BEWARE OF FORGERIES IN SOVIET ARCHIVES
Recently a comrade asked the
members of an e-List (International Struggle Marxist-Leninist -see web-page
whether they thought an article on the web-site -
purporting to be the speech of Stalin - could possibly have been a forgery.
This comrade found it inconsistent with what was known of the situation
(See Item 1
2 below shows that text purporting to
be from Stalin.
is a reply from a Turkish comrade, who agreed that it was likely to be
4 consists of extracts from previous issues
of Alliance, pointing out the problems involved in assessing the evidence
from the Archives and from the web. The argument is made that such assessments
should not be made in blind faith.
These items are of interest
to comrades who are coming to grips with the explosion of materials being
released under the license - offered by the Government of the now openly
capitalist state of what was once the USSR - to "bona fide" academics of
their choice. Many of these academics work in the USA.
We cannot prove that the item
is a forgery. But as items 1 & 3 explain, the materials contained are
at such variance with the known facts that this must be considered as highly
A general point is to be made:
That is that irrespective of what texts are used to buttress an arguemtn
- and from whomever they emanate - it is mandatory that Marxist-Leninists
scrutinise the total evidence and come to an independent conclusion on
the question being considered. That is to say, it is not adequate to say
"Cmde X said so!"
We agree with Marx, who quoted
Dante's Inferno, as a witness of his qualified trust of historians
& economists, or better a critical distrust - of all self-annointed
'authoritative" sources. Marx::
"The sketch of the course of my studies in the
field of political economy is intended only to show that my views, however
they may be judged and however little they may coincide with the interested
prejudices of the ruling classes, are the result of conscientious investigation
lasting many years. But at the entrance to science, as at the entrance
to hell, there must stand the demand:
(1) TEXT OF QUERY RAISED REGARDING "STALIN'S
"Qui si convien lasciare ogni sospetto;
ogni vilta convien che qui sia morta."
Here you must abandon all division of spirit,
And here all cowardice must perish".
Karl Marx: Preface to "A Contribution to the
Critique of Political Economy";
London, January 1859; in "Marx Engels Werke";
Volume 13; Berlin 1961; p.11.
A version is at: http://www.marx2mao.org//M&E/PI.html#pref
Message 3317 From: "JT" Date: Wed Jul 3, 2002; Subject: [ISML] "Stalin's
speech", 1939 or 1989?
"As experience of the last 20 years shows, in peaceful times it is
not possible to have Communist action, strong to such an extent that the
Bolshevik party can seize power. The success of this party becomes possible
only as a result of a large war". This looks like being copied from some
of those bourgeois "What is Communism all about?" schoolbooks! (There is
more of this to be found in the text, for example "sovietization of Germany").
I found this "Text of Stalin's speech at a meeting of the politburo
central committee, on the 19th of august, 1939". Immediately when I begun
to read it, I started to doubt its' authenticity. I dare to claim this
text is false and probably a product of Gorbachev & Yeltsin Co.
There are two things which made me suspicious.
a) It includes a lot of inaccurate use of terminology ("communist revolution"
etc.). Read through it and you will ask if Stalin could use this kind of
b) It includes some very faulty theoretical assertions. For example,
Here's the address:
I ask comrades to read this text and say their opinions. I think the
text is a cruel falsification and is created for disinformation purposes.
(2) TEXT PURPORTED TO BE: "STALIN'S SPEECH
AT A MEETING OF THE POLITBURO CENTRAL COMMITTEE, ON THE 19TH OF AUGUST,
Taken from a page of
the web-site "Russian Battleground" at: http://www.battlefield.ru/
"It has become critical for us to face the question of war or peace.
If we conclude this mutual assistance pact with France and Great Britain,
Germany will use this to justify it's "Modus Vivendi" and expand eastwards.
War is unavoidable, but if not put off will certainly be dangerous for
the USSR. If we confirm this pact with Germany, she will attack Poland,
and France and England will certainly interfere. Western Europe will certainly
suffer from this disorder. In this case,
we will have a better chance to stand to the side of this conflict, and
we may have the opportunity to choose our own time to get involved in this
As experience of the last 20 years shows, in peaceful
times it is not possible to have Communist action, strong to such an extent
that the Bolshevik party can seize power. The success of this party becomes
possible only as a result of a large war. We make our choice, and it becomes
clearer. We must accept the German offer and turn away the Anglo-French
mission. The first advantage which we will derive will be the destruction
of Poland and Warsaw itself, to include Ukrainian Galicia.
Germany has granted us full freedom of action in
the Pribaltic countries, and has recognized our occupation of the Bessarabian
SSR. She is prepared to acknowledge our interests in the area of Romania,
Bulgaria, and Hungary. Yugoslavia is still an open question... At the same
time, we must look ahead to the situation which may come out of this, and
out of Germany's victory. In this situation we must abandon the Sovietization
of Germany and the
establishment of a Communist government. We must not forget, that the Sovietization
of Germany can only bring with it great danger, if this Sovietization leads
to a shortened war. England and France are still strong enough to seize
Berlin and destroy a Soviet Germany. And we would be unable to assist our
Bolshevik comrades in Germany.
In this way, our mandate recognizes that Germany
be able to carry out future wars, with the goal of the future inablity
of England and France to threaten a Sovietized Germany. While maintaining
a neutral position and waiting for our own time, the USSR will be supplying
the current Germany with raw materials and finished goods. For ourselves,
we must not send so much as to cut into our economy or weaken the power
of our own army. At the same time, we must carry out active Communist propaganda,
mainly in the Anglo-French block, and especially in France. We must be
ready for the time when, in that country, the party's war must turn from
legal means and go underground. We know that this work will demand great
sacrifices, but our French comrades will not be untrustworthy. Upon their
orders the first wave will decompose and demoralize the army and the police.
If this preparatory work is fulfilled in the proper way, then the danger
to Soviet Germany will recede, and this will assist in the Sovietization
For the realization of these plans, it is necessary
that the war be prolonged, and that this be verified by all forces with
which we have contact in Western Europe and the Balkans.
Now we look at the second proposition, the victory
of Germany. Some have put forth the opinion that this may be a serious
danger to us. There is some truth to this, however, it would be a mistake
to think that this danger is so close or so great as they present it. If
Germany is victorious, she will leave the war too weakened to start an
armed conflict with the USSR for a minimum of ten years. Their main needs
will be to supervise the occupation of France and England and to oversee
their restoration. On the other hand, a victorious Germany will be occupied
by the exploitation and "establishment" of German order in their lands.
Obviously, this Germany will be too busy in other places to turn against
us. There is one other thing which helps our security. In a conquered France
the FKP (French Communist Party) will always be very strong. Communist
revolution will happen there, and we will be able to use this to make her
our partner. Later all peoples, under the "shield" of conquering Germany,
will become our partners. We will have a wide range of action for the initiation
of world revolution.
Comrades! It is in the interests of the USSR, the
workers' homeland, that war come between the Reich and the capitalist Anglo-French
block. It is necessary that everything is done to lengthen it, with the
goal of the reduction of both sides. In support of this reasoning we must
agree to the conclusion of this pact, presented by Germany, and work within
it, so that this war, however declared, takes the greatest amount of time.
We need to strengthen propaganda work in the fighting countries, in order
to be prepared for that time when the war ends..."
Sources: This example was discovered in the Center for the Preservation
of Historical Documents Collection, formerly a secret section of the main
archives of the USSR, in document F.7, On.1, A.1223.
END STATEMENT FROM WEB at: http://www.battlefield.ru/library/archives/speeches/speech1.html
(3) A REPLY FROM A TURKISH COMRADE, CONCERNING
THIS ABOVE TEXT
I have read the Stalin text of 19 August 1939 a
couple of times. As I've told you before, I don't think it is a genuine
document. It, definitely, must be CIA fiction. Of course, one cannot prove
such suspicions, without the opportunity to see the archives themselves.
But, here I want to point out to certain abnormalities which characterize
the spirit and the form of that particular text. These abnormalities become
even clearer, if we view this text in the context of Soviet policy and
statements Stalin and other Soviet leaders during the whole period leading
to the Second World War.
We know that, in the wake of Nazi takeover in Germany,
the Soviet Union consistently followed a policy of peace. It opposed the
warmongering policies of fascist states, endeavoured to establish a front
against fascist aggression and took several initiatives in this direction.
On the other hand, Britain and France (and to a lesser extent the US) led
a policy of "appeasement" towards fascist states and encouraged them in
their aggression hoping to turn their attention and guns on the Soviet
Union. As you are very well aware, both before and especially after the
Second World War, there have been several, or rather countless attempts
by bourgeois historians and ideologists to rewrite the history of the period
for the purpose of slandering the consistent anti-fascist and peace policy
of the Soviet Union and camouflaging the secret and open collaboration
between so-called democratic imperialist countries on the one hand and
Germany, Italy and Japan on the other. I'm not talking only about the rape
of Czechoslovakia at Munich in 1938. Apart from watching and indirectly
encouraging the rearming of the Third Reich, they approved of the Italian
aggression against Ethiopia in 1935 and against Albania in 1939. They encouraged
the incursion of Japanese imperialists on Chinese territory. Under the
guise of "non-intervention" they prevented the export of arms and other
commodities to the Spanish republic and what is more they themselves sold
oil and other raw materials to Franco's forces (and also to Japan), approved
of the "union" of Austria and Germany in 1938, the so-called Anschluss.
They actively and systematically sabotaged Soviet initiatives to assist
the victims of fascist aggression and to establish a broad peace front
against fascist aggressors.
To conceal their secret or open collaboration with
fascist aggressors, imperialist bourgeoisie have tried to systematically
distort Soviet conduct during the period preceding the Second World War.
In this dirty game, they have assigned a special place to the incorrect
presentation of the Non-Aggression Pact of August 1939, in the belief that
it would provide them with the best way to denigrate the consistent anti-fascist
and peace policy of the Soviet Union. Therefore, right from the time of
its signing, British, French and US imperialists have tried to portray
this Pact as a strategic alliance "between two dictatorships against democracies"
and an attempt to share spheres of influence in central and eastern Europe.
And in this manner, they have tried to lay the blame for the outbreak of
the Second World War on the door of the Soviet Union. As is very well known,
this Pact itself was concluded, after several months and years of fruitless
negotiations, during which the Soviet Union tried everything in its power
to establish a peace bloc and forge an alliance with Britain, France and
others against fascist powers. Acting in the same spirit, they also have
not neglected to distort the meaning of various Soviet military moves during
1939-1941, which were made to forestall Germany's expected future eastward
expansion and in this way have tried to exploit the anti-fascist and antiimperialist
sentiments of workers and toilers. In fact this Pact was not an alliance,
but as its name implies, only a Non-Aggression Pact. And both the Soviets
and the Germans knew that it was a temporary measure and a clash was inevitable.
Why do I remind you these well-known facts? I remind
you of these facts once again for the purpose of underlining the consistent
anti-fascist and peace policy of the Soviet Union, which included material
and other forms of help to the peoples and countries, who became victims
of fascist aggression as well. Soviet aid was not restricted to the well-known
case of support to Republican Spain. Despite the sabotage of Britain and
the US, the Soviet Union had sent considerable military assistance to the
Chinese, who were fighting against Japanese imperialists:
"In April 1940, the Chinese ambassador publicly stated that the USSR
was giving more help to China than all other states put together; and,
he added, after the closing of the Burma Road (by the British
upon the request of the Japanese-my note), this was 'without any political
conditions whatsoever'. For most of this time Britain and the USA had been
sending enormous quantities of scrap iron and oil to Japan. thus the closing
of the Burma Road was a direct encouragement to Japan in every respect."
(Andrew Rothstein, "A History of the USSR", p. 303).
Therefore, we can confidently proclaim that the
spirit and logic and the language of the article downloaded from the Archival
Stuff, is almost totally at odds both with the nature of Soviet
foreign policy during that period and with Lenin's and Stalin's approach
to the question of the outbreak of war and revolution. A cursory look at
Soviet policy during this period will suffice to show the dubious nature
of this document. This crude and stupidly prepared document portrays a
Stalin and a Soviet Union, which supposedly are for war, for provoking
the war and for the prolongation of existing wars in the hope of reaping
political and economic gains from the massacre and misery of millions of
people. It portrays a Stalin and a Soviet Union, which supposedly are bent
on forcibly and imposing revolution ("Sovietization"!) on other countries,
without even taking into account the mood, the level of struggle and initiative
of the working classes concerned, as if revolutions were not the inevitable
outcome of objective conditions and class contradictions, but putches and
products of Soviet machinations! It also portrays a Stalin and a Soviet
Union, which utilize and manipulate Western European (and other) CPs for
the overthrow of the bourgeoisie without any regard for the objective conditions
or for the then principal tasks of resistance against fascist aggression
and imperialist war. In fact, this document only repeats the classical
Cold War themes, where Stalin and the Soviet Union are presented as warmongers,
ruthless manipulators of people and unbridled expansionists.
It is true that, imperialist and reactionary wars
in general do ripen the conditions for revolution, since they help to intensify
class contradictions, increase the misery and oppression of the masses
and dispel their illusions with regard to the established order. This,
however, does not mean and has not ever meant that communists are or ought
be for war. On the other hand, they argue, without in the least denying
the significance of the question of leadership, that revolutions are not
artificial creations or putches or the result of external interventions
of this or that force, but the inevitable outcome of objective conditions
and class contradiction in each country. No honest and intelligent person
slightly acquainted, with a minimum knowledge of Marxism-Leninism and contemporary
history, with the Soviet foreign policy during the period in question,
with the content and form of communist propaganda and agitation in general
and, with the content and form of communist propaganda and agitation, especially
during the period following the entry of the Soviet Union into the League
of Nations in 1934 and the holding of the 7th Congress of Comintern in
1935 will believe this document to be genuine.
A casual look at the speeches and statements of
Soviet and Comintern leaders and other documents of the period, shall be
enough to engender deep suspicion of the authenticity of such stuff. Here
are a few samples:
January 1934; from Stalin's speech at the 17th Party Congress:
Assuming this hypothesis of mine to be true, we should
ask the following question: What may be the purpose of these people in
producing such falsified documents? I am not exactly sure of that yet.
Maybe, we all have to think about it. Here are some immature opinions:
"Still others, again, think that war should be organized against the
USSR. Their plan is to defeat the USSR, divide up its territory and profit
at its expense. It would be a mistake to believe that it is only certain
military circles in Japan who think in this way. We know that similar plans
are being hatched in the leading political circles of certain states in
Europe. Let us assume that these gentlemen pass from words to deeds. What
may be the upshot? There can hardly be any doubt that such a war would
be the most dengerous war for the bourgeoisie. It would be the most dangerous
war, not only because the peoples of the USSR would fight to the very death
to preserve the gains of the revolution; it would be the most dangerous
war for the bourgeoisie for the added reason that it would be waged not
only at the fronts, but also behind the enemy's lines... It can hardly
be doubted that a second war against the USSR will lead to the complete
defeat of the aggressors, to revolution in a number of countries in Europe
and in Asia, and to the destruction of the bourgeois-landlord governments
in these countries." J.V.Stalin, In "Problems of Leninism" Moscow 1954;
pp. 580-588; or in "Works" Volume 3; Mosocw 1955; reprinted London nd;
-20 August 1935; from "A Resolution of the Seventh Comintern Congress
on the Danger of New World War":
"The Seventh World Congress of the C1 most determinedly repudiates
the slanderous contention that communists desire war, expecting it to bring
"The communists, while fighting also against the
illusion that war can be eliminated while the capitalist system still exists,
are exerting and will exert every effort to prevent war. Should a new imperialist
world war break out, despite all efforts of the working class to prevent
it, the communists will strive to lead the opponents of war, organized
in the struggle for peace, to the struggle for the transformation of the
imperialist war into civil war against the bourgeoisie, for the overthrow
(Jane Degras, The Communist International 1919-1943, Documents, Volume
3: London 1971; pp. 377-78.
- 6 November 1938; from Molotov's comment in the wake of the Munich
"The second imperialist war has already begun on an immense field from
Gibraltar to Shangai. The democratic Powers allege as a pretext their weakness
in the face of the aggressor, but in reality they do not desire to intervene
seriously against the aggressor, for they are still more afraid of a workers'
movement. The Soviet Union, the country of Socialism, has alone shown a
resolute front towards aggression... "The Soviet Union demonstrated before
the whole world that its loyalty to treaties in the fight against aggression
is unshakeable... The French and British Governments sacrificed for the
sake of a bargain with the aggressor, not only Czechoslovakia, but also
their own interests. Their international prestige is considerably shaken."
(What They Said At The Time, pp. 284-85).
-10 March 1939; from Stalin's speech at the 18th Party Congress:
"The foreign policy of the Soviet Union is clear and explicit.
1) We stand for peace and the strengthening of business relations with
"2. We stand for peaceful, close and friendly relations with all the
neighboring countries which have common frontiers with the USSR...
"3. We stand for the support of nations which are victims of aggression
and are fighting for the independence of their country.
"4. We are not afraid of the threats of aggressors, and are ready to
deal two blows for every blow delivered by instigators of war who attempt
to violate the Soviet borders." (Problems of Leninism, p. 757-8; Ibid;
or in Volume 14 'Works').
There might be more than one reason for this sort
of falsification and archive manipulation. I believe, through their control
over the archives of the ex-USSR, imperialist and anti-communist forces
have been trying to disorientate public opinion and advance their own agenda.
This agenda includes the execution of both their permanent or long-range
crusade against communism and the satisfaction of their present-day or
The first reason for this sort of falsification
may be related to their continuing and never-ending struggle against Marxism-Leninism,
which has been going on at least since the October Revolution. You will
remember the infamous Zinoviev letter and similar tricks of the bourgeoisie.
Stalin, for obvious reasons, has always been and will continue to be a
leader, who has been and will be the main recipient of the attacks on the
cause of revolution and socialism.
Secondly, bourgeoisie and their intelligence agencies
are aware of the fact that, coming years and decades shall not be as "tranquil"
as the recent years and decade. They are expecting more and greater social
upheavals and revolutionary struggles all over the world. Therefore, they
feel that they have to step up their efforts to further augment the existing
ideological confusion in the ranks of the world communist and revolutionary
movement and disorientate young revolutionaries, advanced workers and other
potential communists as far as possible.
Thirdly, bourgeoisie and especially US finance capital
are making feverish preparations for a Third World War against the workers
and peoples of the world. At this juncture, they need to erase the memory
of the experience of the Second World War and blame Stalin and the Soviet
Union for the imperialist war and the suffering it produced and make them
forget that this war was the outcome of the contradictions of capitalism
in general and of the aggressive and militaristic policies of fascist and
(to a lesser extent of non-fascist) imperialist powers in particular. So,
we should not be surprised at seeing our present-day and future Hitlers,
Chamberlains and Daladiers to try to absolve their forerunners of their
crimes and to try to surround with an aura of legitimacy the crimes they
themselves have been committing at present and shall be committing in the
Dated 1 August 2002.
(4) PREVIOUS ALLIANCE COMMENTS ON THE
i) REPRINT FROM ALLIANCE 7 – FIRST
PUBLISHED TORONTO June 1994.
A BRIEF BOOK REVIEW : "Stalinist Terror,
Edited by J.Arch Getty and Roberta T. Manning. Cambridge University
Press, 1993. ISBN 0-521-44125-0 Hardback or 0-521-44670-8 Paperback. Cost
: $24.15 paperback in Canada.
This book has considerable interest; it presents
rare data of interest, and also shows a changing wind in academia. The
usual wind is: Stalin was nasty & cruel; alternatively stupid, or bright
and devious; who was not responsible for good things like the Soviet conduct
of the War; who...etc.
"Ezhov: Comrades as a result of the verification of party documents
we expelled more than 200,000 members of the party.
Ultimately the truth will out.
The mythology built up around Stalin is rarely challenged.
Even Marxist-Leninists often accept premises of Trotsky. That is to say,
Marxist-Leninists with courage to defend Stalin; often set out from positions
stated by Trotsky.
Thus the standard defence of the Purges. Trotsky
says : Stalin master-minded them and controlled them. Our reply has usually
been: These problems either were exaggerated; or Stalin had correctly initiated
them to cleanse the Party.
Both views are true - as far as they go. But they
conceal a larger reality, that they were consciously used by the Opposition
to discredit the Party and Stalin.
Stalin was NOT: "The Omnipotent All Powerful Being
That Controlled The Soviet Ship". This book vindicates those who argued,
that Stalin was not in a total control of the Politburo and that
other forces were at work. This view was promulgated by the Communist League
(UK), and remains contentious in the Marxist-Leninist movement. This book,
contains powerful evidence as actual case reports of individuals and issues,
that substantiate this minority view.
Of course, this book cannot address "What other
forces were ranged against Stalin?" And so, bourgeois academics overlook
the class Struggle yet again! That much has not changed! But despite that,
the significance of this book should not be under-rated. The editors were,
before "Glasnost", unable to swallow the myths of Cold War Warriors led
by Robert Conquest.
Arch Getty and co-workers nailed some inconsistencies
with previous mythologies using a unique archive, that had been removed
from Smolensk in the Second World War by the Hitlerites, and then studied.
This resulted in: "The Origin Of The Great Purges - The Soviet Party Reconsidered
1933-38", New York, 1985. This data and others, allowed Getty and others
to develop a critical school, who: "investigated Stalin-period history
as history." p.3, and not as bias. Of course Conquest and Trotskyites have
been the most resistant to this school of historians - labelling them as
This review only gives a flavour. The first two
chapters counter-pose a relatively traditional view of Nikolai Ivanovich
Ezhov, the head of the Secret Police the NKVD (By Boris Starkov) with a
"revisionist" interpretation by Arch Getty. Even the relatively traditional
view is of great interest, containing much material, that is new to this
reviewer. But Starkov asserts that Stalin "enjoyed the complete trust of
To the contrary however, Arch Getty shows how Stalin
Stalin : [Interrupts] Very many.
Ezhov : Yes very many. I will speak about this..
Stalin :[Interrupts] If we explained 30,000..(inaudible remark) and
600 former Trotskyites and Zinovievists it would be a bigger victory.
Ezhov : More than 200,000 members were expelled. Part of this number..
Cited from Stenographic Records. (p.51).
Further brakes were attempted upon Ezhov by Zhdanov
(an unchallenged comrade-in-arms of Stalin) when:
"In a highly publicized attack Zhadanov accused the Saratov kraikom
(party leadership-Ed) of "dictatorship" and "repression.".. At the Feb
1937 Central Committee Plenum, Zhadanov gave the keynote speech on democratizing
party organisations, ending bureaucratic repression "little people," and
replacing the cooption of party leaders with grass roots elections. Indeed
under pressure of this line, contested secret ballot party elections were
held in 1937."
More needed? Take the case of Avel' Enukidze, Secretary
of the Central Executive Committee of Soviets. He got Ezhov's ire; who
tried to expel him. Stalin and Molotov defended him. After further pressure,
he was expelled. Molotov and Stalin moved for him to be readmitted. Though
the plenum agreed, this never happened - arrested he was shot in 1837.
The record shows a clear pattern here of Stalin versus (See p.54).
Even Bukharin's execution was controversial. Stalin
wanted him expelled, not even put on trial. The opposition view to Stalin's
was put by:
"Ezhov, Budennyi, Manuilskii, Shvernik, Kosarev and Iakir (Shoot Bukharin
and Litvinov, Postyshev, Shiriatov, and Petrovskii (Send Bukharin to
The Plenum voted for Stalin's line by majority. But documents of agreement
were altered (in Mikoian's handwriting) and Stalin's advice was ignored
Why was this? Sabotage ?
Other details: Arch Getty shows that blaming Stalin
for the Kirov murder (as do traditional bourgeois and Trotskyites) is nonsense;
& rests on the discredited Alexander Orlov. Arch Getty shows,
even the specially struck Politburo Commission of 1989, exculpated Stalin,
though secretly. As well, the book is loaded with new studies showing that
the Purges and Terrors were directed at the highest echelons of party and
administration. The obvious benefits to the hidden opposition are: disruption
of socialist path, discrediting of party, and smearing Stalin. This book
bears careful consideration.
These bourgeois "revisionist" academics have done
a sterling service to truth. But they can only go so far. These academics
do not want to (can they even?) understand class struggle. That is our
Extracts from "Preface" to Alliance 30, First published Toronto October
A Methodological Foreword Upon Recent Sources
Alliance has always tried to punctiliously show its
source material with as precise references as is possible. This is not
an academic peccadillo, to be disdained as Aarmchair
Marxism@. Rather it is essential
to root a Marxist-Leninist view of the world in an objective and clear
manner. Only this permits any possible rebuttals that are based on facts
rather than those of opinion. It has not been necessary to comment on this
matter till now. However three new issues have arisen, regarding source
materials that directly affect the Marxist-Leninist movement.
documents have been released in the Gorbachev era and more recently, from
the Soviet archives. This is generally of benefit to Marxist-Leninists,
who try to explain the real events inside the former USSR in its Marxist-Leninist
days of Stalin=s life time. ........But
a caveat must be introduced.
It is very unlikely that
ALL relevant documents will surface in our lifetime. Moreover,
we do not know what documents of Stalin=s
and other relevant leading personalities may have been destroyed. All the
written archival materials are unlikely to be made available to us anyway,
since some of these will be deemed Atoo
Why should the Russian state behave any differently
to the British Kew Gardens Archives for instance? We therefore simply raise
a caution regarding the appropriate interpretation of documents that may
become available. These are likely to be only Aspotty@
and unlikely to give us all the facts.
a corollary, this leaves some to a continuing abundance of the hear-say,
AHe said-They said,@
type of scurrilous evidence. This leads to a dilemma for the Marxist-Leninists,
as to whether to even use this type of evidence at all. But to ignore it
is to ignore the charges that the authors lay at Stalin. This does not
help Marxists-Leninists currently since one of our current tasks - is to
counter the bourgeois historiography and lies. On the other hand, in using
these sources it is necessary to be highly selective. Instances are provided
in Alliance 30 of two especially problematic sources.
ASudoplatov is by no means
immune from error@.
Very little written is available on Stalin=s
attitude to the Jewish Question. A new low in scurrilous writing on Stalin
is provided by the virulent Arkady Vaksberg in AStalin
Against The Jews@, New York;
1994. Much of the tone and a large measure of the content of this book
is scurrilous. For instance - Vaksberg alleges that Stalin did not really
research and write the famous article on AThe
National Question@. Nonetheless
we will use the Vaksberg source - albeit with caution - since little else
is available on the subject.
Another such problem source is the memoirs of Pavel
Sudoplatov, published in 1994. After 1939, he was the officer in charge
of the NKVD (later MGB) special operations. Several attacks upon Sudoplatov=s
honesty and reliability have been made. Sudoplatov claimed that he organized
the assassination of Trotsky under direct orders from Stalin, and that
the Soviet atomic bomb was only made possible by secrets divulged by the
Danish physicist Niels Bohr.
Both claims are untrue. David Holloway has
exposed the latter lie in an article in AScience@,
(Holloway D; Science May 27th, 1994), and the former lie is contrary
to key facts as discussed by the CL. (CL article reprinted Alliance
Issue Number 7). It is interesting that these memoirs were
recorded from Sudoplatov by Jerrold L. & Leona P. Schecter. This same
couple first fully published Khrushchev=s
memoirs in 1970, in an association between Life magazine & Little Brown
Publishers. (See Pavel &A Sudoplatov; with JL &LP Schecter:@Special
Tasks@; Boston; 1995 p.xxiii)
. It is also not a coincidence that one of the most anti-Communist
writers, Robert Conquest, exonerates Sudoplatov of falsification
in a glowing foreword.
Of course, Conquest is careful to cover himself
by saying that:
Nonetheless Conquest ends by lauding the memoirs:
ABut it will be seen that
(criticisms-ed) are of little consequence compared with the solid substance
we Sudoplatov offers is.. A unique document.. The most valuable of all
possible sources for important matters over the whole period of High Stalinism".
We reply that the most solid evidence about the period
is in Stalin=s own writings.
The fragmentary additional evidence must be sensibly pieced together using
in addition, Marxist-Leninist theory.
Thirdly: We have
increasingly over the last few months/years used sources derived from the
world wide web. We caution however that it is sometimes difficult to know
who is posting these various documents on the web. We thus attempt to use
these documents sparingly. Above all, if web sources are used, we attempt
to fully reference the web site.