work in the ECCI for participating in the meeting of the so-called “KIM veterans.” Kurella took part in the meeting of former workers of the EC KIM apparatus in the second half of November 1934 in connection with the 15th anniversary of the creation of the KIM. The meeting was considered to be a factionalist gathering. At the meeting, A. Guralsky “repented” for having concealed from the leadership his meetings with G. Zinoviev and L. Kamenev after their readmission to the party and not helping to expose the “conciliators” in the CPG. Between 1958 and 1975, he was a member of the Socialist United Party of Germany.
[iii] Mokhovaia, the street in Moscow where the central apparatus of the ECCI was located.