To c. Moskvin*
ON THE POLICY OF CADRES AND MEASURES TO RAISE THE VIGILANCE OF THE CP LITHUANIA.
1. On the system of selection and admittance to the USSR of the political émigrés from Lithuania.
Beginning in 1928, as a rule, political émigrés from Lithuania were being sent to Germany and partly to Latvia and other bourgeois countries and, only as an exception, to the USSR. But there have been too many of these exceptions. These measures have reduced emigration from Lithuania. After the fascist coup in Germany, political emigration to the capitalist countries almost stopped, but political emigration to the USSR has hardly increased. However, the number of escapees from prisons has increased (1935), which creates among us doubts regarding the escapees.
1) In the future, send political émigrés to the USSR only as exception, in order that those coming to the USSR would go back after some time.
2) Send to the USSR only the more active party members, who need to be “hidden” from the eyes of the police.
3) As a rule, after release from prison, keep [them] in the country [Lithuania], as has been the case until now. After 6-12 months, send a portion [of them] to study in the reorganized KUNMZ.
4) As a rule, the so-called "failures” should not be sent to the USSR, since precisely this category has provided the largest percentage of the suspicious element, and frequently the so-called “failures” turn out to be fictitious.
5) Those escaping from Lithuania to the USSR are to be sent back, after they have been verified.[ii]
6) For the verification of the political émigrés coming to the USSR from Lithuania, create a commission composed of [ECCI] Cadres Department representatives, a representative of the CC CPL[ith] and [one from] the MOPR CC.[iii]
7) Political émigrés can only be sent to the USSR with the consent of the Secretariat of the CC CPL[ith]. Local [party] organizations may not give permission to leave the country.
8) If there exists any kind of suspicion about anybody, that person may not be sent into political emigration.
2. About the verification of political émigrés from Lithuania who are already in the USSR.
1) With the cooperation of the ECCI and CC MOPR, the Lithuanian section should collect all data on the political émigrés in the USSR, their work, party affiliation, etc. Take [the years] 1926-1935 as a starting point.
2) Check the political identity of all suspicious political émigrés. The Lith[uanian] section should send all of its concerns regarding suspicious political émigrés to the Cadres Department.
3) Political émigrés who have already transferred to the VKP(b) or been admitted to the VKP(b) on the regular basis [i.e. under the old rules] should be checked especially carefully. It is important to present to the ICC issues concerning those party members about whom there may be doubts, those whose recommendations may have been mistaken, and those doubtful political émigrés who were admitted to the VKP(b) on the regular basis.
3. On utilizing the political émigrés in training the CPL[ith] reserve [cadres].
1) Send the best political émigrés to study in a 2-3 year special program in the reorganized KUNMZ so that after the course is over, at least part of them, if not all of them, can be sent to work in Lithuania.[iv]
2) For some political émigrés already living in the USSR, Moscow, organize night courses to study special subjects, i.e. history of the CP Lithuania, mass work and party construction at the reorganized KUNMZ.
3) Involve certain political émigrés in the work of the sections.
4. On measures in the struggle against the infiltration of alien elements and agents of the class enemy from the CPL[ith] and Lithuanian emigration into the USSR and the VKP(b).
Referred to, in part, in sections 1 and 2. In addition:
1) Work out stricter rules on political emigration. Make it a rule that nobody can come to the USSR as a political émigré without consent of the ECCI Cadres Department and the CC CPL[ith] representative.
2) Only tested [candidates] who have spent at least 2 years in the CPL[ith] (if a worker) or 4 years (if not a worker) can be recommended to the VKP(b). Others should either be expelled from the CPL[ith] or be considered as having automatically ceased their membership in the party. Those living temporarily in the USSR are exceptions.
If a political émigré received recommendation to the VKP(b) from the CC [of the CPL[ith]], but the CC representative in the ECCI refuses to give a recommendation, the interested party member has the right to appeal the conduct of the CPL[ith]’s CC representative.[v]
5. On political measures in the struggle for the legalization of CPL[ith] activity and the legalization of our cadres.
Until now, we have partially legalized our trade union activity by working in mass organizations organized by the fascists, utilizing some of the fascists’ activities (e. g., the question of the workers’ starostas,[vi] the workers’ chamber [palata]), etc. Also, by organizing meetings at the enterprises on the spur of the moment, sending out workers’ delegations on different occasions, etc. Most of our cadres are living illegally. Those released from prison live legally and, if arrested again and there is no material evidence, usually get 1-3 months (if something is found, they get 10-15 years). As a rule, we send to the school (MLSh)[vii] those who live legally. Therefore the course is short (7-8 months), so that after they return it will be easier to live legally and easier to explain their temporary absence (e. g., by saying that he went to work in the countryside or other place after losing a job).
In addition it is essential to:
1) Try to organize various legal and semi-legal organizations.
2) To see to it that all secretaries of the regional committees are living legally.
3) To make broader use of various fascist activities among the workers, etc.[viii]
6. On the order of admission to the party.
As in many other countries, we have had a sectarian approach to admitting new members to the party, and simultaneously have done a bad job of investigating those admitted to the party. We in Lithuania have repeatedly given directives: admit more, investigate better. It is essential to conduct work among the masses better and to better promote the non-party activists. With this aim, meetings of the non-party activists in the town and in the country should be called more frequently.
1) All party cells should be surrounded by non-party activists already involved in struggle and work. New party members are to be recruited from among these activists.
2) Each party cell that admits a new party member must know him well. It is important to verify with particular thoroughness those who have recently come to that particular region. If nobody knows the candidate’s past, he should not be admitted to the party.[ix]
3) If someone recommends to the party a dubious person, knowing that there are certain doubts about him, [the recommender] should be expelled from the party.[x]
4) Former members of other parties, non-proletarian elements, and those workers who have not yet been tested in the struggle and in practical work, are to be admitted as candidates for at least 6 months.[xi] Candidates cannot become cell members. The cells can only be formed of party members, while candidates work under the direction of the cells or committees. Candidates to the party and others sympathetic to us can form special groups of sympathizers or party assistance groups, in which, if possible, a party member should work. Candidates and sympathizers should be introduced into various mass organizations.
5) It is obligatory for candidates and members of groups of sympathizers to participate in some sort of work and to raise [the group’s] political level.[xii]
7. Training young party members.
1) All those recently admitted to the party should be introduced to the rules of conspiracy so that they know how to behave after being arrested and in court.
2) It is necessary to better organize political education work among young party members.
COMMENT: Something is already being done in this respect, but it is still too little.[xiii]
8. On the system of investigating our cadres and the members of our party.
1) Oblige the CC and regional committees’ secretaries to continually investigate the composition of the party committees, to check on activists and their pasts, to provide information on the activists, to investigate how the committees’ members and other activists joined the party, how they were promoted at work, etc. [They have to] carefully check whether or not activists had been members of any political groups, had any connections to Trotskyists, for example (especially in Kovno, where there is a Trotskyist organization), how they behaved after being arrested, during the trial, etc. It is important to study indictments, newspaper information on the arrested, [and] to collect information about the trials. If agent provocateurs or other enemies of the party (Trotskyists) who sneaked into the party are discovered, it is vital to investigate carefully who they brought into the party, who they promoted to the leadership, in order to facilitate the purging of the undesirable elements.
At this time, it is important to know how the party members and activists understand the tactics of the United [Popular] Front, how they conduct the work among the masses, how they conduct the struggle against sectarianism, etc. In general, it is essential to carefully verify all activists. The first steps are already being taken in this direction.
9. On the system of promotion.
Until now, we have had little order in promoting new cadres. Frequently, our comrades would not look at the way the person works, but at the way he speaks. If the leadership of local organizations was taken over by sectarian elements, as a rule, they promoted not only sectarians, but frequently doubtful elements, as for example [happened] in 34 and partly in 35 in Kovno and other places. [Our comrades] did not verify carefully enough the past of the one being promoted, or would simply say ‘there is no one to be promoted in place of the arrested,’ and would sometimes promote those already removed from the leadership.
Every committee, every committee member has to select in advance those activists who, if necessary, could be promoted to the committee. Special attention should be paid to these potential committee members: they have to be involved in active work and the work of the committee, they should be politically fortified, and so forth. They should be thoroughly and carefully verified well in advance. Here in Lithuania it has been repeatedly pointed out that every committee member has to have his own deputies and assistants, to bring them up as future leaders of the local organizations. It is also essential to organize special political educational classes for them. Little has been done in this direction yet.
10. On the system of unmasking undesirable, suspicious elements and their isolation from the workers’ movement.[xiv]
To make the unmasking of suspicious elements easier, trials and indictments are to be studied, [and] certain party members are checked in the card index ?. Hundreds of okhranka agents, policemen, agent provocateurs, traitors have been announced in the press and some pamphlets. Besides, several hundred agents of the tsarist okhranka, some of whom also worked in the Lithuanian okhranka, have been announced in the press (and in pamphlets). For the purposes of isolation, certain party members are being removed from underground work, or being gradually removed, first from responsible work, later from underground work and eventually expelled from the party. The okhranka is trying to confuse us by arresting party members whom they later expose as agent provocateurs in order to better conceal their most valuable agents, e.g. by keeping an arrested provocateur in prison while releasing the rest so that suspicion falls upon those released. Therefore, we sometimes had to remove from underground work for several years those party members about whom nobody had any suspicions of [being engaged in] provocation. Sometimes, whole organizations, not just individual cells, are dissolved. (when? which?) Regarding agent provocateurs, there are directives to boycott them in prison as well as on the outside.[xv] Traitors are expelled not only from the party, but also from political prisoners’ organizations (in this respect mistakes are also made, and some individuals have developed a liberal attitude toward provocation).
11. On the system of testing and verifying individuals whose loyalty and party honesty raise suspicion.
To test those individuals about whom suspicions arise, after removing them from leadership work, we send them to low-level work in their cells so that they cannot contact others at their workplace who engage in underground work. Some of them later return to their work, others are eventually expelled. Sometimes those under investigation [who have been] removed from the underground work continue legal work among the masses. Or they are advised to move to another region where there is either not yet a party organization, or it has been destroyed, so that they can prove [their] loyalty to the party by their active work and rebuild the organization there. This kind of probation is also applied to those comrades, about whom there have been no suspicions, but who have systematically worked badly. At the same time, their past is verified and material is collected. In the past, a whole series of such party members were sent to the USSR where they made it into the VKP(b). This is to be recognized as a grave error. Some of our comrades think in as follows: it is hard to investigate in our country; it is easier to investigate in the USSR. As a rule, such “investigations” should be prohibited.
Finally, some words about what we have been doing to better verify our cadres, political émigrés and all those about whom there was some doubt or suspicion.
All materials are being reviewed and new ones are being collected; directives are being given to verify the information about certain individuals.
The CC Secretariat[xvi] should thoroughly verify all the CC apparatus (instructors, technicians, etc.) as well as the secretaries and members of the regional committees. The secretaries and individual members of the regional committees should verify their own apparatus as well as the sub-committees’ members and the cell secretaries. Likewise, every person about whom there was the slightest doubt is subject to special investigation. Who should be removed from responsible positions and underground work, or expelled from the party, is being indicated.
Obviously, in the situation of illegality, we will not be able to investigate all the party members. However, our measures will raise the vigilance of the cells.
A series of measures is to be taken in regard to the Komsomol and the Red Aid, through which the Trotskyists and other agents of the class enemy attempted to infiltrate our ranks.
RGASPI, f. 495, op. 74, d. 369, ll. 1-8.
Original in Russian. Typewritten.
* Handwritten by Angaretis.
[i] Handwritten note in the margin: Who is responsible for sending political émigrés to the USSR? It is not pointed out that only absolutely tested comrades can be sent to the USSR, and only in exceptional cases.
[ii] Handwritten note in the margin: In this case, is it necessary to expel from the party?
[iii] Handwritten note on the margins: The deadline is not indicated.
[iv] Handwritten note in the margin:What kind of reorganization?
[v] Handwritten note in the margin: This is wrong. In such a case, the representative himself should contact the CC.
[vi] Starosta – the head or elected representative selected by a group of workers (Trans.).
[vii] MLSh -- Mezhdunarodnaia Leninskaia Shkola (International Leninist School), the Comintern’s political school, opened in 1926. Until 1928, it was called Mezhdunarodnye Leninskiye Kursy. The leading cadres of the communist parties were trained there. The deans were Nikolai Bukharin (1926-1930), K. I. Kirsanov (1930-1931, 1933-1937), Wilhelm Pieck (1932), P. Chervenkov (1937-1938). The school was closed in 1938.
[viii] Handwritten note in the margin: This is not clear. <…> of Angaretis.
[ix] Handwritten note in the margin: [What is] the role of higher party bodies in admission to the party?
[x] Handwritten note in the margin: Who recommends?
[xi] Handwritten note in the margin: The institute of candidates – it is a Lithuanian invention.
[xii] Handwritten note in the margin: Thus, first [come] those activists who are not party members, then sympathizers, and finally party members. This is wrong.
[xiii] Handwritten note in the margin: This kind of work [ought to be conducted] with all party members.
[xiv] Handwritten note in the margin: The whole section is written badly.
[xv] Handwritten note in the margin: It is not sufficient just to boycott agent provocateurs.
[xvi] Handwritten note in the margin: And who is going to verify members of the CC Secretariat?