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Georgi Maksimilianovich Malenkov

Malenkov was regarded by many as the successor to Stalin. The death of Joseph Stalin on 05 March 1953 generated a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the West. Malenkov had delivered the key address at the XIXth Party Congress October 1952. For the first time, Stalin was replaced as leading reporter by Georgi Malenkov. He was the only man other than Stalin who was a member of all three of the highest bodies of the Party and Government - the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Collegium of the Council of Ministers (Deputy Chairmen). Malenkov was considered the most important member of the Secretariat and, with Beria's support, he became Premier of the Soviet Union.

The rise of Georgy Malenkov to the heights of power was the result of personnel purges carried out by Stalin during the 1930s. By sending his comrades-in-arms into the political (and most often physical) non-existence, the leader quite purposefully contributed to the change of generations. In his entourage, he wanted to see loyal performers who were not too burdened either with political ideology or with services to the revolution. Georgy Malenkov, an Orenburger, met these requirements, joining the party only at the end of the Civil War, without much success fighting the whites in Turkestan, then moving to Moscow and graduating from the USSRs leading technical university - the Moscow Military Technical University. From the 1940s, newsreel preserved the image of Malenkov: a man who was inclined to fullness, wore a Stalinist jacket, always buttoned up all the buttons. It was likely that he made a similar impression in his youth - created more for an official career than for war, but at the same time signed up as a volunteer for the Bolsheviks. During a short reign Malenkov removed different sets of prohibitions: on the foreign press, border crossings, customs transportation. However, the new policy was presented by Malenkov as a logical continuation of the previous course, so the urban population of the country paid little attention to the changes, poorly understood and not remember them. Measured by Western standards the changes were modest, but by Soviet standards it appeared the inauguration of a new era.

Malenkov put forward the thesis of peaceful coexistence between the two systems and advocated the development of light and food industries. Malenkov inaugurated the "peace" campaign immediately after Stalin's death with his remark that there were no outstanding international issues which could not be settled by peaceful negotiation. He made an impression of a man of great determination and ruthlessness but with a more subtle and highly developed intelligence than his associates. Malenkov was inclined to take a more sober and calm view of the international situation than did Khrushchev, and their disparate treatment of light and heavy industry was a sign of division in the top Soviet leadership.

But Nikita Khrushchev, another of the secretaries, eventually assumed supreme leadership of the party as First Secretary of the CPSU in September 1953.

Georgy Malenkov was born (December 26, 1901 [ 08 January 1902 ], in Orenburg, city of Moscow. A member of the CPSU Central Committee (1939-1957), A candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU (b) (1941-1946.), Member of the Politburo (Presidium) Central Committee (1946-1957), A member of the Organizing Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) ( 1939-1952), Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee (1939-1946 and 1948-1953), deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1938-1958).

Malenkov suffered a great loss of prominence immediately after the War, and appeared to be concerned, from late 1946 on, with agricultural problems. He was responsible for a number of major defense industries, including the creation of the hydrogen bomb and the first nuclear power plant in the world. He was the actual head of the Soviet state from March to September 1953.

The hypothesis is frequently advanced that Zhdanov and Malenkov engaged in a bitter political conflict for Stalin's favor and for control over the Soviet Communist Party, importance, since many observers profess to see in this conflict and its outcome an explanation for many of the problems of Soviet policy in the post-war years.

Malenkov's career suffered a very sharp set-back in 1946, involving a severe reduction in the scope of his duties and responsibilities and, therefore, in his power. What his personal relations with Stalin were cannot be said. It must be remembered that Malenkov did survive this critical period, and surely if Stalin had developed rea1 dislike or distrust of Malenkov, the latter would have disappeared completely. Apparently, Malenkov was removed from the Secretariat of the Central Committee and lost control over Party personnel matters after the War. He was given these responsibilities in 1939 and he retained them through the war; he was last identified in the Party Secretariat in the spring of 1946. after he was not listed among the Party Secretaries, nor was the designation "Secretary" given after his name on Soviet calendars, election listings, and so forth, until 20 July 1948.

Zhdanov's death on 31 August 1948 signaled the end of the so-called Zhdanov period. After his Death, Malenkov rapidly achieved a high position In official listings of the Politburo, which was generally taken to indicate that he had returned to grace. Malenkov then allegedly initiated a purge of various persons who owed their positions to Zhdanov 's influence. The Berlin blockade was liquidated and the Greek Civil War was permitted t o come to an end, and the emphasis in Soviet foreign policy visibly began to shift to the Far East, where the Chinese Communists were rapidly gaining complete control of mainland China. Once in power, the official, who had been the shadow of a leader for many years, proposed radical reforms that were inconceivable before: he was the first to call for an abandonment of the personality cult, to carry out economic transformations with an emphasis on the role of light industry instead of heavy industry, and to weaken the party apparatus, transferring its functions to ordinary authorities.

When, in 1954, a delegation of the United Kingdom's Labour Party (including former Prime Minister Clement Attlee and former Secretary of State for Health Aneurin Bevan) passed through Moscow on their way to the People's Republic of China, Sir William Goodenough Hayter, British Ambassador to the Soviet Union, requested a dinner meeting with Nikita Khrushchev - then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Much to Hayter's surprise, not only did Khrushchev accept the proposal, but decided to attend in the company of Vyacheslav Molotov, Anastas Mikoyan, Andrey Vyshinsky, Nikolay Shvernik, and Georgy Malenkov. Such was the interest aroused in British political circles by this event that Sir Winston Churchill subsequently invited Sir William Hayter down to Chartwell so as to provide a full account of what had transpired at the meeting.

Malenkov seemed "easily the most intelligent and quickest to grasp what was being said" and said "no more than he wanted to say". He was considered an "extremely agreeable neighbour at the table" and was thought to have had a "pleasant, musical voice and spoke well educated Russian". Malenkov even recommended, quietly, that British diplomatic translator Cecil Parrott should read the novels of Leonid Andreyev - an author whose literature was at that moment in time, condemned as decadent in the USSR.

Convinced that Malenkov was in charge, nobody in the British delegation felt much inclined to expend effort with Khrushchev. Malenkov "spoke the best Russian of any Soviet leader I have heard", his "speeches were well constructed and logical in their development" and he seemed "a man with a more Western - oriented mind."

In 1955 he was criticized and was removed from the position of Chairman of the Council of Ministers and was appointed Minister of power, but retained his position as a member of the Presidium of the CC CPSU.

In 1957, together with V. Molotov and L. M. Kaganovich, Malenkov and Shepilov attempted to shift Khrushchev from the post of the 1st Secretary of the CPSU. The Plenum of the Central Committee in June 1957 considered the case of the "anti-Party group". Malenkov was removed from the Central Committee, was transferred to the post of director of the power plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk , then - thermal power plant in Ekibastuz, headed for ten years, and in November 1961 expelled of the CPSU (in contrast to Molotov, he was not restored) and in the same year he was sent to retirement.

Simon Sebag Montefiore says in his 2003 Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar that Malenkov found this demotion actually a pleasant relief from the pressures of the Politburo. Furthermore, Sebag Montefiore reports, Malenkov in his later years became a devout Christian, as did his daughter, who has since spent part of her personal wealth building churches throughout the former Soviet Union. Orthodox Church publications at the time of Malenkov's death said he had been a reader (the lowest level of clergy) and a choir singer in his final years.

He lived with his wife Valeriaon Frunze, and traveled by train to his dacha in Kratovo. There he was seen in the village church. He appealed to the Orthodox faith - he was seized with remorse. He died 14 January 1988 and was buried at Novokuntsevskom cemetery in Moscow. As far as can be determined, the rumor that Khrushchev's sister or daughter was Malenlkov's second wife is false.

The historian Yuri Zhukov told TASS that if Malenkov could stay in the Kremlin, he would probably direct the history of the USSR in a completely different direction. If Malenkov then survived, now we would be a different, much more prosperous country, Yuri Zhukov told TASS. The money of the USSR would not go to Asia or Africa: it would be spent on raising the living standards of Soviet citizens, stimulating food and light industry as a whole; there was also a Malenkov program that sets out these guidelines."

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Page last modified: 25-10-2021 17:30:29 ZULU