Down with Bukharinism !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IN GERMAN LANGUAGE

IN RUSSIAN LANGUAGE

 

 

 

 

 

Moscow Trials.  

 

Report of court proceedings

1938

 

 

 

The Case of Bukharin

1

Speech for the Prosecution

Evening Session - March 11 - 1938

by A. Y. Vyshinsky - Procurator of the U.S.S.R.


2. Interrogation of accused Bukharin, Evening Session, March 5, 1938.

 

3. Interrogation of accused Bukharin, Morning Session, March 7, 1938.

 

4. Last Plea, Evening Session, March 12, 1938.

 

 

 

 

2.

Interrogation of accused Bukharin, Evening Session, March 5, 1938.


THE PRESIDENT: We shall now proceed to the interrogation of the accused Bukharin.

Bukharin: I have a request to make to the Court on the following two points: firstly, to give me the opportunity of freely presenting my case to the Court, and, secondly, to permit me at the beginning of my statement to dwell more or less, as far as time will permit, on an analysis of the ideological and political stand of the criminal "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," for the following reasons: firstly, because comparatively little has been said about It, secondly, because it has a certain public interest, and thirdly, because Citizen the Public Prosecutor put this question at the previous session, if I am not mistaken.

VYSHINSKY: If the accused Bukharin intends in any way to restrict the right of the State Prosecutor to put him questions in the course of his explanations, I think that Comrade the President should explain to Bukharin that the right of the Prosecutor to put questions is based on law. I therefore ask that this request should be denied, as provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Bukharin: That is not what I meant by my request.

THE PRESIDENT: The first question to the accused Bukharin: Do you confirm the testimony you gave at the preliminary investigation about your anti-Soviet activities?

Bukharin: I confirm my testimony fully and entirely.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you wish to say about your anti-Soviet activities? And Comrade the Procurator is entitled to put questions.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to begin the interrogation, of the accused Bukharin. Formulate briefly what exactly it is you plead guilty to.

Bukharin: Firstly, to belonging to the counterrevolutionary "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."

VYSHINSKY: Since what year?

Bukharin: From the, moment the bloc was formed. Even before that, I plead guilty to belonging to the counterrevolutionary organization of the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Since what year?

Bukharin: Roughly since 1928. I plead guilty to being one of the outstanding leaders of this "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." Consequently, I plead guilty to what directly follows from this, the sum total of crimes committed by this counter-revolutionary organization, irrespective of whether or not I knew of, whether or not I took a direct part, in any particular act. Because I am responsible as one of the leaders and not as a cog of this counterrevolutionary organization.

VYSHINSKY: What aims were pursued by this counterrevolutionary organization?

Bukharin: This counter-revolutionary organization, to formulate it briefly...

VYSHINSKY: Yes, briefly for the present.

Bukharin: The principal aim it pursued although, so to speak, it did not fully realize it, and did not dot all the "i's" - was essentially the aim of restoring capitalist relations in the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: The overthrow of the Soviet power?

Bukharin: The overthrow of the Soviet power was a means to this end.

VYSHINSKY: By means of?

Bukharin: As is known...

VYSHINSKY: By means of a forcible overthrow?

Bukharin: Yes, by meant of the forcible overthrow of this power.

VYSHINSKY: With the help of?

Bukharin: With the help of all the difficulties encountered by the Soviet power; in particular, with the help of a war which prognostically was in prospect.

VYSHINSKY: Which was prognostically in prospect, with whose help?

Bukharin: With the help of foreign states.

VYSHINSKY: On condition?

Bukharin: On condition, to put it concretely, of a number of concessions.

VYSHINSKY: To the extent of..

Bukharin: To the extent of the cession of territory.

VYSHINSKY: That is?

Bukharin: If all the "i's" are dotted-on condition of the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: The severance of whole regions and republics from the U.S.S.R.?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: For example?

Bukharin: The Ukraine, the Maritime Region, Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: In whose favour?

Bukharin: In favour of the corresponding states, whose geographical and political...

VYSHINSKY: Which exactly?

Bukharin: In favour of Germany, in favour of Japan, and partly in favour of England.

VYSHINSKY: So, that was the agreement with the circles concerned? I know of one agreement which the bloc had.

Bukharin: Yes, the bloc had an agreement.

VYSHINSKY: And also by means of weakening the defensive power?

Bukharin: You see, this question was not discussed, at least not in my presence.

VYSHINSKY: And what was the position with regard to wrecking?

Bukharin: The position with regard to wrecking was that in the end, especially under pressure of the Trotskyite part of the so-called contact centre, which arose roughly in 1933, despite a number of internal differences and manipulatory political mechanics, which are of no interest to the investigation, after various vicissitudes, disputes and so on, the orientation on wrecking was adopted.

VYSHINSKY: Did it tend to weaken the defensive power of our country?

Bukharin: Naturally.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, there was an orientation on the weakening, the undermining of defensive power?

Bukharin: Not formally, but essentially it was so.

VYSHINSKY: But the actions and activity in this direction were clear?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Can you say the same about diversive acts?

Bukharin: With regard to diversive acts-by virtue of the division of labour and my definite functions, of which you know-I mainly occupied myself with the problematics of general leadership and with the ideological side; this, of course, did not exclude either my being aware of the practical side of the matter, or the adoption of a number of practical steps on my part.

VYSHINSKY: As I understand you, there was a division of labour among you.

Bukharin: But I, Citizen Procurator, say that I bear responsibility for the bloc.

VYSHINSKY: But the bloc which you headed set itself the aim of organizing diversive acts?

Bukharin: As far as I can judge by various things that rise in my memory, this was made dependent on concrete circumstances and concrete conditions.

VYSHINSKY: As you see from the trial, the circumstances were concrete enough. Did you and Khodjayev discuss the fact that too little wrecking was being done, and being done badly?

Bukharin: About accelerating wrecking there was no talk.

VYSHINSKY: Permit me to question the accused Khodjayev.

THE PRESIDENT: You may.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Khodjayev, did you discuss with Bukharin the question of accelerating wrecking activities?

Khodjayev: In August 1936, when I spoke to Bukharin in my country house, he said that wrecking work was feeble in our nationalist organization.

VYSHINSKY: And what ought to be done about it?

Khodjayev: To intensify it, and not only intensify the wrecking work, but to proceed to the organization of uprisings, terrorism, and so on.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, is what Khodjayev says correct?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: Was the organization of an insurrectionary movement one of your aims?

Bukharin: There was an insurrectionary orientation.

VYSHINSKY: There was an orientation? Did you send Slepkov to the North Caucasus to organize this business? Did you send Yakovenko to Biisk for the same purpose?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And is this not what Khodjayev says in relation to Central Asia?

Bukharin: I thought that when you asked about Central Asia my answer should deal only with Central Asia.

VYSHINSKY: And so, you deny this fact with regard to Central Asia, but not the line of the bloc, whereas I asked you about the line of the bloc.

Bukharin: And I said that the question was decided from case to case, depending upon geographical, political and other conditions.

VYSHINSKY: You deny Khodjayev's testimony? I invited Khodjayev just now to testify against you because I consider it important to illustrate the fact that your "bloc of Rights and Trotskytes" gave instructions from case to case, as you put it, depending upon circumstances, for the organization of an insurrectionary, diversionist and wrecking movement. Do you agree with that?

Bukharin: I agree with that. Only I must clarify it, so as to avoid confusion. The uprisings you are referring to took place in 1930, whereas the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" was organized, as you are aware, Citizen Procurator, in 1933.

VYSHINSKY: But its tactics did not differ in any way from the tactics of your Right centre. Do you agree with that?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: That is, the organization of an insurrectionary movement was part of the activities of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" as well?

Bukharin: It was.

VYSHINSKY: And you bear responsibility for it?

Bukharin: I have already said that I bear responsibility for the sum total of the actions.

VYSHINSKY: Did the bloc stand for the organization of terrorist acts, the assassination of leaders of the Party and the Soviet government?

Bukharin: It did, and I think that the organization of this must be dated back roughly to 1932, the autumn.

VYSHINSKY: And what was your relation to the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov? Was this assassination also committed with the knowledge and on the instructions of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites"?

Bukharin: That I did not know.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, was this assassination committed with the knowledge and on the instructions of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites"?

Bukharin: And I repeat that I do not know, Citizen Procurator.

VYSHINSKY: You did not know about this specifically in relation to the assassination of S. M. Kirov?

Bukharin: Not specifically, but...

VYSHINSKY: Permit me to question the accused Rykov.

THE PRESIDENT: You may.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, what do you know about the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov?

Rykov: I know nothing about the participation of the Rights or the Right part of the bloc in the assassination of Kirov.

VYSHINSKY: In general, were you aware of preparations for terrorist acts, for the assassination of members of the Party and the government?

Rykov: As one of the leaders of the Right part of this bloc, I took part in the organization of a number of terrorist groups and in preparations for terrorist acts. As I have said in my testimony, I do not know of a single decision of the Right centre, through which I was related with the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," about the actual commission of assassinations....

VYSHINSKY: About the actual commission. So. Do you know that one of the aims of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" was to organize and commit terrorist acts against leaders of the Party and the government?

Rykov: I said more than that, I said that I personally organized terrorist groups. But you are asking me whether I knew of such aims through some third person.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking whether the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" had any relation to the assassination of Comrade Kirov.

Rykov: I have no information regarding the relation of the Right part to this assassination, and therefore I am convinced to this day that the assassination of Kirov was carried out by the Trotskyites without the knowledge of the Rights. Of course, I might not have known about it.

VYSHINSKY: Were you connected with Yenukidze?

Rykov: With Yenukidze? Very little.

VYSHINSKY: Was he a member of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites"?

Rykov: He was, since 1933.

VYSHINSKY: Which part did he represent in this bloc, the Trotskyites or the Rights? To which did he gravitate?

Rykov: He must have represented the Right part.

VYSHINSKY: Very well; please be seated. Permit me to question the accused Yagoda. Accused Yagoda, do you know that Yenukidze, of whom the accused Rykov just spoke, represented the Right part of the bloc and that he had direct relation to the organization of the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov?

Yagoda: Both Rykov and Bukharin are telling lies. Rykov and Yenukidze were present at the meeting of the centre where the question of assassinating S. M. Kirov was discussed.

VYSHINSKY: Did the Rights have any relation to this?

Yagoda: Direct relation, because it was a bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.

VYSHINSKY: Did the accused Rykov and Bukharin in particular have any relation to the assassination?

Yagoda: Direct relation.

VYSHINSKY: Did you, as a member of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," have any relation to this assassination?

Yagoda: I did.

VYSHINSKY: Are Bukharin and Rykov telling the truth when they say that they knew nothing about it?

Yagoda: That cannot be so, because when Yenukidze told me that they, that is, the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," had decided at a joint meeting to commit a terrorist act against Kirov, I categorically objected....

VYSHINSKY: Why?

Yagoda: I declared that I would never permit any terrorist acts. I regarded it as absolutely unnecessary.

VYSHINSKY: And dangerous for the organization?

Yagoda: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Nevertheless?

Yagoda: Nevertheless Yenukidze confirmed...

VYSHINSKY: What?

Yagoda: That at this meeting they...

VYSHINSKY: Who were they?

Yagoda: Rykov and Yenukidze at first categorically object

VYSHINSKY: To what?

Yagoda: To the commission of a terrorist act. But under the pressure of the remaining part of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites"...

VYSHINSKY: Principally the Trotskyites?

Yagoda: Yes, under the pressure of the remaining part of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyltes," they gave their consent. So Yenukidze told me.

VYSHINSKY: After this, did you personally take any measures to effect the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov?

Yagoda: I personally?

VYSHINSKY: Yes, as a member of the bloc.

Yagoda: I gave instructions...

VYSHINSKY: To whom?

Yagoda: To Zaporozhetz in Leningrad. That is not quite how it was..

VYSHINSKY: We shall speak about that later. What I want now is to elucidate the part played by Rykov and Bukharin in this villainous act.

Yagoda: I gave instructions to Zaporozhetz. When Nikolayev was detained...

VYSHINSKY: The first time?

Yagoda: Yes. Zaporozhetz came to Moscow and reported to me that a man had been detained...

VYSHINSKY: In whose briefcase...

Yagoda: There was a revolver and a diary. And he released him.

VYSHINSKY: And you approved of this?

Yagoda: I just took note of the fact.

VYSHINSKY: And then you gave instructions not to place obstacles in the way of the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov?

Yagoda: Yes, I did .... It was not like that.

VYSHINSKY: In a somewhat different form?

Yagoda: It was not like that, but it is not important.

VYSHINSKY: Did you give instructions?

Yagoda: I have confirmed that.

VYSHINSKY: You have. Be seated.

THE PRESIDENT (to Vyshinsky): Have you any more questions?

VYSHINSKY: I have another question to put to Bukharin. Was your attitude to terrorism positive or negative, to terrorism against Soviet statesmen?

Bukharin: I understand. The question of terrorism arose for the first time for me in a conversation with Pyatakov, and I must say that I knew that Trotsky was insisting on terrorist tactics. At that time I objected.

VYSHINSKY: When was that?

Bukharin: In the end Pyatakov and I found a common language under the formula that it would all work out in the end and that all differences would be ironed out in one way or another. And then I have reported to you, Citizen State Prosecutor...

VYSHINSKY: You reported to the Court in my presence...

Bukharin: I reported to the Court in your presence that actually the orientation on terrorism, strictly speaking, was already contained in the Ryutin platform.

VYSHINSKY: I understand. I want to know whether your attitude towards terrorism was a positive one?

Bukharin: What do you mean by that?

VYSHINSKY: That you were in favour of the assassination of leaders of our Party and the government.

Bukharin: You ask whether I, as a member of the centre of Rights and Trotskyites, was in favour of...

VYSHINSKY: Terrorist acts.

Bukharin: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Against whom?

Bukharin: Against the leaders of the Party and the government.

VYSHINSKY: You will tell us the details later. You came to favour this roughly in 1929-30?

Bukharin:. No, I think it was roughly in 1932.

VYSHINSKY: But were you not in favour of the assassination of leaders of our Party and government in 1918?

Bukharin: No, I was not.

VYSHINSKY: Were you in favour of the arrest of Lenin?

Bukharin: His arrest? There were two such cases-about the first of which I told Lenin himself; as to the second, I kept silent about it for reasons of secrecy-regarding which, if you like, I can speak in greater detail. It did take place.

VYSHINSKY: Did it take place?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And about the assassination of Vladimir Ilyich?

Bukharin: The first time it was proposed to keep him under restraint for twenty-four hours. There was such a formula. But in the second case...

VYSHINSKY: But if Vladimir Ilyich were to resist arrest?

Bukharin: But Vladimir Ilyich, as you know, never entered into armed conflicts. He was not a brawler.

VYSHINSKY: And so you expected that when you came to arrest him, Vladimir Ilyich would not resist?

Bukharin: You see, I can mention the case of another man. When the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries arrested Dzerzhinsky, he did not offer armed resistance either.

VYSHINSKY: That always depends upon the particular circumstances of the case. And so, in this case you counted that there would be no resistance?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And did you not count upon the arrest of Comrade Stalin in 1918?

Bukharin: At that time there were several talks about...

VYSHINSKY. I am not asking about talks, but about a plan for the arrest of Commrade Stalin.

Bukharin: And I say that it I do not agree with your description of it as a plan, then permit me to prove to the Court how it was in actual fact. Then, it may be said, it was not a plan, but a talk.

VYSHINSKY: What about?

Bukharin: There was the same talk about the formation of a new government of "Left Communists."

VYSHINSKY: And I ask you, did you have a plan for the arrest of Comrade Stalin in 1918?

Bukharin: Not of Stalin, but there was a plan for the arrest of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov.

VYSHINSKY: All three: Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov?

Bukharin: Quite so.

VYSHINSKY: And so, not Comrade Stalin, but Comrades Stalin, Lenin and Sverdlov?

Bukharin: Exactly.

VYSHINSKY: There was a plan of arrest?

Bukharin: I say that there was not a plan, but talks on the subject.

VYSHINSKY: And what about the assassination of Comrades Stalin, Lenin and Sverdlov?

Bukharin: Under no circumstances.

VYSHINSKY: I shall request the Court at the end of today's session, or at the next session of the Court, to call as witnesses on this question Yakovleva, a former active member of the group of "Left Communists," Ossinsky and Mantsev, former active members of the so-called group of "Left Communists," and then the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, Karelin and Kamkov, members of the Central Committee of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, in order to question them whether Bukharin and the "Left Communists," whom he headed at the time, together with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, had a plan, and what kind of plan, for the arrest and assassination of Comrades Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov. I have no more questions for the present.

Bukharin: May I begin?

THE PRESIDENT (after conferring with the Members of the Court): The Court has decided to grant the request of the State Prosecutor to summon as witnesses Yakovleva, Ossinsky, Mantsev, Karelin and Kamkov.

VYSHINSKY: That fully satisfies me.

THE PRESIDENT: You have no more questions to put to Bukharin for the present?

VYSHINSKY: Not for the present.

THE PRESIDENT: I must explain to the accused Bukharin that it is not a speech for the defence he must make, nor a last plea.

Bukharin: I understand that.

THE PRESIDENT: And so, if you want to say anything about your criminal anti-Soviet activities, you may do so.

Bukharin: I want to deal with the subject of the restoration of capitalism. May I?

VYSHINSKY: Of course, that is your chief speciality.

Bukharin: I want first to deal with ideological positions, not in the sense of declining responsibility for practical, criminal counter-revolutionary activities. I have not the slightest desire that the proletarian Court should conceive such an opinion. I want to reply to the question which Citizen the State Prosecutor put to Rakovsky, namely, for the sake of what did the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" carry on such a criminal struggle against the Soviet power? I realize that I am not a lecturer and must not preach a sermon here, but that I am an accused person who must bear responsibility as a criminal, facing the Court of the proletarian country. But just because it seems to me that this trial is of public importance, and because this question has been dealt with extremely little, I thought that it would be useful to dwell on the program which has never been written down anywhere, on the practical program of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," and to decipher one formula, namely, what is meant by the restoration of capitalism, in the way it was visualized and conceived in the circles of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." I repeat that in desiring to dwell. upon this aspect of the matter I have no wish to disclaim responsibility for various practical things, for my counter-revolutionary crimes. But I want to say that I was not one of the cogs of counter-revolution, but one of the leaders of counter-revolution; and as one of the leaders I play and answer in a far greater degree, bear far greater responsibility than any of the cogs. And so I cannot be suspected of wanting to wriggle out of or repudiate responsibility, even if I were not a member of the Right and Trotskyite organization. The Court and the public opinion of our country, like the public opinion of other countries, as far as progressive mankind is concerned, can judge how people sank to such depths, how we all became rabid counter-revolutionaries, traitors to the Socialist fatherland, and how we turned into spies, terrorists and restorers of capitalism, and what, in the end, were the ideas and political standpoint of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." We embarked on treachery, crime and treason. But for the sake of what did we embark on this? We turned into an insurrectionary band, we organized terrorist groups, engaged in wrecking activities, wanted to overthrow the valiant leadership of Stalin, the Soviet government of the proletariat.

One of the very widespread replies Is that through the logic of the struggle we were forced to become counter-revolutionaries, plotters and traitors, that we were led to the shame, to the crime, that has brought us into the criminal dock. I need not say that such things do not happen in public life; here there is a logic, the logic of the struggle is combined with the methods of the struggle, with the platform.

I want to dwell on these facts, although I am convinced that actually such a terminology may sound rather strange in relation to such criminal activities, but nevertheless it seems important to me to dwell on this.

It has been proved many times, and repeated tens of thousands of times, that the Right deviation, from the moment of its inception, when it was still in an embryo, from the moment of its inception set itself the aim of restoring capitalism. I do not intend to speak about this. I want to speak of another aspect of the matter, from a far more important standpoint, from the objective side of this matter, because here there arises the problem of accountability and judgment from the standpoint of the crimes revealed in Court, all the more so because I am one of the leaders in the dock. We must here start from the beginning.

The Right counter-revolutionaries seemed at first to be a "deviation"; they seemed, at a first glance, to be people who began with discontent in connection with collectivization, in connection with industrialization, with the fact, as they claimed, that industrialization was destroying production. This, at a first glance, seemed to be the chief thing. Then the Ryutin platform appeared. When all the state machines, when all the means, when all the best forces were flung into the industrialization of the country, into collectivization, we, found ourselves, literally in twentyfour hours, on the other shore, we found ourselves with the kulaks, with the counter-revolutionaries, we found ourselves with the capitalist remnants which still existed at the time in the sphere of trade. Hence it follows that the basic meaning, the judgment, from the subjective standpoint, is clear. Here we went through a very interesting process, an over-estimation of individual enterprise, a crawling over to its idealization, the idealization of the property-owner. Such was the evolution. Our program was-the prosperous peasant farm of the individual, but in fact the kulak became an end in itself. We were ironical about the collective farms. We, the counter-revolutionary plotters, came at that time more and more to display the psychology that collective farms were music of the future. What was necessary was to develop rich property-owners. This was the tremendous change that took place in our standpoint and psychology. In 1917 it would never have. occurred to any of the members of the Party, myself included, to pity Whiteguards who had been killed; yet in the period of the liquidation of the kulaks, In 1929-30, we pitied the expropriated kulaks, from so-called humanitarian motives. To whom would it have occurred in 1919 to blame the dislocation of oureconomic life onthe Bolsheviks, and not on sabotage? To nobody. It would have sounded as frank and open treason. Yet I myself in 1928 invented the formula about the military-feudal exploitation of the peasantry, that is, I put the blame for the costs of the class struggle not on the class which was hostile to the proletariat, but on the leaders of the proletariat itself. This was already a swing of 180 degrees. This meant that ideological and political platforms grew into counterrevolutionary platforms. Kulak farming and kulak interests actually became a point of program. The logic of the struggle led to the logic of ideas and to a change of our psychology, to the counter-revolutionizing of our aims.

Take industry. At first we raised an outcry about over-industrialization, about over-straining the budget, and so on. But as a matter of fact this was a program demand, it was the ideal of a kulak agrarian country with an industrial appendage. And psychologically? Psychologically, we, who at one time had advocated Socialist industrialism, began to regard with a shrug of the shoulders, with irony, and then with anger at bottom, our huge, gigantically growing factories as monstrous gluttons which consumed everything, deprived the broad masses of articles of consumption, and represented a certain danger. The heroic efforts of the foremost workers...

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, you have again not understood me. You are not making your last plea now. You were asked to testify to your anti-Soviet, counter-revolutionary activities, but you are giving us a lecture. In your last plea you may say whatever you like. I am explaining this to you for the third time.

Bukharin: Then permit me very briefly..

VYSHINSKY: Tell me, accused Bukharin, how all this took shape in practice in your anti-Soviet activities.

Bukharin: Then permit me to enumerate certain points of program. And then I will immediately pass on to relate my practical counter-revolutionary activities. May I, Citizen the President?

THE PRESIDENT: Only more briefly, if you please. You will have an opportunity to make a speech as your own Counsel for Defence.

Bukharin: This is not my defence, it is my self-accusation. I have not said a single word in my defence. If my program stand were to be formulated practically, it would be, in the economic sphere, state capitalism, the prosperous muzhik individual, the curtailment of the collective farms, foreign concessions, surrender of the monopoly of foreign trade, and, as a result-the restoration of capitalism in the country.

VYSHINSKY: What did your aims amount to? What general prognosis did you make?

Bukharin: The prognosis was that there would be a heavy list towards capitalism.

VYSHINSKY: And what transpired?

Bukharin: What transpired was quite different.

VYSHINSKY: What transpired was the complete victory of Socialism.

Bukharin: The complete victory of Socialism.

VYSHINSKY: And the complete collapse of your prognosis.

Bukharin: And the complete collapse of our prognosis. Inside the country our actual program - this I think must be said with all emphasis - was a lapse into bourgeois-democratic freedom, coalition, because from the bloc with the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, and the like, it follows that there would be freedom of parties, freedom of coalition, and follows quite logically from the combination of forces for struggle, because if allies are chosen for overthrowing the government, on the day after the possible victory they would be partners in power. A lapse not only into the ways of bourgeois-democratic freedom, but in the political sense into ways where there are undoubtedly elements of Caesarism.

VYSHINSKY: Say fascism simply.

Bukharin: Since in the circles of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" there wasan ideological orientation towards the kulaks and at the same time an orientation towards a "palace revolution" and a coup d'état, towards a military conspiracy and a praetorian guard of counter-revolutionaries, this is nothing other than elements of fascism.

Since the features of state capitalism about which I spoke operate in the sphere of economics...

VYSHINSKY: In short, you lapsed into outright rabid fascism.

Bukharin: Yes, that is correct, although we did not dot all the "i's." That is the formulation characterizing us as conspirators, restorers of capitalism, true from all points of view. And quite naturally, this was accompanied by a disintegration and degeneration of the whole ideology, our entire practice and methods of struggle.

Now permit me to go straight on withan account of my criminal activity.

VYSHINSKY: Perhaps as a preliminary I might ask you two or three questions of a biographical nature.

Bukharin: By all means.

VYSHINSKY: Have you lived in Austria?

Bukharin: I have.

VYSHINSKY: For long?

Bukharin: 1912 to 1913.

VYSHINSKY: You had no connections with the Austrian police?

Bukharin: None.

VYSHINSKY: Have you lived in America?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: For long?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: How many months?

Bukharin: About seven months.

VYSHINSKY: In America you were not connected with the police?

Bukharin: Absolutely not.

VYSHINSKY: On your way from America to Russia you passed through...

Bukharin: Through Japan.

VYSHINSKY: Did you stop there for long?

Bukharin: A week.

VYSHINSKY: You were not recruited during this week?

Bukharin: If it pleases you to put such questions...

VYSHINSKY: The Code of Criminal Procedure gives me the right to put such questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The Prosecutor has all the more right to put such a question because Bukharin is charged with attempting to assassinate the leaders of the Party as far back as 1918, with raising a hand against the life of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in 1918.

VYSHINSKY: I am not overstepping the Code of Criminal Procedure. If you like, you can say "no," but I may ask.

Bukharin: Quite right.

THE PRESIDENT: The consent of the accused is not required.

VYSHINSKY: You made no connections with the police?

Bukharin: Absolutely.

VYSHINSKY: Like Chernov in the bus. I am asking you about connections with some police authority.

Bukharin: I had no connections with any police authorities whatsoever.

VYSHINSKY: Then why was it so easy for you to join a bloc which was engaged in espionage work?

Bukharin: Concerning espionage work I know absolutely nothing.

VYSHINSKY: What do you mean, you don't know?

Bukharin: Just that.

VYSHINSKY: And what was the bloc engaged in?

Bukharin: Two people testified here about espionage, Sharangovich and Ivanov, that is to say, two agents-provocateurs.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you consider Rykov an agent-provocateur?

Bukharin: No, I do not.

VYSHINSKY (to Rykov): Accused Rykov, do you know that the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" conducted espionage work?

Rykov: I know there were organizations that conducted espionage work.

VYSHINSKY: Tell me, did the Byelorussian national-fascist organization, which was part of your "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" and which was led by the accused Sharangovich, conduct espionage work?

Rykov: I have already spoken about that.

VYSHINSKY: It conducted espionage work?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: It was connected with the Polish intelligence service?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: You knew about this?

Rykov: I did.

VYSHINSKY: And Bukharin did not know?

Rykov: In my opinion, Bukharin also knew.

VYSHINSKY: So, accused Bukharin, it is not Sharangovich who says so, but your pal Rykov.

Bukharin: Nevertheless I did not know.

THE PRESIDENT: Comrade Prosecutor, have you any more questions?

VYSHINSKY: I want to make myself clear to the accused Bukharin. Do you understand now why I asked you about Austria?

Bukharin: My connection with the Austrian police consisted in my imprisonment in an Austrian fortress.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Sharangovich, you were a Polish spy, although you have been in prison?

Sharangovich: Yes, although I have been in prison.

Bukharin: I have been in a Swedish prison, twice in a Russian prison, and in a German prison.

VYSHINSKY: The fact that you have been in jail is no proof that you could not have been a spy.

Accused Rykov, you confirm that after all his terms of confinement in the prisons of various countries, Bukharin, with you, knew of Sharangovich's spy connection with the Polish intelligence service? Knew about it and approved of it?

Rykov: I knew of organizations which conducted espionage work.

VYSHINSKY: The fact that Bukharin had been in various prisons did not prevent him from approving his accomplices' connections with the Polish intelligence service. You understand this?

Rykov: No, I do not.

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin understands it.

Bukharin: I understand, but I deny it.

THE PRESIDENT: Continue.

Bukharin: I must speak briefly about the various stages. Practically speaking, the foundations for my counter-revolutionary activity as far as the Right deviation is concerned, its evolution down to the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," with corresponding methods of struggle, with corresponding criminal actions, were laid deliberately as far back as 1919-20, when from my pupils at the Sverdlov University I mustered a distinct group, which began to develop very quickly into a faction. The membership of this group is known. It is in the material of the investigation, and as far as I can judge by the remarks of Citizen the Procurator he has information on the subject.

VYSHINSKY: Among your pupils was Slepkov, the man you sent to the North Caucasus to organize insurrections?

Bukharin: Quite true. I can cite several more facts.

VYSHINSKY: Of the same kind?

Bukharin: No, not of the same kind.

VYSHINSKY: But of the same type?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: Well, something similar to it?

Bukharin: Excuse me, I cannot explain everything in one word.

VYSHINSKY: Continue.

Bukharin: A certain nucleus of cadres was formed which subsequently became one of the component parts in the aggregate counter-revolutionary organization of the Rights, and then, consequently, of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."

About 1923 I wrote a so-called memorandum, which was to be handed to the Central Committee; however, I did not submit it and it passed into circulation among the circles of this school among whom certain views became current which subsequently grew, blossomed and bore correspondingly poisonous fruit. In this memorandum I said that in the leadership of the Party one crisis would give place...

VYSHINSKY: What you wrote in it is not of the slightest interest to us now.

Bukharin: In 1928, when elements of a crisis appeared in the country in the relations between the proletariat and the peasantry, and the Party leadership, headed by Stalin, mapped out a course of overcoming the difficulties and of an offensive against the kulaks, the opposition began to take shape-at first only as an opposition. One of the episodes was that in that year I went to G. G. Yagoda, then head of the O.G.P.U., to get tendentiously picked data; lie gave me suitably picked data, which I then used to form my counter-revolutionary ideology and corresponding actions based on this ideology.

VYSHINSKY: When did your counter-revolutionary Right organization take shape?

Bukharin: My rapprochement with Tomsky and Rykov dates approximately to 1928-29 - then contacts and sounding out the then members of the Central Committee, illegal conferences which were illegal in respect of the Central Committee; consequently, the organization overstepped the bounds of Soviet state legality, and it was on this basis that there quickly arose a peculiar organization of the leadership of the Right organization, which may be depicted as a hierarchy, approximately like this: the trio - Rykov, Tomsky and myself, who were members of the Political Bureau at that time, opposition members of the Central Committee who by virtue of their views had already developed into a counter-revolutionary grouping; then various groupings, the chief component parts of which should be listed as follows: Bukharin and his notorious school in the first place, Tomsky and his trade union cadres in the second place, Rykov and his secretaries and people of the Soviet apparatus in the third place, Uglanov with Moscow district officials and a group in the Industrial Academy in the fourth place. In this manner the upper clique of this counter-revolutionary organization was formed.

VYSHINSKY: And where did Yagoda come in?

Bukharin: Yagoda stood aside.

VYSHINSKY: Was he connected with you?

Bukharin: Yes, he was.

VYSHINSKY: He helped you to pick tendentious data?

Bukharin: Quite right.

VYSHINSKY: So, he was a participant...

Bukharin: I am speaking now about the hierarchy of the leadership, and therefore as far as Yagoda...

VYSHINSKY: I simply did not want the accused Yagoda to be slighted.

Bukharin: Here began the quest for blocs. Firstly, my meeting with Kamenev at his apartment. Secondly, a meeting with Pyatakov in the hospital, at which Kamenev was present. Thirdly, a meeting with Kamenev at Schmidt's country house.

I forgot to say that in 1928 on the basis of and in connection with a statement made by representatives of a whole group in the Central Committee, at that time an opposition group, but who were already swinging. to counter-revolutionary views, and on the basis of a corresponding plan, I drew up the so-called platform of 1928.

I am mentioning it not because it was widely circulated and not because its ideas, as you know, formed the basis of all practical steps at that time and it became the principle underlying the ideology, but because at the second sounding out of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite circles, namely at the meeting with Kamenev and Pyatakov, I showed the economic section of this platform to the persons referred to.

I do not know whether you are interested in a detailed...

THE PRESIDENT: I think these episodes could be related more briefly.

Bukharin: Very well. The meeting with Kamenev at his apartment. Here there were extremely slanderous conversations about the leadership of the Party, the Party regime, the organization of hunger, civil war in the country, scurrilous attacks on the Party leadership, and so on and so forth.

The meeting in the hospital. I repeat that inasmuch as the economic platform met with some disparagement, no agreement was reached on this occasion, but we sounded and tested each other, and an attempt at an agreement was made.

Thirdly, and lastly, the meeting at the country house of Vasily Schmidt, who was not there himself and at which myself, my secretary Tseitlin, Kamenev and Tomsky were present. On this occasion the conversation was comparatively short and consisted in a discussion of the tactics which we opposition members of the Central Committee should pursue at the forthcoming Plenum of the Central Committee. Kamenev's position was that of urging us on to taking action, but we were also waiting for an opportunity. So that I regard all these three attempts as quests for criminal connections and a criminal bloc against the Party leadership and the Party with those circles which were grouped around Kamenev and Zinoviev on the one hand, and the Trotskyite Pyatakov on the other.

The next stage in the development of the counterrevolutionary organization of the Rights began in 1930-31. At that time there was a great sharpening of the class struggle, of kulak sabotage, kulak resistance to the policy of the Party, etc.

I consider this stage the transition to "double entry bookkeeping" all along the line. The trio became an illegal centre and therefore, whereas this trio had previously been at the head of the opposition circles, now it became the centre of an illegal counterrevolutionary organization. And inasmuch as they, I repeat, were illegal in relation to the Party, they became thereby illegal in relation to the Soviet authorities.

Close to this illegal centre was Yenukidze, who had contact with this centre through Tomsky. Uglanov, whose influence in the Party organization was quite considerable because only a short time back he had been leading the Moscow Party organization, was also close to the centre at that time.

Around this time, approximately towards the end of 1931, the members of the so-called school were transferred to work outside of Moscow - to Voronezh, Samara, Leningrad, Novoslbirsk - and this transfer was utilized for counter-revolutionary purposes even then.

VYSHINSKY: How was it utilized?

Bukharin: It was utilized In the sense that we members of this illegal trio, members of the Right centre, myself among them, gave these demoralized people a direct charge, a direct commission, primarily about recruiting people. As regards Yagoda, if my memory does riot fail me, according. to A. I. Rykov he at that time demanded a special status for himself, insisting on it particularly just then.

VYSHINSKY: A special status in what sense?

Bukharin: A special status within the Right organization in the sense of specially secretive forms of concealment, which is quite understandable in view of the position he held in the official, Soviet hierarchy.

VYSHINSKY: He got this status?

Bukharin: He got this status. About the autumn of 1932 the next stage in the development of the Right organization began, namely the transition to tactics of a forcible overthrow of Soviet power.

VYSHINSKY: What year do you date it from?

Bukharin: I date it approximately from the summer of 1932. But, in general, Citizen State Prosecutor, I must say that it should be borne in mind that all this division into periods Is of an arbitrary character, because, for example, if I take the fact of Yakovenko's having been sent with my permission and the permission of the Right centre, I have referred to facts concerning which you have questioned me and concerning which I gave you an affirmative reply. They relate to an earlier period. From this I only draw the conclusion that if dates do not coincide, this can in no wise rye to disprove the criminal nature of one or another act, because there ryas no clear line of demarcation here. Furthermore, in some cases, as in the case of Yakovenko, there was such a hectic situation that it gave rise to a corresponding criminal reaction on our part.

Proceeding to the tactics of forcible overthrow in general, I make note of the time when the so-called Ryutin platform was formulated. Much has been said here about the Ryutin platform, and perhaps there is no need to dwell upon it. It was called the Ryutin platform for reasons of secrecy, as an insurance against exposure; it was called the Ryutin platform in order to conceal the Right centre and its top leadership. Furthermore, I must say in addition: I think that the Ryutin platform - that is why I permit myself to hold your attention for a few minutes longer - the Ryutin platform, as far as I. can remember during the trial, the platform of the Right counterrevolutionary organization, was perhaps already actually a common platform of the other groupings, including the Kamenev-Zinoviev and Trotskyite groupings.

It was just at this very moment that the situation became such that Trotsky had to throw off his Leftist uniform. Whets It came to exact formulations of what had to be done after all, his Right platform came into evidence at once, that is, he had to speak of decollectivization, etc.

VYSHINSKY: That is, you equipped Trotskyism ideologically too?

Bukharin: Quite true. Here the correlation of forces was such that Trotsky insisted on more drastic methods of struggle and we to a certain extent armed him ideologically. (To Vyshinsky.) Is that all I need say about the Ryutin platform?

VYSHINSKY: That is your affair.

Bukharin: No, I am asking if it interests you or not.

VYSHINSKY: I am interested in your crimes.

Bukharin: Very well, but these crimes are so numerous, Citizen Procurator, that it is necessary to pick out the most important.

VYSHINSKY: I am interested in all of them-not in a selection, but from beginning to end.

THE PRESIDENT: So far you are still beating about the bush, you are saying nothing about your crimes.

Bukharin: So you do not consider an illegal organization a crime, nor do you consider the Ryutin platform a crime?

VYSHINSKY: That is not the question, but you are told you are beating about the bush.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, I request you not to engage in cross-talk, but to speak if you want to speak.

Bukharin: I will speak.

THE PRESIDENT: According to procedure, the session should close in fifteen minutes. I ask you to wind up your thoughts or to finish.

VYSHINSKY: You mentioned Yagoda. I would like to question Yagoda. Accused Yagoda, please tell us if you demanded Of the bloc that you should be put in a specially secret position.

Yagoda: Yes, there was such a demand on my part.

VYSHINSKY: Do you remember under what circumstances this took place and with whom you spoke about it?

Yagoda: I spoke with Rykov.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, do you confirm this?

Rykov: I confirm it, I have already spoken about this in my preliminary testimony.

VYSHINSKY: Continue.

Bukharin: The Ryutin platform registered the transition to the tactics of overthrowing the Soviet power by force.

In this connection, I think I should dwell on the conference of 1932. Those people who had been sent to various places outside Moscow, consisting for the most part of "young people," returned from their localities and on the initiative of Slepkov and with my sanction called a conference at the end of the summer of 1932, at which reports from the localities were made.

VYSHINSKY: Illegal?

Bukharin: Illegal. The conference was illegal, the work was illegal, the reports were illegal and the reports were about illegal work.

VYSHINSKY: The conference was counter-revolutionary, the reports were counter-revolutionary, and the reports were about counter-revolutionary work.

Bukharin: Yes, the whole thing was counter-revolutionary. Incidentally, one of the points on the agenda of this conference was the question of the Ryutin platform, and the conference approved this Ryutin platform. After this there was a conference of the "trio," plus Uglanov. I was not present at this conference because I was on my vacation, but when I returned from my vacation I fully agreed with this platform and I bear full responsibility for it. The Ryutin platform was approved on behalf of the Right centre. The essential points of the Ryutin platform were: a "palace coup," terrorism, steering a course for a direct alliance with the Trotskyites. Around this time the idea of a "palace coup" was maturing in the Right circles, and not only in the upper circles, but also, as far as I remember, among a section of those working outside of Moscow. At first this idea came from Tomsky, who was in contact with Yenukidze. This thought occurred to Tomsky in connection with the possibilities of using the official position of Yenukidze, who had charge of the Kremlin guard at that time. Here we have the logic of the struggle and the disappearance of avenues for legal work, the development of this idea, the consolidation of the ties between Tomsky and Yenukidze, and between Rykov and Yagoda. Tomsky said that Yenukidze agreed to take an active part in this coup. Tomsky also said that Yenukidze had enlisted Peterson. And here, speaking ironically, from an academic formulation of the question, the question matured into a practical formulation, because elements of the organization of this coup were present.

Consequently, it was already then that the plan was being made and the organizational forces picked to carry it out, that is to say, the recruiting of people for a "palace coup." This was when the political bloc with Kamenev and Zinoviev originated. In this period we had meetings also with Syrtsov and Lominadze.

I must say, only I ask the Court not to understand it as a desire to mitigate the charges against me, that the political tendencies in this group were not entirely undifferentiated, that the Rights were not united with the Trotskyites: the Trotskyites counted on terrorism while the Rights put their hopes in an insurrectionary movement. The Rights urged the organization on to mass action.

I think this is no mitigation, but in this case I am telling you what took place and what was known from the reports which were given then. We counted on enlisting the masses.

I had talks with Pyatakov, Tomsky and Rykov. Rykov had talks with Kamenev, and Zinoviev with Pyatakov.

In the summer of 1932 I had a second conversation with Pyatakov in the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry. At that time this was a very simple matter for me, since I was working under Pyatakov. At that time he was my boss. I had to go into his private office on business, and I could do so without arousing suspicion. Neither did the fact that I would sit in his private office for so long arouse any suspicion. There was no telling what business had to be transacted.

VYSHINSKY: You made use of all the legal opportunities for illegal conversations.

Bukharin: I utilized legal opportunities for anti-Soviet, illegal purposes. In this talk, which took place in the summer of 1932, Pyatakov told me of his meeting with Sedov concerning Trotsky's policy of terrorism. At that time Pyatakov and I considered that these were not our ideas, but we decided that we would find a common language very soon and that our differences in the struggle against Soviet power would be overcome. Tomsky and Rykov, I may be mistaken, spoke with Kamenev and Sokolnikov. I remember that at that time Tomsky particularly insisted on a coup d'état and a concentration of all forces, while the members of the Right centre orientated themselves on an insurrectionary movement.

By the end of 1932-the Ryutin platform dates to the autumn or the end of the summer of 1932, the conference dates...

THE PRESIDENT: The session is drawing to a close, conclude.

Bukharin: Then I will merely conclude the thought that the counter-revolutionary bloc of Rights, Trotskyites and Kamenev-Zinovievites was formed at the end of 1932.

THE PRESIDENT: The Court is adjourned until March 7, 11 a.m.

 

[Signed]  

V. ULRICH
Army Military Jurist
President of the Military Collegium of
the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.

 
 

SECRETARY : A. BATNER
Military Jurist First Rank

 

 

 

3.

Interrogation of accused Bukharin, Morning Session, March 7, 1938.

 

 

Interrogation of accused Bukharin - Morning Session March 7

COMMANDANT OF THE COURT: The Court is coming, please rise.

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. The session is resumed. Accused Bukharin, continue your testimony about your anti-Soviet activities.

Bukharin: Very well. The day before yesterday I finished by saying that at the end of 1932 the bloc of Rights, Trotskyites and Zinovievites was formed on the basis of the Ryutin platform. By that time terrorist sentiments had already begun to develop amongthe participants of the counter-revolutionary organization of the Rights. They were to be marked among my so-called disciples, in the Matveyev group surrounding Uglanov, among Rykov's supporters and among certain trade union functionaries, as was at one time disclosed in the press. The formation of the group of conspirators in the Red Army relates to that period. I heard of it from Tomsky, who was directly informed of it by Yenukidze, with whom he had personal connections, and with whom in addition it was more convenient for him to be in contact because they lived along the same corridor in the Kremlin.

Both of them, Tomsky and Yenukidze, as I heard-though "heard" is not a particularly suitable word; rather I was informed by Tomsky and Yenukidze, who told me that in the upper ranks of the Red Army the Rights, Zinovievites and Trotskyites had then united their forces; names were mentioned to me - I don't vouch that I remember them all exactly - but those I have remembered are Tukhachevsky, Kork, Primakov and Putna.

Thus the connections with the centre of the Rights followed the line of: the military group, Yenukidze, Tomsky and the rest. Approximately at this time, i.e., towards the end of 1932 or the beginning of 1933, the so-called contact centre was formed, which included representatives of various anti-Party counter revolutionary trends, including the Rights.

In returning to the story or to the evidence regarding the criminal activity of the counter-revolutionary Right bloc, I wish firstly to deal with the idea of the coup d'état as one of the central criminal ideas, and the practical preparations that corresponded to it, because this very idea and the corresponding practical preparations developed in conformity with various periods and the general political situation in the various stages of its development.

The inception of the idea of the coup d'état among us Right conspirators relates approximately to the years 1929-30, and at that time this coup d'état In its embryo form was conceived, or rather was spoken of, as a coup d'état on relatively a very narrow basis. I would say that it was an idea of a circumscribed coup d'état, or rather of a "palace coup" (I again fear to say so, lest the impression be got that I wish to shirk responsibility here), and was for the first time expressed by Tomsky in connection with the circumstance that at that time Yenukidze, who was personally connected with Tomsky and was frequently In his company. had charge of the Kremlin guard; at the same time there was a possibility for Rykov, who was Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, to make use of his official position. In this connection there were a number of legal opportunities and loopholes facilitating ail kinds of secret criminal activities, and therefore this could serve as a definite condition under which this "palace coup"' could be effected. It dates approximately to the years 1920, but at that time they did not proceed to carry the "palace coup" into effect, and did not do so, strictly speaking, for tyro reasons: the one reason was a wider one...

VYSHINSKY: Why they did not proceed to put it into effect is not so interesting as why they did; why they did not, why it did not take place, is of no interest to us.

Bukharin: Very good, I shall not dwell on this if it is not of interest.

VYSHINSKY: You have already reached the year 1933.

Bukharin: The reason I wanted to refer to this question is that it is connected with the practical preparations....

VYSHINSKY: So speak of the practical preparations, instead of telling us why this or that did not take place. The Court is interested in knowing what took pface, and why.

Bukharin: Yes, but every negation contains an affirmation, Citizen Procurator. Spinoza once said that in the sphere of determination...

VYSHINSKY: Speak concretely: how were you preparing the seizure of power, with whose aid, by what means, with what aims and objects in view?

Bukharin: Since we did not undertake a "palace coup" for reasons which you are not interested in listening to here, we proceeded to orientate ourselves on kulak revolts....

VYSHINSKY: What is the meaning of the expression "palace coup"? Am I to understand that this means the direct seizure of power, the seizure of power by the forces of your bloc?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct; politically by by the forces of the bloc. But why do I say "palace coup"? This means by forces organizationally concentrated in the Kremlin.

VYSHINSKY: By, such forces as would prove to be at your disposal, but not necessarily by forces that were in the Kremlin?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: Then would it not be better to speak not of a "palace coup," but of an attempt to seize power by means of an armed uprising?

Bukharin: No, it is not quite correct to speak of an armed uprising.

VYSHINSKY: Why not? You wished to seize power with arms in hand?

Bukharin: An armed uprising is a mass affair, while here it was a matter of a narrower...

VYSHINSKY: What masses? You had no masses with you.

Bukharin: Consequently it is not an uprising.

VYSHINSKY: An uprising with the aid of a group.

Bukharin: If you choose to define an uprising by a group as an uprising, then it is correct.

VYSHINSKY: In any case, it is more correct than to speak of a "palace coup," which is supposed to take place in some palace.

Bukharin: When speaking of a "palace coup," I had in view...

VYSHINSKY: A group of plotters?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: I believe it will be better to call it so. Tell me, how did you prepare the group of plotters for the seizure of power?

Bukharin: That refers to the following period. Perhaps you will allow me to relate the facts in chronological order, as I have my material arranged, at first about the "palace coup," then the transition to an uprising, from an uprising to, strictly speaking, a coup d'état.

VYSHINSKY: Tell me, what was the main abject of the group of plotters in this sphere?

Bukharin: Even at that period the main object was the overthrow of the Soviet government by force.

VYSHINSKY: Well, tell us then how you were preparing for the overthrow of the Soviet government by force.

Bukharin: At that period we were already discussing the question of the overthrow of the Soviet government by force, with the aid of a group of military participants in the plat.

VYSHINSKY: A group?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: A group of participants in your plot?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: In the persons of Tukhachevsky, Primakov and some others?

Bukharin: There was the Yenukidze group as well.

VYSHINSKY: We have already spoken of the Yenukidze group.

Bukharin: Absolutely correct. In 1931-32, in connection with the changed political situation, the main stress was laid on the development of the insurrectionary movement, and the counter. revolutionary Right organization, headed by the centre of the Rights, provoked several kulak revolts which, Citizen Procurator, were already dealt with in part when you questioned me in connection with Yakovenko, Slepkov, etc.

VYSHINSKY: On your direct instructions and under your leadership?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct. I can mention here yet another fact which has not been referred to. At that time I spoke about myself. I seat Slepkov to prepare a kulak revolt in the Kuban. Rykov sent Eismont to the Caucasus, and he entered into connections with the Right-winger Pivovarov and the Trotskyite Beloborodov; this has been referred to during the Court investigation. In addition I can tell the Court that I was informed by P. Petrovsky and Zaitsev of kulak sabotage as a sort of preliminary stage preceding sharper forms of struggle.

VYSHINSKY: In so far as you have mentioned Eismont, I ask you to testify regarding your connections with Whiteguard circles and German fascists.

Bukharin: I don't understand what you have in view.

VYSHINSKY: I repeat, tell the Court of your connections, of connections between your conspiratorial group and Whiteguard circles abroad and the German fascists. Is the question clear?

Bukharin: I do not know of this. In any case, I don't remember.

VYSHINSKY (to the Court): Allow me to ask Rykov. Did you hear my question? What can you say in this regard?

Rykov: I knew from Pivovarov that the Cossack League, organized on the instructions, on the advice of Slepkov...

VYSHINSKY: The Whiteguard Cossack League?

Rykov: Yes .... That through the re-emigrants who made up the forces of this counter-revolutionyry organization, it was connected with the remnants of the Cossack émigrés abroad, and this connection was facilitated by the aid received from the German fascists.

VYSHINSKY: So that the group of conspirators in the North Caucasus, of which you knew from Pivovarov's words, was in contact with the Whiteguard Cossack League abroad, and with the German fascists.

Rykov: Yes, that's so.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, did you know of this, did . you know Pivovarov?

Bukharin: I did not know Pivovarov.

VYSHINSKY: What was Pivovarov's position in the North Caucasus?

Bukharin: He was at the head of Soviet state power in the North Caucasus.

VYSHINSKY: So you knew that Pivovarov was Chairman of the Territorial Executive Committee in the North Caucasus?

Bukharin: I knew that he was Chairman of the Territorial Executive Committee,. but I did not know him personally.

VYSHINSKY: Rykov knew that Pivovarov was the head of a local group of traitors and counter-revolutionaries in the North Caucasus, and that he was connected with Whiteguard Cossack circles abroad, but you, Bukharin, did not know this?

Bukharin: I don't dispute the possibility of such a fact, but I did not know it.

VYSHINSKY: Was it a fact, or was it not, that Pivovarov was connected with Whiteguard Cossack circles abroad?

Bukharin: I cannot deny it. I can only conjecture that it could be so, since our line was to make use of all forces.

VYSHINSKY: Including Whiteguard forces as well?

Bukharin: That was not excluded.

VYSHINSKY: Was that clear to you?

Bukharin: I don't deny that this was possible, bat I cannot recall it with a sufficient degree of exactitude, there is not the material in my mind to enable me to remember about connections with the Whiteguard Cossack League abroad.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, was there such a fact as the one mentioned by Rykov, who knew of it as one of the leaders of your organization?

Bukharin: There is no such fact in my mind. But I cannot deny the possibility, of such a fact. What is more, it is very likely that such connections existed.

VYSHINSKY: You wish to present matters as if you were not practically concerned with these crimes.

Bukharin: How so, when I sent Yakovenko to Siberia to organize armed kulak insurrections, and sent Slepkov to, the North Caucasus for the sane purpose?

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, did Bukharin know of this fact, or did he not?

Rykov: The initiative of the organization of this League, according to Pivovarov, belonged to Slepkov, who was sent to the North Caucasus by Bukharin, and who, I presume, was given definite instructions and directives by Bukharin.

VYSHINSKY: So then, Slepkov was sent to the North Caucasus on Bukharin's initiative. Accused Bukharin, do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I sent Slepkov there as an individual skilled in the organization of the insurrectionary movement. But once he got there, found his bearings and learnt what organizations there were, Slepkov could undertake certain steps without me.

VYSHINSKY: Do you bear responsibility for these criminal acts as one of the leaders of the organization?

Bukharin: Undoubtedly I do bear responsibility.

VYSHINSKY: For the connections of your organization with Whiteguard Cossack circles and German fascists?

Bukharin: Of course I do.

VYSHINSKY: Was there such a fact?

Bukharin: If others say that there was such a fact, then there was.

Rykov: I categorically assert that such a commission was given, that Slepkov was sent to the North Caucasus because he played an important role and was able to gather a counter-revolutionary organization together. I do not know whether he spoke to Bukharin on this point, but the initiative there, according to Pivovarov, belonged to Slepkov.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, these connections followed Bukharin's line?

Rykov: The idea followed Bukharin's line.

VYSHINSKY: The idea and the practical application of it.

Rykov: Slepkov did it.

Bukharin: I don't deny having sent Slepkov there. I sent him to establish contact with Whiteguard Cossack circles.

VYSHINSKY: Was this included in the plan of your leadership?

Bukharin: I did not specifically say so.

VYSHINSKY: Do you assert that you were unaware of the contacts with German fascists and Whiteguard Cossack circles?

Bukharin: I did not know.

VYSHINSKY: Rykov knew, Slepkov knew, but you did not?

Bukharin: They were there on the spot.

VYSHINSKY: Did you send Slepkov there?

Bukharin: Yes, I did.

VYSHINSKY: Were you connected with Slepkov when he was there?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: Did you talk to him about what he did there?

Bukharin: Later on?

VYSHINSKY: Yes, later on.

Bukharin: We had no detailed conversation.

VYSHINSKY: But did you meet him?

Bukharin: I met him once.

VYSHINSKY: You met once, and this was enough to enable you to discover whether he had fulfilled your commission or not.

Bukharin: No, we did not speak about it.

VYSHINSKY: Tell me, what was the subject of your conversation?

Bukharin: We talked very little.

VYSHINSKY: You sent Slepkov to organize a kulak Insurrection. Slepkov engaged in the organization of this insurrection and worked in this direction.

Bukharin: He did not give me a detailed reply.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, was this so or not?

Bukharin: I sent him.

VYSHINSKY: Did he fulfil your instructions?

Bukharin: Apparently he did.

VYSHINSKY: Apparently?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: But did he speak to you about it?

Bukharin: I say that I met him once.

VYSHINSKY: Did Slepkov tell you how he had fulfilled your commission?

Bukharin: I don't remember his having said much.

VYSHINSKY: But why do you say that he did not speak in detail?

Bukharin: He spoke in general.

VYSHINSKY: He spoke in general?

Bukharin: Yes, in general.

VYSHINSKY: If he spoke in general, then he spoke?

Bukharin: If he spoke in general, then he spoke.

VYSHINSKY: But you have only just said that he did not speak.

Bukharin: He did not speak in detail.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, accused Bukharin, did you send Slepkov to organize Whiteguard kulak insurrections?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Did he inform you how he had fulfilled your commission?.

Bukharin: He did not say how he had fulfilled it.

VYSHINSKY: But how did he fulfil it?

Bukharin: He said that there were disorders there.

VYSHINSKY: Not Insurrections, but disorders?

Bukharin: The conversation rapidly passed, to, another topic, about the preparations for the conference in 1932.

VYSHINSKY: Your conversations of course passed very rapidly from one topic to another. It is important for me to establish that at that time in the North Caucasus there was a part of your Right-wing plotting organization.

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: So it is a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: That you knew about it?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: That you sent Slepkov there to establish contact with this organization. That Slepkov did something there in this direction of which he spoke to you... Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: That there were kulak disorders there. Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: That this was connected with his activity. Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: And was connected with your activity. Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: Further, it is known that this North Caucasus group was in contact with Whiteguard Cossack émigré circles .... Is that a fact or not?

Bukharin: I have told you that I cannot deny this fact, Citizen Procurator.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, is it a fact or not that a group of your confederates in the North Caucasus Was conntcted with Whiteguard émigré Cossack circles abroad? Is that a fact or not? Rykov says it is, Slepkov says it is.

Bukharin: If Rykov says it is, I have no grounds for not believing him.

VYSHINSKY: Can you answer me without philosophy?

Bukharin: This is not philosophy.

VYSHINSKY: Without philosophical twists and turns.

Bukharin: I have testified that I had explanations on this question.

VYSHINSKY: Answer me "No."

Bukharin: I cannot say "No," and I cannot deny that it did take place.

VYSHINSKY: So the answer is neither "Yes" nor "No"?

Bukharin: Nothing of the kind, because facts exist regardless of whether they are in anybody's mind. This is a problem of the reality of the outer world. I am no solipsist.

VYSHINSKY: So that regardless of whether this fact entered your mind or not, you as a plotter and leader were aware of it?

Bukharin: I was, not aware of it.

VYSHINSKY: You were not?

Bukharin: But I can say the following in reply to your question: since this thing was included in the general plan, I consider it likely, and since Rykov speaks of it In a positive fashion, I have no grounds for denying it.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, It is a fact?

Bukharin: From the point of view of mathematical probability it can be said, with very, great probability, that it is a fact.

VYSHINSKY: So that you are unable to give a plain answer?

Bukharin: Not "unable,"' but there are some questions that cannot be answered outright "Yes" or "No," as you are perfectly well aware from elementary logic.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to ask Rykov again: was Bukharin aware of this fact?

Rykov: I did not speak to him about it.

VYSHINSKY: Now, did Bukharin know about it or not?

Rykov: I personally think with mathematical probability that he should have known of it.

VYSHINSKY: That's clear. Accused Bukharin, were you aware that Karakhan was a participant in the conspiratorial group of Rights and Trotskyites?

Bukharin: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware that Karakhan was a German spy?

Bukharin: No, I was not aware of that.

VYSHINSKY (to Rykov): Were you aware, accused Rykov, that Karakhan was a German spy?

Rykov: No, I was not.

VYSHINSKY: Were you not aware that Karakhan was engaged in negotiations with certain German circles?

Rykov: Negotiations regarding the centre of the Rights?

VYSHINSKY: Yes, of course, regarding the centre of, the Rights.

Rykov: Yes, yes.

VYSHINSKY: Treasonable negotiations?

Rykov: Treasonable.

VYSHINSKY: With whom did he conduct these negotiations, with what institution?

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: Well?

Rykov: I don't know that.

VYSHINSKY: In that case, tell the Court: what was the line of the negotiations?

Rykov: The line was...At that time negotiations were conducted with German government circles.

VYSHINSKY: With which circles?

Rykov: On the question of their attitude to the Rights, to a possible coup d'état by the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Were there negotiations regarding the organization of the defeat of the U.S.S.R., or not?

Rykov: I don't know that.

VYSHINSKY: Then I wish to remind Rykov of the following testimony given by him at the preliminary investigation - Vol. 1, p. 112: 'Consequently not only the Tukhachevsky group, which was a component part of our organization, worked to prepare the defeat of the U.S.S.R. This defeat was prepared for by our entire international orientation and Karakhan's negotiations." Is that correct?

Rykov: It is.

VYSHINSKY: Then what follows from this?

Rykov: I had in view defeat not in the direct sense of the word. I had in view that if a group of plotters in any country engages In negotiations with the enemy, then, firstly, the very fact of these negotiations in itself must assist in hastening war - the enemy will the sooner undertake his offensive the more support he has Within the country - and, secondly, the ability of the country to defend itself, and of the other to attack, correspondingly changes,that is, the defence weakens while the offensive becomes stronger.

VYSHINSKY: So then this fact took place?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And further: "In our very international orientation, our starting point veal that we needed to receive support from the international bourgeoisie and we linked up our activity and the success of our counter-revolutionary work in the U.S.S.R. with direct aid from fascism." In brackets it states; "Karakhan's negotiations." Can the conclusion be drawn from this that Karakhan with your knowledge, sngapd to negotiations with fascist circles, regarding support for your treasonable activity on definite conditions? Was that the case?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And what were the conditions?

Rykov: Firstly, a number of economic concessions, and secondly the so-called dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: What does that mean?

Rykov: That means the separation of the national republics and placing them under a protectorate, or making them dependent, formally not dependent, but actually dependent on...

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, territorial concessions?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Did Karakhan propose in the name of your bloc to cede to the Germans some part of the territory of the Soviet Union?

Rykov: The matter was somewhat different.

VYSHINSKY: I speak of the meaning of these concessions.

Rykov: I myself did not meet Karakhan. I know this from Tomsky, who explained it in my presence arid in that of Bukharin.

VYSHINSKY: So that means Bukharin also knew? Allow me to ask Bukharin. Did you know?

Bukharin: I did.

Rykov: He explained it in this way: the German fascists accept these conditions, i.e., privileges as regards concessions, trade agreements, etc., but on their part they demand. that the national republics be given the right to free separation.

VYSHINSKY: Well, and what does that mean?

Rykov: It was not what we proposed. This was a new demand on the part of the Germans. In plain language, this means, of course, the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, handing over part of the U.S.S.R. to the Germans?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, you were aware that Karakhan, with your knowledge, engaged in negotiations with German circles to hand over part of the U.S.S.R. Precisely what part?

Rykov: There was no talk about that.

VYSHINSKY: Did your plan include a point about severing the Ukraine for the Germans, or did it not?

Rykov: I personally cannot say about the Ukraine, I repeat, not because we were against the Ukraine being severed.

VYSHINSKY: But were you against or for its being severed?

Rykov: There was simply no talk among us about the Ukraine being severed,. and the question was not decided then.

VYSHINSKY: Did you have in view -severing the Ukraine in favour of German fascism?

Rykov: Such was the formula.

VYSHINSKY: Not a formula but in practice?

Rykov: In practice the question at issue could be that of Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: And of the Ukraine?

Rykov: No. We could not decide this question without the consent of the Ukrainian counter-revolutionary organizations.

VYSHINSKY: Then I address myself to the accused Bukharin. Did you in 1934 engage in negotiations with Radek on this subject?

Bukharin: Not negotiations, but conversations.

VYSHINSKY: All right, conversations. Did they take place or not?

Bukharin: They did, only not about that.

VYSHINSKY: Then about what?

Bukharin: Radek told me of his negotiations with Trotsky, that Trotsky had engaged in negotiations with the German fascists regarding territorial concessions in return for help to the counterrevolutionary organizations.

VYSHINSKY: That's it, that's it.

Bukharin: I then objected to Radek.

VYSHINSKY: Did Radek tell you that on Trotsky's instructions the Ukraine was to be ceded, yielded to the Germans?

Bukharin: I definitely remember about the Ukraine.

VYSHINSKY: Were there such conversations or not?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And about the Far East?

Bukharin: About the Ukraine I definitely remember; there was talk of other regions, but I do not remember which.

VYSHINSKY: You testified as follows: "Trotsky; while urging the intensification of terrorism, yet considers the main chance for the advent of the bloc to power to be the defeat of the U.S.S.R. in a war against Germany and Japan at the cost of territorial concessions (the Ukraine to the Germans, andthe Far East to the Japanese)." Was that so?

Bukharin: Yes, it was.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, these are the concessions?

Bukharin: I was not In agreement.

VYSHINSKY: Further it states: "I did not object to the idea of an understanding with Germany and Japan, but did not agree with Trotsky on the extent."

Bukharin: Read the next phrase as well, where the extent and character are explained.

VYSHINSKY: I have read and want to speak about this.

Bukharin: I said I was against territorial concessions.

VYSHINSKY: No. I want to speak about this. And so Radek told you that Trotsky gave instructions to cede the Ukraine to the Germans. Did he say this?

Bukharin: He did, but I did not consider Trotsky's instructions as binding on me.

VYSHINSKY: Was Rykov aware of this conversation with Radek, or not?

Rykov: Whom are you asking?

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin.

Bukharin: I don't remember whether I told Rykov,

VYSHINSKY: And Rykov?

Rykov: He did not tell me.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently you were unaware of Bukharin's conversation with Radek?

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: But did he talk privately to Bukharin?

Rykov: Who?

VYSHINSKY: Radek. Accused Bukharin, how did Radek talk to you? What post did you occupy at that time?

Bukharin: It is not a matter of the post.

VYSHINSKY: What post did you occupy?

Bukharin: I was the editor of the "Izvestia."

VYSHINSKY: Did you talk to Radek as the editor of the "Izvestia," or as a member of the plotting organization?

Bukharin: You understand perfectly well that I spoke to him as a member of the plotting organization.

VYSHINSKY: Rykov and Tomsky then constituted the centre, and under these conditions you said nothing of this conversation with Radek?

Bukharin: Excuse me, I wish to answer this question. I cannot answer every question in one word. I do not possess sufficient ability for that.

The conditions under which we met were of a conspiratorial character, since we hardly met together at all, but spoke from' time to time, making use of meetings in corridors, in the streets, etc. It may have happened that I did not tell him of this conversation. I say this not in order to whitewash Rykov; it is to be explained by the conspiratorial methods that existed in the organization of the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Do your deny that you passed on to Rykov such a serious conversation as the one you had with Radek? Did you not tell Rykov about your serious conversations with Radek?

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, I did not consider Trotsky's directions as obligatory for us all.

VYSHINSKY: I am not speaking of directions, but of conversations.

Bukharin: I do not remember and therefore cannot say whether I spoke of this. I don't remember this.

VYSHINSKY: You do not deny, but you don't remember. I will ask Rykov. Accused Rykov, when you spoke of dismemberment, which parts of the U.S.S.R. did you have in mind?

Rykov: When Tomsky reported on the additional demands of the German fascists to the Rights, we accepted this proposal in the main in its general form.

VYSHINSKY: What was in question here, or what parts of the U.S.S.R.?

Rykov: There was no specific talk regarding which republics, which parts of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: At the preliminary investigation, and here in Court, you testified that Karakhan engaged in negotiations with the German fascists regarding help for your plot. Was that a fact or was it not?

Rykov: Regarding help for the plot? If political aid is meant, then it was to secure a favourable attitude towards it.

VYSHINSKY: In return for what?

Rykov: I have already enumerated.

VYSHINSKY: Territorial concessions. What part of the U.S.S.R. did this concern?

Rykov: We did not specify this.

VYSHINSKY: You did not define this?

Rykov: No, we did not.

VYSHINSKY: But did you have a definite part of the U.S.S.R. in mind or not? Or did you speak in the general abstract?

Rykov: What happened was what I have already stated.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say?

Rykov: We accepted conditions favourable to the practical activity of the centre of the Rights. This was put into effect in our work, in our guidance regarding Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: So then the Germans were concerned about Byelorussia? For whose benefit?

Rykov: I cannot say what the Germans were concerned about.

VYSHINSKY: They were concerned that you might hand over Byelorussia to whom? Not to the Germans?

Rykov: To the Poles.

VYSHINSKY: But what about the Germans? It would appear that the Germans were fussing around for the benefit of others. For whom? The Poles? The Germans render you a service, and in return for this you hand over Byelorussia to the Poles. They turn out to be in a ridiculous position.

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: I revert to the first question. Consequently, Karakhan engaged in negotiations with the Germans. Apparently this took place with the knowledge of your bloc. Did Bukharin know of this?

Rykov: Tomsky told me and Bukharin of this.

VYSHINSKY: So, then, was Bukharin aware of this? Accused Bukharin, were you aware of this?

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, I have already said twice that I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse this?

Bukharin: What exactly does "this" Mean?

VYSHINSKY: What you have already said twice.

Bukharin: I did not endorse it. At the preliminary Investigation I gave detailed testimony to the effect that Karakhan...

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse it?

Bukharin: I was faced with the fact itself, because Karatkhan...

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse these negotiations conducted by Karakhan with the German fascists?

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, I say that this was a political fact.

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse Karakhan's negotiations with the German fascists on behalf of the bloc?

Bukharin: In general, as regards the negotiations...I endorsed, that is to say, considered it expedient....

VYSHINSKY: Not in general, but the negotiations conducted by Karakhan?

Bukharin: I have already explained to you, Citizen Procurator, that the situation was such that Karakhan went without a preliminary decision of the joint centre and returned...

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware that Karakhan was engaged in negotiations with the German fascists?

Bukharin: I was. I knew of this from Tomsky, from Karakhan himself...

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse these negotiations?

Bukharin: Or disavow? I ,did not disavow them; consequently I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, did you endorse them, or not?

Bukharin: I repeat, Citizen Procurator: since I did not disavow them, I consequently endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, you endorsed them?

Bukharin: If I did not disavow them, consequently I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: That's what I am asking you: that is to say you endorsed them?

Bukharin: So then "consequently" is the same as "that is to say."

VYSHINSKY: What do you mean, "that is to say"?

Bukharin: That is to say, I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: But you say that you learnt of this post factum.

Bukharin: Yes, the one does not contradict the other in the slightest.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to question the accused Rykov.

THE PRESIDENT: You may.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, did Karakhan undertake these negotiations on his own initiative?

Rykov: He undertook them on the instructions, on the initiative of Tomsky. But Bukharin and I endorsed this initiative when these negotiations were reported to us.

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse not only the fact of the negotiations but also the initiative, that is, the affair as a whole?

Rykov: We are neither of us little children. If you don't endorse such things, then you must fight against them. One cannot play with neutrality in such things.

VYSHINSKY: And so it can be established that Karakhan conducted negotiations with the German fascists with Bukharin's knowledge. Accused Rykov, do you confirm this?

Rykov: Yes.

Bukharin: What is the meaning of "with Bukharin's knowledge"? It was not the case that I knew that he, was going there.

VYSHINSKY: I am not speaking about his going there. Do you know what initiative means?...

Bukharin: I can guess vaguely.

VYSHINSKY: Vaguely? I see that your position compels you to guess vaguely about very clear things.

Bukharin: Possibly.

VYSHINSKY: The accused Rykov has just testified to the Court in your presence that Karakhan began negotiations with the Germans not on his own initiative, but on that of Tomsky....

Bukharin: But then neither Rykov nor I knew of this.

VYSHINSKY: But when you learnt later, did you endorse it?

Bukharin: Rykov has already stated that in such cases there can be no such thing as neutrality; if I did not put an end to them, then I endorsed them. But this is a paraphrase of what I said: if I did not disavow them, I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: And so, accused Bukharin, you bear responsibility for these negotiations of Karakhan with the Germans?

Bukharin: Undoubtedly.

VYSHINSKY: For the negotiations regarding the preparations for defeat?

Bukharin: The question was not put that way.

VYSHINSKY: Regarding help to you?

Bukharin: In general I spoke of help...of neutralization...

VYSHINSKY: Rykov has already explained to you.

Bukharin: It seems to me that he is explaining to the Court, and not to me.

VYSHINSKY: He explained that the very fact of the negotiations with the enemy means assisting him.

Bukharin: Well, yes, in that sense, but I draw a difference-that was not how the question was dealt with from the legal aspect, because...

VYSHINSKY: How was help to have been rendered? In assisting the success of the conspiracy?

Bukharin: During the conspiracy there might be German intervention against us in general.... That has to be neutralized, and that means help.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, that they should help you to maintain power.

Bukharin: To neutralize them and thereby to help us in maintaining power.

VYSHINSKY: At the price of certain concessions?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: The accused Rykov stated that at that period the question of severing Byelorussia was discussed. Is that how I am to understand it?

Bukharin: My impression of it is quite a different one.

Rykov: Tomsky informed us that the Germans lied told Karakhan that, in addition to economic concessions, the German fascists insisted on the national republics being given the. right of secession. We immediately understood and interpreted it as meaning the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, as meaning the surrender of Byelorussia?

Rykov: And thereupon, as far as I remember (and one must not and cannot forget such things), we accepted it in this general form.

VYSHINSKY: Who is meant by "we"?

Rykov: I, Bukharin and Tomsky.

VYSHINSKY: Is that correct, accused Bukharin?

Bukharin: Not altogether, not about Byelorussia, but about the Ukraine.

VYSHINSKY: So, now it's about the Ukraine. But till now we were dealing with Byelorussia?

Bukharin: You have not questioned me on this point, so that logically there is nothing contradictory in what I say.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to show the accused Rykov his testimony, Vol. 1, p. 119, where it says: "I must, however, say that the question of the orientation on Poland with a view to securing her support in case of our advent to power arose considerably earlier, namely, in 1930-31." Do you confirm this?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin, do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I don't know; and don't remember this:

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, whom: did you, have in mind when you referred 'to this question?.

Rykov: I referred to my relations with the representatives of the Byelorussian organization.

VYSHINSKY: But did you hot discuss this question with Bukharin?

Rykov: I cannot assert that.

VYSHINSKY: Then allow me to readout your further testimony: "At that period' this question was? on several occasions the, subject of discussion between myself, Bukharin and Tomsky, on the one hand, " etc. Thus I ask you: so you did discuss - this question with Bukharin?

Rykov: "This question" meant the agreement with the counter-revolutionary Byelorussian organization. Perhaps I did not express myself quite correctly, but that was what I had in view.

VYSHINSKY: Apparently you had, in view what was in view. Here it is clearly stated that the question of an orientation on Poland was discussed in 1930-31. And further it states: "this period," that is, precisely at that time, this question, that is, the question of the orientation on Poland

Rykov (after a silence): There is no such thing it my testimony, perhaps there is some other word.

VYSHINSKY: Here every word plays a big part.

Rykov: That is absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: It says outright: at that period this question, that is, the question which was spoken of before; the question of the orientation on Poland. Please read it.

(Rykov is handed his testimony given at the preliminary investigation.)

Rykov: Here it states: "At that period this question..." this refers to the whole of the previous paragraph, and not to the last phrase of the paragraph at all.

VYSHINSKY: I read further: "The general formula we then agreed on amounted to this; that in the negotiations with the Poles, with whom contacts had already been restored by that time through -Chervyakov, we would agree to the Byelorussian Soviet Republic being severed front the U.S.S.R."

Is that so? With whom did you discuss this question?

Rykov: I discussed this with Goloded and Chervyakov, they were aware of the matter.

VYSHINSKY: They were aware of the matter? And was Bukharin aware of it?

Bukharin: I did not meet Chervyakov.

VYSHINSKY: That you didn't meet Chtrvyakov is not the point. I am speaking of Rykov. I submit to him these three paragraphs from his testimony: The first reads: "I must, how. ever, say that the question of the orientation on Poland was repeatedly discussed in 1930-31." The second paragraph: In this period, i.e., in the period 1930-31, this question, i.e., the question spoken of previously, the question of the orientation on Poland, was on several occasions a subject of discussion between myself, Bukharin, Tomsky and Chervyakov, former Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Byelorussia. Chervyakov has been a covert, but exceptionally active participant of the Right organization since 1928." The third paragraph: "The general formula we then agreed on amounted to this, that in the negotiations with the Poles, with whom contacts had already been restored by that time through Chervyakov, we would agree to the Byelorussian Soviet Republic being severed from the U.S.S.R."

Do you confirm this?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, did you know of all this?

Bukharin: In 1930 such a question could not arise. Hitler was not yet in power at that time.

VYSHINSKY: But this question was raised. The history of your treachery did not begin-with Hitler.

Bukharin: That is true.

VYSHINSKY: Did you have conversations with Rykov and Tomsky in 1930-31?

Bukharin: I don't remember.

VYSHINSKY: Now Rykov testifies to the fact that there were such conversations. I ask you, were there such conversations oar not? Yes or no?

Bukharin: And I say I don't remember. I have the right to tell the Court not what you want, but what really happened.

VYSHINSKY: I don't demand this of you.

Bukharin: I have the right to say to the Court, and do say, f don't remember.

VYSHINSKY: You don't remember? Accused Rykov, what do you say?

Rykov: The first report of this was made by Tomsky; he referred to Chervyakov, who had been at his country house. And then the three of us discussed this question on the strength of Tomsky's report and adopted this proposal regarding contact with the counter-revolutionary Byelorussian organization. At any rate it was in Bukharin's presence.

VYSHINSKY: Since this was in Bukharin's presence, Bukharin knew of it.

Allow me to address myself to Sharangovich, one of the leaders of the Byelorussian underground organization of plotters. Accused Sharangovich, what have you to say in this regard?

Sharangovich Both Goloded and Chervyakov informed our organization of this line, as of an accomplished fact. Besides, I must say that Tomsky never figured in conversations regarding this line; Rykov and Bukharin were mentioned. In addition, Chervyakov had several conversations with Bukharin, after which he not only informed me, but informed our organization, at a meeting of the centre, making reference to Bukharin and Rykov.

VYSHINSKY: The following paragraph from Rykov's reply: "There were several variations which consisted exactly in this. The idea was to give this compensation to Poland in the event of our coming to power in war time. The factors giving rise to the war, the attack by the imperialist powers (Poland and Germany), the war we were engineering in order to come to power, we did everything possible to sharpen and stimulate this factor in all our practical activities."

Do you confirm this testimony of yours?

Rykov: I do.

VYSHINSKY: Whom did you have in view?

Rykov: I had in view the centre of the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Whom personally?

Rykov: I have already said quite a lot about this.

VYSHINSKY: I want you not to be ashamed and to say it here.

Rykov: I had Bukharin in mind. The centre consisted of three persons: myself, Bukharin and Tomsky. Consequently this refers to Bukharin as well.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently this refers to Bukharin as well?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you confirm this?

Bukharin: In general the centre possessed such a line.

VYSHINSKY: The next paragraph of Rykov's reply, page 120, reads as follows: "Chervyakov developed exceptionally intensive work in Byelorussia in his relations with the Poles. He was connected with them in his illegal activities. He drew all the practical conclusions from these instructions of ours." Do you confirm this, Rykov?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, Chervyakov and the people connected with you maintained systematic connections with the Poles?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: They were executing your instructions?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Isn't this an espionage connection?

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: What kind of connection is it?

Rykov: There was an espionage connection there, too.

VYSHINSKY: But was there an espionage connection maintained by a part of your organization with the Poles on your instructions?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Espionage?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin included?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Were you and Bukharin connected?

Rykov: Absolutely.

VYSHINSKY: So you were spies?

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: And the organizers of espionage?

Rykov: I am in no way better than a spy.

VYSHINSKY: You organized espionage, so you, were spies.

Rykov: It may be said, yes.

VYSHINSKY: It may be said, spies. I am asking, did you organize connections with the Polish intelligence service and the respcctive spy circles? Do you plead guilty to espionage?

Rykov: If it is a question of organization, then in this case, of course, I plead guilty.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you plead guilty to espionage?

Bukharin: I do not.

VYSHINSKY: After what Rykov says, after what Sharangovich says?

Bukharin: I do not plead guilty.

VYSHINSKY: When the organization of the Rights was set up in Byelorussia, you were at the head of it; do you admit that?

Bukharin: I have told you.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you, do you admit it or not?

Bukharin: I took no interest in Byelorussian affairs.

VYSHINSKY: Did you take an interest in espionage affairs?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: And who did take an interest?

Bukharin: I received no information with regard to activities of this kind.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, was Bukharin receiving any information with regard to activities of this kind?

Rykov: I never spoke to him about it.

VYSHINSKY: What do you mean, you never spoke? And what about your conversation with Bukharin concerning the espionage connections of the Byelorussian organization with the Poles?

Rykov: In this conversation there was no special emphasis put on its being an espionage connection.

VYSHINSKY: I am speaking of the nature of the connection, of its essence.

Rykov: It was inevitable. Under these conditions, any kind of connection with the Poles automatically and inevitably, and everybody understands that very rapidly develops into espionage connections.

VYSHINSKY: Not only was it inevitable that they should develop, but they did develop?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Under your leadership?

Rykov: I mean to say that we did not personally direct this development; however, it is not a question of direct leadership but of general leadership. We absolutely and definitely bear responsibility for this.

VYSHINSKY: There is no point in making a pious face, accused Bukharin. Better admit what exists. And what exists is the following: you had a group of your accomplices, fellow- conspirators in Byelorussia, headed by Goloded, Chervyakov and Sharangovich. Is that right, Sharangovich?

Sharangovich It is.

VYSHINSKY: And on Bukharin's and Rykov's instructions, and under their leadership, you established connections with the Polish intelligence service and with the Polish General Staff? Is that right, Sharangovich?

Sharangovich Absolutely right.

VYSHINSKY: Under your leadership also with regard to the espionage connections. Is that right, Sharangovich?

Sharangovich Absolutely right.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, who was the -organizer of the espionage in which you engaged?

Sharangovich Rykov, Bukharin.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, they were spies.

Sharangovich Quite right.

VYSHINSKY: Just as...

Sharangovich As I myself.

VYSHINSKY: Be seated. (To Rykov.) Accused Rykov, did Goloded tell you in 1932 that all more or less important appointments of people to responsible posts in Byelorussia were first co-ordinated with the Polish intelligence service?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Did Bukharin know of this?

Rykov: I cannot say.

VYSHINSKY: You do not know? You do not want to betray your pal?

Rykov: What I mean to say is that in those cases when I know that he is not telling the truth, I am exposing him, but in those cases when I do not know, I cannot and shall not do it.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you with regard to tine fact that the Poles were giving their consent to the various appointments to official posts in Byelorussia. Wag this known to your leading centre?

Rykov: I knew of it. As for Bukharin, I never spoke to him about it. I also knew that Chervyakov and Goloded maintained connections, not only with me; but with Bukharin and Tomsky as well. Whether or not they spoke of this to Bukharin I cannot say, because I was not preterit at those conversations.

VYSHINSKY: Do you think that it would have been natural for Goloded to speak to Bukharin about this question? Or did they have to keep it a secret from Bukharin?

Rykov: I think that, naturally, he spoke to Bukharin, but what they talked about I do not know.

VYSHINSKY: I shall ask you now by way of makings supposition: do you suppose that Bukharin knew of this?

Rykov: This circumstance... I prefer to speak only of what I know; and as to what I do, not know my position in this Court room is riot such as to allow me to advance suppositions.

VYSHINSKY: And did you have any conversations with Bukharin about the affairs of the conspiracy, in Byelorussia?

Rykov: The only conversation which took place and whieh I remember - perhaps there were others but I have no recollection of them - that was during the early stage of our relations, which sprang up as a'result of Tomsky's information.

VYSHINSKY., Why, you yourself said that even during the period of 1931 there were several occasions when you and Bukharin spoke about these questions. I have just reminded you of pages 119-20 of the case.

Rykov: But the conversations related not only to what you are asking about...

VYSHINSKY. Did you speak to Bukharin on several occasions?

Rykov: About the fact that there was an organization in Byelorussia, that work was already being carried on....

VYSHINSKY: What kind of work?

Rykov: Counter-revolutionary work in support of our...

VYSHINSKY: Which included also espionage work?

Rykov: I do not recall any conversations dealing especially with. this espionage work. I do not exclude the possibility that there were such conversations, but I do not remember.

VYSHINSKY: Tell us, please, were there any instructions re celved from the Poles with regard to undermining the defence capacity?

Rykov: I know of two cases. You asked me the same question two sessions before this. I mentioned two cases which are known to me - these refer to horses and road-building. You asked, why road-building? I answered: apparently in order to impede the movement of our troops.

VYSHINSKY: Did Bukharin know of this? Of this instruction of the Polish intelligence service to disrupt and destroy our defence capacity?

Rykov: This question, like the previous ones, I cannot answer.

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware of the treasonable activities of the Polish spy Ulyanov?

Rykov: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did Bukharin know about it?

Rykov: I do not know.

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware of the treasonable activities of the Polish spy Benek?

Rykov: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Was Bukharin aware of it?

Rykov: I do not know.

VYSHINSKY: Permit me then, Comrade President, to read page 127 of the record which contains the following question to Rykov and his reply: "Question: With regard to being informed of and directing the activities of your organization in Byelorussia, you are talking all the time almost exclusively about yourself; but what was the role of the other members of the centre? Answer: What I have deposed here..." And what you deposed there was about Benek, about Ulyanov, about the instructions of the Poles concerning undermining the defence capacity, about the appointment of official persons with the knowledge of the Polish intelligence service-did you depose that?

Rykov: And something else besides.

VYSHINSKY: Did you depose that?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: "What I have deposed here was, of course, known to the other members of the centre, to Bukharin and Tomsky." Do you confirm this?

Rykov: This refers to all our relations with Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: No, you will not wriggle out of this, I shall read further.... "What I have deposed here," and what you deposed here refers to the Polish instructions to damage the strategical means of communication - this is on page 123 of the record, it refers to the treasonable espionage work of Benek - page 124 of the record, it refers to the treasonable espionage work of Ulyanov - pages 125 and 126 of the record. Finally, this is page 127, where it says: "From Chervyakov's information I retained in memory the most important thing, namely, that the leadership of our organization in Byelorussia received active assistance from the Polish Intelligence service in corrupting the revolutionary movement in Western Byelorussia," etc. And the question: "You are talking about yourself, but tell us about your accomplices who knew about this." The answer: "The other members of the centreBukharin and Tomsky - knew of it too."

Rykov: You have there the word "obviously." It implies that this is a supposition on my part, that my certainty is not based on direct facts.

VYSHINSKY: I asked you and you answered that you preferred to talk about the things which you knew.

Rykov: But I made the reservation there "obviously."

VYSHINSKY: In this case, I shall read on: "Bukharin and Tomsky knew... " Here you do not say "obviously, " but you say, Bukharin and Tomsky knew, Schmidt was partly initiated into these affairs-you are referring to Vasily Schmidt - "But I dwelt more on my own role for the reason that, by a decision of the centre, the main connections with the Byelorussian anti-Soviet organization of the Rights were concentrated in my hands." Is this clear?

Rykov: It is clear to me.

Bukharin: I was not asked a single word about this during the preliminary investigation, and you, Citizen Procurator, did not question me for three months, not a single word.

VYSHINSKY: I am questioning you now. This is my right.

Bukharin: But at the preliminary investigation...

VYSHINSKY: Be so kind as not to instruct me how to conduct a preliminary investigation, the more so since you do not understand a thing about it. You understand more about the affairs for which you find yourself in the dock.

Bukharin: Possibly.

VYSHINSKY: Was the accused Rykov, by your decision, put in charge of the connections with the counter-revolutionary organizations?

Bukharin: In a general way, he was put in charge.

VYSHINSKY: And your status was that of a secret member?

Bukharin: Inside there was no status of secrecy.

VYSHINSKY: With regard to connections with the Byelorussian group?

Bukharin: Generally everything was done with secrecy.

VYSHINSKY: But your status was that of particular secrecy?

Bukharin: This term cannot be applied here, it does not fit.

VYSHINSKY: Do you want, to argue about the term?

Bukharin: No, I do not want to argue, on. the contrary, I keep silent.

VYSHINSKY: I ask the Court to authenticate this. What I, have cited here is fully identical with what was written in the original record signed by Rykov. And I request that this be presented to Rykov so that he may identify his signature.

Rykov: I do not deny it.

VYSHINSKY: The word "obviously" refers to the previous sentence, but with regard to Bukharin there is no "obviously." "Bukharin and Tomsky knew, Schmidt was partly initiated."

THE PRESIDENT: I corroborate that these quotations correspond to the original record which has Rykov's signature on each page.

Rykov: I affirm that the word "obviously" refers to what has been read,

VYSHINSKY: The word "obviously" is not there.

Rykov: My deposition - "Bukharin and Tomsky knew, Schmidt was partly initiated "-should be understood with the word "obviously." I am trot a very good stylist. If I said the word "obviously" in the first sentence, and the second sentence represents a paraphrase of the first sentence, the word "obviously" is implied.

VYSHINSKY: According to your supposition, did Bukharin know of these espionage connections, or did he not?

Rykov: He should have known, but in less detail and in fewer particulars than I knew. But which details, which particulars, which facts out of those I related and knew in greater detail than he, that I cannot tell.

VYSHINSKY: If by the decision of the centre you were entrusted with maintaining the connections with the Byelorussian group, that means that you knew all the details of the connections.

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: Through the connections which you maintained you should have known everything.

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: Through the connections which you maintained you should have known everything you were doing.

Rykov: I should have known what I was doing? I don't understand what you are driving at.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you, were you supposed to know what you were doing?

Rykov: What I was doing?

VYSHINSKY: Of course.

Rykov: That is to say, you are asking me whether I was in a state of consciousness or unconsciousness? Always in a state of consciousness.

VYSHINSKY: And did Bukharin know everything?

Rykov: I did not speak to Bukharin about details.

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about details but about the substance. Did Bukharin know the substance?

Rykov: Bukharin was informed about the substance of the connection and knew about it.

VYSHINSKY: That is what I wanted to establish. Permit me to consider it established that Rykov and Bukharin knew the substance of the treasonable connection which included espionage. Is that correct, Rykov?

Rykov: That is, espionage followed.

Bukharin: So it appears that I knew something from which something followed.

VYSHINSKY: You will argue it out at leisure.

Rykov: I am afraid that there will be no leisure.

VYSHINSKY: That is for the Court to decide. I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, proceed.

Bukharin: In 1933-34 the kulaks were already smashed, an insurrectionary movement ceased to be a real possibility, and therefore in the centre of the Right organization a period again set in when the orientation toward a counter-revolutionary conspiratorial coup became the central idea. Thus, from a "palace coup," from a combination of a coup with a mass insurrection, and from an orientation toward a mass insurrection with the corresponding practical conclusions, we passed on to counterrevolutionary plotting pure and simple. And the central idea became that of a coup d'état which was to be accomplished by means of an armed conspiracy.

The forces of the conspiracy were: the forces of Yenukidze plus Yagoda, their organizations in the Kremlin and in the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs Yenukidze also succeeded around that time in enlisting, as far as I can remember, the former commandant of the Kremlin, Peterson, who, apropos, was in his time the commandant of Trotsky's train.

Then there was the military organization of the conspirators Tukhachevsky, Kork and others.

VYSHINSKY: What year was that?

Bukharin: I think it was in 1933-34.

VYSHINSKY: And at the same time you carried on negotiations of a defeatist and treasonable nature with Khodjayev?

Bukharin: I had one single talk with Khodjayev in 1936.

VYSHINSKY: In 1936. And what was this talk about?

Bukharin: Which this?

VYSHINSKY: The one you had with Khodjayev.

Bukharin: In 1936?

VYSHINSKY: Yes.

Bukharin: Properly speaking, I heard Khodjayev's evidenee, I heard what he said in Court, and I have quite a number of corrections to proffer to what was said.

VYSHINSKY: First we shall deal with those matters which require no corrections, and you will proffer your corrections later.

Bukharin: As you say.

VYSHINSKY: Did you tell Khodjayev that there already existed art agreement with fascist Germany?

Bukharin: No, I did not.

VYSHINSKY: (to the Court): Permit me to question the accused Khodjayev.

Accused Khodjayev, did Bukharin talk with you?

Khodjayev: Yes, he did.

VYSHINSKY: How, when, where, and about what specifically?

Khodjayev: It was in the month of August, when Bukharin came to Tashkent....

VYSHINSKY: Recount briefly what you have stated in Court.

Khodjayev: I gave my testimony during the preliminary investigation, I also gave it in Court. The conversation between me and Bukharin took place at my country house in Chimgan.

Bukharin: I stated the same.

Khodjayev: After reviewing the international situation of the U.S.S.R., after reviewing the situation in various European countries - I spoke about this in detail in my preliminary testimony - and then after reviewing the internal situation of the Soviet Union, Bukharin said that it was necessary so to direct our activities that these activities should help to bring about the defeat of the Union.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, he considered this a natural process?

Khodjayev: According to what he said, the internal and international situation were leading up to this. He said that we, the Rights, had an agreement with fascist Germany, and that we were planning an agreement with Japan.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, were you with Khodjayev at his country place?

Bukharin: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did you carry on a conversation?

Bukharin: I carried on a conversation and kept my head on my shoulders all the time, but it does not follow from this that I dealt with the things of which Khodjayev just spoke; this was the first conversation...

VYSHINSKY: It is of no consequence whether it was the first or not the first. Do you confirm that there was such a conversation?

Bukharin: Not such a conversation, but a different one, and also secret.

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about conversations in general, but about this conversation.

Bukharin: In Hegel's Logic" the word "this" is considered to he the most difficult word....

VYSHINSKY: I ask the Court to explain to the accused Bukharin that he is here not in the capacity of a philosopher, but a criminal, and he would do better to refrain from talking here about Hegel's philosophy, it would be better first of all for Hegel's philosophy....

Bukharin: A philosopher may be a criminal.

VYSHINSKY: Yes, that is to say, those who imagine themselves to be philosophers turn out to be spies. Philosophy is out of place here. I am asking you about that conversation of which Khodjayev just spoke; do you confirm it or do you deny it?

Bukharin: I do not understand the word "that." We had a conversation at the country house.

VYSHINSKY: What is there that you can't understand? The conversation, the conterts of which were here related by Khodjayev. Is this clear?

Bukharin: If you are referring to the contents of the conversation, then the contents were somewhat different; but this conversation at the country house did take place.

VYSHINSKY: What different contents?

Bukharin: It was the first time in my life that I spoke to Khodjayev about politics. This explains the nature of the conversation. I told him that it was necessary for us to be prepared to overthrow the Soviet government by forcible means, and that for this purpose it was necessary to take advantage of possible mass movements which might occur there. Secondly...

VYSHINSKY: What has that got to do with the agreement with fascist Germany?

Bukharin: I said nothing about an agreement.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Khodjayev, did Bukharin speak about an agreement?

Khodjayev: I confirm that he said the things of which he spoke here, but immediately after that he spoke about an agreement with Germany.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk about England?

Khodjayev: Yes, there was. He said that an agreement with England was being considered and that the Right centre would, on its part, take measures to effect this agreement, and that we, the centre of the nationalist organization of Uzbekistan, must, on our part, also take the necessary steps in this direction.

VYSHINSKY: Namely?

Khodjayev: In the sense of establishing connections with the British resident agents.

VYSHINSKY: Through whom?

Khodjayev: With regard to the question of "through whom," we, myself and Bukharin, established this not in the sense of an instruction but merely in the course of the conversation.

VYSHINSKY: It was, a consultation?

Khodjayev: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you confirm this part of Khodjayev's evidence?

Bukharin: I told Khodjayev that in our foreign political orientation we must make use of all keys, including the British.

VYSHINSKY: So you spoke not about a British orientation, but about British keys?

Bukharin: If it pleases you, about British keys.

VYSHINSKY: And could you say it in plainer words?

Bukharin: In foreign policy we orientated ourselves exclusively on the neutralization of Japan and Germany and on their assistance, which, however, did not preclude the necessity of taking advantage of the international contradictions....

VYSHINSKY: Toward whom did you consider it necessary to orientate yourselves?

Bukharin: I beg your pardon, it is I who am speaking and not you.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, do not forget that it is not you who regulates the questions and answers here.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you: what was your opinion? Towards whom were you to orientate yourselves?

Bukharin: I told him that it was necessary to take advantage of the international contradictions....

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you confirm Khodjayev's evidence?

Bukharin: I said that we would have to deal with various foreign' states, and that it was impossible to deal with only one group, but that it would be necessary to deal with the others as well.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, you did tell Khodjayev that it would be necessary to orientate yourselves towards certain foreign states?

Bukharin: You see, I gave up using the expression "orientation" because of its ambiguity, and therefore I am making it more precise....

VYSHINSKY: Well, now make it more precise.

Bukharin: I told him...

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk of England?

Bukharin: There was.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk of Japan?

Bukharin: There was.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk of Germany?

Bukharin: There was.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk to the effect that it was necessary to utilize both the ones and the others in the interests of your struggle against the Soviet government?

Bukharin: The question was not put that way. After all, it was the first time I spoke to Khodjayev.

VYSHINSKY: And you spoke of overthrowing the Soviet government this first time!

Bukharin: Yes, for a very simple reason. There is nothing for you to gesticulate about.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, do not forget where you are now.

Bukharin: This conversation was carried on in terms which spelt absolute secrecy, and not a single word was said....

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about terms, I am asking you about the contents of the conversation.

Bukharin: I am using the same words which I used in my testimony during the preliminary investigation....

VYSHINSKY: But I am not speaking about words. I will be compelled to cut the interrogation short because you apparently are following definite tactics and do not want to tell the truth, hiding behind a flood of words, pettifogging, making digressions into the sphere of politics, of philosophy, theory and so forth - which you might as well forget about once and for all; because you are charged with espionage and, according to all the material of the investigation, you are obviously a spy of an intelligence service. Therefore stop pettifogging. If this is the way you want to defend yourself I shall cut the interrogation short.

Bukharin: I am answering your questions.

VYSHINSKY: Did you talk with Khodjayev about overthrowing the Soviet government, which your conspiratorial group was preparing for?

Bukharin: I spoke in vague nebulous formulas.

VYSHINSKY: But such formulas as he could understand?

Bukharin: Perfectly right.

VYSHINSKY: (to Khodjayev): Did you understand?

Khodjayev: Absolutely.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, it is not a question of words but of the contents. Did you say that it was necessary to orientate yourselves in your foreign relations towards various foreign states, and to make use of the internal contradictions and international contradictions in the interests of the struggle of your group of conspirators against the Soviet government?

Bukharin: Right.

VYSHINSKY: Did you say it?

Bukharin: I did.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, Khodjayev is right when he says that you spoke to him about connections with British spies.

Bukharin: But there was nothing of this.

VYSHINSKY: (to Khodjayev): Was it so, Khodjayev?

Khodjayev: It was.

Bukharin: But this is nonsense, because assistance is not determined by spies...

Khodjayev: I do not say spies, but resident agents.

VYSHINSKY: As you see, not just spies but resident agents.

Khodjayev: We established with him that it was best to act either through some Tadjik people or to send a person to Afghanistan.

VYSHINSKY (to Bukharin): Do you deny this?

Bukharin: I do. Nobody asked me about this.

VYSHINSKY: Well, I am askin you.

Bukharin: During the year I spent in prison I was not once asked about it.

VYSHINSKY: We are asking you here in an open proletarian Court, we are asking you here in this Court before the whole world.

Bukharin: But you did not ask me about this before.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you again, on the basis of the testimony which was here given against you: do you choose to admit before the Soviet Court by what intelligence service you were enlisted - the British, German or Japanese?

Bukharin: None.

VYSHINSKY: I have no more questions to put to Bukharin.

THE PRESIDENT: Adjournment for 30 minutes.

*        *        *

COMMANDANT OF THE COURT: The Court is. coming, please rise.

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. The session is resumed. Accused Bukharin, proceed with your evidence; only speak more to the point.

Bukharin: All right, I shall.

I said last that an organization of a criminal counterrevolutionary conspiracy was created, which included the forces of Yenukidze, of Yagoda, the organization in the Kremlin, in the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, the military organization and forces of the Moscow garrison under the leadership of the conspirators of the military group, which, as is self-understood, did not exclude the utilization of other forces and cadres which were made up of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites. The more so that in the military group itself, which was the immediate organizer of the forces on which devolved the actual organization of the military coup, there had existed for a comparatively long period a bloc between the Rights, Trotskyites and Zinovievites, who, if my memory does not fail me, had joined this military group before the contact centre was organized.

During the period preceding the Seventeenth Party Congress, Tomsky broached the idea that the coup d'état with the help of the armed counter-revolutionary forces should be timed exactly for the opening of the Seventeenth Party Congress. According to Tomsky's idea, an integral part of this coup was to be a monstrous crime - the arrest of the Seventeenth Party Congress.

This idea of Tomsky's was subjected to a discussion, though a very cursory one; but objections to this idea were raised on all hands. I am afraid of making an error, but it seems to me that it happened this way: that first this was discussed in the Right centre, but, since it was turned down there, the question was discussed in the so-called contact centre.

Pyatakov objected to this idea not for considerations of principle, but for considerations of tactics, because that would have aroused extreme indignation among the masses. In a word, objections were voiced not for considerations of principle, but for purely tactical considerations. This idea was rejected. But the fact alone that this idea was conceived and that it was subjected to a discussion speaks sufficiently clearly of the whole monstrosity and criminality of an organization of this sort.

I must say that at a much earlier period I personally had already given instructions to Semyonov to organize terrorist groups and reported this to our Right centre. It was accepted. Thus, I, more than any other member of the centre, am responsible for the organization of Semyonov's terrorist groups.

I must also stop to continue a thought which I have already touched on in part, or the facts which I have mentioned-our allying with various counter-revolutionary forces, especially and particularly with the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks. As regards my direct practical activities at that time, and not only my theoretical formulations, I must testify that I tried to establish a connection of this kind through a number of intermediaries and also personally. I also charged the Socialist-Revolutionary Semyonov - who was mentioned during the interrogation the day before yesterday - to get in touch with the underground members of the Socialist-Revôlutionary Central Committee, who, If I am not mistaken, were then In exile (which does not alter the case), and consequently I am directly responsible for it not only as a member of the Right centre, but directly responsible in the immediate sense of the word.

Secondly, I tried to establish contact with organizations and groups of Socialist-Revolutionaries abroad through a certain Chlenov. This was one of the men in our diplomatic service, whom I had known years ago, since our school days, when he was a member of a Social-Democratic organization of that time. I say this not byway of a digression into history, but to explain and show why I felt such confidence in him despite the conspiratorial nature of the work of that time. And he tried to establish connections with the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries; when he returned, he had no time to discuss the matter with me in detail, but from this conversation I ascertained approximately the following. The Socialist- Revolutionaries agreed in principle to support the bloc and maintain contact with the -Rights, Trotskyites, Zinovievites, and the like. But they demanded formal guarantees, almost in written form, their conditions being that the peasant policy should be changed in the spirit of a kulak orientation, that the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik Parties should be legalized-which obviously implied that the government which would be set up if the conspiracy were successful would be a coalition government.

Furthermore, during my last trip abroad in 1936, after the conversation with Rykov, I established contact with the Menshevik Nikolayevsky, who is very close to the leading circles of the Menshevik Party. From the conversation with Nikolayevsky I ascertained that he knew about the agreements between the Rights, Zinoviev's and Kamenev's people, and the Trotskyites, and that in general he was in the know of all that was going on, including the Ryutin platform. The concrete and new element of our conversation was that in the event of the exposure of the centre of the Rights, or the contact centre, or the upper organization of the conspiracy generally, there would be, through Nikolayevsky, an understanding with the leaders of the Second Internatioral that they would launch a suitable campaign in the press.

Besides myself, some other prominent leaders of the organization of Rights and Trotskyites (in this case I can speak about the Rights, I have no information about the others) also had contact, were establishing criminal connections with representatives of counter-revolutionary organizations which had been set up long ago. Rykov had connections with the Mensheviks through Nikolayevsky. I forgot to say that my meeting with Nikolayevsky was facilitated for me, and not only facilitated, but camouflaged, by the fact that I had to meet with this Nikolayevsky by virtue of my official business. Thus I had a quite legitimate cover behind which I could carry on counterrevolutionary conversations and make agreements of one: kind or another. Smirnov, or Foma, as he was called, had important connections of long standing. These connections had been made when he was still in the People's Commissariat of Agriculture, where, as you know, there were a number of prominent figures of the Socialist-Revolutionary and kindred movements. Everybody knows that some of them have been tried for wrecking. And Smirnov on his part was likewise arranging connections with the Socialist-Revolutionaries.

Thus, there is not a shadow of doubt - and I admit it fully and entirely - that apart from the bloc with the Trotskyites, Zinovievites, Kamenevites and bourgeois-nationalist organizations, there was also absolutely direct and real contact with SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, for which I myself was to a large extent directly to blame of course, as a leader of the centre of the Rights. This meant in the first place the underground Socialist-Revolutionaries who had remained here, that is to say, the former Central Committee of the official Party of SocialistRevolutionaries, and, in the second place, the organization abroad, which was principally rallied around such a person As Mark Vishnyak, the former secretary of the Constituent Assembly.

After the great debacle of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites in connection with the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov, after this...

VYSHINSKY: You: want to go on to another period already, but I would like to ask some questions in connection with the Socialist-Revolutionaries: Bessonov testified here concerning his journey to Prague and his meeting with Sergei Maslov. In Bessonov's conversation with Maslov reference was made to Bukharin arid Rykov. Bessonov said so here. You remember?

Bukharin: I thought he, said he had been informed about the underground activities of Bukharin and Rykov.

VYSHINSKY: That is what I want to ask Bessonov before you continue. Accused Bessonov, did Maslov tell you chat he knew about, Bukharin's underground activity?

BESSONOV: He said that he was aware of the counterrevolutionary views of the Right opposition and their underground activities.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, did you have direct connections with Maslov?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: You knew what Maslov was doing in Prague, that he was the organizer of a counter-revolutionary kulak party, that he was living on an income derived from a foreign intelligence service and from his newspapers and journals? Is that so, accused Bessonov?

BESSONOV: Quite true.

VYSHINSKY: Through whom did he obtain his information?

Bukharin: I do not know, but I think it was through the surviving members of the Socialist-Revolutionary Central Committee abroad.

VYSHINSKY: You were connected with the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries?

Bukharin: Through Chlenov I was connected with Rapoport.

VYSHINSKY: A Socialist-Revolutionary?

Bukharin: This Rapoport was connected with Mark Vishnyak.

VYSHINSKY: And they were connected?

Bukharin: I do not know, but I can guess. You know that old acquaintances usually keep in touch in emigration.

VYSHINSKY: So you suppose that Sergei Maslov was informed about your underground activities through members of the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionary organization abroad or...

Bukharin: Or through Rapoport or Vishnyak.

VYSHINSKY: And in regard to Rykov through Nikolayevsky?

Bukharin: No, I do not think so.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, have you any conjectures as to where Sergei Maslov could have obtained his information?

Rykov: I have no information and no conjectures on this point.

VYSHINSKY: Did you inform your Menshevik connections about your underground activity?

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: Then how was it?

Rykov: They knew that I was conducting work against the Central Committee.

VYSHINSKY: How did they know?

Rykov: They knew it from me.

VYSHINSKY: But you said...

Rykov: I understood you to mean that a certain organization was conducting work, but what kind of work...

VYSHINSKY: Underground, anti-Soviet. Did they know?

Rykov: They knew it to this extent, but they did not know more concrete things.

VYSHINSKY: And there was no need for them to Know more concrete things. So we may suppose that the émigré circle with which Nikolayevsky was associated was informed about your underground activities by him?

Rykov: I can say nothing about this.

VYSHINSKY: This is not experts evidence but an elucidation of your connections.

Rykov: I have spoken about my connections. You are asking it this contact passed to Maslov?

VYSHINSKY: Of course.

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: You Informed Nikolayevsky about your underground work?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, from Bessonov's testimony it can be taken that Maslov maintained contact with the Rights and was posted on their counter-revolutionary activities. You, as the leader of this counter-revolutionary organization, were consequently also in the sphere of this contact. Do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I was not in the sphere of this contact. I was in the sphere of contact with the Socialist-Revolutionaries. I have no information as to what they were doing, but in reply to your question I make a conjecture as to the possible channel.

VYSHINSKY: Through what channels this could pass?

Bukharin: Yes, the channels through which this could pass.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, proceed.

Bukharin: So, I left off at the question of the composition of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," which, as it appears from the entire material, is called the centre of Rights and Trotskyites but actually has a much broader content not only from the point of view of its hangers-on or its environment, but from the point of view of its very composition.

VYSHINSKY: In speaking about these connections of your centre and your bloc, you have said nothing about connections with the foreign intelligence service and fascist circles.

Bukharin: I have nothing to testify on this subject.

VYSHINSKY: Apart from what you have testified already?

Bukharin: Yes. Apart from what I have testified.

VYSHINSKY: Proceed.

Bukharin: When the fascists came to power in Germany, exchanges of opinion commenced among the leaders of the counterrevolutionary organizations concerning the possibility of utilizing foreign states in connection with a war situation. Here I must say frankly, and I tell the Court what I precisely remember, that in this major question, which is a very important subject for the Court's consideration and for the determination of the legal sanction, the Trotskyites were outright for territorial concessions, while on the whole the leading circles of the Right counterrevolutionary organization were primarily concerned with concessions; trade agreements, duties, prices, supplies of raw material, fuel, etc. In short, various concessions of an economic nature. When I began my testimony I told the Court that I, as one of the leaders of the counter-revolutionary bloc, am not just as a cog in the wheel, bear responsibility for absolutely everything done by this organization. But in so far as concrete things are concerned, I think that it can be said of this case that the guiding. principle in the bloc, the most active political principle in the sense of the acuteness of the struggle, in the sense of far-reaching criminal connections, etc.; was after-all the Trotskyite section. I repeat, I say this not in order to disclaim the responsibility of the Right section, since in this case from the point of view of criminology it is not important, who first said "a," who repeated this "a," who exposed and reported it; but from the point of view of the internal mechanics of this case and from the point of view of elucidating the personal role of Trotsky, who, unfortunately, is beyond the reach of the Court; I think this question has a certain importance, and that is why I make bold to emphasize it here.

In the summer of 1934 Radek told me that directions had been received from Trotsky, that Trotsky was conducting negotiations with the Germans, that Trotsky had aheady promised the mans a number of territorial concessions, including the Ukraine. If my memory does not fail me, territorial concessions to Japan were also mentioned. In general, in these negotiations Trotsky already behaved not only as a conspirator who hopes to get power by means of anarmed coup at some future date, but already felt himself the master of Soviet land, which he wants to convert from Soviet to non-Soviet.

I must say that then, at that time, I remonstrated with Radek. Radek confirms this in his testimony, just as he confirmed at a confrobtation with me that I objected to this; that I considered it essential that he, Radek, should write and tell Trotsky that he was going too far in these negotiations, that he might compromise not only, himself, but all his allies, us Right conspirators in particular, and that this meant certain disaster for us. It seemed to me that with the growth of mass patriotism, which is beyond all doubt, this point of view of Trotsky's was politically and tactically inexpedient from the standpoint of the plan of the conspiracy itself, and that much greater caution was needed.

VYSHINSKY: Who said that?

Bukharin: I said it. I even considered that preliminary negotiations were not needed.

VYSHINSKY: To avoid exposure?

Bukharin: No, there were also other considerations....

VYSHINSKY: As you have just said, you pointed out thett that this might lead too far .... You were afraid of exposure?

Bukharin: I do not speak of exposure in the sense of arrest, but in the sense that the whole business might have come to grief.

VYSHINSKY: I am also speaking of this. You expressed this point of view out of caution, to save your plot from ruin?

Bukharin: This will have to be turned round a bit....

VYSHINSKY: You can turn it round as much as you like.... What year was this?

Bukharin: The conversation with Radek took place in the summer of 1934.

VYSHINSKY: And the conversation with Karakhan was later?

Bukharin: It took place after his arrival in Moscow in 1935.

VYSHINSKY: And was this conversation. with Karakhan preceded by a conversation with Yenukidze, or was the conversation with Yenukidze on this topic later?

Bukharin: The first conversation was with Tomsky.

VYSHINSKY: So, the conversation with Tomsky was the basis?

Bukharin: There were three conversations on this, subject.

VYSHINSKY: We will proceed to that later. Continue.

Bukharin: Must I dwell on the internal aspect of the Affair, op the conversations that took place, or is this of no interest?

VYSHINSKY: That depends on what the conversations were about.

Bukharin: Of course they were not about the weather.

VYSHINSKY: Tell the Court about your crimes.

Bukharin: Tomsky considered it permissible to take advantage of war and preliminary agreements with Germany. This I opposed by the following arguments. I said that in the first place if Germany were to intervene in one way or another during the war to help the counter-revolutionary coup, then, as it always happens, Germany, being rather a strong military and technical factor, would inevitably put her feet on the table and tear up any preliminary agreement. which had been concluded. Secondly, I advanced the argumentthat since this was to be a military coup, then by virtue of the very logic of things the military group of the conspirators would have extraordinary influence, and, as always happens in these cases, it would be just that section of the joint upper group of the counter-revolutionary circles that would command great material forces, and consequently political forces, and that hence a peculiar Bonapartist danger might arise. And Bonapartists - I was thinking particularly of Tukhachevsky - would start out by making short shrift of their allies-and so- called inspirers in Napoleon style. In myconversations I always called Tukhachevsky a "potential little Napoleon," and you know how Napoleon dealt with the so-called Ideologists.

VYSHINSKY: And you considered yourself an ideologist?

Bukharin: Both an ideologist of a counter-revolutionary coup and a practical man. You, of course, would prefer to hear that I consider myself a spy, but I never considered myself a spy, nor do I now.

VYSHINSKY: It would be more correct if you did.

Bukharin: That is your opinion, but my opinion is different.

VYSHINSKY: We shall see what the opinion of the Court is. Tell us how you conducted this "ideological" conversation with Tomsky then or at any other time; did Tomsky propose two variants for the seizure of power?

Bukharin: I am coming to that in the next few words.

VYSHINSKY: I'll wait.

Bukharin: Very well. I wanted to say that after these preliminary conversations in 1935-1 do not know what other factors played a part before the adoption of any decision on the part of the Right centre and on the part of the contact centre: whether Tomsky was being pressed by Yenukidze or the military circles, or jointly by Yenukidze, the Trotskyites and the Zinovievites - but the fact is that Karakhan left without a preliminary conversation with the members of the leading centre, with the exception of Tomsky.

Now I want to tell the Court what I remember concerning the three conversations that took place after Karakhan's arrival. The first conversation was with Tomsky, the second with Yenukidze and the third with Karakhan, who introduced certain details and an added coefficient into the conversation.

As I remember, Tomsky told me that Karakhan had arrived at an agreement with Germany on more advantageous terms than Trotsky.

VYSHINSKY: First of all, tell us about Tomsky. I am interested in your talk with Tomsky concerning your plan of a coup d'état, as you call it, the seizure of power. When did you have a conversation about opening the front to the Germans?

Bukharin: I am coming to that now.

VYSHINSKY: Can you touch on the question of how you and Tomsky were going to open the front to the Germans in case of war?

Bukharin: I will speak about this a bit later.

VYSHINSKY: You do not care to speak on the subject that interests the investigation now?

Bukharin: I shall speak about this front.

VYSHINSKY: I put the question for the third time. When did you have a conversation about opening the front to the Germans?

Bukharin: When I asked Tonisky how he conceived the mechanics of the coup he said this was the business of the military organization, which wan to open the front.

VYSHINSKY: So Tomsky was preparing to open the front?

Bukharin: He did not say that.

VYSHINSKY: Yes or no?

Bukharin: I asked how he visualized the mechanism of this intervention.

VYSHINSKY: Whose Intervention?

Bukharin: Of certain foreign states.

VYSHINSKY: Did he say taw it was conceived?

Bukharin: Tomsky did say.

VYSHINSKY: Tomsky said, "open the front"?

Bukharin: I will put it exactly.

VYSHINSKY: What did he say?

Bukharin: Tomsky said that this was a mattes for the military organization, which was to open the front.

VYSHINSKY: Why was it to open the front?

Bukharin: He did not say.

VYSHINSKY: Why was it to open the front?

Bukharin: From my point of view, It ought not to open the front.

VYSHINSKY: From the point of view of your organization?

Bukharin: From the point of view of our organisation.

VYSHINSKY: Were they to open the front from the point of view of Tomsky, or not?

Bukharin: From the point of view of Tomsky? At any rate, he did not object to this point of view.

VYSHINSKY: He agreed?

Bukharin: Since he did not object, it means that most likely he three-quarters agreed.

VYSHINSKY: He nevertheless kept one-quarter in reserve? BUKHARIN: I only wanted to stress the point.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you. Answer the question.

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, you said that every word was very important to the Court.

VYSHINSKY: Permit me to read Bukharin's testimony, Vol.V, pp. 95-96: "Tomsky told me that two variants were discussed: the case where the new government would be farmed in time of peace," and thin meant that the conspirators would organize a new government in time. of peace; and "the case where if would be organized in time of war; in the latter case the, Germans were demanding big economic concessions," concessions of which I have already spoken, "and were insisting upon cession of territory." Tell us, is this true or not?

Bukharin: Yes, that is all true.

VYSHINSKY (continues to read): "I asked Tomsky how the mechanism of the coup, was visualized in this connection. He, said that this was the business of the military organization, which was to open the front to the Germans."

Bukharin: Yes, correct.

VYSHINSKY: Did Tomsky agree with this, or not?

Bukharin: He said "was to" ("dolzhna"); but the meaning of these words is "müssen" and not "sollen."

VYSHINSKY: Leave your philology aside. In Russian "was to" means "was to."

Bukharin: It means that the military circles had the idea that in that case these military circles...

VYSHINSKY: No, not the idea, but they were to. That means...

Bukharin: No, it does not mean.

VYSHINSKY: So they were not to open the front?

Bukharin: From whose point of view? Tomsky told me what the military said, what Yenukidze said.

VYSHINSKY: And what did you testify?

Bukharin: I know very well what I testified.

VYSHINSKY: "Tomsky said that the coup was the business of the military organization, which was to open the front to the Germans." Is the question clear?

Bukharin: I said that I asked Tomsky: "How is the mechanism of this intervention visualized?" He answered: "This is the business of the military organization, which is to open the front to the Germans." Whereupon I said....

VYSHINSKY: No more for the present. They were to open the front. That is, they intended to open the front to the Germans?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: In which circles?

Bukharin: In the circles of the military organization.

VYSHINSKY: Did Tomsky agree to this?

Bukharin: He did not say so directly.

VYSHINSKY: He three-quarters agreed?

Bukharin: I am telling you that from what he said it followed that he probably agreed to this.

VYSHINSKY: And when he told you this, did-you object?

Bukharin: I did.

VYSHINSKY: And why did you not write "I objected"?

Bukharin: That is written here later on.

VYSHINSKY: What is written later on is something entirely different.

Bukharin: That means that I objected.

VYSHINSKY: What Is written later is: "Whereupon I said that in that case... " In which case?

Bukharin: In case the front were opened.

VYSHINSKY: Right. "In that case it would be expedient to try those guilty of-the defeat at the front. This will enable us to win over the masses by playing on patriotic slogans."

Bukharin: But permit me, I will explain that to you, if you will allow me.

VYSHINSKY: One moment. Let us examine it in order, in order. Was this your objection?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Is that what you told him: "The front must not be opened"?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: But where is this written?

Bukharin: It is not written, but it is self-understood.

VYSHINSKY: And what does playing on patriotic slogans mean?

Bukharin: The word "play" here was not meant in an odious sense....

VYSHINSKY: "Was to" is not meant in its right sense, and "play" is not meant in its right sense.

Bukharin: "Was to" in Russian has two meanings.

VYSHINSKY: And we want to have one meaning here.

Bukharin: That is what you would like, but I am entitled not to agree with you. It is well known that in German "sollen" and "müssen" have two meanings.

VYSHINSKY: You are accustomed to speak in German, but we are speaking in the Soviet language.

Bukharin: The German language in itself is not odious.

VYSHINSKY: You are continuing to speak in German, yon are already accustomed to negotiate with the Germans in their language. But here we speak in Russian. When Tomsky told you that it was necessary to open the front to the. Germans, then, if you objected, you should, have said as follows: "I objected, I said that I would not consent to such a betrayal, to such treason." did you say that?

Bukharin: No, I did not. But If I said that it was necessary.

VYSHINSKY: To play on patriotic slogans, that is, to speculate on them, to pretend that somebody committed treason; but that you were patriots ....

Bukharin: That is not quite so, because In other, parts of my testimony, including the confrontation with Radek, and during all the conversations with Radek, I objected to what Radek said and declared that Tomsky did not understand...

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, that you have hire employed a jesuitical method, a perfidious method, is borne out by the following. Permit me to read further: "I had in mind that by this, that is, by the conviction of those guilty of the defeat, we would be able at the same time to rid ourselves of the Bonapartist danger that alarmed me."

Bukharin: Yes, quite true.

VYSHINSKY: So that is how you "objected" to the opening of the front.

Bukharin: One task by no means interferes with the other.

VYSHINSKY: One task is the opening of the front....

Bukharin: No, not the opening of the front.

VYSHINSKY: To try those guilty of defeat at the front, to play on patriotic slogans, and thus get off scat free.

Bukharin: An entirely different orientation.

VYSHINSKY: That is the conversation you had with Tomsky. Is it correctly recorded here?

Bukharin: Correctly, of course, but you did not read everything.

VYSHINSKY: I have read three paragraphs; are they correctly recorded?

Bukharin: The three paragraphs are quite correctly recorded.

VYSHINSKY: Did you speak to Yenukidze on this subject?

Bukharin: I did speak to Yenukidze.

VYSHINSKY: Did you speak to Karakhan?

Bukharin: I did.

VYSHINSKY: What did Yenukidze and Karakhan say on this subject?

Bukharin: Yenukidze...

VYSHINSKY: In general confirmed this?

Bukharin: In general he confirmed it. Tomsky learnt this front Karakhan and Yenukidze.

VYSHINSKY: That It?

Bukharin: They confirmed, firstly, that Karakhan had concluded an agreement with the Germans on conditions of economic concessions of territories, to which Karakhan did not reply, saying that this matter must be discussed. It included a formula regarding the severance of the Union Republics. Thirdly, about pacts.

VYSHINSKY: Thirdly,about opening the front?

Bukharin: Thirdly, about the pacts of mutual assistance of the U.S.S.R. with Czechoslovakia and France.

VYSHINSKY: Did you have a pact with them?

Bukharin: I am conveying what Tomsky said about what he was told by Karakhan. That is what he said. The Germans demanded the annulment of these pacts.

VYSHINSKY: Of whom with whom?

Bukharin: Of the new government.

VYSHINSKY: You thought that you were already the government?

Bukharin: We did not think so, but Karakhan said that in case...

VYSHINSKY: Was it sanctioned?

Bukharin: We did not afterwards object, which means that we sanctioned it.

VYSHINSKY: That is, you thought that you were acting as a government?

Bukharin: The meaning of the pact...

VYSHINSKY: Then you would break the alliance with Czechoslovakia?

Bukharin: You did not let me finish. Karakhan replied to this in the affirmative. We reckoned on deceiving the Germans and on not fulfilling this demand.

VYSHINSKY: And so you built everything on deception. And they reckoned on deceiving you?

Bukharin: That always happens.

VYSHINSKY: On using you and then throwing you on to the muck heap.

Bukharin: That is so.

VYSHINSKY: In general, both of you lost.

Bukharin: Happily, that is so.

VYSHINSKY: Happily for us, that is so. And did you talk to Karakhan about opening the front?

Bukharin: Karakhan said that the Germans were demanding a military alliance with Germany.

VYSHINSKY: And are the gates closed to an ally?

Bukharin: Karakhan gave me an answer to this question.

VYSHINSKY: That the gates are closed to an ally?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: That means to open the gates?

Bukharin: Pardon me, there was no alliance yet.

VYSHINSKY: But there were expectations, plans?

Bukharin: Well, just now the Soviet Union has an alliance with France, but that does not mean that it opens the Soviet frontiers.

VYSHINSKY: What did you have?

Bukharin: We had nothing; there were verbal plans.

VYSHINSKY: You do not want to admit that you were the initiator of the proposal to open the front in case of an attack bye the Germans.

Bukharin: No. But Rykov affirms this because it is now perfectly clear....

VYSHINSKY: But Rykov confirms that Bukharin was the initiator of this idea. Accused Rykov, is that correct?

Rykov: I first heard about opening the front from Bukharin.

Bukharin: And that is true. But that does not mean that I was the initiator. It was after the conversation with Tomsky.

VYSHINSKY (to Rykov): Did Bukharin object to it?

Rykov: He did not object in my presence.

VYSHINSKY: Be seated. (To Bukharin.) Continue your account. I consider that the question of opening the front is clear. I have no more questions.

Bukharin: I forgot to say and mention that when Trotsky was negotiating with the Germans, the Rights were already a component part of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" and that consequently they were partners to these negotiations; even in spite of the fact that Trotsky did this on his own initiative, independently of any preliminary arrangement.

That In the main is all I have to say, I think.

THE PRESIDENT: Comrade Procurator, the accused Bukharin has finished his testimony.

VYSHINSKY: I have no questions to put.

THE PRESIDENT: Comrade Procurator, we have now tie settle the question of summoning the witnesses. Or shall we proceed to interrogate Bukharin on the events of 1918?

VYSHINSKY: I have already done so.

THE PRESIDENT: We must decide at what time to summon the witnesses: now, or after the adjournment?

VYSHINSKY: If the witnesses are present I would request to have them called in now.

THE PRESIDENT: The first witness to be called is Yakovleva?

VYSHINSKY: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Call in the witness.

VYSHINSKY: While the witness is being called in, permit me to put to Bukharin a question in connection with his testimony at the preliminary investigation - p. 94, Vol. V. May 1 read it?

THE PRESIDENT: You may.

VYSHINSKY: "We clearly perceived the gigantic growth of Soviet patriotism, which growth was connected with the tangible growth of the might, strength and prosperity of the broad masses, the extraordinary popularity of Stalin's slogan that ere would not surrender a single inch of Soviet land, which in our eyes was a perfectly obvious indication of this growing patriotism." Do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I do.

VYSHINSKY: "To set ourselves up against this slogan, how. ever cunning our political calculations might be, would most certainly have meant isolating ourselves from the masses once and for all, rendering our position meaningless in advance, and our plans utterly hopeless." Do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I confirm it fully.

VYSHINSKY: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Be seated.

 

[Signed]  

V. ULRICH
Army Military Jurist
President of the Military Collegium of
the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.

 
 

SECRETARY : A. BATNER
Military Jurist First Rank

 

 

4.

Last Plea, Evening Session, March 12, 1938.

 

Last Plea - Evening Session March 12

THE COMMANDANT OF THE COURT: The Court is coming, please rise.

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. The session is resumed. Accused Bukharin, you may make your last plea.

Bukharin: Citizen President and Citizens Judges, I fully agree with Citizen the Procurator regarding the significance of the trial, at which were exposed our dastardly crimes, the crimes committed by the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," one of whose leaders I was, and for all the activities of which I bear responsibility.

This trial, which is the concluding one of a series of trials, has exposed all the crimes and the treasonable activities, it has expaced the historical significance arid the roots of our struggle against the Party and the Soviet government.

I have been in prison for over a year, and I therefore do riot know what is going on in the world. But, judging from those fragments of real life that sometimes reached me by chance, I see, feel and understand that the interests which we so criminally betrayed are entering a new phase of gigantic development, are now appearing in the international arena as a great and mighty factor of the international proletarian phase.

We, the accused, are sitting on the other side of the barrier, and this barrier separates us from you, Citizens Judges. We found ourselves in the accursed ranks of the counter- revolution, became traitors to the Socialist fatherland.

At the very beginning of the trial, in answer to the question of Citizen the President, whether I pleaded guilty, I replied by a confession.

In answer to the question of Citizen the President whether I confirmed the testimony I had given, I replied that I confirmed it fully and entirely.

When, at the end of the preliminary investigation, I was summoned for interrogation to the State Prosecutor, who controlled the sum total of the materials of the investigation, he summarized them as follows (Vol. V, p. 114, December 1, 1937):

Question: Were you a member of the centre of the counter-revolutionary organization of the Rights? I answered: Yes, I admit it.

Second question: Do you admit that the centre of the antiSoviet organization, of which you are a member, engaged in counter-revolutionary activities and set itself the aim of violently overthrowing the leadership of the Party and the government? I answered: Yes, I admit it.

Third question: Do you admit that this centre engaged in terrorist activities, organized kulak uprisings and prepared for Whiteguard kulak uprisings against members of the Political Bureau, against the leadership of the Party and the Soviet power? I answered: It is true.

Fourth question: Do you admit that you are guilty of treasonable activities; as expressed in preparations for a conspiracy aiming at a 'coup d'état? I answered: Yes, that Is also true.

In Court I admitted and still admit my guilt in respect to the crimes which I committed and of which I was accused by Citizen the State Prosecutor at the end of the Court investigation and on the basis of the materials of the investigation in the possession of the Procurator. I declared also in Court, and I stress and repeat it now, that I regard myself politically responsible for the sum total -of the crimes committed by the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."

I have merited the most severe punishment, and I agree with Citizen the Procurator, who several times repeated that I stand on the threshold of my hour of death.

Nevertheless, I consider that I have the right to refute certain charges which were brought: a) in the printed Indictment, b) during the Court investigation, and c) in the speech for the prosecution made by Citizen the Procurator of the U.S.S.R.

I consider it necessary to mention that during my interrogation by Citizen the State Prosecutor, the latter declared in a very categorical form that I, as one of the accused, must not admit more than I had admitted and that I must not Invent facts that have never happened, andhe demanded that this statement of his should be Placed on the records.

I once more repeat that I admit that I am guilty of treason to the socialist fatherland, the most heinous of possible crimes, of the organization of kulak uprisings, of preparations for terrorist acts and of belonging to an underground, anti-Soviet organization. I furtheradmit that lam guilty of organizing a conspiracy for a "palace coup." And this, incidentally, proves the incorrectness of all those passages in the speech for the prosecution made by Citizen the State Prosecutor, where he makes out that I adopted the pose of a pure theoretician, the pose of a philosopher, and so on. These are pro-roundly practical matters. I said, and I now repeat, that I was a Deader and not a cog in the counter-revolutionary affairs. It follows from this, as will be clear to everybody, that there were many specific things which I could not have known, and which I actually did not know, but that this does not relieve me of responsibility.

I admit that I am responsible both politically and legally for the defeatist orientation, for it did dominate In the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," although I affirm:

a) that personally I did not hold this position;

b) that the phrase about opening the front was not uttered by me, but was an echo of my conversation with Tomsky;

c) that if Rykov heard this phrase for the first time from me, then, I repeat, It was an echo of my conversation with Tomsky.

But I consider myself responsible for a grave and monstrous crime against the socialist fatherland and the whole international proletariat. I further consider myself responsible both politically and legally for wrecking activities, although I personally do not remember having given directions about wrecking activities. I did not talkabout this. I once spoke positively on this subject to Grinko. Even in my testimony I mentioned that I had once told Radek that I considered this method of struggle as not very expedient. Yet Citizen the State Prosecutor makes me out to be a leader of the wrecking activities.

Citizen the Procurator explained in the speech for the prosecution that the members of a gang of brigands might commit robberies in different places, but that they would nevertheless be responsible for each other. That is true, but in order to be a gang the members of the gang of brigands must know each other and be in more or less close contact with each other. Yet I first learnt the name of Sharangovich from the Indictment, and I first saw him here in Court. It was here that I first learnt about the existence of Maximov, I have never been acquainted with Pletnev, I have never been acquainted with Kazakov, I have never spoken about counter-revolutionary matters with Rakovsky, I have never spoken on this subject with Rosengoltz, I have never spoken about it to Zelensky, I have never in my life spoken to Bulanov, and so on. Incidentally, even the Procurator did not ask me a single question about these people.

The "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" Is first and foremost a bloc, of Rights and Trotskyites. How then, generally, could It include Levin, for example, who stated here in court that to this day he does not know what a Menshevik is? How could it include Pletnev, Kazakov and others?

Consequently, the accused in this dock are not a group. They are confederates in a conspiracy along various lines, but they are not a group in the strict and legal sense of the word. All the accused were connected in one way or another with the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," some of them were also connected with intelligence services, but that is all. This, however, provides no grounds for asserting that this group is the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."

Secondly, the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," which actually did exist and which was smashed by the organs of the People s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, arose historically. It did really exist until it was smashed by the organs of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs. It arose historically. I have testified that I first spoke to Kamenev as far back as 1928, during the Sixth Congress of the Comintern, which I at that time directed.

How then can it be asserted that the bloc was organized on the instructions of fascist intelligence services? Why, this was in 1928! By the way, at that time I narrowly missed death at the hands of an agent of the Polish "Defensiva," a fact very well known to everybody who stood close to the Party leadership.

Thirdly, I categorically deny that I was connected with foreign intelligence services,. that they were my masters and that I acted in accordance with their wishes.

Citizen the Procurator asserts that I was one of the major organizers of espionage, on a par with Rykov. What are the proofs? The testimony of Sharangovich, of whose existence I had not even heard until I read the indictment.

The record of Sharangovich's testimony was submitted to me, from which it appears that I practically drew up the plan for wrecking.

Sharangovich: Stop lying, for once in your life at least. You are lying even now in Court.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Sharangovich, don't interrupt.

Sharangovich: I could not restrain myself.

Bukharin: Take Ivanov. Generally, what I have to say about his testimony is the following. Certain persons, who were connected with the Okhrana in the past, testified that from fear of exposure they decided to wage a struggle against the Soviet power, and that they therefore joined the Rights, the underground organization, which orientated itself on terrorism. But where is the logic? Fine logic, indeed. From fear of possible exposure they joined a terrorist organization, where they ran the risk of being caught the very next day. This is hard to imagine; I at least cannot imagine it. But Citizen the Procurator believed them, although all of it sounds very unconvincing.

Khodjayev asserts that I advised him to get in contact with the British resident agent, while Ikramov says that I told him that Turkestan was a choice morsel for England. In reality, this is far from the truth. I told Khodjayev that advantage should be taken of the antagonisms between the imperialist powers, and in a vague form f supported the idea of the independence of Turkestan. Not a single word was said about any resident agents. Citizen the State Prosecutor asked: But did you see Khodjayev? I did. Was this in Tashkent? It was in Tashkent. Did you talk to him about politics? About politics. That means that you spoke about the resident agent. Such conclusions were drawn several times; and when I protested against them, Citizen the Procurator accused me of not telling the truth, of trying to wriggle out of it, of wishing to conceal the truth, and so on; and in this he was supported by a number of my fellow-accused. But it seems to me that in this case real logic is wholly on my side. Citizen the State Prosecutor declared on the basis of these materials that all the espionage connections proceeded through the channels of Rykov and Bukharin. Yet Citizen the Procurator said that every word was important here. The speech of Citizen the Procurator contained references to two Japanese newspapers. But why does it follow that these reports refer precisely to me and the Rights?

I, however, admit that I am guilty of the dastardly plan of the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R., for Trotsky was negotiating about territorial concessions, and I was in a bloc with the Trotskyites. This is a fact, and I admit it.

I categorically deny my complicity in the assassination of Kirov, Menzhinsky, Kuibyshev, Gorky and Maxim Peshkov. According ,to Yagoda's testimony, Kirov was assassinated in accordance with a decision of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." I knew nothing about it. But what Citizen the Procurator calls logic comes here to the aid of the factual content. He asked whether Bukharin and Rykov could have stood aside from these assassinations; and. he answered that they could not have stood aside because they knew about them. But not standing aside and kriowing are one and the same thing. This is what in elementary logic is called tautology, that is, the acceptance of what is yet to be proved as already proven: But what is the real explanation? It might be said: Well, then, you villain, how do you explain these facts? Can you deny that some decision was adopted by some section or other with the knowledge of Yenukidze and Yagoda, or you deny even that? I cannot deny it, Citizens Judges. But if I cannot deny it, and at the same time cannot affirm it, I can make a certain conjecture. After all, you must bear in mind the secrecy of the work. The centre did not hold meetings: matters-were discussed as occasion arose, and given such secret methods of communication and connections with each other, such things are quite possible.

As to Maxim Peshkov. Yagoda himself says that this assassination concerns him personally: I have no right to intrude into this sphere. But this is Yagoda's statement, fortified by so, fundamental a fact as his request to have the matter heard in camera, a- fairly weighty consideration. Yet Kryuchkov says that it was done in order to lower Maxim Gorky's buoyant life tonus. And, if. I am not mistaken, one of the Counsel for Defence also adopted this viewpoint. But this can be seen through. This argument is countered by so weighty a fact as Yagoda's personal statement, which is corroborated by the fact that this point was referred to the session Iin camera.

As to Menzhinsky. Bulanov testified to personal motives here too. Menzhinsky was already ill, he could not have injured the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" in any way.

Why, then, can this be retarded as likely?

I will dwell on Bulanov s testimony.

The most painful and most horrible thing is the death of Alexei Maximovich. What testimony did I give, how did I give it, and under what circumstances? I was asked (apparently the inves. tigation had already furnished material on the subject) whether I did not recall anything that could throw light on the hostile attitude of the Right and Trotskyite parts of the bloc towards Gorky. I recalled the conversation with Tomsky which I mentioned here in Court and about which the Procurator interrogated me. The substance of this conversation was that Tomsky cursorily remarked that the Trotskyites were preparing to commit hostile acts against the Stalinist, Gorky. It absolutely did not occur to me at the time that he could refer to a terrorist act. I turned a deaf ear to it. During the interrogation I recalled this conversation with Tomsky. To the insistent demands of Citizen the Procurator I steadily replied that the thought of a terrorist act had not occurred to me at the time: Here in Court, in reply to one of the questions of Citizen the Procurator, I said: "But now I see that it was to this he was referring." Citizen the Procurator drew the following conclusion from this; he said: "What is this, if not a veiled admission?" A veiled admission of what? What is admitted? The fact that I had learnt in Court a number of new facts which had not been known to me, and that therefore the conversation I had had with Tomsky might retrospectively be regarded in an entirely different perspective. I consider that the argumentation of Citizen the State Prosecutor is this case cannot be regarded as adequate.

Take the year 1918. Citizen the Procurator declares that in 1924 I was compelled to make a confession regarding such and such a conversation in the Smolny. I was not compelled; I experienced absolutely no pressure on me to do so; nobody but myself even hinted at it, and I published this example in order at that time, 1923-24, to show the utter harm of the factional struggle, and what it was leading to. So that firstofall I would like to clear up this misunderstanding.

Citizen the State Prosecutor said that Bukharin cited nothing in refutation of the evidence of the five witnesses, who stood here in this Court before us all, before Citizens the judges of this case, who asserted that I had the design, the thought, the idea, which I insistently advocated, of arresting Lenin and physically destroying him, and, moreover, to Lenin were added two other prominent figures in the Party - Stalin and Sverdlov. But it is not true that I cited no arguments In refutation. Citizen the Procurator may consider them untrue, feeble, unconvincing, but it cannot be said that I cited nothing in refutation. I cited a number of arguments.

The chief witness was Varvara Nikolayevna Yakovleva. Varvara Nikolayevna Yakovleva dates the whole incident about the preparations for the conspiracy with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries against Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov, for their arrest and supposed murder, etc., - she dates all this in her evidence, and then at the confrontation and during the trial to the period prior to the Peace of Brest-Litovsk. I said at the confrontation, at the preliminary investigation, and in Court, that It is not true. It is not true that before the Brest-Litovsk Peace the "Left Communists" and the Trotskyites wanted to effect a coup d'état by forcible means; it is untrue because the Trotskyites and the so-called "Lefts" had the majority in the Central Committee, and if the Trotskyites had not capitulated at the decisive moment when the vote on the question of the Brest-Litovsk Peace was taken, the Trotskites and the "Lefts" would have had the majority in the Central Committee. That being the case, how can it be supposed that they then capitulated In order to resort to conspiratorial methods? Everybody who lived through that period remembers perfectly well that the feelings of the "Left Communists" at that time, before the Brest-Litovsk Peace, were such that they hoped to win a Party majority at the next Party Congress. That being the case how could there have been any talk about that of Which the Witness Varvara Nikolayevna Yakovleva now speaks? But I cited another example. Varvara Nikolayevna Yakovleva asserted that the Moscow Regional Bureau was the factional centre of the "Left Communists."- I then took the liberty of mentioning several -names, several respected members of the Party. I only wanted in this way to discredit the argument of Varvara Nikolayevna Yakovleva. It is well known that a number of prominent people - Kuibyshev, Emelyan Yaroslavsky, Menzhinsky and others - were at that time supporters of the "Left Communists," belonged to my "Left" group. The relative importance of these people was far' greater than that of the Mantsevs, Stukovs and the rest; and by political temperament and political activity they were More efficient than the persons mentioned. And so until the Brest-Litovsk Peace the central group in Leningrad comprised the persons mentioned. And so I ask, how could there have been a plan of revolt if these people held the key position in the central group? It is inconceivable, it is impossible. And here Varvara Nikolayevna Yakovleva, the principal witness against me, Is mixing things up ,with an entirely different period, the period following the BrestLitovsk Peace, the Moscow period.

I beg your forgiveness, Citizens, Judges, forfixing your attention on this point: but as it is a very grave matter ands very interesting one, and as so much attention was devoted to it in the Court, I took the liberty of repeating what I have already said. Yet Citizen the State Prosecutor asserted that I cited nothing to exonerate myself on this point.

I will not dwell on other things, because I do not want to take up your time. I admit that there was one conversation with Karelin and Kamkov; and the initiative with regard to the arrest of Lenin for twenty-four hours and the subsequent bloc with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries proceeded from the "Left" Socialist-Revoiutioriaries. But in the first conversation the reply was negative in a rude form. And as regards the fact that negotiations were subsequently conducted through Pyatakov with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries- and this may be considered. As Citizen the Procurator, if I am not mistaken, formulated it, an attempt to overthrow the Soviet power by forcible means-this I admit; it was the case. As to the plan of physical extermination. I categorically deny it', and here the logic to which Citizens the State Prosecutor referred, namely, that forcible arrest Implied physical extermination, will not help in the least. Tire Constituent Assembly was arrested, but nobody suffered physically. We arrested the faction of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, yet not a single man of them suffered physically. The "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries arrested Dzerzhinsky, yet he did not suffer physically. And I say - and this was omitted front the speech of the State Prosecutor - that in these criminal and dastardly conversations, it was specifically stipulated that not one hair of the persons concerned should be injured. You may think what you like; but it is a real fact.

This episode after the Brest-Litovsk Peace generally-took up an extremely short space of time, because very soon afterwards the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries began to act. We had to arrest the faction of "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries. I myself took put la this operation, I myself took part in directing the arrest of the faction of "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries. After this we lead nothing more to do with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries generally. I went abroad on revolutionary work, then returned,- then; I repeat, I was wounded by a "Left" Socialist-Revolutionary bomb. I do not deny that it eras not thrown at me personally, as the witness Mantzev stated, but I want to say that everybody knew that I was to deliver a lecture in the building of the Moscow Committee, and it was at this moment that the attempt was made and I was slightly wounded. A number of leading figures in the Party were killed. As is known this attempt was made by the bloc of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries, headed by Cherepanov arid his wife, Tamara, with the so-called underground anarchists.

I mentioned Mantsev because Cherepanov was arrested by the "Left Communist" Mantsev, as he was not an ally of Cherepanov. It is not true that Bela Kun encouraged the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries.

I want to say that there was one brief period of criminal conspiracy between the "Left Communists" and the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries which quickly collapsed after their action, In the suppression of which a number of "Left Communists" took an active part.

To support his speech, the State Prosecutor advanced a number of other points which were to provide a base for a period, a black period, in my life.

There are a number of mistakes here. First of all, I was never an Otzovist, although the State Prosecutor says I was.

The State Prosecutor accuses me of the fact that I worked with Trotsky as an editor of the magazine "Novy Mir," and that I had a bloc with Trotsky. I object to this.

The State Prosecutor accuses me of having opposed Comrade Stalin in 1924. I do not remember any such case. I now conclude my objections to certain charges which the State Prosecutor brought against me in the course of the trial, and I will return to the crimes I actually did commit. I have already enumerated there twice. The gravity of these crimes is immense. I think it is unnecessary to repeat how grave these crimes are; it is clear enough as it is.

I only want to say that the Trotskyite section on more than one occasion acted separately, and it is possible that individual members of the bloc, like Yagoda, may also have acted separately, because Pagoda, as Bulanov testifies, regarded Rykov and myself as his secretaries, and he himself in this Court has called me a chatterbox who organized idiotic mass uprisings when it was a question of a coup d'état. But I am connected with the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," and it is quite natural that I politically answer absolutely for everything.

The extreme gravity of the crime is obvious, the political responsibility immense, the legal responsibility such that it will justify the severest sentence. The severest sentence would be justified, because a man deserves to be shot ten times over for such crimes. This I admit quite categorically and without any hesitation at all.

I want briefly to explain the facts regarding my criminal activities and my repentance of my misdeeds.

I already said when giving my main testimony during the trial, that it was not the naked logic of the struggle that drove us, the counter-revolutionary conspirators, into this stinking underground life, which has been exposed at this trial in ail its starkness. This naked logic of the struggle was accompanied by a degeneration of ideas, a degeneration of psychology, a degeneration of ourselves, a degeneration of people. There are well-known historical examples of such degeneration. One need only mention Briand, Mussolini and others. And we too degenerated, and this brought us into a camp which in its views and features was very much akin to a kulak praetorian fascism. As this process advanced all the time very rapidly under the conditions of a developing class struggle, this struggle, its speed, its existence, acted as the accelerator, as the catalytic agent of the process which was expressed in the acceleration of the process of degeneration.

But this process of degeneration of people, including myself, took place in absolutely different conditions from those in which the process of degeneration of the international labour leaders in Western Europe took place. It took place amidst colossal socialist construction, with its immense scope, tasks, victories, difficulties, heroism....

And on this basis, it seems to me probable that every one of us sitting here in the dock suffered from a peculiar duality of mind, an incomplete faith in his counter-revolutionary cause. I will not say that the consciousness of this was absent, but it was incomplete. Hence a certain semi-paralysis of the will, a retardation of reflexes. It seems to me that we are to a certain extent people with retarded reflexes. And this was due not to the absence of consistent thought, but to the objective grandeur of socialist construction. The contradiction that arose between the acceleration of our degeneration and these retarded reflexes expressed the position of a counter-revolutionary, or a developing counter-revolutionary, under the conditions of developing socialist construction. A dual psychology arose. Each one of us can discern this in his own soul, although I will not engage in a far-reaching psychological analysis.

Even I was sometimes carried away by the eulogies I wrote of socialist construction, although on the morrow I repudiated this by practical actions of a criminal character. There arose what in Hegel's philosophy is called a most unhappy mind. This unhappy mild differed from the ordinary unhappy mind only by the fact that it was also a criminal mind.

The might of the proletarian state found its expression not only in the fact that it smashed the counter-revolutionary bands, but also in the fact that it disintegrated its enemies from within, that it disorganized the will of its enemies. Nowhere else is this the case, nor can it be in any capitalist country.

It seems to me that when some of the West European and American intellectuals be;in to entertain doubts and vacillations in connection with the trials taking place in the U.S.S.R., this is primarily due to the fact that these people do not understand the radical distinction, namely, that in our country the antagonist, the enemy, has at the same time a divided, a dual mind. And I think that this is the first thing to be understood.

I take the liberty of dwelling on these questions because I had considerable contacts with these upper intellectuals abroad, especially among scientists, and I must explain to them what every Young Pioneer in the Soviet Union knows.

Repentance is often attributed to diverse and absolutely absurd things like Thibetan powders and the like. I must say of myself that in prison, where I was confined for over a year. I worked, studied, and retained my clarity of mind. This will serve to refute by facts alt fables and absurd counter-revolutionary tales.

Hypnotism is suggested. But I conducted my own defence in Court from the legal standpoint too, orientated myself on the spot, argued with the State Prosecutor; and anybody, even a man who has little experience in this branch of medicine, must admit that hypnotism of this kind is altogether impossible.

This repentance is often attributed to the Dostoyevsky mind, to the specific properties of the soul ("l'âme slave" as it is called), and this can be said of types like Alyosha Karamazov, the heroes of the "Idiot "and other Dostoyevsky characters, who are prepared to stand up in the public square and cry: "Beat me, Orthodox Christians, I am a villain!"

But that is not the case here at all. "L'âme slave" and the psychology of Dostoyevsky characters are a thing of the remote past in our country, the pluperfect tense. Such types do not exist our country, or exist perhaps only on the outskirts of small provincial towns, if they do even there. On the contrary, such a psychology is to be found in Western Europe.

I shall now speak of myself, of the reasons for my repentance. Of course, it must be admitted that incriminating evidence plays a very important part: For three months I refused to say anything Then I began to testify. Why? Because while In prison I made x revaluation of my entire past. For when you ask yourself: "lf you must die, what are you dying for?"-an absolutely black vacuity suddenly rises before you with startling vividness.. There was nothing to die for, if one wanted to die unrepented. nd, on the contrary, everything positive that glistens in the Soviet Union acquires new dimensions in a man's mind. This in the end disarmed me completely and led me to bend my knees before the Party and the country. And when you ask yourself: "Very well, suppose you do not die; suppose by some miracle you remain alive, again what for? Isolated from everybody, an enemy of the people, in an inhuman position, completely isolated from everything that constitutes the essence of life..." And at once the sane reply arises. And at such moments, Citizens judges, everything personal, till the personal incrustation, all the rancour, pride, and a number of other things, fall away, disappear. And, in addition, when the reverberations of the broad international struggle reach your ear, all this in its entirety does its work, and the result is the complete internal moral victory of the U.S.S.R. over its kneeling opponents. I happened by chance to get Feuchtwanger's book from the prison library. There he refers to the trials of the Trotskyites. It produced a profound Impression on me; but I must say that Feuchtwanger did not get at the core of the matter. He stopped half way, not everything was clear to him; when, as a matter of fact, everything is clear. World history is a world court of judgement: A number of groups of Trotskyite leaders went bankrupt and have been cast into the pit. That is true. But you cannot do what Feuchtwanger does in relation to Trotsky in particular, when he places him on the same plane as Stalin. Here his arguments are absolutely false. For in reality the whole country stands behind Stalin; he is the hope of the world; he is a creator. Napoleon once said that fate is politics. The fate of Trotsky is counter-revolutionary politics.

I am about to finish. I am perhaps speaking for the last time in my life.

I am explaining how I came to realize the necessity of capitulating to the investigating authorities and to you, Citizens judges. We came out against the joy of the new life with the most criminal methods of struggle. I refute the accusation of having plotted against the life of Vladimir Ilyich, but my counter-revolutionary confederates, and I at their head, endeavoured to murder Lenin's cause, which is being carried on with such tremendous success by Stalin. The logic of this struggle led ùs step by step into the blackest, quagmire. And it has once more been proved that departure from the position of Bolshevism means siding with political counter-revolutiocnary banditry. Counter-revolutionary banditry has now been smashed, we have beer, smashed, and we repent our frightful crimes.

The point, of course, is not this repentance, or my personal repentance in particular. The Courtcan pass its verdict without it. -The confession of the accused is not essential. The confession of the accused is a medieval principle of jurisprudence. But here we also have the internal demolition of the forces of .counter-revolution. And one must be a Trotsky not to lay down-one's arms.

I feel it my duty to say here that in the parallelogram of forces which went to make up the counter-revolutionary tactics, Trotsky was the principal motive force. And the most acute methods - terrorism, espionage, the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R. and wrecking-proceeded primarily from this source.

I may infer a priori that Trotsky and my other allies in crime, as well as the Second International, all the more since I discussed this with Nikolayevsky, will endeavour to defend us, especially and particularly myself. I reject this defence, because I am kneeling before the country, before the Party, before the whole people. The monstrousness of my crimes is immeasurable especially in the new stage of the 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. Let it be clear to all that the counterrevolutionary thesis of the national limitedness of the U.S.S.R. has remained suspended in the air like a wretched rag. Everybody perceives the wise leadership of the country that is ensured by Stalin.

It is in the consciousness of this that I await the verdict. What matters is not the personal feelings of a repentant enemy, but the flourishing progress of the U.S.S.R. and its international importance.

 

[Signed]  

V. ULRICH
Army Military Jurist
President of the Military Collegium of
the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.

 
 

SECRETARY : A. BATNER
Military Jurist First Rank

 


 

recent revision 17. 07. 2018

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