THE "LENINGRAD AFFAIR"
In 1948-9, during Stalin's lifetime,
a serious attempt was made to initiate precisely the same kind of "economic
reform" -- one
that would have led to the restoration of an essentially capitalist society
in the Soviet Union -- which was ultimately brought about under the Brezhnev
The "economic reform" of 1948-9 was
carried out on the theoretical inspiration, and under the leadership of
-- a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU since 1939 and of its
political bureau since 1947, who held the posts of Chairman of the State
Planning Commission since 1937 and Deputy "Prime Minister" since 1939.
Voznosensky's Economic theses
In 1947 there was published a book
by Voznosensky entitled "The War Economy
of the USSR during the period of the Patriotic War",
a feature of which was the author's claim that the distribution of labour
between the different branches of the Soviet economy "was" (meaning "should
be") determined by the "law of value"
(meaning the profitability of individual enterprises and industries). Voznosensky
therefore demanded that the prices of commodities should be "market
prices", based on their values or
"prices of production" (the latter term being defined by Marx, in his analysis
of capitalist economy, as cost of production plus an average profit). He
therefore emphasised the need to enhance the role of "cost
accounting" (accounting based on the
profitability of individual enterprises and industries) in the organisation
of production, together with that of economic
incentives in the form of bonuses
to the personnel of enterprises:
"The most elementary law governing
the costs of production and distribution of goods is the law of value......In
Socialist economy the law of value signifies the need to calculate and
plan in terms......of money the cost of production....The state plan in
the Soviet economic system makes use of the law of value to set the necessary
proportions in the production and distribution of social labour and the
social product....The law of value operates not only in production, but
also in the exchange of products....Prices.....in socialist economy too
are nothing but the monetary expression of the value of the product, or
its cost of production and, in the final analysis, of the quantity of socially
necessary labour expended on its production....The law of value operates.....also
in the distribution of labour itself among the various branches of the
Soviet Union's national economy.....The following distinguishing features
must be noted as regards the planning and organisation of production at
Soviet industrial enterprises during the war economy period...strict cost
accounting, profit and loss accounting, and reduction of the costs of production.
A highly important lever making for increased production is the creating,
through a system of premiums (bonuses -- WBB) of a personal incentive
to raising output....Scientific socialism...does not deny the significance
in Socialist economy of the law of value, market prices, and profit and
As for profit and loss accounting
in Soviet economy, not only does it not run counter to the Socialist system
of economy, but serves as a substantial stimulus to the development of
Socialist production, inasmuch as it contributes to growth of profits".
(N. Voznosensky: "War Economy of
the USSR in the Period of the Patriotic War"; Moscow; 1948; p. 116, 117,
118, 121, 138, 139).
testifies to the "popularity" of Voznosensky's book among a section of
became popular amongst economists. Some of its these began to be cited
on the same level as theses from Stalin".
(R. Medvedev: "Let History Judge";
London; 1972; p. 482).
Stalin's strong objections
to Voznosensky's economic theses were made public only more than four years'
later, in 1952 -- the significance of the delay will be discussed below
-- in his "Economic Problems of Socialism
in the USSR", a significant part of
which was devoted to a refutation of these theses (though without naming
Voznosensky as their author):
"It is sometimes asked whether
the law of value exists and operates in our country, under the socialist
system. Yes, it does exist and does operate. Wherever commodities and commodity
production exist, there the law of value must also exist...Does this mean
that....the law of value...is the regulator of production in our country...?
No it does not. Actually, the sphere of operation of the law of value under
our economic system is strictly limited and placed within definite bounds....Totally
incorrect, too, is the assertion that under our present economic system...the
law of value regulates the 'proportions' of labour distributed among the
various branches of production.
If this were true, it would be
incomprehensible why our light industries, which are the most profitable,
are not being developed at the utmost, and why preference is given to our
heavy industries, which are often less profitable, and sometimes altogether
If this were true, it would be
incomprehensible why a number of our heavy industry plants which are still
unprofitable...are not closed down, and why no light industry plants, which
would certainly be profitable...are not opened.
If this were true, it would be
incomprehensible why workers are not transferred from plants that are less
profitable, but necessary to our national economy, to plants which are
more profitable -- in accordance with the law of value, which supposedly
regulates the 'proportions' of labour distributed among the branches of
The law of value can be a regulator
of production only under capitalism,....
If profitableness is considered
not from the standpoint of individual plants or industries, and not over
a period of one year, but from the stand point of the entire national economy
and over a period of, say, ten or fifteen years, which is the only correct
approach to the question, then the temporary and unstable profitableness
of some plants or industries is beneath all comparison with that higher
form of stable and permanent profitableness which we get from the operation
of the law of balanced development of the national economy and from economic
(J. V. Stalin: "Economic Problems
of the USSR"; Moscow; 1952; p. 23, 25, 27-9).
The Opposition Group Led by
But the controversy around Voznosensky's
economic theses was by no means merely an academic one since, using his
authority as Chairman of the State Planning Commission, Voznosensky proceeded
to initiate an "economic reform"
designed to bring these theses into effect.
In taking this step, Voznosensky
did not only have the public support of many leading economists
-- many of those who publicly supported his economic theses, such as Leontiev
and Gatovsky, naturally played a prominent part later in supporting the
theses of Liberman which paved the way for the precisely similar "economic
reform" carried out under the Brezhnev regime. He was also assured of powerful
support in the highest ranks of the Party and state apparatus, particularly
in Leningrad. Among those openly
associated with Voznosensky's "economic reform" of 1948-9 were:
who had been First Secretary of the Party in Leningrad from 1945 to 1946,
when he was appointed a Secretary of the Central Committee;
First Secretary of the Party in Moscow and also a Secretary of the Central
who had succeeded Kuznetsov
as First Secretary in Leningrad in 1946 and was also a member of the Presidium
of the Supreme Soviet;
"Prime Minister" of the Russian
(Nikolai's brother), who had been Rector of Leningrad University for 1944-48,
when he was appointed Minister of Education of the Russian Republic;
President of the
Supreme Court; and
Head of the Chief Political Directorate of the Soviet Army.
Among other prominent figures
associated with Voznosensky who supported his economic theses more discreetly
the present "Prime Minister" of the USSR, who had been Director of the
Oktyabr Spinning Mill in Leningrad in 1937-8, "Mayor" of Leningrad in 1938-9,
"Prime Minister" of the Russian Republic in 1943-6, Minister of Finance
of the USSR in 1948, and Minister of Light Industry of the USSR from December
1948, and who had been a member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the
Party since 1948.
"His (Voznosensky's -- WBB)
ally in economic reform seems to have been Aleksei Kosygin, the present
Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers".
(M Kaser: "Comecon"; London; 1967;
"A Russian defector who was
in Leningrad at the time (1948-9 -- WBB) and was in close contact
with Kosygin during his visits to the city, reports that Kosygin became
drunk at a birthday party he attended late one night and referred to Stalin
as a 'pockmarked bastard', adding words to the effect that the Soviet Union
could become a great country...if only the dictator could be removed. There
is little reason to doubt this story".
(M. Page: "The Day Khrushchov Fell";
New York; 1965; p. 186-7).
By this time, opposition views were
being quite openly expressed in Party and State circles in Leningrad. This
was demonstrated during a visit to the Soviet Union in January 1948 by
a Yugoslav delegation
headed my Milovan Djilas.
This was two months before
the Soviet government recalled its military and civilian experts from Yugoslavia,
and four months before the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was expelled from
the Communist Information Bureau for, among other things, pursuing a political
"....can only lead to Yugoslavia's
degeneration into an ordinary bourgeois republic, to the loss of its independence
and to its transformation into a colony of the imperialist countries".
(Communist Information Bureau:
Resolution on Yugoslavia, June 1948, in: J. Klugmann: "From Trotsky to
Tito"; London; 1951; p.11).
Naturally, the reception of the Yugoslav
delegation in Moscow was cool. It was, however, warmly received by Party
and state circles in Leningrad:
"Djilas, Koca, Popovic and
Vukmanovic expressed a wish to visit Leningrad. They were warmly welcomed
there, given a villa and received by Popkov, the Secretary of the Regional
(V. Dedijer: "Tito Speaks"; London;
1953; p. 321-2).
Djilas himself, describing the delegation's
visit to Leningrad, pays tribute to the "simple humanity" of the Party
and state officials in that city, with whom he felt he could "very quickly
arrive at a common political language":
"The trip to Leningrad....refreshed
us, and brought us some relief....Our encounter with Leningrad's officials
added human warmth to our admiration. They were all, to a man, simple,
educated, hard-working people,...but they lived lonely lives... We got
along with them easily and quickly... We observed that these men approached
the life of their city and citizens....in a simpler and more human manner
than the officials in Moscow.
It seemed to me that I could very
quickly arrive at a common political language with these people.....Indeed,
I was not surprised to hear two years later that these people, too, had
failed to escape the mills of totalitarianism just because they dared to
The cordial relations between the Yugoslav
delegation and the Party and State officials in Leningrad did not go unnoticed
"At the occasion of his last
visit to the USSR, Comrade Djilas, while sojourning in Moscow, went for
a couple of days to Leningrad, where he talked with the Soviet comrades....Comrade
Djilas has abstained from collecting data from these (leading -- WBB)
officials of the USSR, but he did so with the local officials of the Leningrad
(M. Djilas: "Conversations with
Stalin"; Harmondsworth; 1963; p.130-1).
What did Comrade Djilas do there,
what data did he collect?....We suppose he has not collected data there
for the Anglo-American or the French Intelligence Services".
(CC., CPSU; Letter to CC, CPY,
May 4th., 1948, in: "The Correspondence between the CC of the CPY and the
CC of the CPSU(B)"; Belgrade; 1948; p.52).
The last paragraph quoted from this
letter takes on a new significance when it is recalled that by 1949, the
leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia were accused of being, not
merely counter-revolutionaries who aimed to restore capitalism in Yugoslavia,
but active agents of the Western Powers, engaged in espionage and plotting
within the socialist countries. The Cominform resolution on Yugoslavia
of November 1949 thus referred explicitly to
"....the transformation of
the Tito-Rankovic clique into a direct agency of imperialism".
(Communist Information Bureau;
Resolution on Yugoslavia, November 1949, in: J. Klugmann: ibid.; p. 112).
Of further political significance in
connection with the "Leningrad Affair" is Sulzberger's report of 1956 that:
"...Party leaders now confide
that....Voznosensky and Kuznetsov....(were) in 1949....trying to establish
a separate Communist organisation in the Russian Soviet Republic ....with
headquarters in Leningrad instead of Moscow".
(C. L. Sulzberger: "The Big Thaw";
New York; 1956; p. 47-8).
It is against this political background,
as well as in conjunction with Voznosensky's economic theses, that must
be seen the "economic reform" introduced by the State Planning Commission,
headed by Voznosensky, which came into effect on January 1st, 1949. By
this measure wholesale prices were "reorganised" to bring them into line
with their values or "prices of production"" (cost prices plus an average
rate of profit). As a result:
"....the prices of many basic
materials and freight charges increased to double or more".
(R. Conquest: "Power and Policy
in the USSR"; London ; 1961; 9. 105).
Some Western economists saw the significance
of the "economic reform" at the time:
"The planning authorities in
the Soviet Union have....clearly...decided that...a functional use of the
price mechanism is a necessary precondition to a sound and smoothly working
(M. C. Kaser: "Soviet Planning
and the Price Mechanism", in: "Economic Journal", Volume 60; March 1950;
Some weeks after the introduction
of Voznosensky's "economic reform", its opponents struck back.
On March 13th., 1949, it was announced
that Nikolai Voznosensky had been "released" from his state post as Chairman
of the State Planning Commission (being replaced by Maxim Saburov), and
that Mikhail Rodionov
had been released from his state post as "Prime Minister" of the RSFSR
(being replaced by B. Chernousov).
On March 14th., 1949 it was announced
that Petr Popkov
had been "released" from his state post as member of the Presidium of the
Supreme Soviet (being replaced by Vasily Andrianov). On March 15th., 1949,
it was announced that Ivan Goliakov
had been "released" from his state post as President of the Supreme Court
(being replaced by Anatol Volin).
On July 15th., 1949, it was announced
that Aleksei Voznosensky
had been "released" from his
state post as Minister of Education of the RSFSR.
On January 15th., 1950, a decree
of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet restored
the death penalty (abolished in May
1947) for treason and certain other crimes against the state.
And in two stages, on January 1st.,
and July 1st., 1950, the Voznosensky "economic reform" of 1949 was nullified.
This appears to have been the sum
total of all that was published in the Soviet Union at the time concerning
the counter-attack launched against the opposition groups headed by Voznosensky.
But in February/March 1949, Aleksei
Kuznetsov was removed from the post
of Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party; Nikolai
removed from membership of the Political Bureau of the CC; Petr
Popkov was removed from the post of
First Secretary of the Leningrad organisation of the Party; Ivan
Shikin was removed from the post of
Head of the Chief Political Directorate of the Soviet Army.
And in December 1949, Grigori
Popov was removed from the posts of
First Secretary of the Moscow organisation of the Party and Secretary of
the CC of the Party (in both of which posts he was succeeded by Nikita
In Leningrad most of the leading
Party and state organs were restaffed. Frol Kozlov told the 19th.
Congress of the CPSU in October 1952 that in that city
"....recently more than 2,000
persons...have been promoted to executive positions".
(F. Kozlov: Speech at 19th. Congress,
CPSU, in: "Pravda", October 14th., 1952, in: R. Conquest: ibid.; p. 100).
By July 1949, Voznosensky had been
from the Party, since a resolution of the CC (unpublished at the time)
dated July 13th., 1949 refers to him without the appellation "Comrade".
Some members of the opposition group
were transferred to minor posts for a time: Kuznetsov to be Secretary of
the Far Eastern Bureau of the CC, Popov to a "responsible job in city construction".
Voznosensky, however, was not given such a post, and remained at home working
on a new exposition of his economic views to be entitled "The
Political Economy of Communism"
In November/December 1949, Voznosensky,
his brother, Kuznetsov, Popkov, Popov, Rodionov, Goliakov and Shikin were
and in 1950 tried
on charges which, in the case of Voznosensky himself, included the passing
of secret papers of the State Planning Commission to a foreign state.
(V. Kolotov: Article in "Literaturnaya
Gazeta" (Literary Gazette), November 30th., 1963, in: R. Medvedev: ibid.;
Some of the defendants in the "Leningrad
Affair" -- including Nikolai Voznosensky, Kuznetsov, Popkov and Rodionov
-- were sentenced to death, and executed
on September 30th., 1950. Others survived, to be released and "rehabilitated"
by the post-Stalin leadership: Popov was appointed Ambassador to Poland
in March 1953, and Shikin was awarded a medal in December 1954.
Aleksei Kosygin escaped prosecution
"..on the intervention of Mikoyan
and Malenkov, who argued with Stalin that he was completely loyal".
(M. Page: ibid.; p. 186).
But after the 19th. Congress of the
CPSU in October 1952, Kosygin was demoted from full membership of the Political
Bureau to alternate membership of the new Presidium -- despite the increase
in membership of this body from 12 to 25.
Stalin's Role in the Counter-Attack
In view of Stalin's known strong
opposition to the economic theses put forward by Voznosensky, there is
no reason to doubt the truth of Khrushchov's assertion -- in his "secret
speech" to the 20th. Congress of the CPSU in February 1956 -- that the
counter-attack against the group headed by Voznosensky was initiated
"The 'Leningrad affair' was
also the result of wilfulness which Stalin exercised against party cadres...
Stalin personally supervised
the 'Leningrad' affair.....
Stalin....ordered an investigation
of the 'affair' of Voznosensky and Kuznetsov".
(N.S. Khrushchov: "Secret Speech"
to 20th. Congress, CPSU, in: "The Dethronement of Stalin"; Manchester;
1956; p. 23, 24).
In view of the fact -- referred to
in the introduction -- that at this time Stalin and his political allies
were in a minority
on both the Central Committee of the CPSU and its Political Bureau, there
is also no reason to doubt Khrushchov's statement that the counter-attack
was launched outside these organs:
"Had a normal situation existed
in the party's Central Committee and in the Central Committee's Political
Bureau, affairs of this nature (the 'Leningrad Affair' -- WBB) would
have been examined there in accordance with party practice, and all pertinent
factors assessed...Stalin personally supervised the 'Leningrad Affair'
and the majority of the Political Bureau members did not, at that time,
know all the circumstances in these matters....It is a characteristic thing
that the decision to remove him (Voznosensky -- WBB) from the Political
Bureau was never discussed but was reached in a devious fashion. In the
same way came the decision concerning the removal of Kuznetsov and Rodionov
from their posts".
(N. S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 23,
Khrushchov gives no details as to the
"devious fashion" in which Stalin and his colleagues secured the removal
of the group headed by Voznosensky from their Party and state posts, without
this having first been approved by the Central Committee or its Political
Bureau. It may be assumed, however, that they adopted a similar procedure
to that which they had used successfully in similar circumstances in the
The first step in this process was
that the General Secretary's personal secretariat, headed by Aleksandr
operating as an intelligence service outside the control of the oppositionist
majority, would carry out its own investigation into the activities of
the persons suspected of treason. If the results of this investigation
were positive, the evidence would then be passed over to the official state
security organs. Even if these organs were headed by concealed oppositionists
(as in the Yagoda/Yezhov period of 1934-38) or by sympathisers with the
opposition (as in the Abakumov period of 1946-52, the period under discussion
here), the heads of these organs were then faced with the choice either
of pursuing their own investigations and acting upon the evidence, or
of risking their exposure as accomplices of traitors. As a matter of policy
agreed among the concealed oppositionist conspirators, they invariably
chose the first
course. Backed by the decision of the state security organs that a prima
facie case had been made out against the persons concerned, Stalin, as
General Secretary of the CPSU, then felt in a strong enough position to
take emergency action in the name of the Central Committee -- dismissing
them from any responsible Party posts they might hold and recommending
to the appropriate state organs their dismissal from responsible state
This is, doubtless, what Khrushchov
meant in complaining, in his "secret speech" to the 20th. Congress of the
CPSU, about Stalin's:
and of his:
"arbitrary behaviour"; (N.
S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 7).
Of course, this emergency action on
the part of the General Secretary required ratification by the Political
Bureau and the Central Committee. But this faced the oppositionist majority
with the choice either
of endorsing the action that had been taken, or
of risking their exposure as accomplices of traitors. As a matter of agreed
policy, they invariably chose the first course of action. As Khrushchov
"Such conditions put every
member of the Political Bureau in a very difficult situation.... You will
understand how difficult it was for any member of the Political Bureau
to take a stand against any one or another unjust or improper procedure".
"..many abuses, acting in the
name of the Central Committee, not asking for the opinion of the committee
members nor even of the Central Committee's Political Bureau"; (N.
S. Khruschov: ibid.; p. 9).
(N.S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 131).
The question remains to be answered:
who was responsible for the conspiracy of silence which surrounded the
dismissal of Voznosensky and his colleagues from their party posts, their
arrest and trial?
The Conspiracy of Silence
Clearly, Stalin and his political
allies, being strongly opposed
to Voznosensky's economic theses, could only be assisted
in their attack upon these theses by the public announcement that their
author had been charged and found guilty of treasonable crimes against
the Soviet state.
The concealed oppositionists, on
the other hand, had an opposite
interest, since they favoured Voznosensky's economic theses, which they
intended to revive as soon as circumstances made this practicable. Having
a majority on both the Central Committee of the CPSU and its political
Bureau, they used this majority to limit as much as possible the adverse
effects on their position arising from their forced ratification of the
"purge" initiated by Stalin: they secured the adoption of resolutions which
of the dismissal of Voznosensky and his group from their Party posts, their
arrest and trial, together with any official denunciation of Voznosensky's
Thus, on July 13th., 1949, the Central
Committee of the CPSU adopted a resolution endorsing the dismissal of the
Editor of the magazine "Bolshevik" and several members of its editorial
board for having published "excessive praise" of Voznosensky's book;
"The editors of 'Bolshevik'
permitted a serious mistake when it opened its columns to sycophantic praise
of the booklet by N. Voznosensky 'The War Economy of the USSR during the
Patriotic War', advertising it as a 'profound scientific investigation'
(CC. CPSU: Resolution of July 13th.,
1949, in: "Pravda" (Truth), December 24th., 1952, in: R. Conquest: "Power
and Policy in the USSR"; London; 1961; p. 104).
This resolution, like others adopted
by the Central Committee at the time on the "Leningrad Affair" was not
published at the time.
Only on December 24th., 1952 -- more
than three years later -- was a section
of it cited in an article in "Pravda" by Mikhail
The first published criticism of
Voznosensky's economic theses appeared also in 1952 when Stalin seized
the opportunity afforded to him by his allotment of the "harmless" task
of writing a criticism of a draft textbook of political economy to denounce
these theses, but without naming Voznosensky as their author.
It was about this time -- the autumn
of 1952 -- that a Kremlin radiologist, Dr.
Lydia Timashuk, wrote to Stalin accusing
a number of Kremlin doctors of being involved in an opposition conspiracy
which had resulted in the murder of a number of Soviet leaders who had
been closely associated with Stalin -- including Andrei
-- by means of criminally
wrong medical "treatment".
It was in this atmosphere of the
investigation of this case, in which it was widely rumoured that a number
of prominent Party and state leaders were suspected of involvement, and
immediately following the public trial in November 1952 of Czechoslovak
Party and state leaders (headed by Rudolph
Slansky and Vladimir Clementis),
in which the defendants admitted to treason in collaboration with Party
and state leaders in Yugoslavia, that the concealed oppositionist majority
on the Central Committee of the Soviet Party and its Political Bureau were
forced into permitting the minority to secure a reversal of the policy
of "silence" in relation to the "Leningrad Affair" which had been in force
On December 24th., 1952, as has
been said, an article by Mikhail Suslov
was published in the official paper of the CC of the CPSU, "Pravda", quoting
for the first time from one of the CC resolutions of three years earlier
in connection with the "Leningrad Affair" and, again for the first time,
denouncing Voznosensky's economic theses by name as revisionist:
"This booklet of Voznosensky's
('The War Economy of the USSR during the Patriotic War' -- WBB) confused
the solution of problems of the political economy of Socialism, represented
a hotchpotch of voluntarist views on the part to be played by plans and
the state in Soviet society and fetishism of the law of value, which was
allegedly the governor of the distribution of labour between the sections
of the national economy of the USSR".
(M. Suslov: Article in "Pravda"
(Truth), December 24th., 1952, in: R. Conquest: ibid.; p. 103-4).
Following the publication of this article,
an intensive ideological campaign was launched against Voznosensky's economic
On January 9-11th., 1953, a conference
of nearly 1,000 economists deemed it opportune to condemn the error made
by those of their number who had supported Voznosensky's economic theses.
On January 12th., 1953, an editorial
in "Pravda" compared the struggle against Voznosensky's economic theses
with that waged against
"....the Trotskyist adventurers
and right capitulators".
(Editorial, "Pravda" (Truth). January
12th., 1953, in: H. E. Salisbury: "Moscow Journal"; Chicago; 1961; p. 312).
On January 28th., 1953 the journal
"Kommunist" (Communist) denounced by name a number of economists and philosophers
for their support of Voznosensky's economic theses.
The campaign directed against Voznosensky's
economic theses came, however, to an abrupt
halt following the
death of Stalin on March 5th, 1953.
Twenty-one months after Stalin's death,
in December 1951, the still concealed oppositionists in the leadership
of the Soviet Party and state felt their position strong enough to take
their revenge on Viktor Abakumov,
who had been Minister of State Security at the time of the "Leningrad Affair".
On December 24th., 1954, it was
announced that Abakumov, together with five other leading officials of
the security organs in 1949-50, had been tried
in secret by a military tribunal of the
Supreme Court for "treason and political sabotage". All had been found
guilty; four, including Abakumov, had been sentenced to death and executed;
two had been sentenced to long term imprisonment. The official announcement
declared that Abakumov
"....had fabricated the so-called
'Leningrad case' ".
("Keesing's Contemporary Archives",
Volume 10; p. 13,978).
Fourteen months later, the opposition
leaders felt secure enough to throw off their masks of having been Stalin's
"loyal collaborators". At the 20th. Congress of the CPSU in February 1956,
First Secretary Nikita Khrushchov,
in his "secret speech" accusing Stalin of the "murder" of many "good Communists",
described Voznosensky and Kuznetsov as
"...talented and eminent leaders";
(N. S. Khruschov: "Secret Speech",
20th. Congress, CPSU, in: "The Dethronement of Stalin"; Manchester 1956;
"...innocently lost their lives";
(N. S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 23).
"...the so-called 'Leningrad affair' ...was fabricated".
(N. S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 23).
"Persons who innocently suffered
are now rehabilitated and honour has been restored to the glorious Leningrad
Party organisation. Abakumov and others who had fabricated this affair
were brought before a court; their trial took place in Leningrad and they
received what they deserved".
(N. S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 24).
Of course, as a surviving member of
the opposition conspiracy who escaped detection during Stalin's lifetime,
Khrushchov was bound to present the liquidation of those of his fellow-conspirators
detected as "unjust" and the result:
"...of odious falsification,
and of criminal violation of revolutionary legality";
(N. S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p. 14).
It must, therefore, be considered a
notable tribute to Stalin's integrity that even Khrushchov felt compelled
to admit that Stalin acted in these cases from
the highest motives, believing
-- and, from the standpoint of Marxism-Leninism, correctly believing --
that he was acting in defence of socialism:
"All this which we have just
discussed was done during Stalin's life under his leadership and with his
concurrence; here Stalin was convinced that this was necessary for the
defence of the interests of the working classes against the plotting of
enemies and against the attack of the imperialist camp. He saw this from
the position of the interest of the working class, of the interest....
of the victory of socialism and communism....He considered that this should
be done in the interest of the party, of the working masses, in defence
of the Revolution's gains".
(N. S. Khrushchov: ibid.; p.
Next Chapter: Appendix 4: Postscript (1998).
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