Trotskyites were radicals who support Trotsky's theory that socialism must be established throughout the world by continuing revolution. Stalin consolidated his leadership of the Soviet Union by the end of 1927. He immediately turned to the industrialization of the nation with the first Five-Year Plan, which began in November 1928. The failures of the five-year plans were blamed on "wreckers and saboteurs," industrial analogues of the peasants' "spoilers." Every missed goal, every broken machine, and every failure within the Five Year Plans was blamed on wreckers.
Soviet historiography called the period 1937-1938 the "Great Purge". The party elite, using state security agencies, conducted an unprecedented operation whose aim was to create a monolithic, tightly subordinated - organizationally, morally and politically - State. Repression covered all segments of the population.
Problems during the industrialization process (e. g., faulty construction, missed targets, slowdowns) were blamed on wreckers or saboteurs, who were also placed on trial. The deliberate sabotage of Soviet policy, especially of economic programs, became known as "wrecking." Criminal charges of "wrecking" were often levied against former Tsarist specialists in the 1920s and 1930s, and any failure of any Soviet economic program was generally blamed on "wreckers."
At the end of 1931, Stalin thundered public threats against wreckers and saboteurs, including those "professors who in their wrecking go to the length of infecting cattle in collectives and on Soviet farms with plague germs and the Siberian anthrax, spreading meningitis among horses, and so on."
In January 1933 another show trial was staged, this time directed against six British Metro-Vickers engineers, ten Russian technicians, and a woman secretary who had been associated with them. All were charged with sabotage of power stations and the usual accompaniment of conspiracy and espionage.
By the late 1930s everyone was under suspicion of being a fascist or a "Trotskyite wrecker". Kirov was assassinated, and Bukharin and other old Bolsheviks were being executed on trumped-up charges. The trial of the "Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Center" took place in January 1937. The defendants, Georgi Pyatakov, Karl Radek, Grigori Sokolnikov and 14 others, were accused of treason, espionage, diversion, wrecking activities, and preparation of terroristic acts.
After the trial of Zinoviev and Kamenev, January 23, 1937 in Moscow, began the so-called process of "seventeen". Here, together with Pyatakov, whom Lenin described in his "Letter to Congress" a man "is undoubtedly of outstanding will and outstanding ability," it was still sixteen defendants. The main objective of the process - to prove that Trotsky was using these people organized sabotage action, preparing the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. The process as thoroughly "prepared" that Pyatakov, with its outstanding will, colorfully described his meeting with the fugitive in Oslo (where the defendant had never been), said that Trotsky wrote
"Directive has put two versions of the possibility of our coming to power. The first option - it is an opportunity before the war and the arrival of the second option - during the war. The first version of Trotsky represented as a result, he said, the concentrated terrorist strike. He was referring to the simultaneous terrorist acts against several leaders of the CPSU (B) and the Soviet state, and, of course, primarily against Stalin and his closest aides. The second option, which was, with Trotsky's point of view, more likely - a military defeat ... "
Another performance, the so-called process of "twenty-one", was particularly painful. There preparing reprisals against Bukharin, Rykov, Krestinsky, Rakovsky, Rozengolts and other martyrs of the Stalinist tyranny. With these judgments Stalin wanted to deliver the final, devastating blow to the former - mainly - the supporters of Trotsky, labeling them as "rabid gang of wreckers," engaged in "espionage, terror, murder, arson."
Trotsky was the main ideological and political targets of Stalin. "Duel" continued with the Trotsky. It could not have been a draw. It is no accident that in the indictment in the case of GL Pyatakov, Radek CB, GY Sokolnikov and others on several pages of text, Trotsky referred to fifty-one times!
A similar pattern in the indictment in the case of N.I.Bukharin, A.I.Rykov, N.N.Krestinsky, H.G.Rakovsky, A.P.Rosengoltz and their companions in misfortune. When the trial began, Trotsky from Mexico all the time made it clear that, yes, "judge his followers, but judge them for ideas." So, almost every release of its "Bulletin of the Opposition" Trotsky always something printed on Rakovsky, Krestinsky, Rozengolts, showed their "incompatibility" with Stalin, stressed their solidarity with them. Almost regularly published exile protests against the persecution of their "supporters". All this protection Trotsky "enemies" Stalin was at hand, to give him additional "arguments".
Despite the overall successes and consolidation of society on the basis of autocratic rule, there were many major flaws and failures. Numerous shortcomings in the industry, a chronic backlog of Agriculture, the slow growth of the living standards of the people demanded an explanation. The most convenient way for Stalin seemed to blame everything on "sabotage and subversion." The daily reports obedient performers, just catching the address of the class enemy, said the "leader", reported.
Once more were served up the delirious ravings about Trotskyism, fascism, terrorism, treason, espionage, backed up with charges of industrial sabotage and incredible intrigues aiming to provoke a war and the dismemberment of the USSR. Still there was no proof, no plausible presumption even, no tangible evidence, no witness for the defense, and no possible defence. Those accused of this new witchcraft admitted, as if with pleasure, the worst villainies and the least probable crimes. Their foreheads in the dust, they did not even spare their praises of the most genial Stalin. Thirteen of the defendants were sentenced to death, three to 10 years imprisonment and one to 8 years imprisonment.
There was also a cautionary article Ya Rudzutak: "By means of its agents - Trotsky and his gang - the Nazis tried to upset by wrecking our economy, with their hands, they want to kill the best people of our country, the brain and the heart of our country - Comrade Stalin ... "
The Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), called "February-March", was held from February 23 to March 5, 1937, and was the impetus that started the "great purge" of the USSR. The agenda included a review of six issues: 1) Buharin and Rykov; 2) Preparation for elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; 3) Report on the preparation of resolution in the case of Bukharin and Rykov; 4) Lessons of subversion, sabotage and espionage of the Japanese-German-Trotskyite agents at the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry and Railways; 5) Lessons of subversion, sabotage and espionage of the Japanese- German- Trotskyite among the agents of the NKVD; 6) On the party education of party cadres and measures against Trotsky and other double-dealer in the party organizations.
The Report by Joseph Stalin, General Secretary, to the Plenum ( Plenary Session ) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, March 3, 1937. "the present-day wreckers and diversionists, the Trotskyites. The present-day wreck ers and diversionists, the Trotskyites, are mostly Party people with a Party card in their pocket, and consequently people who formally are not alien to us. Whereas the old wreckers went against our people, the new wreckers on the contrary cringe to our people, laud them, lick their boots, in order to worm their way into their confidence....
"... the Trotskyite wreckers, as people with a Party card having access to all places in our institutions and organizations, were a real windfall for the intelligence services of foreign states.... No wrecker will engage in wrecking all along the line if he wants to avoid being exposed in the shortest possible time. On the contrary, the real wrecker has from time to time to show successes in his work, for this is his only means of keeping himself going as a wrecker, of winning the confidence of people and of continuing his wrecking work....
"... the wreckers usually adapt the main part of their wrecking work not to the peace-time period, but to that of the eve of war or of war itself. Suppose we were to lull ourselves with the rotten theory of "the systematic fulfilment of the economic plans", and were not to touch the wreckers. Do the authors of this rotten theory appreciate what a tremendous amount of harm the wreckers would do to our country in case of war...
"Comrade Molotov quoted a whole number of facts which go to show how the Trotskyites and non-Trotskyite wreckers in the Kuznets and Don Basins abused the confidence of our politically careless comrades, systematically led the Stakhanov workers a dance, placed spokes in their wheels, so to speak, artificially created a whole number of obstacles preventing their working successfully and finally succeeded in disorganizing their work....
"We must bring about a situation where there is not a single Trotskyite wrecker left in our ranks.... "
Newspaper materials provide numerous examples of a stream of curses. Often, newspaper offices were discussing the need for a sharp statements against the "enemies of the people" and "socially alien" and those who "hinder the building of socialism." Dirty labels came to life, and became the style of communication. Moreover, especially in the collective farms and enterprises, the campaign for the development of criticism, people used expressions: the executioner, a fascist, a Trotskyist; pest; renegade and so on.
"All that they did was to keep alive in him the belief, or hope, that others besides himself were the enemies of the Party. Perhaps the rumours of vast underground conspiracies were true after all--perhaps the Brotherhood really existed! It was impossible, in spite of the endless arrests and confessions and executions, to be sure that the Brotherhood was not simply a myth. Some days he believed in it, some days not. There was no evidence, only fleeting glimpses that might mean anything or nothing..."
1984, by George Orwell
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