The Formation of the 'Industrial Party' (1925-28)

At his trial in November 1930, Professor Leonid Ramzin* admitted that he had been the:

of a counter-revolutionary organisation called the 'Industrial Party' (Prompartiya). He testified that the old engineering circles, from which the party had been formed, constituted: which was hostile to socialism: These anti-socialist engineers formed in 1925 an organisation called the 'Engineering Centre', the forerunner of the 'Industrial Party', as an instrument for organising sabotage and counter-revolution: The Growth and Financing of,the Industrial Party (1928-30)

By mid-1929 the Industrial Party had some 2,000 members.
(Leonid Ramzin: Evidence at Industrial Party Trial, in: Andrew Rothstein (Ed.): op. cit.; p. 6).

The main source of finance for the Industrial Party was the 'Russian Trade and Industrial Committee' (Torgprom), established in Paris in 1920-21. Torgrom was:

The Industrial Party: in order to weaken the economy and arouse the dissatisfaction of the working people, the members of the Industrial Party: The Plans for Foreign Intervention (1928-30)

However, the Industrial Party realised that sabotage alone would not be sufficient to bring about successful counter-revolution, and so it relied primarily on foreign intervention:

Thus, the Industrial Party secretly allied itself with: and also engaged in: that is, in espionage.
The financing of the intervention was to be carried out mainly from French War Ministry funds, by the oil companies and, to a small extent by Torgprom: It was planned that the intervention force would be: composed of forces from Poland, Romania and the Baltic States. together with White Russian troops under Generals Pyotr Wrangel* and Pyotr Krasnov*: France: while Britain: The plan of the campaign was to bring about a simultaneous attack on Moscow and Leningrad: It was planned that the intervention forces would be under the overall command of the White Russian General Aleksandr Lukomsky*: and that they would have to establish a military dictatorship: As the price of their support of intervention, the participating states had put in demands for territorial concessions: In his testimony, Ramzin described a meeting with representatives of Torgprom during a visit to Paris in October 1928. There he was told of meetings between leaders of Torgprom and French Prime Minister Raymond Poincare* and Foreign Minister Aristide Briand*. He was informed that Poincare : Continuing his evidence, Ramzin gave an account of meetings he had had in London with representatives of the British engineering firm of 'Vickers' and with the British intelligence agent Thomas Lawrence* ('Lawrence of Arabia').
(Leonid Ramzin: Evidence at Industrial Party Tribunal, in: Andrew Rothstein (Ed.): ibid.; p. 20, 26, 36).

The Trial (1930)

On 25 November 1930, the trial began in Moscow of the leaders of the Industrial Party, eight scientists, headed by Leonid Rainzin, former Director of the Thermo-Technical Institute and Professor at the Moscow Technical High School, They were charged with espionage and treason.

The trial was held in public, except for one brief session. The Presiding Judge was Andrey Vyshinsky* and the prosecution was headed by the Public Prosecutor of the RSFSR, Nikolay Kryenko*.

All the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ramzin testified:

The trial ended on 7 December 1930, when all defendants were found guilty. Five of the defendants, including Ramzin, were sentenced to death, the other three to ten years' imprisonment.
(Andrew Rothstein (Ed.) ibid.; p. 209-10).

On 8 December the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union commuted the death sentences to ten years' imprisonment, and reduced the terms of imprisonment imposed on the other defendants to eight years.
(Andrew Rothstein (Ed.): ibid.; p. 212).

In prison, Ramzin was provided with facilities to proceed with his scientific work on boiler design:

International Reactions (1930)

On 24 November 1930, Torgprom issued a statement denying any connection with the accused persons. However, its declaration of innocence was

by the assertion in the statement that it would: On 27 November: On 28 November the 'Times' reported that one of the persons with whom Ramzin had claimed to have had discussions in Paris in 1928, Ryabushinsky, had in fact died some years earlier in France, where he had been: However, on 30 November it was revealed in court in Moscow that the Riabushinsky who had died in 1924 was Pavel Riabushinsky, while the Riabushinsky referred to in Ramzin's testimony was his brother Vladimir, an anti-Soviet newspaper article by whom (dated July 1930) was submitted to the Court in evidence. (Andrew Rothstein (Ed.): op. cit.; p. 107-09).

In general, the British and French press dismissed both the charges and the trial as:

although some left-wing journalists were more honest: and the more reputable American newspapers - no Americans were involved in the case! - paid tribute to the skill of the prosecutor: and accepted the case against the defendants as proved: The view that the prosecution had proved its case: Aftermath
Two years later, in 1932, Ramzin was amnestied:



BRIAND, Aristide, French lawyer and politician (1862-1932); expelled from Socialist Party (1906); Minister of Education (1906-09); Premier 11 times between 1909 and 1931, most notably 1909-11, 1913, 1915-17 and 1921-22); Minister of Foreign Affairs in 14 successive governments between 1915 and 1931, most notably 1915-17, 1921-22 and 1925-31.

DETERDING, Henri W. A., Dutch oil magnate (1866-1939); Managing Director, Dutch Petroleum Co. (1902-07); Managing Director Royal Dutch Shell group (1907-36); retired (1937); died in Switzerland (1938).

KRASNOV, Pyotr N., Russian military officer (1869-1947); appointed by Kerensky to command troops in Petrograd sent to fight Bolsheviks (1917); to Germany (1919); organised Russian prisoners-of-war into army to fight Soviet forces (1941-45); tried for and found guilty of treason, sentenced to death and executed (1947).

KRYLENKO, Nikolay V., Soviet revisionist lawyer (1885-1938); RSFSR State Prosecutor (1918-31); RSFSR People's Commissar of Justice (1931-36); USSR People's Commissar of Justice (1936-38); arrested, tried for and found guilty of treason (1936); died in imprisonment (1938).

LAWRENCE, Thomas E., British soldier and intelligence officer (1883-1935); intelligence officer in North Africa (1914-16); adviser on Arab affairs to Colonial Office (1921-22); in Royal Air Force (1922-35); killed in motor-cycle accident (1935).

LUKOMSKY, Aleksandr S., Russian military officer (1868-1939); arrested by Provisional Government (1917); escaped from prison and fled with Kornilov (1917); Chief of Staff, White Volunteer Army (1918-19); to Constantinople as representative of Wrangel on Allied Council (1920); died in Paris (1939).

POINCARE, Raymond N. L., French politician (1860-1934); Minister of Education (1893, 1895); Minister of Finance (1894, 1906); Senator (1903); Premier (1911-13, 1922-24, 1926-29); President (1913-20).

RAMZIN, Leonid K., Soviet revisionist engineer (1887-1948); Professor, Moscow Higher Technical School (1920-21); Director, All-Union Heat Engineering Institute (1921-30); arrested, tried for and found guilty of espionage and treason (1930); imprisoned (1930-32); amnestied (1932); Professor, Moscow Power Engineering Institute (1944-48).

VYSHINSKY, Andrei I., Soviet Marxist-Leninist lawyer, diplomat and politician (1993-1954); Professor of Criminal Law, Moscow State Ijniversity (1923-25); Rector, Moscow State University (1925-28); RSFSR Public Prosecutor and People's Commissaar of Justice (1939-33); USSR Public Prosecutor (1935-39); USSR Deputy Foreign Minister (1940-49, 1953); USSR Permanent Representative at UN (1945-49, 1953-54); Deputy Premier (1953); died in New York (1954).

WRANGEL, Pyotr N., Baron, Russian military officer (1878-1928); appointed commander, ~.Thite Russian armed forces (1917); commander-in-chief (1920); evacuated to Constantinople (1929); in exile in Western Europe (1920-28); died in Brussels (1928).


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'New York Times