10. III. 35. Secret.
of the closed meeting of the party organization of ECCI workers of 18 and 20 February 1935.[i]
Having heard and discussed the report of the party committee, the meeting resolves that the ECCI’s party organization is politically healthy and has been correctly conducting the general line and specific directives of the VKP(b).
The appeal by the VKP(b), in the aftermath of the exposure of the Zinovievite counterrevolutionary terrorist group, about raising vigilance has led to a decisive increase of party-political activity in all the sectors of our party organization, and of the sense of responsibility for the situation in the party organization among all party members.
On the basis of Bolshevik self-criticism, the party organization, at its general and group meetings, has uncovered its own shortcomings and particular facts about insufficient vigilance towards those workers of the apparatus who, in the past, had struggled against the party.
Despite all this, the party organization, which had been unaware that the Zinovievite renegade Safarov belonged to the Moscow Zinovievite-Trotskyist center, was nevertheless so alert about his past participation in the Zinovievite-Trotskyist opposition, that it did not give him the opportunity to recruit supporters in our organization. Our organization exposed and kicked out of its ranks the counterrevolutionary, double-dealer Magyar and his accomplice in the anti-party activities, Abramovich,[ii] even before their role in the bandit Zinovevite group became quite obvious. The [party] organization exposed the foul liberalism and political spinelessness that Sinani and Rubiner[iii] demonstrated toward these anti-Soviet and other anti-party elements.
Having in its ranks, due to the specific character of our institution, a number of workers who, in the past, belonged to different oppositions and factions in the fraternal parties, our organization also directed its attention to this aspect. It revealed the anti-party activities of Heinrich,[iv] the former CPG member [and] former active supporter of the conciliators’ faction, and sent to the ICC a resolution to expel him from the C[ommunist] I[nternational]. The case of the CPG mem[ber], for[mer] Brandlerian Marta Moritz[v] has [also] been handed over to the ICC. The party committee revealed and informed the Political Commission about the anti-party meeting of the so-called KIM veterans, in which Vujovich,[vi] Shatsky, the former CPG conciliators Walter[vii] and Bork,[viii] and the CPG member Kurella participated.
The party organization revealed the lack of Bolshevik vigilance by cc. Stein[ix] and Sauerland[x] toward the conciliators who had resumed their anti-party activity, and by cc. Rakhomiagi[xi] and Panteleev[xii] towards the former smuggler of Trotskyist views, the Komsomol member Abezgaus.[xiii] The double-dealing of the former Zinovievite Guralsky, which he had concealed for a long time, has been exposed.
At the same time, the party organization exposed within the Editorial office, the smuggling by Borowski of Menshevik contraband into his editorial work, and the anti-party essence of Veil. As in the cases of the CPG and CPCz members, the party committee handed both cases over to the ICC to decide upon their expulsion from the CI. The party committee reprimanded com. Prokhasko for leniency toward Veil.
In the period since the last report, the party committee rectified the inadmissible mistake [made] by the party organization of the editorial office regarding directives [outlined in] “Pravda’s” lead article of 18/XII-34.[xiv]
Considering it essential to mobilize all the members of the party organization to further implement the directives of the CC VKP(b)’s letter, the meeting resolves:
a) To approve the party committee’s decision regarding Abramovich, Magyar’s accomplice in his anti-party counterrevolutionary crimes (upon the suggestion of the party committee, the ICC expelled her from the CP).
b) To endorse the harsh reprimand with a warning to Guralsky for concealing in the past his double-dealing.
c) To approve the party committee’s decision regarding the former CPG conciliator Heinrich, who had resumed his factional activities against the CPG (on the suggestion of the party committee, [he] was expelled from the party by the ICC).
d) To approve the party committee’s decision regarding Borowski for his Menshevik contraband, and regarding Veil for his counterrevolutionary letter. (Both were expelled from the party by the ICC, on the suggestion of the party committee).
e) To approve the party committee’s decision regarding the former Brandlerian Marta Moritz, and the representative of the fraternal communist party [of Finland], Stein. (On the suggestion of the party committee, the ICC reprimanded both for [their] slackening of party vigilance).
f) To approve the decision regarding former conciliators Walter and Bork, and CPG member Kurella for the slackening of party vigilance toward the anti-party activities of the c[ounter]r[evolutionary] Vujovich and the old factionalist Shatskin.[xv] (On the suggestion of the party committee, the Political Commission reprimanded them).
g) To approve the reprimand given by the party committee to c. Reznik for [his] anti-Leninist mistakes in teaching Philosophy, and to Prokhasko for leniency toward the anti-Soviet moods of Veil.
2. The meeting charges the party committee to conclude the investigation of the cases of Sinani and Rubiner.
3. The meeting approves the party committee’s decision regarding the party organization of the Editorial office, in connection with its mistaken attitude towards the leading article in “Pravda.” In particular, the meeting approves the punishment which the party committee gave to c.c. Fanberg[xvi] and Menis, and the reprimand to cc. Lipets[xvii] and Levinson[xviii] for their irresponsible attitude toward the struggle to improve the quality of foreign [language] textbooks.
4. Noting the increased activity and vigilance of the party groups, the meeting demands their further systematic study of their cadres and their education in the relentless struggle against factionalists, deviationists, double-dealers and foul conciliators towards open and hidden enemies with party cards in order to prevent any future possibility for individuals like Safarov and Magyar to double-deal in the ranks of our organization.
5. The meeting approves the measures taken by the party committee to have party education circles work out a series of questions regarding the party’s struggle against Trotskyism and the Zinovievshchina, as well as measures taken in this connection by the party office. The meeting demands that the party committee ensure [that] party members carefully study about all sorts of anti-party groups in the history of our party, their methods of struggle against the party and, especially, study the tactics and methods of struggle by our party against anti-party groups, tactics and methods which permitted our party to overcome and utterly defeat these groups.
It is essential that party members be familiar not only with how the party struggled against and overcame the Kadets,[xix] SRs, Mensheviks, anarchists, but also with how the party struggled against and overcame the Trotskyists, “democratic centralists,”[xx] “workers’ opposition,”[xxi] Zinovievites, right deviationists, right-leftist degenerates, etc. It is essential because knowledge and understanding of our party’s history is the most important means to ensure revolutionary vigilance of the party members.
The party committee ought to review the teachers of the party’s study groups and to retain at this job only those comrades who are tested and sufficiently qualified. [The party committee ought to] secure control over the quality of studies and provide adequate support and guidance to the instructors and students in their work in propaganda groups.
6. To instruct the party committee to urgently discuss, in light of the special character and tasks of our party organization, all measures on education, instruction and other party work which are necessary to secure Bolshevik vigilance and a Bolshevik re-education of the members of our party organization. The Central Committee has to mobilize the whole party organization to further struggle against the agents of the class enemy, against double-dealing, against spinelesseness, against slackness, against squabbles, against anti-party gatherings, etc.
7. To liquidate the sectoral [party] organization of Lendersecretariats in order to ensure a more attentive direction by the party committee of party groups.
8. The party committee should pay special attention to the Komsomol organization and to provide it with adequate support and guidance in examining the members of the organization, raising [its] activity, vigilance, and [improving] the communist education and instruction of Komsomol members.
9. To raise the general and party requirements for those admitted [to work] in the ECCI’s apparatus, as one of the necessary conditions for impeding the infiltration of the Comintern apparatus by unsuitable and dangerous elements.
10. The party meeting instructs the party committee to work out, together with the representatives of the fraternal parties in the ECCI and with the party committees of other international organizations, a series of measures aimed at involving workers of the international organizations (ECCI, the Foreign Workers Publishing House, the Profintern, MOPR, MAI, the Mezhrabpom[xxii] and other similar organizations), in the party life of their parties and, in particular, of the VKP(b). This will help the fraternal parties to keep those comrades who are working temporarily in these organizations abreast of events in their parties, and to enrich them with the VKP(b)’s experience. Thus they will be protected from the influence of for[mer] deviationists in their parties and in the VKP(b), and will be prepared to work in their countries.
RGASPI, f. 456, op. 1, d. 274, ll. 117-121.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
[i] Across the title, there is a note handwritten with a pencil: It has been accepted, and suggested to integrate comments by cc. Dimitrov and Pyatnitsky. (Trans.)
[ii] Refers to Ludwig Magyar’s wife, Alice Abramovich.
[iii] Frieda Rubiner. Born in 1879, she was a member of the CPG from 1918. In 1922-1924 and in 1933-1935, she worked in the ECCI apparatus, in the later period as the head of a sector in the ECCI’s Press Department. Between 1938 and 1941, she was a senior editor in the Foreign Workers Publishing House.
[iv] Kurt Heinrich (real name – Heinrich Süsskind) (1895-1937). A member of the CPG from 1919. In the 1920s, he was the editor-in-chief of the CPG central newspaper, Die Rote Fahne. Between 1927 and 1929, he was a candidate member of the CC CPG. He was removed from the party leadership as a conciliator. In 1933, he emigrated to Czechoslovakia and later to the USSR, where he worked in the CPG delegation in the ECCI. He was expelled from the party in 1934 for “connections with the conciliators;” in 1936, he was readmitted to the party. In August 1936, he was arrested and, on 3 October 1937, the Military Board of the USSR’s Supreme Court sentenced him to be shot.
[v] Marta Moritz (1904-1938). A member of theCPG from 1921, she was expelled from the party in 1929; in 1931, she was readmitted. Between 1934 and 1936, she worked in the ECCI apparatus in the Scandinavian Lendersecretariat and in Florin’s Secretariat. On 8 September 1937, she was arrested. On 8 April 1938, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced her to be shot. She was the wife of Mathias Stein.
[vi] Vojislav Vujovic (1897-1936). A member of the Social Democratic Party of Serbia from 1912, he joined the CP of Yugoslavia (CPYu) in 1919, and later, the VKP. He was one of the founders of the KIM, and a Secretary of the KIM Executive Committee in 1921-1926. Between 1924 and 1927, he was an ECCI member. In 1927, he was expelled from the VKP as an active member of the Left Opposition and, in 1928, he was exiled to Arkhangelsk. In 1930, he was readmitted to the party. After 1931, he worked in the ECCI’s Balkan Lendersecretariat and in the International Agrarian Institute. On 26 March 1935, the Special Council of the NKVD USSR sentenced him to five years in prison. On 2 October 1936, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot.
[vii] Erich Walter (real name – Walter Schultz). Born in 1895, he was a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1913-1915. Between 1919 and 1942, he was a member of the CPG. From October 1923 to March 1924, he worked in the EC KIM apparatus. In 1934, he emigrated to the USSR. Between September 1934 and November 1937, he worked as an editor in the Foreign Workers Publishing House. In 1935, the ICC reprimanded him for taking part in the meeting of “KIM’s veterans.” In 1954, he left for the GDR.
[viii] Refers to Otto Bork (real name – Unger).
[ix] Mathias Stein (real name – Johannes Makinen) (1901-1938). A member of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Finland in 1917-1919, he joined the CPFin in 1920 and later, the VKP. After 1931, he was a member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the CPFin. From October 1928 to September 1937, he worked in the ECCI apparatus as a representative of the CPFin. Between 1 May and 9 November 1935, he was deputy head of the Polish-Pribaltic Lendersecretariat. On 19 September 1937, he was expelled from the party and accused of “failing to help to expose the enemy of the people, the agent of German fascism, his wife M. Moritz.” On 21 April 1938, he was arrested. On 10 June 1938, a Special Council of the NKVD sentenced him to ten years. He died in the gulag on 5 November 1938.
[x] Kurt Sauerland (1905-1938). A member of the CPG from 1923. Between 15 August 1934 and 16 May 1937, he worked in the ECCI apparatus. After 1935, he was an analyst in the ECCI’s Press Department. On 15 May 1937, he was arrested by the NKVD. On 22 March 1938, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot.
[xi] Pyotr Ivanovich Rakhomiagi (1906-1981). A member of the RKP(b) from 1923, he worked in the EC KIM apparatus from 7 February 1930 to 15 May 1936. Between 1934 and 1935, he was an editor of the journal Internatsional Molodezhi (“Youth International”).
[xii] Ivan Yakovlevich Panteleev. Born in 1909, he joined the VKP in 1928. In 1931-1934, he was deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Internatsional Molodezhi. In 1934-1936, he was the head of the ECCI’s Press Department. On 13 January 1935, he was expelled from the VKP.
[xiii] Solomon Mironovich Abezgaus. Born in 1910, he joined the Komsomol in 1924. After April 1934, he worked in the EC KIM’s magazine Internatsional Molodezhi . He was a candidate EC KIM member.
[xiv] The lead article in Pravda of 18 December 1934, entitled “For the Study of Foreign Languages,” pointed out the unsatisfactory situation in the teaching foreign languages in the USSR. It noted, in particular, that “the Foreign Workers Publishing House in the USSR, which took upon itself publishing of foreign language and literature textbooks, did not cope with this task. Published textbooks have become an object of rightful criticism on the part of teachers and students.”
[xv] Lazar Abramovich Shatskin (1902-1940). A member of the RKP(b) from 1917, he was one of the founders of the Communist Youth International (KIM). In 1920-1923, he was a First Secretary of the CC of Russian Komsomol, a member of EC KIM, and its representative in the ECCI. On 10 January 1935, he was arrested by the NKVD. His last place of work was deputy Chairman of the Gosplan of Central Asia. He committed suicide in prison.
[xvi] Correct name – Iosif Fainberg. (Trans.)
[xvii] Adel Isaakovna Lipets. Born in 1886, she was a Bund member in 1904-1919. In 1919, she joined the RKP(b). In 1924-1925 and in 1933-1935, she worked in the ECCI apparatus and, part time, in the Foreign Workers Publishing House in the USSR.
[xviii] Naum Grigorievich Levinson. Born in 1890, he joined the VKP in 1926. In 1933-1943, he was Director of the Comintern’s rest home. Between April 1934 and November 1937, he was an editor and proofreader in the Foreign Workers Publishing House in the USSR. From November 1937 to March 1938, he was the head of the Roman Section there and later, editor in the Publishing House of Foreign Literature.
[xix] Kadets, members of the Constitutional Democratic Party, known also as the “Popular Freedom Party.” The Kadet party was formed in 1905 and was the leading liberal party in Russia. On 28 November 1917, the Council of People’s Commissars pronounced the Kadets to be enemies of the people.
[xx] Democratic Centralists, a faction in the Bolshevik party which appeared for the first time in 1919, at the 8th RKP(b) Congress. Its supporters criticized the bureaucratization of the Soviet and party apparatus and stood for the development of collegial forms of government and greater local initiative by the masses. After 1923, some members of the faction became supporters of Trotsky. The 15th RKP(b) Congress expelled the most prominent Democratic Centralists from the party.
[xxi] The “Workers’ Opposition,” an anarcho-syndicalist faction in the RKP(b) in 1920-1922. Members of the faction considered trade unions, not the party, to be the highest form of working class’ organization. They advocated having elected trade union officials administer the state’s economic administration.
[xxii] Mezhrabpom, abbr. of Mezhdunarodnaia rabochaia pomosch, Workers’ International Relief. It was created in September 1921 and affiliated with the Comintern. It consisted of national sections with individual or collective membership. Its coordinating organ, the Central Committee, was based in Berlin until 1933 and later, in Paris. Its original task was to provide material support to the victims of famine in Soviet Russia. Later it became a center to support workers in the capitalist countries who were unemployed, on strike, or victims of natural disasters. Mezhrabpom was dissolved in late 1930s.