The Court Session of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. opens on August 19, 1936 at 12:10 p.m. in the October Hall of the House of Trade Unions. The Court is presided over by Army Military Jurist V. V. Ulrich. Members of the Court: Army Corps Military Jurist I. O. Matulevich and Divisional Military Jurist I.I. Nikitchenko; reserve member of the Court: Divisional Military Jurist I.T. Golyakov; and secretary: Military Jurist of First Rank A.F. Kostyushko.
The prosecution is conducted by Comrade A.Y. Vyshinsky, State Attorney of the U.S.S.R.
|Andrei Vyshinsky (1883-1954), prosecutor. Vyshinsky was also representative for the Soviet Union in the United Nations 1946-49.|
The President, Comrade Ulrich, declares the session of the Court open, establishes the identity of the accused, and inquires of them whether they take exception to the composition of the Court or of the State Prosecution. After receiving the reply that there is no such objection, the President announces that all the accused having declined the services of counsel for defence, all rights of the defence are extended to them personally, i e., the right to put questions to the witnesses and to the other accused, to petition the Court in all matters of procedure, to deliver speeches in their own defence, etc. In addition to this, they retain the right of last pleas.
The Secretary of the Court reads the indictment.
in the case of G.E. Zinoviev, L.B. Kamenev, G.E. Evdokimov,I.N. Smirnov, I.P. Bakayev, V. A. Ter-Vaganyan, S. V. Mrachkovsky, E. A. Dreitzer, E. S. Holtzman, I. I. Reingold, R. V. Pickel, V. P. Olberg, K. B. Berman-Yurin, Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky), M. Lurye, and N. Lurye, accused of crimes covered by Artieles 588, 19 and 588, 5811 of the Criminal Code of the R.S.F.S.R.
On Jan. 15-16, 1935, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. at a special session in the city of Leningrad tried the case of the underground counter-revolutionary group of Zinovievites calling itself the "Moscow centre," the principal leaders of which among the others convicted in that case were G .E. Zinoviev, L. B. Kamenev, G. E. Evdokimov and I. P. Bakayev.
The preliminary and the Court investigation of that case established that for a number of years this so-called "Moscow centre" guided the counter-revolutionary activities of diverse underground groups of Zinovievites, including the counter-revolutionary activities of the Leningrad group of Nikolayev-Kotolynov which on Dec. 1, 1934, foully murdered Comrade S. M. Kiro.
The trial established that the so-called "Moscow centre," being the ideological and political leader of the Leningrad group of Zinovievites, knew that this group was inclined towards terrorism and did all it could to fan this inclination.
This had to be admitted also by the accused Zinoviev and Kamenev, who denied that they took any part in the murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov, hypocritically stating at the trial that they bore only moral and political responsibility for the assassination of Comrade Kirov.
It now transpires that eighteen months ago, during the investigation of the case of the assassination of Comrade S. M. Kirov, the investigating and judicial authorities were not in possession of all the facts revealing the troe role of the Zinovievite leaders of the so-called "Moscow centre" on the one hand and the leaders of theTrotskyite underground organization on the other, in the whiteguard, terroristic undergraund activities.
On the strength of newly revealed circumstances ascertained by the investigating authorities in 1936 in connection with the discovery of a number of terrorist groups of Totskyites and Zinovievites, the investigation has established that Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev, who were convicted in the "Moscow centre" case, actually not only knew that their adherents in Leningrad were inclined towards terrorism, but were the direct organizers of the assassination of Comrade S. M. Kirov.
The investigation also established that Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev, and a number of other accused in present case, who will be mentioned later, were the initiators and organizers of attempts which were being prepared on the lives of other leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and of the Soviet Government as well.
The investigation has also established that the Zinovievites pursued their criminal terroristic practices in a direct bloc with the Trotskyites and with L. Trotsky, who is abroad.
These newly revealed circumstances establish without a doubt that:
1) At the end of 1932 the Trotskyite and Zinovievite groups united and formed a united centre consisting of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev (from the Zinovievites) and I. N. Smirnov, Ter-Vaganyan and Mrachkovsky (from the Trotskyites), all charged in the present case.
2) The principal condition for the union of these counterrevolutionary groups was their common recognition of individual terrorism against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government.
3) Precisely from that time onwards (end of 1932) the Trotskyites and Zinovievites, acting on direct instructions from L. Trotsky, received by the united centre through special agents, concentrated their hostile activities against the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government mainly on the organization of terrorism against the most prominent leaders of the Party and the Government.
4) With this end in view the united centre organized special terrorist groups, which prepared a number of practical measures for the assassination of Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Kirov, Orjonikidze, Zhdanov, Kossior, Postyshev and others.
5) One of these terrorist groups, consisting of Nikolayev, Rumyantsev, Mandelstamm, Levin, Kotolynov and others, who were convicted by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. on Dec. 28-29, 1934, carried out the foul murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov on Dec. 1, 1934, on the direct instructions from Zinoviev and L. Trotsky, and under the direct guidance of the united centre.
I. The Trotskyite-Zinovievite United Terrorist Centre
The testimonies of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Mrachkovsky, Bakayev and a number of other accused in the present case, have established beyond doubt that the only motive for organizing the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc was thier striving to seize power at all costs, and that the sole and decisive means chosen for this purpose was the organization of terroristic acts against the most prominent leaders of the Party and the Government.
Lacking all support in the working class and the toiling masses of the people of the U.S.S.R., having lost all their ideological possessions, having no political program and imbued with bitter hatred toward the Socialist victories of our country, the leaders of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite counter-revolutionary bloc, Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev, sank definitively into the swamp of whiteguardism, joined forces and merged with the most inverterate enemies of the Soviet Power, and became the organizing force of the last remnants of the exploiting classis which had been routed in the U.S.S.R. In their desperation and hatred they resorted to the most despicable means of fighting the Soviet Government and the leaders of the C.P.S.U., namely, political assassinations.
At first, in the face of the first successes of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., they held to their hopes that difficulties would arise, with which, in their calculations, the Soviet Power would not be able to cope. But later, seeing that these difficulties were being successfully overcome and that our country was emerging victorious from these difficulties, they frankly banked on the complication of international relations, on war and the defeat of the Soviet Power.
Seeing no favourable prospects for themselves, they resorted to the gun; they organized underground terroristic groups and made use of the most detestable method of fighting, namely terrorism.
At present the Trotskyite-Zinovievite conspirators, as a reason for their fight against the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government, no longer advance the claim that the Party and the Soviet Government are pursuing an allegedly wrong policy, or that the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government are leading the country to its doom, as they lyingly and slanderously asserted in the past. As their principal motive for resorting to terrorism they now advance the successes of the building of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., the successes in the cultural and economic growth of the country, which successes, demonstrating the ideological and political bankruptcy of the Trotskyites-Zinovievites, fan their hatred of the Soviet Government still more and intensify their desire to avenge themselves on the Soviet Government for their political failure by resorting to terrorism.
In spite of obdurate denials, the accused Zinoviev was compelled by the weight of evidence which was laid before him by the investigating authorities to admit that:
". . . The main object which the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre pursued was the assassination of the leaders of the C.P.S.U., and in the first place the assassination of Stalin andKirov. " (Vol. XII, p. 16.)
Another member of this centre, accused Reingold, during examination on July 3, 1936, testifield:
". . . The main thing on which all the members of the bloc agreed was... the recognition of the necessity of consolidating all forces to capture the Party leadership. I must admit that the fundamental aim of the Trotskyite-Zinovievitebloc was to remove by violence the leadership of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government, and Stalin in the first place. At the end of 1932 the centre adopted a decision to organize the fight against the leadership of the C.P.S.U. and the Government by terroristic means. I know that the Trotskyite section of the bloc received instructions from L. D. Trotsky to adopt the path of terrorism and to prepare attempts on the life of Stalin." (Vol. XXVII, p. 52)
Exhaustive evidence on the same point was also given during the examination on July 23, 1936 by the accused Kamenev. The accused Kamenev stated:
".. . . The emergence from the difficulties, the victory of the policy of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. caused in us a new wave of animosity and hatred towards the leadership of the Party, and primarily towards Stalin."
". . . We, i.e., the Zinovievite centre of the counter-revolutionary organization, the members of which I have enumerated above, and the Trotskyite counter-revolutionary organiztion in the persons of Smirnov, Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan, negotiated in 1932 to unite both the Zinovievite and Trotskyite counter-revolutionary organizations for joint preparation of terroristic acts against the leaders of the Central Committee and in the first place against Stalin and Kirov. "
".. . . The main thing is that in 1932 both Zinoviev and we, namely, myself (Kamenev), Evdokimov, Bakayev and the Trotskyite leaders, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan, decided that the only means by which we could hope to come to power was to organize terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U., and primarily against Stalin. It was precisely on this basis of a terroristic struggle against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. that negotiations for the union were conducted between ourselves and the Trotskyites." (Vol. XV, pp. 10, 12, 13.)
The accused Kamenev further stated that:
".. . . However, our banking on the insuperability of the difficulties which the country was experiencing, on the state of crisis of its economy, on the collapse of the economic policy of the Party leadership had obviously failed by the second half of 1932.
"Overcoming the difficulties, the contry, under the leadership of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U., was successfully advancing along the road of economic growth. We could not help seeing this.
"One would have thought that we should have stopped fighting. But the logic of the counter-revolutionary struggle, the nakedly unprincipled striving to scize power led us in the other direction. The emergence from the difficulties, the victory of the policy of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U., caused in us a new wave of animosity and hatred towards the leaders of the Party, and primarily towards Stalin." (Vol. XV, p. 27.)
This was confirmed also by the accused Evdokimov who, on Aug. 10 this year, gave detailed evidence on the organization of the united centre and the terroristic position adopted by it. In reply to the question put to him by the investigating authorities on what basis the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc arose, the accused Evdokimov stated:
".. . . Mrachkovsky said: 'The hopes we have placed on the collapse of the Party's policy must be considered doomed. The methods of struggle used up to now have not produced any positive results. There remains only one path of struggle, and that is the removal of the leadership of the Party and the Government by violence ... ' Seeing that I agreed with him, Mrachkovsky, no longer having any fear that I would not support him, went on to say: 'Stalin and the other leaders of the Party and the Government must be removed. This is the principal task.'
"Right there, Mrachkovsky informed me that the Trotskyites had received instruktions from Trotsky on the necessity of organizing terroristic attempts on the lives of the leaders of the Party and the Government, that Trotsky, being outside the Soviet Union, correctly defined the tasks of the fight against the leadership of the C.P.S.U. At the same time, by the logic of the struggle, Mrachkovsky himself and other Trotskyites had come to the conclusion that terrorism was the only road of struggle remaining.. . . ..Smirnov expressed the same views as Mrachkovsky . . . . In conclusion Mrachkovsky and Smirnov proposed to unite the forces of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites and to proceed to create secret terrorist groups for the purpose of committing terroristic acts against the leadeers of the Party and the Government. (Vol. XXXVI, p. 10.)
Similar evidence was also given by a member of the Moscow terrorist centre, I.I. Reingold, who testified as follows:
". . . I met Kamenev in the second half of 1933 and also in 1934 in his apartment in Karmanitsky pereulok, in Moskow.
Kamenev appraised the situation in approximately the same way as Zinoviev and backed his conclusions by an analysis of the economic and political situation in the country. Kamenev arrived at the conclusion that after all, things were not moving toward catastrophe but were on upgrade; therefore, all expectations of an automatic collapse were groundless, and the leadership that had grown up was made of too hard a granite to expect that it would split of itself. From this Kamenev drew the conclusion that the 'leadership will have to be split.'
"Kamenev repestedly quoted Trotsky as saying: 'the whole matter is in the top, therefore the top must be removed.'
"Kamenev advocated the necessity of a terrorist struggle and primarily the necessity of killing Stalin, pointing out that this was the only way of coming to power. I particularly remember his cynical remark that 'heads are peculiar in that they do not grow on again.'
"Kamenev proposed that terrorist gunmen be trained. He said that the distinguishing feature of the new bloc compared with the previous opposition bloc was the adoption of energetic terroristic action." (Vol. XXVII, p. 61.)
He further said:
". . . I have already stated above that the Trotskyite-Zinovievite united bloc had no new political program.It based itself upon the old threadbare platform, and none of the leaders of the bloc occupied themseles with, or were interested in the question of drawing up any kind of political program that was to any degree complete and consistent. The only thing that united this heterogeneous bloc was the idea of a terrorist flight against the leaders of the Party and the Government.
"As a matter of fact the bloc was a counter-revolutionary terrorist gang of assassins who strove to seize power in the country by any means whatever." (Vol. XXVII, pp. 72-73.)
The accused I N Smirnov, during examination on Aug. 5, 1936, also admitted that he had met Sedov, L. Trotsky's son, while he was in Berlin as far back as 1931.
I .N .Smirnov stated:
".. . . In the course of our conversation, L. Sedov, analysing the situation in the Soviet Union, expressed the opinion that under the present conditions only the removal by violence of the leading persons in the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government could bring about a change in general situation in the country...."
". . . I admit that the attitude which regarded terrorism as the only way of changing the situation in the Soviet Union was known to me from a conversation with Sedov in Berlin in 1931 as his own personal position. I admit that this line on terrorism was confirmed by L. Trotsky in 1932 in his personal instructions conveyed to me through Y. Gaven.
"I admit that Ter-Vaganyan, who with my knowledge conducted negotiations with the Leftists and the Zinovievites in the name of the Trotskyite group, formed in 1932 a bloc with Kamenev, Zinoviev and the Lominadze group for joint struggle against the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government, and that L. Trotsky's instructions regarding terror against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet state werw made the basis of this bloc. " (Vol. XXIX, pp. 93, 104.)
The accused V. A. Ter-Vaganyan confirmed this evidence of the accused Smirnov, admitting his participation in the united centre, as well as the participation in this centre of the accused I. N. Smirnov, Mrachkovsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev.
The accused V. A. Ter-Vaganyan confirmed this evidence of the accused Smirnov, admitting his participation in the united centre, as well as the participation in this centre of the accused I. N. Smirnov, Mrachkovsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev.
The accused Ter-Vaganyan admitted that:
"The Trotskyite organization headed by I. N. Smirnov, in its counter-revolutionary activities, particularly fostered hatred and animosity against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. . . . It was on this hatred that the bloc was founded. . . " (Vol. XXXVIII; p. 11.)
The accused Ter-Vaganyan also admitted that as far back as 1931 -
"Sedov received from Trotsky special instructions for I. N. Smirnov and the underground Trotskyites in the U.S.S.R. to adopt the most active and sharp methods of struggle against the Party and its leadership." (Vol. XXXVIII, p. 27.)
Confirming the evidence of the accused Mrachkovsky on this point, the accused Ter-Vaganyan testified:
"Mrachkovsky is right when he says that the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc itself was really organized on the basis of the recognition that it was necessary to fight the leadership of the Party and the Government by terroristic methods." (Vol. XXXVIII, p. 32.)
Thus, there is no doubt left that the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc had turned into a group of unprincipled, political adventurers and assassins striving at only one thing, namely, to make their way to power even through terrorism.
Such is the sole and exhaustive "program" of this association of political assassins.
Concerning terrorism as the sole basis on which the union of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites took place in 1932, evidence was given at the preliminary investigation also by the accused R. V. Pickel. During the examination on July 23, Pickel testified:
". . . According to the information conveyed to us by Reingold in the beginning of 1934, the all-Union united counter-revolutionary centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc decided by the efforts of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites to strike a crushing blow at the C.P.S.U. by committing a number of terroristic acts with the aim of beheading the leadership and seizing power.
"The all-Union centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc then bluntly raised the question of the necessity of 'strugical intervention' (meaning terrorism) in order to bring about a decisive change in the situation in the country. For this purpose the centre gave instructions to start selecting people who nursed particularly bitter feelings against the Party leadership, who had very strong will power and were capable of carrying out terroristic attempts on the lives of the leaders of the C.P.S.U." (Vol. XXV, p. 65.)
In conformity with the course taken by the Trotskyite-Zinovievite underground bloc of seizing power by any means, the members of this bloc widely practised double-dealing as the special and main method in their relations towards the Party and Government. They brought this double-dealing to monstrous dimensions, and transformed it into a system that might rouse the envy of any Axef and Malinovsky, of any secret service with all its spies, provocateurs and agents for diversive activities.
One of the principal aims of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc was in every possible way to conceal and mask its counter-revolutionary activities and the organization of terroristic acts.
On this point the accused Reingold testified:
". . . In 1933-34 Zinoviev told me when I was alone with him in his apartment that: ' . . . The principal practical task is to organize the terroristic work so secretly as to preclude our being compromised in any way. . . . '
" ' . . . When under examination the main thing is persistently to deny any connection with the organization. if accused of terroristic activities, you must emphatically deny it and argue that terror is incompatible with the views of Bolsheviks-Marxists.' " (Vol. XXVII, pp. 110, 112)
Similar instructions were given by L. Trotsky, who rekommended that when terroristic acts were committed they should be disavowed and "a position should be taken up analogous to that taken up by the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries toward Madame Kaplan" who shot at V. I. Lenin.
Another reason why the united centre resorted to profound secrecy and carefully masked its terroristic activities was that one of its aims was to betray the vigilance of the working class and the masses of the toilers. While preparing the assassination of Comrade Stalin and other leaders of the C.P.S.U., the united centre simultaneously strove by all means in its power to give assurances of its loyalty and even devotion to the Party and the Soviet Power, of its repentance of past mistakes and of its readiness to serve the Proletarian Revolution honestly. The leaders of the united centre figured that having been "forgiven" they could, after killing Comrade Stalin, utilize this "forgiveness" to come into power. On this point the accused Reingold testified:
". . . They believed - I am speaking of the leaders of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre - that the fact that we were forgiven while Stalin was still alive, the fact that confidence was placed in us, would ensure our coming nearer to the leadership and to power; and following this, after Zinoviev, Kamenev and their supporters had come into power, they would ensure the return also of Trotsky to the leadership and to power." (Vol. XXVII, p. 168.)
This was also testified to during examination by the accused Kamenev:
". . . We discussed this question more than once. We outlined and decided on two possible ways for the leaders of theTrotskyite-Zinovievite bloc to come to power.
"The first, and what seemed to us to be the most feasible way, was that after a terroristic act had been committed against Stalin, there would ensure confusion in the leadership of the Party and the Government, and negotiations Would be opened with us, the leaders of the Zinovievite bloc and in the first place with Zinoviev, Kamenev and Trotsky.
"We assumed that in these negotiations, myself and Zinoviev would occupy the leading positions in the Party and the country, for even with Stalin we, by our policy of doubledealing, had obtained, after all, forgiveness of our mistakes by the Party and had been taken back into its ranks, while our participation, that is mine, Zinoviev's and Trotsky's, in the terroristic acts would remain secret from the Party and the country.
"The second way by which we could seize power, and which seemed to us to be less reliable, was that after a terroristic act had been committed against Stalin, the leadership of the Party and the country would be thrown into a state of uncertainty and disorganization.
"The leaders of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc would be able to take advantage of the confusion to compel the remaining leaders of the Party to admit us to power or else to yield to us their places.
"Trotsky's appearance and his active participation in the struggle for power were taken as a matter of course." (Vol. XV, pp. 33-34.)
The united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre took the path of terrorism under the direct influence of L. D. Trotsky, who personally gave the members of the united centre a number of verbal and written instructions to this effect.
During examination on July 20, 1936 the accused S. V. Mrachkovsky testifield:
". . . We Trotskyites adopted the policy of terrorism long before the bloc with Zinoviev and Kamenev was formed. In 1931, when I. N. Smirnov was in Berlin and established contact with L. Trotsky, instructions were received from the latter to proceed to the organization of action groups of Trotskyites." (Vol. XVIII, pp. 40. 41.)
This same Mrachkovsky stated:
". . . According to the instructions of L. Trotsky received in 1931 by I. N. Smirnov, we were to kill Stalin, Voroshilov and Kaganovich. Stalin was to be killed first." (Vol. XVIII; p. 42.)
On Trotsky's attitude towards forming, a united Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc and adopting terroristic methods of struggle, the accused Mrachkovsky testified as follows:
". . . In the middle of 1932, I. N. Smirnov put before our leading trio the question of the necessity of uniting our organization with the Zinoviev-Kamenev and Shatskin-Lominadze groups . . . It was then decided to consult L. Trotsky on this question and to obtain his directions. L. Trotsky replied, agreeing to the formation of a bloc on the condition that the groups uniting in the bloc would agree to the necessity of removing by violence the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and Stalin in the first place." (Vol. XVIII, pp. 44, 45.)
This evidence of Mrachkovsky was fully confirmed by the accused Dreitzer who during examination testified:
". . . On the direct instructions of L. Trotsky, our all-Union centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc was to prepare and carry out the assassination of Stalin and Voroshilov for the purpose of beheading the leadership of the C.P.S.U. and the Red Army." (Vol. X, p. 99.)
In 1934, the accused Dreitzer personally received written instructions from Trotsky, through L. Trotsky's son, Sedov, to prepare and carry out terroristic act against Comrade Stalin. This letter was written personally by Trotsky. According to Dreitzer's testimony the contents of this letter were as follows:
"Dear friend. Convey that today we have the following main tasks before us:
"1) To remove Stalin and Voroshilov.
"2) To unfold work for organizing nuclei in the army.
"3) In the event of war, to take advantage of every setback and confusion to capture the leadership."
The accused Dreitzer stated that "the letter ended with instructions to keep Trotsky informed of the progress of the work done in fulfilment of the above instructions. I must add that these instructions of Trotsky fully confirmed the instructions I received from Mrachkovsky in May 1934." (Vol. X, pp. 102, 103.)
This letter was addressed by Trotsky to Dreitzer personally as to one of the people most devoted to him, and who at one time was chief of his personal bodyguard.
Dreitzer handed this letter to Mrachkovsky, who, according to the testimony of Dreitzer and of Mrachkovsky himself, eventuelly destroyed it for reasons of secrecy.
In addition to the above-mentioned letter, Trotsky sent to theTrotskyite-Zinovievite centre a number of other verbal and written instructions concerning terrorism. In particular, he handed to the accused Holtzman instructions of this nature when he met him personally. Holtzman, served as a Liaison man between L. Trotsky and the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre.
The investigation has established that after the smash-up of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre in connection with the murder of Comrade Kirov, L. Trotsky himself assumed the leadership of terroristic activities in the U.S.S.R. and began stongly to press forward the organization of the assassinations of Comrades Stalin and Voroshilov. For this purpose he took steps to restorè the terrorist groups in the U.S.S.R. and to stimulate their activity by sending a number of his tried agants to the U.S.S.R. from abroad and also by using for this purpose persons belonging to underground Trotskyite organizations in the U.S.S.R. who went abroad ostensibly on official business.
The investigation has established that at various times the following accused persons were sent from Berlin to Moscow as such agents: V. Olberg, Berman-Yurin, Fritz David (Kruglyansky), Moissei Lurye, Nathan Lurye and several others who received directly from L. D. Trotsky and his son Sedov (L. L .Trotsky) instructions to organize at all costs the assassinations of Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich and other leaders of the Party.
One of these Trotskyite agents, V. Olberg, who arrived in the U.S.S.R. with the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Honduras, stated when arrested and examined:
". . . As I have already testified, I began active Trotskyite work at the beginning of 1930. In addition to the persons I have enumerated, I was personally connected with Trotsky and his son Lev Sedov; I carried out a number of assignments given to me personally by Trotsky in connection with the Trotskyite organization, and I was his emissary in Germany. As Trotsky's emissary in Germany, I carried on work in the Trotskyite organization in Berlin and also maintained secret connections with the Soviet Union. I maintained connections with the Soviet Union using addresses and places which Lev Sedov indicated to me." (Vol. XXI, p. 24.)
V. Olberg admitted that he arrived in the U.S.S.R. illegally for the purpose of carrying on Trotskyite counter-revolutionary workand of organizing a terroristic act against Comrade Stalin.
During examination on February 21 of this year, V. Olberg testified that during one of his meetings with L. Trotsky's son, Sedov, the latter showed him a letter from Trotsky in wich Trotsky proposed that Olberg be sent to the Soviet Union with a group of German Trotskyites for the purpose of preparing and organizing the murder of Stalin
". . . In this letter," V. Olberg goes on to say, "Trotsky wrote to Sedov stating that he fully agreed with his proposal that I be sent to the Soviet Union. Trotsky wrote that he considered me to be an absolutely suitable person who could be fully relied upon in so perilous a matter."
To this Olberg added:
"Sedov said to me that it was my duty to conceal by every possible means Trotsky's role in the organization of a terroristic act against Stalin, and that even if were arrested in circumstances in which my role of a terrorist would be absolutely obvious, I was to conceal the fact that I was a Trotskyite and was committing the terroristic act on Trotsky's instructions." (Vol. XXI, pp. 77, 78)
As the investigation has established, V. Olberg arrived in the U.S.S.R. with the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Honduras obtained with the aid of the German Secret Police (Gestapo).
On this point V. Olberg, during examination in the office of the State Attorney of the U.S.S.R., testified
". . . Sedov promised to help me to obtain a passport to returnto the U.S.S.R. once more. But I succeeded in obtaining a passport with the help of my younger brother, Paul Olberg. Thanks to my connections with the German police and their agent in Prague, V. P. Tukalevsky, I, by means of a bribe, obtained the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Honduras. The mony for the passport - 13,000 Czechoslovakian kronen - I obtained from Sedov, or rather, from the Trotskyite organization on Sedov's instructions." (Vol. XXI, p. 262.)
Re-examined on the question of his connection with the Gestapo, V. Olberg on July 31 of this year testified:
"Confirming also my testimony of May 9 of this year, I emphasize that my connection with the Gestapo was not at all an exception, of which one could speak as of the fall of an individual Trotskyite. It was the line of the Trotskyites in conformity with the instructions of L. Trotsky given through Sedov. The connection with the Gestapo followed the line of organizing terrorism in the U.S.S.R. against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government."
". . . Several times I met a prominent official of the Gestapo, whose name was not mentioned to me, and I did not consider it convenient to inquire. With this official I discussed my first journey to Moscow and my plans concerning the preparation of a terroristic act. This official knew my brother as an agent of the Gestapo to whom he advised me to apply for help whenever necessary. (Vol. XXI, pp. 263-264.)
This testimony of V. Olberg was fully confirmed by Paul Olberg, also an agent of the German Secret Police, arrested in connection with another case. It was Paul Olberg who put his brother V. Olberg, as both of them testify, in touch with the Gestapo and helped V. Olberg to obtain from the Gestapo the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Honduras, which figures as an exhibit in the present case.
Paul Olberg also confirmed the fact that V. Olberg's journey to the U.S.S.R. was organized with terroristic purposes. During examination on May 16 this year, Paul Olberg testified:
". . . Valentine Olberg informed me that an official of the German Secret Police told him that all persons taking part in preparing and committing terroristic acts would be given refuge in Germany." (Vol. XXIV, p. 231.)
Another Trotskyite agent, sent to the U.S.S.R. with terroristic tasks, namely Berman-Yurin, testified:
". . . My own role was that I arrived in the U.S.S.R. as a person particularly trusted by Lev Davidovich Trotsky with a special mission and instructions from him." (Vol.IV, p. 30.)
As the investigation has established, this "special mission and instructions" were to organize the assassination of Comrade Stalin. This was admitted by the accused Berman-Yurin, who testified that, on meeting L. Trotsky .in Copenhagen, he received from Trotsky directions to kill Comrade Stalin.
". . . During this conversation," said the accused Berman-Yurin, "Trotsky openly said to me that in the fight against Stalin, one must not hesitate to resort to extreme measures, and that Stalin must be physically destroyed." (Vol. IV, p. 36.)
". . . Trotsky emphasized that the attempt must be prepared very carefully and circumspectly and should be timed with some big political event of international importance. It would be most preferable, if the opportunity arose, to make the attempt coincide with some plenum or congress of the Comintern. Trotsky stated that such a terroristic act committed at a congress or plenum would immedeately assume the nature of an international political event; it would rouse the masses far beyond the frontiers of the U.S.S.R. and would give rise to powerful movement.
"Trotsky told me that this terroristic act against Stalin must not be committed secretly, on the quiet, but that the assassination must be committed publicly, before an international forum." (Vol. IV, pp. 38, 39.)
Simultaneously with Berman-Yurin, L. Trotsky sent also the accused Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) to the U.S.S.R. to prepare terroristic act.
In the autumn of 1932, Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) also had a meeting with L. Trotsky, arranged for him by Sedov. In conversation with him, Trotsky proposed that Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) undertake, as he expressed it, the "historic mission" of killing Stalin.
Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) testified:
". . . When proposing that I go to the U.S.S.R. to kill Stalin, Trotsky advised me, for the sake of secrecy, not to maintain open connections with the Trotskyites but outwardly to adhere to the policy of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany.
"This conversation with Trotsky took place in November 1932 and I accepted his proposal to kill Stalin." (Vol. VIII, p. 73.)
On arriving in the U.S.S.R. Berman-Yurin found Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) at an address given him by Sedov, Fritz David(I. I. Kruglyansky) and Berman-Yurin decided to carry out the assassination of Comrade Stalin at the Seventh Congress of the Comintern. This, however, they failed to do owing to the fact that Berman-Yurin was unable to get into the Congress, while Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky), although he got into the Congress, could not carry out his criminal intention because he sat far away from the presidium and had no opportunity of getting near to Comrade Stalin.
As both of the accused admitted during the investigation, Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) was to have shot Comrade Stalin at the Seventh Congress with a Browning pistol which he had received from Berman-Yurin. (Vol. VIII, p. 77.)
The investigation has also established that the terrorist group headed by Trotsky's agent, Moissei Lurye, whom Trotsky sent into the U.S.S.R. from abroad, was actually organized by the active German fascist Franz Weitz, the representative of Himmler, at that time the leader of the fascist SS Detachments and now the director of the German Secret Police (Gestapo).
On this point M. Lurye, examined on July 21, stated:
"Nathan Lurye replied that he was still, as before, a convinced Trotskyite, and he reported that a terrorist group, small in number, but very reliable, had been organized here in Moscow in April 1932. . . .
". . . When I asked on whose instructions and at whose initiative this action group had been organized, N. Lurye answered that the action group was created by a certain Franz Weitz. . ."
". . . When I asked who was Franz Weitz, N. Lurye, at first very unvillinly, answered as follows: Franz Weitz is an active member of the National-Socialist Party in Germany and a trusted man of Himmler (the present director of the Gestapo in Germany). At that time Himmler was the leader of the 'SS' - Blackshirt Guards. . ."
". . . The main task of the group, according to Weitz, was to prepare terroristic acts against Stalin, Kaganovich, Voroshilov and Orjonikidze . . . . " (Vol. XXXII, pp. 243, 244.)
The accused M. Lurye communicated to Zinoviev in detail N. Lurye's report, desiring to ascertain Zinoviev's attitude towards connections with the fascists and the German Secret Police.
After listening to M. Lurye's communication, Zinoviev replied:
"What is there in this to disturb you? You are a historian,Moissei Ilyich, you know the case of Lassalle and Bismarck, when Lassalle wanted to use Bismarck in the interests of the revolution."
". . . By means of this historical parallel," added M. Lurye,"Zinoviev wanted to prove the possibility and the necessity of utilizing an alliance with the National-Socialists in the fight against the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government." (Vol. XXXII, p. 252.)
M. Lurye's testimony was fully confirmed by N. Lurye, who, during examination on July 21 testified as follows:
"I must admit that from the autumn of 1932 to the end of 1933 the terrorist action group of which I was the head, was actively preparing a terroristic act against the People's Commissar of Defence, Voroshilov . . . ."
". . . I was commissioned to do this by Franz Weitz, a German engineer-architect, member of the National-Socialist Party of Germany, representative of Himmler, now director of the Gestapo."
". . . In August 1932, leaving for Germany for his vacation, Franz Weitz put me in charge of the terrorist action group and set before me the task of preparing and carrying out terroristic acts against Stalin, Kaganovich and Voroshilov." (Vol. XXXIII, pp. 141-142.)
Thus the accused M. Lurye and N. Lurye, by establishing direct organizational contact with the German fascists and the German Secret Police, betrayed the interests of the Soviet State and committed treason against their country.
Finally, the circumstances established by the investigation show that L. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and others, the leaders of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc, in their fight against the Soviet Government sank so low that their morals proved to be more contemptible than those of gangs of the most hardened criminals. While organizing terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet State, the leaders of the united centre simultaneously were preparing to exterminate their own terrorist agents, in order completely to wipe out all traces of their crimes.
On this point the accused Reingold testified as follows:
"Zinoviev and Kamenev did not exclude the possibility that the O.G.P.U. was in possession of the threads of the conspiracy against the State which was being prepared by them. Therefore they regarded it as their most important task to destroy every possible trace of the crimes committed. For this purpose it was proposed to appoint Bakayev chairman of the O.G.P.U. He was to be charged with the function of physically exterminating the persons who directly carried out terroristic acts against Stalin and Kirov, as well as those workers of the O.G.P.U. who might be in possession of the threads of the crimes committed." (Vol. XXVII, pp. 163-164.)
II. The United Trotskyite-Zinovievite Centre and the Assassination of Comrade S. M. Kirov
It was already established in the case of Nikolayev, Rumyantsev, Kotolynov and others shot by sentence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. on the charge of murdering Comrade S. M. Kirov on December 1, that direct connections existed between the group of Zinovievites in Leningrad who committed the murder, and the accused Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bakayev, already convicted in the case of the so-called "Moscow centre."
At the present time, the investigating authorities are in possession of facts establishing beyond doubt that the murder of S. M. Kirov was kommitted in accordance with the decision of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre.
This was admitted at the preliminary investigation by the majority of active members of various terrorist Trotskyite-Zinovievite groups, including the accused Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev, Mrachkovsky and others.
The accused Evdokimov fully confirmed this by declaring at the examination on Aug. 10 of this year the following:
". . . . At the trial of the Kirov murder case, I - Evdokimov, with Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bakayev, Gertik and others, deceived the Government authorities and the Court by concealing that the murder of Kirov was prepared and carried out by us, the members of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc.
"The murder of Kirov was committed by the Leningrad terrorist centre on the direct instructions of the united centreof the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc. (Vol. XXXVI, p. 6.)
". . . In 1934, Zinoviev, acting in the name of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite organization, gave Bakayev direct instructions to organize the murder of Kirov.
In addition to Zinoviev those taking part in the decision to murder Kirov, included Kamenev, myse.T - Evdokimov, Bakayev, and also representatives of the Trotskyites in the persons of Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan. In order to prepare the murder, Bakayev went to Leningrad in the autumn of 1934 and there established contact with the active members of our organization: Kotolynov, Levin, Rumyantsev, Mandelstamm and Myasnikov, who formed the so-called Leningrad terrorist centre.The Leningrad centre had an active group of terrorists, directly engaged in preparations for the murder of Kirov." (Vol. XXXVI, p. 6.)
After obdurate denials, the accused Zinoviev, convicted by the testimony of a number of other accused, had to admit that as far back as 1932 the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre had decided to organize terroristic acts against Comrade Stalin in Moscow and against Comrade Kirov in Leningrad.
"In the autumn of 1932," stated the accused Zinoviev, "in my villa at Ilyinskoye, in the presence of Kamenev, Bakayev, Evdokimov and Karev, I instructed Bakayev to prepare a terroristic act against Stalin, and Karev to prepare a terroristic act against Kirov." (Vol. XII p. 36.)
The accused Zinoviev testified:
"In 1934, I do not remember the exact month, in the middle of the year, Evdokimov informed me of one of Gertik's trips to Leningrad during which Gertik established contact with Kotolynov. As a result of this meeting Kotolynov told Gertik that he was taking a direct part in the preparations for the assassination of Kirov." (Vol. XII, pp. 37, 38.)
This was also testified by the accused Kamenev, who confirmed the fact that a conference had taken place in Ilyinskoye at which it was decided to commit terroristic acts against Comrades Stalin and Kirov. The accused Kamenev testified:
"I must admit that before the conference in Ilyinskoye, Zinoviev informed me of the proposed decisions of the centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc to organize terroristic acts against Stalin and Kirov, declaring that the representatives of the Trotskyites in the centre of the bloc, Smirnov, Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan, emphatically insisted on this decision, that they had direct instructions on this matter from Trotsky, and that they demanded that a start be made in putting these measures into practice in pursuance of those principles which formed the basis of the bloc." (Vol. XV, pp. 15, 16.)
To this the accused Kamenev added:
"I joined in this decision being in full agreement with it." (Vol. XV, p. 16.)
As the investigation has established, the practical fulfilment of the plan to organize the murder of Comrade Kirov was assigned by the united centre to I. P. Bakayev, a member of that centre.
Direct evidence on this is given by the accused Zinoviev, who admitted that it was precisely Bakayev who had been instructed by Zinoviev, in the name of the united centre, to organize the terroristic acts against Comrade Stalin in Moscow and against Comrade Kirov in Leningrad. (Vol. XII, p. 36.)
Detailed evidence on the role played by Zinoviev, Bakayev and the whole of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre in the murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov was given by the accused Reingold, who stated the following:
"I learned personally from Zinoviev that the assassination of Kirov in Leningrad was prepared on his direct instructions and on the instructions of the centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc. During this conversation with Zinoviev, which took place in his apartment in August 1934, he, as I have already stated reproached the Moscow action group for being slow and not sufficiently active.
"In giving the reasons for the necessity of committing a terroristic act against Kirov, Zinoviev said that Kirov must be physically destroyed as Stalin's closest assistant. He also added: 'It is not enough to fell the oak; all the young oaks growing around it must be felled too.' Another argument Zinoviev used in support of the necessity of murdering Kirov was that Kirov was the leader of the Leningrad organization and was personally responsible for the rout of the opposition in Leningrad.
"As I have already stated, the Leningrad fighting organization was under the direct leadership of Bakayev. Organizational connection with this organization was also maintained by Faivilovich." (Vol. XXVII, p. 70.)
After persistent denials of his participation in the organization of the assassination of Comrade Kirov, the accused Bakayev, under the weight of evidence brought against him, testified:
"I admit that Zinoviev personally instructed me to organize the assassination of Stalin in Moscow, and Karev to organize the assassination of Kirov in Leningrad. For this purpose I instructed Karev to estabish contact in Leningrad with Vladimir Levin and Anishev, members of the organization, while Zinoviev instructed me to put Karev in touch also with Rumyantsev in Leningrad." (Vol. I, p. 89.)
Evidence on the role played by Bakayev as one of the principal organizers of the assassination of Comrade Kirov was also given by N. A. Karev, who is under arrest in connection with another case. At the examination held on July 5, 1936, N. A. Karev stated:
"Zinoviev said that Bakayev had been charged with the preparation of terroristic acts against Stalin and Kirov and that for this purpose he was to utilize his connections with the Zinovievite groups in Leningrad and Moscow."
To this Karev added:
"In conversation with Bakayev, I learned that the latter intended to utilize the Zinovievite groups of Ramyantsev and Kotolynov in Leningrad with which he, Bakayev, had contact, for the organization of a terroristic act against Kirov." (Vol. III, p. 11.)
This was also fully confirmed during the investigation by the accused Evdokimov, who stated the following:
"I learned from Bakayev that in the autumn of 1934, he, Bakayev, together with one Trotskyite terrorist, whose name I do not know, went to Leningrad to establish contact with the Leningrad terrorist centre and to organize the assassination of Kirov.
"While in Leningrad, Bakayev and the above-mentioned Trotskyite terrorist met Nikolayev and arranged with him that he would assassinate Kirov." (Vol. XXXVI, pp. 7, 8.)
"Bakayev stated that the terrorists had expressed confidence in the the success of the terroristic act; they considered themselves to be safe. The reason for this was that all of them, including such active Zinovievites as Rumyantsev, Levin, Myasnikov, Mandelstamm and others, enjoyed the confidence of a number of leading Party workers and officials of Soviet organizations in Leningrad. This ensured them every possibility of pursuing their preparations for a terroristic act against Kirov without the least fear of being discovered." (Vol. XXXVI, p. 9.)
The investigation has established that after the united Zinovievite-Trotskyite centre had adopted the decision to assassinate Comrade S. M. Kirov, Kamenev made a special journey to Leningrad in June 1934 for checking up on the progress of the work of organizing the terroristic act against Comrade Kirov.
Zinoviev also pressed forward in every way the assassination of Comrade Kirov and, as testified by N. M. Matorin, formerly Zinoviev's private secretary, who is now under arrest in connection with another case, Zinoviev reproached the members of the terrorist group for being slow and irresolute.
"Zinoviev told me that the preparations for the terroristic act must be pressed forward to the utmost and that Kirov must be killed by the winter. Zinoviev reproached me for not displaying sufficient determination and energy. He said that with regard to terroristic methods of struggle prejudices must be dopped." (Vol. XIV, pp. 63, 64.)
III. Organization by the United Trotskyite-Zinovievite Centre of Terroristic Acts Against Comrades Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kossior, Orjonikidze and Postyshev
The materials of the investigation have established that the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre, after it had killed Comrade Kirov, did not confine itself to organizing the assassination of Comrade Stalin alone. The terrorist Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre simultaneously carried on work to organize assassinations of other leaders of the Party, namely, Comrades Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kossior, Orjonikidze and Postyshev.
The accused Reingold testified that Zinoviev, while speaking of the necessity of assassinating Comrade Kirov as Comrade Stalin's closest assistant, added:
"It is not enough to fell the oak; all the young oaks growing around it must be felled too." (Vol. XXVII, p. 70.)
According to Reingold's testimony:
"Zinoviev's main instructions amounted to the following: the blow must be directed against Stalin, Kaganovich and Kirov." (Vol. XXVII, p. 63.)
The accused Reingold confirmed that:
"The expectations of the united centre were based on a plan to cause complete confusion in the Party and in the country by
stunning simultaneous blow in Moscow and Leningrad." (Vol. XXVII, p. 163.)
Various terrorist groups operating under the general leadership of the united centre attempted to carry out the assassinations of Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Zhdanov, Kossior, Orjonikidze and Postyshev.
Thus, the organization of the terroristic act against Comrade Voroshilov was the work of Dreitzer's group, which reseived instructions to murder Voroshilov directly from Trotsky, and of the group of the Trotskyite M. Lurye, which was sent over from Germany for the same purpose.
In regard to preparations for the assassination of Comrade Voroshilov, the accused Mrachkovsky, one of the members of the united centre testified:
"In the middle of 1934, E. Dreitzer reported to me that simultaneously he was organizing the assassination of Voroshilov, for which purpose Dimitri schmidt, who was a commander in the army and under no suspicion in the Party, was to be prepared. It was presumed that he would kill Voroshilov either while reporting to him on service matters, or during the next manoeuvres at which Voroshilov would be present." (Vol. XVIII, p. 49.)
The accused Dreitzer, examined at the office of the State Altorney of the Soviet Union on July 31, tetified on this point:
"For the purpose of committing the terroristic act I recruited Esterman and Gayevsky, and in 1935 Schmidt and Kuzmichev. The latter two undertook to kill Voroshilov." (Vol. X, p. 195.)
The testimony of Mrachkovsky and Dreitzer was also confirmed by the accused Reingold, who testified as follows:
"I learned from Mrachkovsky and Dreitzer that in the summer of 1933 a Trotskyite group of military men was organized under the leadership of Dreitzer. The group consisted of Schmidt, commander of a brigade of the Red Army, Kuzmichev, chief of staff of a military unit, and a number of other persons whose names I do not know. I learned from Dreitzer that Schmidt and Kuzmichev were to carry out personally the terroristic act against Voroshilov and that they had agreed to do so. It was planed that for this purpose they would either take advantage of an official reception by Voroshilov, or of Voroshilov's visit to one of their military units." (Vol. XXVII, pp. 165, 166.)
The investigation has also established that in the same period, a number of terrorist groups (those of Dreitzer, M. Lurye and others) were organizing attempts on the lives of Comrades Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Orjonikidze, Kossior and Postyshev.
Definition of the Charge
Analyzing the above, the investigating authorities consider it established:
1) That in the period of 1932-1936 a united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre was organized in the city of Moscow with the object of committing a number of terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government for the putpose of seizing power.
2) That of those accused in the present case, G. E. Zinoviev, L. B. Kamenev, G. E. Evdokimov and I. P. Bakayev entered the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre from the Zinovievites and I. N. Smirnov, V. A. Ter-Vaganyan and S. V. Mrachkovsky from the Trotskyites.
3) That during this period, the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre organized a number of terrorist groups and prepared a number of practical measures to assassinate Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kirov, Kossior, Orjonikidze and Postyshev.
4) That one of these terrorist groups, operating on the direct instructions of Zinoviev and L. Trotsky and of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, and under the immediate direction of the accused Bakayev, carried out the foul murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov on December 1, 1934.
The accused in this case: G. E. Zinoviev, L. B. Kamenev, G. E. Evdokimov, I. P. Bakayev, V. A. Ter-Vaganyan, S. V. Mrachkovsky, E. A. Dreitzer, V. P. Olberg, Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky), E. S. Holtzman, R. V. Pickel, I. I. Reingold, K. B. Berman-Yurin, M. Lurye and N. Lurye have fully admitted their guilt of the charges preferred against them.
The accused I. N. Smirnov, acknowledging his participation in the united centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc, his personal connection with L. Trotsky and his meetings with L. Sedov while abroad in 1931, and also the fact that he maintained connection with Trotsky right up to the time of his arrest in 1933, admitted that in 1931 instructions were conveyed to him by Sedov, and confirmed in 1932 by Trotsky to organize terror against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet State and that these instructions served as the basis of the organization of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc.
At the same time, the accused I. N. Smirnov categorically denies that he took part in the terroristic activities of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre . However, the accused I. N. Smirnov is proved to have participated in the terroristic activities of the united centre by the evidence of the accused S. V. Mrachkovsky (Vol. XXIX, pages 76-84), E. A. Dreitzer (Vol. XXXI, page 63), A. N. Safonova (Vol. XXXI, page 295), I. I. Reingold (Vol. XXXI pages 138, 284), G. E. Zinoviev (Vol. XII, page 35), L. B. Kamenev (Vol. XV, page 28), G. E. Evdokimov (Vol. XXXVI, pages 9, 10), R. V. Pickel (Vol. XXXI, page 78).
On the basis of the above:
1. Zinoviev, Grigori Evseyevich, born in 1883, employee, convicted in 1935 in the Zinovievite "Moscow cetre" case;
2. Kamenev, Lev Borisovich, born in 1883, employee, convicted in 1935 in the same "Moscow centre" case;
3. Evdokimov, Grigori Eremeyevich, born in 1884, employee, convicted in 1935 in the same "Moscow centre" case;
4. Bakayev, Ivan Petrovich, born in 1887, employee, convicted in 1935 in the same "Moscow centre" case;
5. Mrachkovsky, Sergei Vitalevich, born in 1888, employee;
6. Ter-Vaganyan, Vagarshak Arutyanovich, born in 1893, employee;
7. Smirnov, Ivan Nikitich, born in 1880, employee - are accused of having the first six in the period of 1932 to 1936, and I. N. Smirnov since 1931
a) organized a number of terrorist groups which were making preparations to assassinate Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kirov, Kossior, Orjonikidze and Postyshev;
b) organized and carried out on Dec. 1, 1934, the foul murder of Comrade S. M. Kirov, through the Leningrad underground terrorist group of Nikolayev-Kotolynov and others;
ie., of crimes covered by Articles 588 and 5811 of the Criminal Code of the R.S.F.S.R.
8. Dreitzer, Ephim Alexandrovich, born in 1894, employee;
9. Reingold, Isak Isayevich, born in 1897, employee;
10. Pickel, Richard Vitoldovich, born in 1896, employee;
11. Holtzman, Edouard Solomonovich, born in 1882, employee,
12. David, Fritz, alias Kruglyansky, Ilya-David Israilevich, born in 1897, employee;
13. Olberg, Valentine Pavlovich, born in 1907, employee;
14. Berman-Yurin, Konon Borisovich (alias Alexander Fomich ), born in 1901, employee;
15. Lurye, Moissei Ilyich (alias Alexander Emel ), born in 1897, employee;
16. Lurye, Nathan Lazarevich, born in 1901, employee - are accused of that, being members of the underground terrorist Trotskyite-Zinovievite organization, they took part in the preparations to assassinate Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kossior, Orjonikidze and Postyshev;
Ie., crimes covered by Articles 19 and 588, 5811 of the Criminal Code of the R.S.F.S.R.
L. Trotsky and his son L. L. Sedov, both of whom are abroad, having been exposed by the materials in the present case as having directly prepared and personally guided the work of organizing in the U.S.S.R. terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and of the Soviet State, in the event of their being discovered on the territory of the U.S.S.R., are subject to immediate arrest and trial by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.
The cases of Gertik, Grinberg, Y. Gaven, Karev, Kuzmichev, Konstant, Matorin, Paul Olberg, Radin, Safonova, Faivilovich, D. Schmidt, and Esterman, in view of the fact that investigation is still proceeding, have been set aside for separate trial.
In view of the above and in accordance with the decision of the Central Executive Committee of the U.S.S.R. of Aug. 11, 1936, all the above-mentioned persons are subject to trial by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. in open court session.
The present indictment was drawn up in the city of Moscow on Aug. 14, 1936.
State Attorney of the U.S.S.R.After the reading of the indictment, the President of the Court questions in turn all the accused whether they plead guilty as charged. The accused Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev,Ter-Vaganyan, Mrachkovsky, Dreitzer, Reingold, Pickel, Olberg, Berman-Yurin, Fritz David (Kruglyansky), M. Lurye and N. Lurye plead guilty on all charges. The accused I. N. Smirnov, admitting that he belonged to the united centre of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc, that he had been in personal communication with Trotsky and had received Trotsky's instructions to organize terror against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet State, and admitting his political responsibility for the activities of the united centre, denies only his personal participation in the preparation and execution of terroristic acts.
The accused Holtzman admits having belonged to the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist organization, having been in personal contact with the Trotskyite centre abroad, and having brought Trotsky's personal instructions to organize terroristic acts in the U.S.S.R. He denies only his own personal participation in the preparation of terroristic acts.
After a recess of 15 minutes, the court at 1:45 p. m. proceeds to examine the accused.
EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED MRACHKOVSKY
The accused Mrachkovsky was the man most in the confidence of Trotsky and personally closest to him. In the past he had occupied an important position in the army. From 1923 onwards he had carried on, in conjunction with Trotsky, Trotskyite anti-Soviet work. He had been a member of the leading centre of the underground Trotskyite terrorist organization, had worked under the personal direction of Trotsky, from whom he was receiving instructions through I. N. Smirnov as well as directly to organize terroristic acts against the leaders of the Party and the Government. Being one of the leaders of the counter-revolutionary Trotskyite underground organization, he, in 1932, had joined the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre together with I. N. Smirnov and V. A. Ter-Vaganyan.
Mrachkovsky relates in detail the history of the formation of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre. He says that on returning from exile in 1929 he only on paper admitted the correctness of the general line of the Party; actually, however, together with other former members of the opposition, he returned from exile with the perfidious intention of continuing the struggle against the Party. Asked by Comrade Vyshinsky to say definitely to whom he was referring, Mrachkovsky said that he, Mrachkovsky, and also I. N. Smirnov and Ter-Vaganyan, had jointly taken the firm decision to organize a further struggle against the Party. Mrachkovsky at the same time admits that this counter-revolutionary group had no political platform, that "the platform drawn up in the preceding period of 1925-27 was upset by the fact of correctness of the general line of the Party."
Mrachkovsky goes on to say that already in 1931 this Trotskyite group openly discussed the question of terrorism. I. N. Smirnov, who had visited Berlin, brought back instructions from Trotsky, which he received through Trotsky's son, L. Sedov, to the following effect: "Until we put Stalin out of the way, we shall not be able to come back to power."
Vyshinsky: What do you mean by the expression: "Until we put Stalin out of the way"?
Mrachkovsky: Until we kill Stalin. At that very meeting, in the presence of Smirnov, myself, Ter-Vaganyan and Safonova, I was given the task of organizing a terrorist group, that is to say, to select reliable people. The same task was assigned to Dreitzer together with me. That period, 1931 and 1932, was spent in inducing and preparing people to commit terroristic acts. For this purpose I recruited Yatsek and Yudin. Dreitzer recruited another group of people including Schmidt, Kuzmiehev and some others whom I don't remember. As I have already said, this period was spent in preparing people for organizing terroristic acts against Stalin, Voroshilov and Kaganovich.
Mrachkovsky goes on to state that in the second half of 1932 the question was raised of the necessity of uniting the Trotskyite terrorist group with the Zinovievites. The question of this unification was raised by I. N. Smirnov who, in doing so, argued that the Trotskyite forces by themselves were too weak and that therefore it was necessary to unite all counter-revolutionary groups. It was at that time that Smirnov sent a letter to Trotsky through Holtzman in which he informed Trotsky of the state of the Trotskyite organization and put before him the question of uniting with the Zinovievites. It was also at that time that Trotsky conveyed to them through his emissary, Gaven, that union must take place on the basis of terrorism, and Trotsky once again emphasized the necessity of killing Stalin, Voroshilov and Kirov.
Vyshinsky: Another question to Smirov. Do you corroborate the testimony of Mrachkovsky that in 1932 you received a reply from Trotsky through Gaven?
Smirnov: I received a reply from Trotsky through Gaven. Vyshinsky: And in addition, did you receive verbal information on the conversation with Trotsky?
Smirnov: Yes, also verbal conversation.
Vyshinsky: You, Smirnov, confirm before the Supreme Court that in 1932 you received from Gaven the direction from Trotsky to commit acts of terrorism?
Vyshinsky: Against whom?
Smirnov: Against the leaders.
Vyshinsky: Against which?
Smirnov: Stalin and others.
Continuing his testimony, Mrachkovsky observed that after receiving the instruktions from Trotsky approving the formation of a bloc with the Zinovievites, Smirnov instructed Ter-Vaganyan to bring about the formation of this bloc. The terrorist bloc of theTrotskyites and the Zinovievites was formed at the end of 1932. Mrachkovsky related that before his departure from Moscow in 1932, Smirnov had asked him to see Reingold, who was leading the Moscow terrorist group, and to come to an agreement with him about uniting all forces.
Vyshinsky: On what basis?
Mrachkovsky: On the basis of organizing the assassination of Stalin.
Vyshinsky: Smirnov said: Go to Reingold and come to an agreement with him about . . .
Mrachkovsky: . . . Uniting our terrorist forces for the purpose of assassinating Stalin, Voroshilov and Kaganovich.
Mrachkovsky goes on to say that on his departure from Moscow he instructed Reingold to get in touch with Dreitzer who was to direct the terroristic activities of the Moscow centre. On arriving in Moscow again in the summer of 1934 he met Dreitzer who informed him about the work of the terrorist centre. Questioned by Comrade Vyshinsky, Dreitzer confirms this statement by Mrachkovsky. Mrachkovsky goes on to say that Dreitzer informed him about the organization of the Moscow terrorist sentre of Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc, consisting of himself, i.e., and also Reingold and Pickel. Questioned by Comrade Vyshinsky, Reingold and Pickel confirm the statement that they were members of the Moscow terrorist centre.
In summer of 1934 Mrachkovsky met Kamenev. "Kamenev," testifies Mrachkovsky, "confirmed to me the fact that a Moscow terrorist centre had been organized. Kamenev expressed dissatisfaction with the slowness with which the work of preparing terroristic acts was proceeding. During this conversation he said that Bakayev was organizing in Leningrad, apparently very successfully, although slowly, a terroristic act against Kirov."
Continuing his testimony, Mrachkovsky states that in December 1934 , while in Kazakhstan, he reseived from Dreitzer a letter of Trotsky's, written in invisible ink, which had approximately the following contents - Dear friend, the task that confronts us today is to accelerate the assassination of Stalin and Voroshilov. In the event of war, it is necessary to adopt a defeatist position and take advantage of the confusion. Nuclei must be organized in the Red Army. The letter was signed "Starik" (old man).
Mrachkovsky emphasizes the fact that he knew Trotsky's handwriting very well and that he had not the slightest doubt that the letter had actually been written by Trotsky. Emphasizing that he stood particularly close to Trotsky, Mrachkovsky states that during the last few years of his work with Trotsky, in 1923-27, no one could get to see Trotsky without him, Mrachkovsky, and also that all Trotsky's correspondence passed through his hands.
Comrade Vyshinsky asks Mrachkovsky what role I. N. Smirnov played in the terrorist Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre. Mrachkovsky emphasizes that he, Mrachkovsky, did everything with the knowledge of Smirnov and that Smirnov knew the people whom he, Mrachkovsky, was preparing to commit terroristic acts.
Questioned by Comrade Vyshinsky whether he confirms Mrachkovsky's testimony, Smirnov asserts that Mrachkovsky's statements do not conform with the facts.
Vyshinsky: You were a member of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre. That you admit. Here Mrachkovsky is not sinning against the truth. That is the first point. Secondly, the centre was organized on the basis of terrorism against the leaders of the Party and the government. Is that right?
Smirnov: That is right.
Vyshinsky: Did you receive from Trotsky instruktions on terrorism as a means of struggle?
Mrachkovsky then goes on to tell the Court about the activities of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre. The members of this centre were Zinoviev, Kamenev, Lominadze, Mrachkovsky, Ter-Vaganyan and others.
Comrade Vyshinsky then asks Zinoviev:
Vyshinsky: When was the united centre organized?
Zinoviev: In the summer of 1932.
Vyshinsky: During what period of time did it function?
Zinoviev: Actually up to 1936.
Vyshinsky: What were its activities?
Zinoviev: Its main activities consisted in making preparations for terroristic acts.
Vyshinsky: Against whom?
Zinoviev: Against the leaders.
Vyshinsky: That is against Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, and Kaganovich? Was it your centre that organized the assassination of Comrade Kirov? Was the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov organized by your centre, or by some other organization?
Zinoviev: Yes, by our centre.
Vyshinsky: In that centre there were you, Kamenev, Smirnov,Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan?
Vyshinsky: So you all organized the assassination of Kirov?
Vyshinsky: So you all assassinated Comrade Kirov?
Vyshinsky: Sit down.
In connection with Mrachkovsky's testimony, the accused Ter-Vaganyan is examined. He admits that negotiations for the formation of a united Trotskyte-Zinovievite terrorist bloc were started as far back as June 1932 and that in the first stages of the negotiations he, Ter-Vaganyan, had served as intermediary between Lominadze and Kamenev, and between Smirnov and Zinoviev.
I. N. Smirnov denies Mrachkovsky's testimony to the effect that he, Smirnov, had conveyed Trotsky's instructions about terrorism to the Moscow Trotskyite centre.
Vyshinsky: I ask leave to read Vol. XXIX, p. 115, of the record of the examination of Smirnov on August 13 by Scheinin, Examining Magistrate for cases of special importance, according to which Smirnov said that in 1931 Sedov gave terroristic directions. Here is Smirnov's testimony: "On my return to Moscow I reported this to Safonova and Mrachkovsky."
Vyshinsky: Well, now, does this correspond to what you said five minutes ago?
Smirnov: (Remains silent.)
Vyshinsky: I ask that permission be given to Smirnov himself to read this passage from the evidence. As Smirnov persists in his denials, tries to evade responsibility, I ask that he read this passage from the evidence in front of everybody present here.
Smirnov (reading his testimony): "In 1931 Sedov gave terroristic directions which, on my return to Moscow, I reported to Safonova and Mrachkovsky."
Vyshinsky (to Mrachkovsky): Mrachkovsky, did you learn about Sedov's line on terrorism from Smirnov?
Vyshinsky: After Smirnov's return from Berlin did you meet him?
Vyshinsky: Did you speak to him?
Vyshinsky: Together with Safanova?
Vyshinsky: And you knew about these directions of Sedov's?
Mrachkovsky: Yes, I so affirm.
Vyshinsky: Smirnov, did you hear that?
Smirnov: (Remains silent.)
In reply to the questions of Comrade Ulrich, President of the Court, Smirnov admits that he also communicated Trotsky's instructions to Ter-Vaganyan. In reply to Comrade Vyshinsky, the accused Kamenev once again states that "the instructions Smirnov had personally received from Trotsky - the directions on terrorism - had been passed on as given by Smirnov and that they were of decisive importance to the organization."
At the end of Mrachkovsky's examination Vyshinsky asks Bakayev in what part of 1934 he went to Leningrad.
Bakayev: In the autumn.
Vyshinsky: For what purpose?
Bakayev: To ascertain the preparedness of the organization to assassinate Kirov.
Vyshinsky (to Kamenev): Did you give the instructions to make preparations for assassination of Kirov?
Kamenev: Yes, in the autumn.
Vyshinsky: In the autumn you and Evdokimov instructed Bakyev to go to Leningrad to check up on the progress which was being made by the Leningrad Trotskyite-Zinovievite group in its preparations to assassinate Kirov? Is that right, do you confirm that?
Kamenev: Yes that is true. I I confirm that.
EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED EVDOKIMOV
Questioned by Comrade Ulrich, President of the Court, whether he confirms the testimony he gave at the preliminary examination, Evdokimov replies in the affirmative. After that Evdokimov answers a number of qestions put to him by Comrade Vyshinsky.
Vyshinsky: You were a member of the centre?
Evdokimov: Yes, I was.
Vyshinsky: Did you know that the centre was preparing assassinations of the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government?
Vyshinsky: Did you personally approve of the preparation of these assassinations?
Evdokimov: I agreed to them.
Vyshinsky: You took part in and considered it necessary to proceed by the path of assassination?
Vyshinsky: Do you admit that the assassination of Comrade Kirov was prepared with your assistance?
Evdokimov: Yes, I admit that.
Vyshinsky: At the trial in Leningrad, on January 15-16, 1935, when facing the court as you do now, you emphatically asserted that you had nothing to do with that murder. At that time you told untruths?
Evdokimov: Yes, I deceived the Court.
Vyshinsky: You thought you deceived the Court. As a matter of fact the deception did not work. Now it is exposed.
After that Evdokimov relates to the Court in detail that the assassination of S. M. Kirov was committed on the direct instructions of the terrorist centre of the Trotzkyite-Zinovievite organization. The instuctions about terrorism came from Trotsky. "Smirnov and I," says Evdokimov, "discussed this question several times. In the summer of 1932, a conference was held in the railway car of Mrachkovsky who had just arrived in Moscow. I Mrachkovsky, Smirnov and Ter-Vaganyan were present at this conference. We talked of terrorism, Smirnov, particularly, was in favour of terrorism."
Smirnov makes the attempt to deny this testimony of Evdokimov. However, the replies of Mrachkovsky and Evdokimov to questions put to them by Comrade Vyshinsky establish that the conversation about terrorism did take place and that Smirnov fully and completely supported the line of terroristic acts.
Soon after this conversation in Mrachkovsky's car, says Evdokimov, continuing his testimony, a conference took place in the summer villa at ilyinskoye, where Kamenev and Zinoviev lived at that time. At this conference, at which Karev, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev were present, it was decided to form a Moscow centre and a Leningrad centre for the purpose of combining the terrorist groups. And this decision was subsequently put into effect. At this same conference at Ilyinskoye in 1932, there was outright talk about the necessity of terrorism, in the first place against Stalin and Kirov. The organization of these terroristic acts was, on Zinoviev's proposal, entrusted to Bakayev.
Vyshinsky: Accused Bakayev, do you confirm this?
Bakayev: During that conference Zinoviev said that the Trotskyites, on Trotsky's proposal,had set to work to organize the assassination of Stalin and that we should take the initiative in this matter into our own hands.
Vyshinsky: Zinoviev said that?
Vyshinsky: Zinoviev said that you should take the initiative in?
Bakayev: At that conference I was instructed to organize a terroristic act against Stalin.
Vyshinsky: And you undertook to do that, did you?
Continuing, Evdokimov states with reference to the facts concerning the preparations for assassination of S. M. Kirov, that in the summer of 1934 a conference was held in Kamenov's apartment in Moscow at which Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov, Sokolnikov,Ter-Vaganyan, Reingold and Bakayev were present. At this conference it was decided to expedite the assassination of S. M. Kirov.
Vyshinsky: So it was put as straight as that: "To expedite the assassination of S. M. Kirov"?
Edokimov: Yes, it was put like that.
Continuing, Evdokimov says that for this purpose Bakayev, in the autumn of 1934, went to Leningrad to check up on the progress of preparations for the terroristic act against Sergel Mironovich Kirov by the Leningrad terrorists. These terrorist groups began to shadow Sergel Mironovich Kirov and walted for an opportune moment to commit their terroristic act.
Vyshinsky: Was the murder of Sergel Mironovich Kirov prepared by the centre?
Vyshinsky: You personally took part in these preparations?
Vyshinsky: Did Zinoviev and Kamenev participate with you in the preparations?
Vyshinsky: On the instructions of the centre, Bakayev went to Leningrad to check up on the progress made in the preparations, did he not?
As a result of further questioning Comrade Vyshinsky establishes that while on his visit to Leningrad, Bakayev met the future murderer of S. M. Kirov, Nikolayev, with whom he discussed the preparations for the assassination.
Vyshinsky: (to Bakayev): Did you meet Nikolayev in Leningrad?
Vyshinsky: Did you confer about an understanding regarding the assassination of S. M. Kirov?
Bakayev: There was no need for me to come to an understanding with him about it because the instructions for the assassination had been given by Zinoviev and Kamenev.
Vyshinsky: But Nikolayev told you that he had decided to assassinate S. M. Kirov, didn't he?
Bakayev: He did, and so did other terrorists - Levin, Mandelstamm, Kotolynov, Rumyantsev.
Vyshinsky: You discussed the assassination of Kirov?
Vyshinsky: He expressed his determination. And what was your attitude towards it?
Bakayev: I was for it.
In reply to further questions put by Comrade Vyshinsky to Bakayev it is ascertained that after his visit to Leningrad, Bakayev reported to Evdokimov and Kamenev on the progress of the preparation for the assassination of S. M. Kirov. Asked by Comrade Vyshinsky whether Bakayev had actually reported to him, Kamenev answered in the affirmative.
Vyshinsky: (to Kamanev): What did he report to you?
Kamanev: He said that the organization was prepared to strike a blow and that the blow would be struck.
Vyshinsky: And what was your attitude towards this?
Kamenev: The blow was planned and prepared on the order of the centre of which I was a member, and I regarded it as the fulfilment of the task we had set ourselves.
This concludes the morning session.
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