Historians have an obligation to inform 3, 2001 �, http://russcience.euro.ru/biblio/med01vr.htm. 553-568 Link. The thesis would become a hallmark of Stalinism. was wrong here. The renowned artist Konstantin Yuon once told him: "Forget about politics. ������. Facts and Theories." Both used materials from formerly secret Soviet Archives. either the "Bukharin" or the "Tito" letter. ", When Bukharin was arrested two years later, Boris Pasternak displayed extraordinary courage by having a letter delivered to Bukharin's wife saying that he was convinced of his innocence.. While in prison, he wrote at least four book-length manuscripts including a lyrical autobiographical novel, How It All Began, philosophical treatise Philosophical Arabesques, a collection of poems, and Socialism and Its Culture – all of which were found in Stalin's archive and published in the 1990s. The footnote on p. 660, at the Tito quotation, reads "Quoted by Zh. ����������� ������ �.�. 26004; ������ ���������, ������������ �����; �.�. as follows: 7 Let History Judge: the origins and consequences of Stalinism. Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin[a] (9 October [O.S. … NY: Knopf, 1971. Considered by the left communists as a retreat from socialist policies, the NEP reintroduced money and allowed private ownership and capitalistic practices in agriculture, retail trade, and light industry while the state retained control of heavy industry.  Bukharin left New York in early April and returned to Russia by way of Japan (where he was temporarily detained by local police), arriving in Moscow in early May 1917. Later, Bukharin understood it was nothing but a ploy by Stalin to spark a head-on fight between the political groups, letting them eventually destroy each other and leaving Stalin the sole leader. "Secret Speech" at the end of the 20th Party Congress, on February He wrote letters to Stalin pleading for forgiveness and rehabilitation, but through wiretaps of Bukharin's private conversations with Stalin's enemies, Stalin knew Bukharin's repentance was insincere.. expected. Bertram David Wolfe, "Breaking with communism", p. 10; Report by Viscount Chilston (British ambassador) to Viscount Halifax, No.141, Moscow, 21 March 1938. addressed to him that he had hidden under a layer of newspapers in one of the drawers. Cambridge: Belknap Press 2005, p. 592. By 1926, the Stalin-Bukharin alliance ousted Zinoviev and Kamenev from the Party leadership, and Bukharin enjoyed the highest degree of power during the 1926–1928 period. Littlejohn, Gary. The translator missed, ignored, or deliberately elided this textual discrepancy. In his 1980 biography of Bukharin, published only outside the USSR, we read: As to Bukharin, he behaved with dignity. �Koba, why did you need me to die?� Stalin kept this pre-execution letter in According to the first version, Snegov "got to see documents relating to ������������ ����������.� ����� �.�. After the revolution of February 1917, he returned to Moscow, where his Bolshevik credentials earned him a high rank in the Bolshevik party, and after the October Revolution became editor of the party newspaper Pravda. Bukharin envisaged several parties and even nationalist parties, and stood for the maximum of decentralisation.". Nikolai Bukharin was an eminent Marxist theoretician before the Revolution and one of its architects. 38-52. http://actualhistory.ru/bukharin_last_plea, http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/�����_��������_����������_����, http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/�����_���������_����, http://clogic.eserver.org/2007/Furr_Bobrov.pdf. GF] f.2, op.1, d. 26004; secretary�s entry, typewritten text, V.I. In order to get out of this critical situation Bulgakov wrote to J.Stalin and others. If there is only one electoral list, without opposition, that's equivalent to Nazism ". Trotsky, the prime force behind the Left Opposition, was defeated by a triumvirate formed by Stalin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, with the support of Bukharin. (2002): Compare this to the text from Neizvestniy Stalin quoted at note 5 above: 20 Medvedev�s faulty use of evidence and reasoning in the first (English) edition of Let The third was from Tito in 1950. plea", even if it were genuine, might just as easily reflect anguish that these plans Koestler and others viewed it as a true believer's last service to the Party (while preserving the little amount of personal honor left) whereas Bukharin biographer Stephen Cohen and Robert Tucker saw traces of Aesopian language, with which Bukharin sought to turn the table into an anti-trial of Stalinism (while keeping his part of the bargain to save his family). The two versions also disagreement over Snegov and how he got to learn of the purported Russian original: �. �Koba, why did you need my death?� For the rest of his life Stalin kept this written on 7 March immediately after the presentation of the letter of V.I.Lenin to him by A.D.P. confession of June 2, 1937. The two sentences quoted are in this letter. But "tale" is what it is. "Koba" was Stalin's nom de guerre, and Bukharin's use of it was a sign of how close the two had once been. He was the second son of two schoolteachers, Ivan Gavrilovich and Liubov Ivanovna Bukharin. Bukharin's Last Letter to Stalin: "Documents: A last letter to Stalin") is a real, non-fiction, archival document. Bukharin was falsely incriminated, or "framed," by the "evil" Stalin. Smith, Keith. Among other intercessors, the French author and Nobel laureate Romain Rolland wrote to Stalin seeking clemency, arguing that "an intellect like that of Bukharin is a treasure for his country." The note was allegedly found still in Stalin's desk after his death in 1953. Together, Bukharin and Stalin ousted Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev from the party at the 15th Communist Party Congress in December 1927. He had also conserved the last thing written to him spoken to Medvedev by this later date, but evidently had not � or not yet � told him Copywrite Zhores A. Fitzpatrick, Sheila. Stalin, pp. This prompted Bukharin to declare: “ He [Stalin] is an unprincipled intriguer who subordinates everything to his appetite for power. His conversations with Boris Nicolaevsky, a Menshevik leader who held the manuscripts on behalf of the SPD, formed the basis of "Letter of an Old Bolshevik", which was very influential in contemporary understanding of the period (especially the Ryutin Affair and the Kirov murder), although there are doubts about its authenticity. With Grigori Sokolnikov, Bukharin convened the 1907 national youth conference in Moscow, which was later considered the founding of Komsomol.  – but continued to befriend Pasternak. essay in The Unknown Stalin. in the Ukraine in the 1920s. Stalin called Bukharin to his office and suggested a deal: "You and I are the Himalayas - all the others are nonentities. , While Anastas Mikoyan and Vyacheslav Molotov later claimed that Bukharin was never tortured and his letters from prison do not give the suggestion that he was tortured, it is also known that his interrogators were given the order: "beating permitted". in question here. “Bukharin is not only a most valuable´and major theorist of the Party; he is also rightly considered the favourite of the whole Party, but his theoretical views can be classified as fully Marxist only with great reserve, for there is something scholastic about him (he has never made a study of the dialectics, and, I think, never fully understood it).” pre-execution letter from Bukharin all his life in one of the drawers of his desk along Briggs. ������ � ����� �. He also met his future first wife, Nadezhda Mikhailovna Lukina, his cousin and the sister of Nikolai Lukin, who was also a member of the party. In his last letter to Stalin, Bukharin writes pathetically, ‘[I] have learned to cherish and love you wisely.’ He begs Stalin to allow him to die by poison not by a bullet: ‘I implore you beforehand, I entreat you … let me have a cup of morphine.’ Not only did Stalin ignore this request, but Bukharin was forced to sit and watch as others were shot … He is the embodiment of chaste but self-absorbed laboratory craftsmanship..." His speech was greeted with wild applause, though it greatly offended some of the listeners, such as the communist poet Semyon Kirsanov, who complained: "according to Bukharin, all the poets who have used their verses to participate in political life are out of date, but the others are not out of date, the so-called pure (and not so pure) lyric poets. M.A. They have truly become the cogs in a terrible machine.". �Snegov also knew Beria � they both worked in the �������� ��� ������� 7 ����� ������ ����� �������� ��� �.�. Snegov is thanked, along with other Old Bolsheviks, in the Foreword (xxxiii), and is cited We have already concluded on other grounds that the Snegov � Medvedev story of the On page 69 they write: "Aleksei Snegov, an acquaintance of After the ratification of the treaty, Bukharin resumed his responsibilities within the party. letter to Stalin," "Bukharin s last plea" is a fake. 1990s. the Medvedevs� book in 1980 nobody else had ever heard of either of them at all.16 with the words, "Koba why do you need me to die?" Medvedev dates his book "August 1962 � August 1968." Why should he be believed elsewhere? One had been dictated by Lenin on 5 March 1923. By the 1960s Snegov was a pensioner and happy to share his In Chapter 14 of that book, in Roy Medvedev�s essay "The Murder of Volodicheva. And in addition to these we know that there are, or were, at . Bukharin must have been quite a writer, and he was almost coming apart, which shows in the letters. Some 22,000 members of the Polish elite were killed by Soviet forces, and for decades the USSR claimed that it was the work of Nazi Germany. The last few years have seen a spate of biographies of Joseph Stalin, all very The text was brief: �Stalin. � �. Here is the information about where it has been kept: "The letter of V.I. by Bukharin: �Koba, why is my death necessary for you?� Had Stalin wanted a frisson of It is said that this letter was found not in the NKVD archives, but in Stalin's desk after Stalin's death. as follows: 7 Let History Judge: the origins and consequences of Stalinism. Indeed, his contacts with Mensheviks during this trip were to feature prominently in his trial. While his letters to Stalin – he wrote 34 very emotional and desperate letters tearfully protesting his innocence and professing his loyalty – suggest a complete capitulation and acceptance of his role in the trial, it contrasts with his actual conduct in the trial. ����������� ������. The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938 (New York and Cambridge:  Boris Nikolaevsky reported that Bukharin said: "A second party is necessary. Late in the book They claim Snegov was attachment to Bukharin lingered with him.) He was joined by his young wife Anna Larina, which therefore opened the possibility of exile, but he decided against it, saying that he could not live outside the Soviet Union. stop, I will send one man to Moscow, and there will be no need to send a second."18. There is some evidence that Bukharin was thinking of evolution toward some kind of two-party or at least two-slate elections. kept top-secret by the Russian government to this day. Even Medvedev does not know of any copies. Since the "Snegov" story is wrong about Lenin�s letter of March 5 1923, the His confessions were somewhat different from others in that while he pleaded guilty to the "sum total of crimes," he denied knowledge when it came to specific crimes. neither document exists today. But this story of the Stalin of Kirov�s death, of planning the repression in advance, and of sadistically Even more than earlier Moscow show trials, Bukharin's trial horrified many previously sympathetic observers as they watched allegations become more absurd than ever and the purge expand to include almost every living Old Bolshevik leader except Stalin. The note we call antagonistic to their subject, all highly anticommunist. Being one of the loudest opponents of Stalin, his fate was sealed during the third (and last) Moscow Trial in March 1938. second passage Bukharin is said to have addressed Stalin in the present tense, as The dishonesty of "respectable" anti-communist historians stands revealed to Ed[itor]."13. People�s Commissars." Koba,�". This was a tactical move to the right to gain allegiance in the Politburo. Works, v. 54 pp. analyses for the Politburo. " Bukharin wrote to Stalin, pleading clemency for Mandelstam, and appealed personally to the head of the NKVD, Genrikh Yagoda. NY: Columbia University Press, 1989, p. 375. It was his last message from Lenin and it was the most wounding. See http://actualhistory.ru/bukharin_last_plea, 2 Robert Service, Stalin. the two accounts � in the same book! ����������� ������. Stalin have been kept in an 4 Stalin. In the revised version of Roy Medvedev�s Let History Judge (1990) we read the Neither cites Lenin, Complete �������� ������ ���������� �������: �����, ����� ���� ���� ����� ��� ������?� ��� ������������ ������� �������� ������ ������ � ����� �� ������ ����������� ����� �� ������ ��������� ����.� 192-3. This article, and Bukharin�s confession of June 2, 1937 which accompanies it, were During the exile, he continued his education and wrote several books that established him in his 20s as a major Bolshevik theorist. Forms eternally follow forms. . ��[�����], �� ����������� �.�. This new theory stated that socialist gains could be consolidated in a single country, without that country relying on simultaneous successful revolutions across the world. �.392�393. Fellow of the British Academy and Oxford don (St. Anthony�s College).  This strong representation on the Central Committee was a direct recognition of the Moscow Bureau's increased importance. all by the intellectually irresponsible way in which they handled the tale of the " He had earlier written to Stalin in 1937, "For the sake of Gorky I am asking you for mercy, even if he may be guilty of something," to which Stalin noted: "We must not respond." The confession of the accused is a medieval principle of jurisprudence" in a trial that was solely based on confessions, he finished his last plea with the words: the monstrousness of my crime is immeasurable especially in the new stage of struggle of the U.S.S.R. May this trial be the last severe lesson, and may the great might of the U.S.S.R. become clear to all.. Within the Bolshevik Party, Bukharin was initially a left communist, but gradually moved from the left to the right from 1921. as historian is generally sloppy. not have conserved it in the desk unless it had echoed round the caverns of his mind. Bukharin attempted to gain support from earlier foes including Kamenev and Zinoviev who had fallen from power and held mid-level positions within the Communist party. of the "letters in Stalin�s desk!" unknown letters and any documents related to his activities. Congress during his secret speech on �the cult of personality�. apologize for his rudeness to his wife, Krupskaya. does not contain any claim of innocence, only of despair. historian Roy Medvedev. verified: Lenin�s letter to Stalin. According to Mandelstam's wife, Nadezhda, "M. owed him all the pleasant things in his life. Medvedev does not explain how such a blunderer could command a following According to Roy Medvedev, Let History Judge, (p.257), in 1964 the author's widow, a resident of France, brought the original of the letter … Stalin's collectivization policy proved to be as disastrous as Bukharin predicted, but Stalin had by then achieved unchallenged authority in the party leadership. As soon as he arrived home Bukharin telephoned Stalin. , According to Zhores and Roy Medvedev in The Unknown Stalin (2006), Bukharin's last message to Stalin stated "Koba, why do you need me to die? In 1925 Stalin switched his support to Bukharin and advocated the economic policies of Tomsky, Rykov and Bukharin. former tsarist police informer who took a mistaken position on Lenin�s April Theses in , To complicate matters further, the Bolsheviks themselves were divided into a right wing and a left wing. following version of this letter: After Stalin�s death a note from Tito was found in Stalin�s desk among / other The sole copies.� The answer by J.V. Ellen Dahrendorf. Both were published in Izvestiia,  To his boyhood friend, Ilya Ehrenburg, he expressed the suspicion that the whole trip was a trap set up by Stalin. history today. Tr. That is, Snegov was privy to documents about Bukharin, Stalin�s desk, Khrushchev told A.V. Lenin�s letter to Stalin of March 5, 1923, was in this envelope by about that date. However, Stalin's decision to proceed with collectivisation drove the two men apart, and Bukharin was expelled from the Politburo in 1929. even if it were genuine. The first passage, from We do not have the original Russian text of this The committee was widely infiltrated by the Tsarist secret police, the Okhrana. nowhere to be found in Bukharin�s investigation file. Under Lenin�s letter itself are the Archival identifiers: "(TsPA IML pri TsK KPSS [Central Party Archive of the Institute of Marxism and History Judge. In February 1936, shortly before the purge started in earnest, Bukharin was sent to Paris by Stalin to negotiate the purchase of the Marx and Engels archives, held by the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) before its dissolution by Hitler. in 1950. objectivity. Lenin and the answer of J.V. It is not As even a casual reading reveals, these two accounts do not agree. Comrade Stalin, The content of my appeal is briefly as follows. Stalin is false. 9 Roy A. Medvedev, Let history judge: the origins and consequences of Stalinism. Bukharin's political life began at the age of sixteen, with his lifelong friend Ilya Ehrenburg, when they participated in student activities at Moscow University related to the Russian Revolution of 1905. Bukharin was tried in the Trial of the Twenty One on 2–13 March 1938 during the Great Purge, along with ex-premier Alexei Rykov, Christian Rakovsky, Nikolai Krestinsky, Genrikh Yagoda, and 16 other defendants alleged to belong to the so-called "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites". Cultural Logic 2007. In a trial meant to be the culmination of previous show trials, it was alleged that Bukharin and others sought to assassinate Lenin and Stalin from 1918, murder Maxim Gorky by poison, partition the Soviet Union and hand out her territories to Germany, Japan, and Great Britain. Edvard Radzhinsky's Stalin biography is not entirely reliable, but quotes extensively from Bukharin's prison letters to Stalin. archives, then surely the other two documents would have been put into the archives too. Medvedev., p. 161. After a show trial that alienated many Western communist sympathisers, he was executed in March 1938.. . The skeleton of historic existence, the economic structure of society, also develops in contradictions. Getty�s "Bibliographic essay" in this volume (pp. Bukharin revealed this in a Pravda article in 1924 and stated that it had been "a period when the party stood a hair from a split, and the whole country a hair from ruin.". One of his first decisions as editor was to invite Boris Pasternak to contribute to the newspaper and sit in on editorial meetings. About us. Did these documents ever exist? It was Yagoda who told him about Mandelstam's Stalin Epigram, after which he refused to have any further contact with Nadezhda Mandelstam, who had lied to him by denying that her husband had written "anything rash". ������� ��������� � ����������� �������� ���������� ������ ����������, �� ������� ���� ��������: ������� �.�. Both are preserved In the Russian turmoil near the end of World War I, when a negotiated peace with the Central Powers was looming, he demanded a continuance of the war, fully expecting to incite all the foreign proletarian classes to arms. It�s instructive to review what Roy Medvedev wrote about "Bukharin�s Last " They first met during the lying-in-state of the Soviet police chief, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky in May 1934, when Pasternak was seeking help for his fellow poet, Osip Mandelstam, who had been arrested - though at that time neither Pasternak nor Bukharin knew why. trial (and his reaffirmation of them in his Appeal) we now have the text of his first , Bukharin believed passionately in the promise of world revolution. 26, 1953.3. send one to Moscow, and I won�t have to send a second. including in Stalin�s desk. During this time, he became closely associated with Valerian Obolensky and Vladimir Smirnov. symptomatic of a much larger fraud: the falsification of the history of the Soviet Union, The third item was the letter dictated by Lenin Zhurnal dlia uchennykh (St. Petersburg) 1 (36), 2007, pp. Transcaucasian kraikom in 1930-31. First, over Bukharin's opposition, through the Third International Stalin compelled the … In the first it is as though Bukharin were sending his note from beyond the They had to have known of Even after his fall, Bukharin still did some important work for the party, for example, helping write the soviet 1936 constitution. Bukharin himself speaks of his "peculiar duality of mind" in his last plea, which led to "semi-paralysis of the will" and Hegelian "unhappy consciousness", which likely stemmed not only from his knowledge of the ruinous reality of Stalinism (although he could not of course say so in the trial) but also of the impending threat of fascism.. Medvedev did THE STALIN REVOLUTION 245 two men in civilian clothes approached the teacher’s desk. We�ve already captured five of them, one of In 1911, after a brief imprisonment, Bukharin was exiled to Onega in Arkhangelsk, but he soon escaped to Hanover. but not with other individuals. These concerns underwrote an extended trial that he lived through the last years and months of his life. By late 1924, this stance had positioned Bukharin favourably as Joseph Stalin's chief ally, with Bukharin soon elaborating Stalin's new theory and policy of Socialism in One Country. GF] f.2, op.1, d. 26004; secretary s entry, typewritten text, V.I. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1906, becoming a member of the Bolshevik faction. relates this story. (2 ���.) No one else had stood up to Stalin like this; It is a completely and uniformly bitter everything the State Prosecutor accused him of. later enlisted his aid when preparing the secret speech on the �cult of personality� Bukharin and Stalin clashed on two critical points concerning Germany. terrorists to Yugoslavia to murder me. Bukharin, Nikolaĭ, and Evgeniĭ Alekseevich Preobrazhenskiĭ. 91-2. [Present tense version, GF]. It all confirms Bukharin�s Not long after it Medvedev also quotes Lenin�s letter to Stalin of March 5, 1923, but he cites it from Plea" in some of his previous works. Bylo I, 697, and two more by Vyshinsky during the 1938 Trial. In another recent biography Simon Sebag Montefiore has a similar passage: Five telling letters were supposedly found under a sheet of newspaper in important papers. (218), In various places in Medvedev�s book, Stalin is depicted as a paranoid, psychotic, But it is precisely Snegov�s story that is and proposal to achieve socialism "at snail's pace" left him vulnerable to attacks first by Zinoviev and later by Stalin. reminiscences with people he trusted. Let's reach an understanding." permission for the contents of their conversations to be made public after his death.11, Some of the Medvedevs� information about Snegov is incorrect. His 1928 volume of poetry would never have come out without the active intervention of Bukharin. (and possibly all of them). , Despite the promise to spare his family, Bukharin's wife, Anna Larina, was sent to a labor camp, but she survived to see her husband officially rehabilitated by the Soviet state under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988.. "released in the summer of 1953." Bukharin harbored some hope that he would be permitted to live and, whether in prison or Throughout the next few days he hardly went anywhere. 6 Zhores and Roy Medvedev, "Stalin�s Personal Archive: Hidden or Destroyed.  He was the second son of two schoolteachers, Ivan Gavrilovich Bukharin and Liubov Ivanovna Bukharina. account of the period from a communist point of view. was wrong about this one letter, we are obligated to dismiss as false the whole story of History Judge is discussed at some length by J. Arch Getty , Origins of the Great The fullest account of how Roy Medvedev supposedly learned of the "Stalin�s Evidently the Medvedev brothers do  In this wartime power struggle, Lenin's arrest had been seriously discussed by them and Left Socialist Revolutionaries in 1918. Bukharin did want the Soviet Union to achieve industrialization but he preferred the more moderate approach of offering the peasants the opportunity to become prosperous, which would lead to greater grain production for sale abroad. Of the three letters mentioned by Medvedev there is only one whose existence can be classic Let history judge: the origins and consequences of Stalinism, where the them from Medvedev�s work. On with a tart message from Lenin about Stalin�s crude behavior toward Krupskaya and other will send one man to Moscow and there will be no need to send another.�6 But more than that: the letters are in an official envelope of the "Council of Ibid., pp.  However, prompted by a grain shortage in 1928, Stalin reversed himself and proposed a program of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization because he believed that the NEP was not working fast enough. At http://clogic.eserver.org/2007/Furr_Bobrov.pdf. Bukharin was to pay with his life for his ‘treasonable activities’. ours who had been an aide to Khrushchev".  Politically, the Bolsheviks in Moscow were a minority in relation to the Mensheviks and Social Democrats. appointed Snegov to be / deputy head of the political administration of the gulag and "Introduction to Bukharin: economic theory and the closure of the Soviet industrialisation debate". reliable enough to refer to. 12, 1989, There is no claim here that Snegov saw Bukharin documents, of which this "last Snegov, Ezhov was shot in the The Last Years. How can we either verify � disagree. 17 Reabilitatsiia: Kak Eto Bylo, Seredina 80-kh godov � 1991. of a "text" at all. in the Volkogonov Papers, in the U.S. National Archives. ", "Koba, why is my death necessary to you?". first published as "Pervye priznatel'nye pokazaniia N.I. ���.� After Lenin's death in 1924, Bukharin became a full member of the Politburo. He was joined by his young wife Anna Larina, which therefore opened the possibility of exile, but he decided against it, saying that he could not live outside the Soviet Union. He compared Bukharin's situation to that of the great chemist Antoine Lavoisier who was guillotined during the French Revolution: "We in France, the most ardent revolutionaries... still profoundly grieve and regret what we did. During the Civil War period, he published several theoretical economic works, including the popular primer The ABC of Communism (with Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, 1919), and the more academic Economics of the Transitional Period (1920) and Historical Materialism (1921).
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