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 格雷弗弗(Grover Furr):从苏联解密档案和托洛茨基档案所见的苏联历史

"The Soviet Union's History Seen from the Trotsky Archives and Russian Declassified Documents after the Cold War."

讲演人:格雷弗弗(Grover Furr)教授




http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/china/furr_continuingrevpt2_chn.html

2014年5月20日北京清华大学

本稿为格雷弗·弗(Grover Furr)教授为北京之行准备的“苏联斯大林时代的继续革命”之系列讲演的第二部分。

A. 导言

自俄国十月革命以来,苏联历史便一直遭到篡改。首先撒谎的就是那些试图倾覆革命的势力。

因被击败而流亡的孟什维克们出版了许多书籍和报刊,直至上个世纪六十年代末。也正是他们奠定了美国和或许其他地方的俄罗斯研究的基础。

“白军”(The “Whites”),或曰专制保皇势力,以野蛮的行径攻击布尔什维克。他们终被挫败之后走向流亡,主要是在西欧。他们也发行了不少书籍和报刊,并且在上个世纪二三十年代赞助了恐怖分子和间谍组织在苏联的活动。

“白军”是反动的民族主义集团,它和包括白俄罗斯和乌克兰部分在内的其他民族主义者,在1919-1920年间支持企图颠覆革命的协约国武装干涉。而到了上世纪二三十年代,白俄罗斯和乌克兰的民族主义者急剧右倾,甚至滑向了希特勒的纳粹阵营。

二战爆发后,他们和其他所谓的“民族主义者”与纳粹联手对抗苏联红军,杀害了成百上千万的苏联战俘以及西迁的百姓。在西方他们获得了美国中央情报局的支持。乌克兰民族主义者进入学术界尤多,开始在学术的掩盖下制造反共宣传。

1991年苏联解体后,乌克兰民族主义者离开加拿大、美国和西欧回到乌克兰。他们于是开始主导学校和大学的历史研究以及大众媒体上的历史讨论。2000-2009年间,他们成为一股独占鳌头的势力,推动乌克兰政府进行反共的历史歪曲。他们在乌克兰现政府中很有权势。

除了这些公开的反共势力之外,布尔什维克党内也存在一些反共力量。1929年,列夫·托洛茨基(Leon Trotsky)被逐出苏联。之后他组织并领导了一场无所不用其极地攻击布尔什维克党领袖的运动。

托洛茨基于1940年8月被斯大林下令暗杀。在赫鲁晓夫(Khrushchev)于一九五六年苏共二十大上发表秘密报告之前,托洛茨基少有影响,而赫鲁晓夫的报告简直让托洛茨基看上去像一个先知、一个天才。这使得托派的活动死灰复燃,如今也是许多国家重要的反共力量。

B. 赫鲁晓夫说谎

就其实际上对世界历史的冲击而言,赫鲁晓夫的“秘密报告”可以说是二十世纪甚或迄今为止最具影响力的演讲了。他在其中把斯大林描画成实行恐怖统治长达二十多年的嗜血暴君。这次报告直接导致非共产主义阵营国家里约一半的共产党员在两年之内纷纷退党。

1961年苏共二十二大上,赫鲁晓夫及其追随者对斯大林进行了更为恶毒的攻击。此后大批苏联历史学家为赫鲁晓夫的谎言添砖加瓦。这些假话为冷战时期如罗伯特·康奎斯特(Robert Conquest)之类的反共者所沿用。它们也进入了左翼话语,不仅经由托派和无政府主义者的著作,而且还经由那些“亲莫斯科”(pro-Moscow)的、当然不得不接受赫鲁晓夫那个故事版本的共产主义者。

在戈尔巴乔夫(Mikhail Gorbachev)和叶利钦(Boris Eltsin)时代,先是苏联的职业历史学家,随后是俄罗斯的职业历史学家,把赫鲁晓夫的谎言进一步放大。戈尔巴乔夫编造了层出不穷的反共谎言,为苏联回归剥削制度和最终放弃社会主义改革、重返资本主义掠夺制造了意识形态烟幕。

2005-2006年期间,我研究并写下了《赫鲁晓夫说谎》一书。其长副标题如下:“在1956年2月25日苏共二十大上,赫鲁晓夫臭名昭著的秘密报告所揭露的斯大林[和贝利亚(Beria)]的每一条罪行都被证明是完全错误的。”

在我的书里,我理出了61条赫鲁晓夫针对斯大林的指控或某些情况下针对贝利亚的指控。接着,我根据前苏联档案曝光的证据研究了其中的每一条指控。令人惊讶的是,61条中有60条都能被证明是明显的错误。

赫鲁晓夫竟能伪造一切并与之撇清干系长达50年之久这个事实,表明我们仍需重新审视其他所谓的斯大林及他领导下的苏联的“罪行”。

我的书已被翻译成六国语言,由中国社科院马维先教授翻译的中文版(《反斯大林的卑劣行径》,社会科学文献出版社)也将在近几个月内面世。

1)赫鲁晓夫党羽和西方反共者

赫鲁晓夫赞助许多苏联历史学家在成千上万的书籍和文章中润色他的谎言。著名的例子包括罗伊·麦德维杰夫(Roy Medvedev)1的《让历史来审判:斯大林主义的起源及其后果》和亚历山大·勒科瑞奇(Aleksandr Nekrich)的《1941年6月》。

赫鲁晓夫党羽的谎言被西方反共作者利用并在苏联外反复散布。重要的例子是罗伯特·康奎斯特所写的《大恐怖:斯大林三十年代的清洗》和其他很多书籍。康奎斯特的所有著述严重依赖赫鲁晓夫时代的资料,尽管他同时还不加辨别地援引了各种反共的书籍和文章,譬如亚历山大·奥尔洛夫(Alexander Orlov)2的《斯大林肃反秘史》。

另一本严重依赖赫鲁晓夫时代说法的重要著作,是史蒂芬·F·科恩(Steven. F. Cohen)的《布哈林(Bukharin)和布尔什维克革命》,出版于1973年以后已多次重印。我和我的莫斯科同事弗拉基米尔·L·波布罗夫(Vladimir L. Bobrov)已经发表了对上书第十章的详细研究。科恩在他的书中追溯了布哈林从1930年到他于1938年3月受审、被处死的生平,可我们的研究展示了两件事。首先,科恩几乎仅仅是依赖赫鲁晓夫时代的说法。

其次,我们展示出,事实上科恩从赫鲁晓夫时代援引而来的每条陈述都是错误的。通过仔细研究苏联解体后公布的前苏联的档案,我们能够证明这一点。就跟我对待赫鲁晓夫的秘密报告一样,我们用这个档案的证据来表明,科恩取自赫鲁晓夫时代的陈述和事实论断是错误的。

2)戈尔巴乔夫及其后

米哈伊尔·戈尔巴乔夫自1985年担任苏共中央总书记,并于1990年3月15日当选为苏联总统。他在1987年发动了一场甚至比赫鲁晓夫在1961年11月苏共二十二大后所发动的都更激烈的运动。在他首肯之下,据说数以百计的书籍和数以千计的文章不只将斯大林,还将所有前苏联的领导人涂抹成恶魔。西方反共学者在苏联出版的第一部著作就是科恩关于布哈林的书,该书也受到戈尔巴乔夫本人的赞扬和资助。

戈尔巴乔夫和之后的叶利钦都承诺,伴随着沿资本主义路线的经济“改革”(perestroika,即“重建”),他们还会力求苏联历史的“公开性”(glasnost,即“开放”)。许多前苏联的档案因此短时间地部分向研究人员开放,尽管几乎仅仅是向反共的研究人员开放。但在1995年,很多或者说大部分的档案又被重新“分类”,重新保密,不再对学者开放。当局没有给出任何理由,不过我们都能猜到这是由于文件无法支撑当前官方授定的反共版本的苏联历史。

如今档案汇编又不断地出版着。它们都非常重要!但这个过程被反共学者们严密地监控着,还经常与一个打着“人权”旗号而受索罗斯基金会(Soros Foundation)等西方集团资助的极端反共组织“纪念协会”(MEMORIAL Society)相关。大多数关于莫斯科审判、军队肃反、“叶若夫时期”(Ezhovshchina)或“大恐怖”(Great Terror)以及1930年代高层政治的其他重大事件的调研证据都被设为机密,学者无从参阅。现状仍然如此,尽管照俄罗斯法律,75年之后的文档应当解禁,以供学术之用。但这没有兑现。

然而,也有很多重要的档案已经印发,有时来源模糊。但通过仔细地辨认、收集、研究,我们现在已经可能发现许多或大部分斯大林时期重大事件的真相。这也是我今年在北京,在这所大学和赞助我北京之行的中国社科院演讲的主题。

C. 谢尔盖·基洛夫谋杀案

1934年12月1日大约下午4:30,列昂尼德·瓦西里耶维奇·尼古拉耶夫(Leonid Vasil'evich Nikolaev),一位失业的党员,开枪射中了列宁格勒布尔什维克党第一书记谢尔盖·基洛夫的后颅。尼古拉耶夫继而试图爆头自杀,但未击中而晕倒。

起初,他似已声称,是他自己要杀基洛夫。一个星期不到,他就供认他不过是党内秘密组织策动的阴谋的一个环节,而这秘密组织正是由反斯大林、支持基洛夫之前一任列宁格勒第一书记格里高利·季诺维也夫(Grigory Zinoviev)的党员构成。

对尼古拉耶夫所指认的图谋者及这些图谋者所指认的牵连者的审讯带来了许多比较局部的招供和一些比较全面的招供。谋杀发生后的三个星期以内,就有14人因参与阴谋而被指控。他们受审于12月28-29日,被宣告有罪并被迅速处决。

基洛夫谋杀案更大的意义在之后的三年逐渐浮出水面。这股将谋杀案头目引向季诺维也夫和加米涅夫(Kamenev)的线索导致了1936、1937和1938年三次莫斯科“摆样子公审”(show trial),还有1937年被熟知为“图哈切夫斯基事件”(Tukhachevsky Affair)的对军事领袖的审判。

赫鲁晓夫在他的“秘密报告”之中对基洛夫遇刺的官方版本提出质疑。他的党羽想尽一切招数要把谋杀的主使推到斯大林。找不到相应的证据,他们就最终虚构了一个尼古拉耶夫因为自身原因铤而走险的详尽故事。然而,斯大林谋害基洛夫的版本仍在坊间流传,广为苏联内外的人所认同。

1990年以来,尼古拉耶夫独立行动的观点已被官方接受。而斯大林被认为是要借此谋杀案来陷害先前的或假定的敌人,迫使他们坦白从未犯下的罪行,处决他们,最终惩处成千上万的人。

我的目标是要解决基洛夫谋杀案。我尽可能客观地审查所有的证据,加以适当的怀疑,不携带任何先入为主的结论。我研究得出的主要结论是,尼古拉耶夫绝非“孤胆枪手”。苏联的调查人员和起诉早在1934年12月就得出了正解。一个藏在背后的季诺维也夫分子阴谋组织,尼古拉耶夫作为其中的一员,杀害了基洛夫。

D. 托洛茨基在20世纪30年代 1)右派和托派集团

哈佛霍顿图书馆的托洛茨基档案在1980年1月开放之后不久,托派史学家皮埃尔·勃鲁埃(Pierre Broué)发现了列夫·谢多夫(Leon Sedov)和他父亲托洛茨基的通信。这些通信足以证明苏联内部托派和其他反对派之间的集团的存在。1932年中某时,谢多夫告知父亲如下:

集团已经建成。季诺维也夫分子、斯登-罗明纳兹(Sten-Lominadze)集团和托派(原“投降派”)成员纷纷加入。

萨法尔(Safar,按指Safarnov)和塔克汉(Tarkhkan,按指Tarkhanov)集团尚未正式加入——他们的立场过于极端;但他们很快就会进入集团。正是在季[诺维也夫]和加[米涅夫]被流放之前,季[诺维也夫]和加[米涅夫]正在为着集团的事宜而与我们的人谈判,此时,季[诺维也夫]和加[米涅夫]作出了关于他们在1927年的重大失误的声明。

几乎同时,美国历史学家阿奇巴尔德·盖提(Arch Getty)发现托洛茨基至少曾秘密致函拉狄克(Radek)、索科利尼科夫(Sokol'nikov)、普列奥布拉任斯基(Preobrazhenskii)、科伦泰(Kollontai)和李维诺夫(Litvinov)。前三者在公开改变观点以前属于托派。盖提并未找到那些信件——发现的只是些挂号信收据。盖提据此领会到这意味着托洛茨基档案也已被“清洗”过。信件已被移除。其他材料也免不了被清洗。

“清洗”这类档案唯一的缘由,无非是为了去除那些可能证明托洛茨基有罪的、对其声誉有恶劣影响的材料。信件遭到移除的事实,正如对致函拉狄克的问题的一个调查所显露的,无论如何都能说明托洛茨基在1930年代曾经说谎。他自食其言地声称他从未与苏联内的反对派保持联络;并且自相矛盾地说,他绝不会接受一个在他的支持者和其他反对派团体之间的秘密集团。

很明显,勃鲁埃觉得这个事实的意味令人不安。他绝口不提盖提对托洛茨基与苏联内部支持者和其他人物通信或者托洛茨基档案曾遭清洗的发现,尽管勃鲁埃非常肯定地引用了盖提的出版物(一篇文章和一本书)。

可见在上世纪80年代中期以前学者们就已证明,托洛茨基-季诺维也夫集团在事实上存在,其成型于1932年,而且季诺维也夫和加米涅夫也亲身参与。谢多夫还前瞻到萨法尔诺夫的加入,后者无论如何也还有一个自己的小集团。

1937年1月下半月,正值第二次莫斯科审判之时,谢多夫在与荷兰语的社会民主主义报纸《人民》(Het Volk)的访谈中说漏嘴,曝出托派曾与1936年8月第一次莫斯科审判的被告有所联络。谢多夫特别点到了季诺维也夫、加米涅夫和斯米尔诺夫(Smirnov)。说到拉狄克和皮亚塔科夫(Piatakov),谢多夫补充道:“托派与他们的联络少过其他人。更准确的说:根本没有联络。”这不过是谢多夫企图收回关于拉狄克和皮亚塔科夫的失言。

但谢多夫甚至都没有试图收回这前面的信息:托派确然与“其他人”有所联络:斯米尔诺夫、季诺维也夫和加米涅夫。这场访谈,包括说漏嘴的部分在内,发表在1937年 1月28日地方版的《人民》。说漏嘴一事这也被共产党的报刊所留意。(见Arbeideren, Oslo, February 5, 1937; Abejderbladet, Copenhagen, February 12, 1937.)幸好有了盖提,现在我们知道党报是对的。谢多夫的谈论还真是说漏嘴了。我们知道谢多夫是在撒谎,因为盖提已经发现了托洛茨基给拉狄克写信的证据。托洛茨基确确实实在与拉狄克接触。谢多夫评论的第一条,说接触比之其他人更少,倒是确切的。

这样一来,在托洛茨基档案的确认下,我们就有了充分的、非苏联方的证据来佐证如下事实:

* 一个季诺维也夫派、托派和其他反对派组成的“集团”的确在1932年形成,其中至少囊括了斯登-罗明纳兹集团、或许包括萨法尔诺夫-塔克汉诺夫集团(无论如何都与之有所接触),以及季诺维也夫和加米涅夫本人。

*托洛茨基确实一直在与季诺维也夫和加米涅夫以及其他人联络,也许是经由他的儿子兼首席代表谢多夫。

*托洛茨基确实至少与拉狄克和皮亚塔科夫接触过。

*正如拉狄克在1937年莫斯科审判时证实的那样,托洛茨基确曾在1932年的春天寄了一封信给当时正在日内瓦的拉狄克。

*我们没有什么理由接受托派史学家皮埃尔·勃鲁埃的结论:说这个集团是短命的、朝生暮死的。勃鲁埃没有证据支持他的结论,我们却了解到了托洛茨基档案曾在某个时候被清洗过。

2)20世纪30年代的托洛茨基

远在赫鲁晓夫之前,托洛茨基就把斯大林描画成了搞大屠杀的嗜血屠夫,把1930年代的莫斯科审判描画成捏造构陷。20世纪50年代以前少有人相信他。然后两件事发生了。一是赫鲁晓夫的秘密报告。二是伊萨克·多伊彻(Isaac Deutscher)的三卷本传记,尤其是最后一卷,《流亡的先知》。

1980年1月2日,哈佛托洛茨基档案公诸众人。20世纪80年代和90年代的美国史学家盖提和世界首屈一指的托派研究者勃鲁埃,发现了托洛茨基故意掩盖其与苏联反对派联络的谎言。但是勃鲁埃没有探究其发现的深意。

我却一直在研究这些。如果了解到不是斯大林,而是托洛茨基在他1934年之后的著述中肆意歪曲几乎任何关乎苏联和斯大林的事,那么这会震惊,甚至搅扰许多人。是托洛茨基在30年代发明了关于莫斯科审判的虚假故事。

托洛茨基的所有传记作者,无论是同情的还是敌对的,都轻易忽视了这一点。作为一种症候,这昭示了当代左翼置身的死胡同:托派无视大白于众人20年以上的真相:托洛茨基在30年代对斯大林和苏联的书写充斥着故意的谎言。

我正在写作一本关于30年代的托洛茨基的书。这本书将会在2015年出版。

E. 莫斯科审判

新近的证据确证了下述结论:

*1936年8月、1937年1月和1938年3月莫斯科审判中的被告是有罪的,至少犯有他们供认的那些罪行。“右派和托派分子集团”确实存在。该集团策划发动政变——即他们所谓的“宫廷政变”(dvortsovyi perevorot)——暗杀斯大林、卡冈诺维奇(Kaganovich)、莫洛托夫(Molotov)等人,即他们所谓的“宫廷政变”。该集团的确刺杀了基洛夫。

*右派分子和托派分子均与德国和日本密谋策划,还有军队同谋者参与。如果“宫廷政变”失败,他们希望通过在入侵事件中向德国或日本效忠来执政。

*托洛茨基本人以及他的一些支持者直接与德国和日本合谋。

*尼古拉·叶若夫(Nikolai Ezhov),作为1936年到1938年底内务人民委员部(NKVD)的头号人物,同样参与了同德国人的密谋。

所有反共学者皆认为三场莫斯科审判中的证词是内务人民委员部以某种方式捏造的。但他们没有提供任何证据给予证明,也没有做任何论证来替这些非常可观的疏漏辩护。实际上马修·E·利昂(Matthew E. Lenoe)之类的反共学者只是选择忽视这一点及大量其他证据。

现实中,从来没有人成功证明莫斯科审判中的任何一点是伪造的。然而,在高度政治化和一边倒的苏联历史领域,莫斯科审判变成了无中生有,所有被告都是被“陷害”的。这样的立场不仅居于“主流”位置,而且是唯一得到容许的观点。无论谁说莫斯科审判可能不是胡乱构陷的都将面临嘲笑甚至更糟的事情。因此,有很大的职业压力让人们把审判视为罗织罪名,却没有动力叫人对此做任何认真的研究。

任何客观的调查都必须正视必需的核实。因此,本节我们将讨论两个问题。一,基洛夫在第一场莫斯科审判中的证词是什么?二,我们能在多大程度上证实或证伪这次审判的证词?

1936年8月19日至24日第一场公开的莫斯科审判是有大量的调查做铺垫的。这些调查生成的档案,如口供、陈述记录以及一些实体证物,仅有一小部分被公开,绝大部分到现在仍然是绝密。没有研究者能够接触到档案的全部内容,我们当然也不能。

像任何其他研究者或调查员一样,我们面临着以客观的标准来评估所有证据的任务。反共的研究者仅仅假设审判对被告者的指控乏善可陈,斯大林是要借此摧毁“前”反对派。事实上,没有证据表明斯大林以摧毁前反对派为目标:从来没有过这样的证据。相反的是,有充分的证据表明基洛夫谋杀案之前斯大林试图安抚前反对派,或者说那些他认为是前反对派的人。斯大林相信,他们的反对立场已经是往事了,因为他们就是这样保证的。

1)方法论问题

如何评定材料的真实性?我们实际上能合理地期待从这些材料中认识到什么?这个问题也是反共学者所面临的,虽然他们不直接这么说。他们有审讯稿、审判笔录和调查材料。他们选择性地向我们披露其中的一部分,此外,我们还拥有他们无论出于何种原因而遗漏了的证据。

对莫斯科审判做全面的审查超出了本文的范围。但我想强调一点:没有证据表明在这些审判中的任何一名被告是被诬陷、被误判或是无辜的。没有一丝一毫证据表明被告没有犯下他们被指控的罪行,而他们也认罪了。也没有人拿出证据证明被告是被迫以某种方式按照检方或内务人民委员部的口授作证的。赫鲁晓夫时代,尤其是戈尔巴乔夫时代被解禁的档案和报告中,并未包含可以认定被告无罪的证据。所有解禁报告的所有结论都只是(确证被告有罪的)断言。

充分的证据表明,部分被告至少没有把真相全盘托出,雅戈达(Iagoda)和其他被告,包括叶若夫,在审判中歪曲和隐瞒了一些事情。但这种欺骗并不能开脱任何被告的罪状,这只会在我们既已掌握的他们罪行与阴谋的画卷上又添一重。据我们所知,被告的证词反映了他们想说的话。

评价莫斯科审判证词的关键问题,在于通过不可能被检方安排、植入或以其他方式制造的证据来考察审判中各陈述的独立确证性。当然,仅仅是缺乏独立性并不意味着证词或口供是检方伪造的。巧妙的阴谋设计中可能根本没有独立的证据。这只不过意味着我们无法将证词和独立的证据进行比较。不过即使我们不能证实证词间的独立性,我们还是可以评估不同被告、不同时间所做的各个陈述间内在的一致性。

幸运的是,莫斯科审判之外甚至是苏联之外的一些证据确实存在,所有这些外部证据均倾向于证实被告的供述。

2)审讯的证词是伪造的吗?

所有反共学者都“回避这个问题”。他们先入为主地认为,审判证词是以他们并未确指的某种方式伪造的。做此预设无异于效尤受缚于意识形态的反共研究者。在研究苏联历史的史学家中,很容易就能找到作出这种预设的人,却找不到谁证明了这一预设,或拿得出任何相关证据。从未有过任何证据证明莫斯科审判中的证词是伪造的,或被告被迫说出由他人编派或口授的供词。

不过,虽然没有证据表明这次审判的证词是伪造的,却有很多相反的证据:证词是真实的。下面是1937年1月的证词和其他公认的事实之间相互佐证的几个例子:

*拉狄克等人作证说他们反对对个人的暗杀(1937 Trial 71;101-2)。这与雅戈达独立做的证词一致,这一点我有专章讲述。

*拉狄克声称,他在1932年春收到了来自托洛茨基的信,这可由盖提在哈佛托洛茨基档案中找到的挂号信收据证实。(92)

*拉狄克作证说,布哈林曾告诉他,他(布哈林)已经“走上了恐怖主义的道路”。(99)从1971年儒勒·恩贝尔-德厚(Jules Humbert-Droz)在瑞士出版的回忆录我们可以知道,在此之前很久布哈林就已经决定暗杀斯大林。

*索科利尼科夫作证说,“早在1932年秋”,季诺维也夫分子和托洛茨基分子的“联合总部”就已决定策划对斯大林和基洛夫的恐怖主义行动。(147)这与瓦连京·阿斯特洛夫(Valentin Astrov)的供词一致,他是布哈林的追随者之一,其供词一种已公开发表。阿斯特洛夫本来有机会在苏联垮台后矢口否认这一说法,但他明确拒绝这样做。阿斯特洛夫还坚持认为,苏联内务人民委员部调查人员对他很尊重,并没有对他做出逼迫行为。

*穆拉洛夫(Muralov)说,伊万·斯米尔诺夫曾告诉过他自己出国会见谢多夫的事。(217)在他的《关于莫斯科审判的红皮书》(Livre rouge)中,谢多夫承认自己曾与斯米尔诺夫会面,虽然他声称这次会面是完全清白的。

*穆拉洛夫表示,舍斯托夫(Shestov)在1932年给他带来了谢多夫的一封信,内容是用隐形墨水写的秘密消息。(218)我们知道谢多夫会使用安替比林写秘密信息,因为至少一封这样的信保存在了哈佛托洛茨基档案里。他在信中建议他的父亲托洛茨基也用隐形墨水回信。

*拉狄克说,正是他自己向托洛茨基建议,让忠于托洛茨基的军事指挥官维托夫特·普特纳(Vitovt Putna)代表托洛茨基与德国和日本进行谈判。与此对应的是布琼尼元帅(Marshal Budienniy)所记录的普特纳后来的供述。

此类的大部分证据可能会被解释为伪造的——假如有任何证据证明口供以及所谓的阴谋,已由内务人民委员部写好脚本的话。但没有证据显示在审判中造假的任何有关阴谋,而我们也有证据表明,审判并非提前设计的。

这些事实不允许任何称职且客观的研究者未经思考就简单地摒弃审判记录中非常重要的证据。

F. “叶若夫时期”,或称“大恐怖”

2004至2005年间我分两部分写了名为《斯大林与民主改革的抗争》的文章。自那时以来,大量新的证据被公布出来,涉及反对派,1936年、1937年和1938年的莫斯科审判,军队肃反(或“图哈切夫斯基事件”),以及随后的“叶若夫时期”,罗伯特·康奎斯特1968年首次出版了一本极不诚实的书后,人们通常以这本书的书名称“叶若夫时期”为“大恐怖”。

新近的证据证实了下述结论:

*1936年8月、1937年1月和1938年3月莫斯科审判中的被告是有罪的,至少犯有他们供认的那些罪行。“右派和托派分子集团”确实存在。该集团策划发动政变——即他们所谓的“宫廷政变”——暗杀斯大林、卡冈诺维奇(Kaganovich)、莫洛托夫(Molotov)等人,即他们所谓的“宫廷政变”。该集团的确刺杀了基洛夫。

*右派分子和托派分子均与德国和日本密谋策划,还有军队同谋者参与。如果“宫廷政变”失败,他们希望通过在入侵事件中向德国或日本效忠来执政。

*托洛茨基本人以及他的一些支持者直接与德国和日本合谋。

*尼古拉·叶若夫,作为1936年到1938年底内务人民委员部的头号人物,同样参与了同德国人的密谋。

1)叶若夫

与2005年相比,现在我们关于尼古拉·叶若夫的角色的相关资料丰富了很多。叶若夫作为内务人民委员部领导人,有个人的阴谋反对苏维埃政府和政党。同时,他也曾受雇于德国的情报机构。

与右派和托派一样,叶若夫和他的内务人民委员部心腹寄希望于德国、日本,或者是其他的资本主义国家发起入侵。他们使无数无辜的人屈打成招,最后承认自己有死罪,以致最后被迫害致死。甚至更多的人被他们错误地,或是根本没有任何原因地处决。

叶若夫希望通过对无辜者的大规模屠杀促使苏联的多数人反对当局,从而为德国或日本入侵发起内部叛乱奠定基础。

关于这些事情,叶若夫欺骗了斯大林、党[联共(布)]和政府(苏联人民委员会)。1937至1938年间那场非常恐怖的涉及约六十八万两千人的大规模处决,很大程度上是叶若夫及其心腹对无辜者无端发动的,以唤起苏联人民对当局的不满。

虽然叶若夫处决了大量无辜的人,但从现在的证据可以看出,被处决的人中确有与阴谋相关。俄罗斯政府继续保存着相关调查的大量绝密文件,而缺少这些证据,我们还无法得知阴谋的确切量级。因此,我们不知道这682,000人有多少是真的有罪,多少是无辜的受害者。

正如我在2005年写道,斯大林和党的领导层早在1937年10月就开始怀疑一些处决事件的合法性。从在1938年初开始,随着帕维尔·波斯蒂舍夫(Pavel Postyshev)受到严厉批判,被开除出中央委员会,继而被开除出党,最终以不正当的大规模镇压为名被审判和处决,对叶若夫的怀疑逐渐增长。

当拉夫连季·贝利亚(Lavrentii Beria)被任命为叶若夫的副手时,叶若夫和他的部下明白,斯大林和苏共领导已经不再信任他们。他们孤注一掷密谋在1938年11月7日,也就是十月革命21周年庆典之日刺杀斯大林,但事先败露,叶若夫的手下被捕。

叶若夫从而被迫辞职。随即展开了紧密的调查,内务人民委员部的大量权力滥用事件得以浮现。很多叶若夫时期的判决被重审,超过十万人被从监狱和集中营种释放。委员部的许多成员被捕,承认了他们曾经折磨、审判和处决无辜的人的事实。很多成员被免职或者被判刑。

与叶若夫的1937-1938年相比,贝利亚上台后的1930-1940年间,案件数量骤降至不足前者的1%,并且其中许多是处理内务人民委员部的遗留问题,包括叶若夫本人,被认定犯有大规模非法镇压以及残害无辜者之罪。

2005年公开以来,最具冲击力的证据之一是叶若夫和他的副手米哈伊尔·弗里诺夫斯基(Mikhail Frinovsky)的供词。我已经把其中的一部分内容的俄语原文和英译放在了网络上。我们还有其他许多叶若夫的供述和审讯,绝大多数材料不完整,在其中他承认了更多的事实。这些材料由阿列克谢·帕夫柳科夫(Aleksei Pavliukov)在2007年通过半官方的途径公开。

2)反共学者隐藏了真相

所有的“主流”——也就是反共产主义的——和托洛茨基主义的研究者错误地声称,受到处决的人中没有阴谋。按照他们的说法,所有莫斯科审判的被告、所有军人被告、以及所有那些因间谍活动、阴谋、破坏和其他罪行而受审并判决的人,都是无辜的受害者。有人声称,斯大林曾计划杀死所有的这些人,因为一旦苏联遭到袭击,他们可能构成一个“第五纵队”(Fifth Column)。其他反共者偏向于相信斯大林只是想恐吓人民使其顺服的这一解释。

这只是一种意识形态性的反共立场,却被伪装成了一个历史定论。它并非基于历史证据,并且与证据相左。反共史学家忽略了可用的一手证据来源,甚至无视在他们自己的作品中引过的档案集的证据。

为什么无论俄罗斯还是西方的反共“学者”都忽略所有这些证据?为什么他们继续推行这种错误的观念,否认阴谋存在,认为是斯大林,而不是叶若夫,下令处决了数以万计的无辜的人?唯一可能的解释是他们是出于意识形态的考虑。通过研究一手资料得出的本真面目,对大多数来说,意味着把斯大林和布尔什维克“变成好人”。

3)布哈林,而非斯大林,当因大规模镇压受到谴责

有意思的一件事是,右派代表和领导人布哈林,听闻当时正在进行的“大清洗”运动后,在监狱中给斯大林写信对其赞扬有加。

这还没完。布哈林肯定心知叶若夫跟他自己一样是右派阴谋的一员。正因如此,他才欢迎叶若夫的当选内务人民委员一职——他的这一态度被记录在了他的遗孀的回忆录里。

在他的第一次供词中,在今天著名的那封他在1937年12月10日写给斯大林的信里,在1938年3月对他的审判上,布哈林都声称自己已经彻底“缴械”,并且已经交代了自己知道的一切。但是现在我们可以证明这是一个谎言。其实布哈林知道叶若夫是右派阴谋的领导成员——但他当时并没有供出来。据叶若夫的左膀右臂米哈伊尔·弗里诺夫斯基的供词,叶若夫很可能答应过布哈林,如果布哈林不提及叶若夫本人的参与,就可以免于处决。(参见1939年4月11日的弗里诺夫斯基的供词)。

如果布哈林当时说了实话——如果他这么做了,也就是供出了叶若夫的话——叶若夫的大屠杀完全可能被当即叫停 ,那么成千上万无辜者的生命就能被挽救。

但布哈林对他的同伙保持了忠诚。他没有透露叶若夫的参与阴谋,依然受到了处决——一种他誓言比他应得的“轻了十倍以上”的处决。

这一点怎么被强调都不为过:布哈林的手上,同样沾有叶若夫和他的党羽在1937至1938年间屠杀的无数无辜者的血。

4)客观性与证据

我同意历史学家杰弗里·罗伯茨(Geoffrey Roberts)的一个说法:

在过去的15年左右里大量关于斯大林……的新史料从开放的俄罗斯档案中涌现出来。我得明确说,作为一个历史学家,我有强烈的还原过去之真相的倾向,不论那种结论可能多么地不中听……我不认为这有什么两难的:你就说出你说看到的真实罢了。

("Stalin's Wars" 斯大林的战争, Frontpagemag.com February 12, 2007. At http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/35305.html

我所得到的有关“大清洗”的结论,对那些从意识形态出发的人定会是不可接受的。我并非出于为斯大林政策和苏联政府“辩护”的欲望才做出这些结论。我相信这些是根据可用的证据所能得到的唯一可能的客观结论。

我可不是说苏联的领导层不犯错误。斯大林对从社会主义过渡到共产主义的愿景明显有很多毛病,因为斯大林所设想的愿景并未实现。斯大林统治时期,和列宁占据领导位置的短暂时期一样,苏联犯下了许多错误。犯错,当然,在整个人类活动中都不可避免。我们要理解布尔什维克党人作为首次夺取并执掌政权的共产主义者,完全是在未知的水域探索。因此,错误对他们来说是不可豁免的——他们也着实犯了。

然而,基于证据和历史记录的客观研究将会指出,苏联走向强制集体化和工业化是别无选择的——要不然就等着被资本主义的联合势力吞没。同样,右派、托派和军方阴谋确实存在并被苏联领导层——他们也设法用计挫败了叶若夫的阴谋——扼杀的事实再一次证明了是苏联,或“斯大林”,把欧洲从纳粹主义中拯救出来,也把所有的同盟国从轴心国制造的难以计数的突变和灾难中解救出来。

G. 结语

在这次讲演中我只涉及了二十世纪三十年代苏联历史上的一些重大事件。这一周接下来的几天里,我还会在北京大学以及中国社会科学院进行几次讲演并将讨论其他的部分。

在结语里,我想谈谈客观性以及我为了探求真知而进行的尝试。

现而今,几乎所有已经出版的关于斯大林统治时期的苏联历史的书籍和文章都被某种我称之为“反斯大林的范式”所扭曲,进而被控制。在西方的学术讨论中,研究者被强制性地——必须——得出结论,带着反共产主义的色彩,将斯大林描绘为一个邪恶的刽子手和独裁者,而苏联则是一个屠杀之地和残暴之所。如果你不愿将你的研究置于这个被偏见左右的框架中,你的学术生涯便毫无出路。

两位优秀的苏联史研究者——他们不是左派,但力求保持客观——曾经告诉我说,那些对斯大林没有仇视的书籍根本不会被任何学术出版机构出版。在西方确实如此,而且我相信在俄罗斯也是这样。

换一种方式说,如果你的研究领域是苏联史——如果你想在西方的任何大学里的历史系教授苏联史——我想在中国情况可能有所不同——你根本无法做我正在做的研究。如果你像我这样在做苏联史研究,你的成果也无法在正规期刊上发表,或者被主流学术机构出版,很快你就无法继续苏联史的研究了,因为你连工作也不会有了!

这就是我的位置特殊之所在。我在英文系教书。我的学术生计丝毫不依赖于我在苏联历史相关领域进行的研究。

这就是我不得不做的。世界上很多人认为这很重要。不只是左派。反共产主义者也觉得这项研究很重要。即便他们不喜欢。

很多右派并不希望斯大林统治时期的苏联共产主义运动史的真相被公诸于众。他们想要继续妖魔化它,继续将其与希特勒和法西斯相类比,继续撒谎。这就是他们的行径——不仅“被动地”,借由他们的“观点”,或者说偏见,而且主动地,有意地对相关证据,资料和历史进行篡改。

马克思和恩格斯写道,“无产阶级除了锁链便再也没有什么可失去了。”我认为他们这么说的意思是我们无产阶级没有奶牛作为神圣的牺牲和献祭(没有什么神圣不可侵犯的东西),也没有理由拒绝服从于批判性的审思。我们想要抛却所有的幻象和谬误。只有“真相能让我们得到自由”,既然“我们”都反对人对人的一切剥削,既然“我们”是国际工人阶级。

马克思最喜欢的一句话是“怀疑一切”(De omnibus dubitandum),并怀疑你对其他事物的先入之见以及偏狭。如果你想要探知真相,这便是你必须要做的。

另外,这也是每个侦探小说里每一个资产阶级侦探所熟知的。正如夏洛特·福尔摩斯过去曾说的:不要仓促就定下结论。在提出假设之前要先找事实依据。随时准备好舍弃那些与事实依据相悖的假设。

如果你不这样做——如果你不去追本溯源探求真相——那么你就没有可能偶然回首,得见灯火阑珊。你所找到的也不会是真相。

这就是我一直在努力做的。那些对斯大林和苏联进行妖魔化的共产主义运动史“专家们”带着反共产主义的偏见,他们之中没有人试图保持客观。他们不去探求真相,因为他们不想这样做。他们只是想要写出“带着脚注的宣传品”。这就是他们研究工作的实质。

我在美国做讲演时,曾提到了一名喜欢讽刺挖苦的流行歌手,叫做“怪咖扬科维奇” (Weird Al Yankovich)。他有一首歌题目叫做“你所知道的一切都是谬误”。而这就是苏联史研究的现状。关于斯大林时代的苏联史,我们所耳濡目染的一切,至少从赫鲁晓夫时期开始——就是错的,这种谬误建立在反共产主义的谎言之上(同样,在中国情况可能不太一样。)

而现在我们有了充分的证据,主要来自前苏联档案以及哈佛大学托洛茨基档案馆,这些证据表明,我们不可避免地——在每一种情况下都总是这样——发现这些反共产主义者,从列夫·托洛茨基到赫鲁晓夫,再到戈尔巴乔夫,以及如今所有的反共产主义“学者们”——都是错的,大多数情况下他们都在有意撒谎。

我这里想要举个例子,关于我最近一本书的主题:

提摩西·斯奈德(Timothy Snyder):《血地:希特勒与斯大林夹持下的欧洲》(Bloodlands. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. N.Y: Basic Books, 2010)

斯奈德,耶鲁大学东欧历史领域的全职教授,撰写了数十篇文章发表在主要的学术期刊上,如纽约书评。2010年,他出版了《血地》。这本书是迄今为止最成功的企图把斯大林与希特勒,苏联与纳粹德国等同起来的努力。它获得了不计其数的报纸和期刊上的如潮好评;获得史学方面的奖项;并被翻译成超过20种语言。

斯奈德对纳粹评论的很少,它主要的靶心是斯大林和苏联政策,总的来说是共产主义。他的更广泛的说法是,苏联杀死了六到九百万无辜平民,而纳粹杀害了约一千四百万。斯奈德认为苏联和纳粹罪行之间到处都有相似点。

我花了整整一年时间有条不紊地检查每一个注脚、每一条参考,去审视那些被视作由斯大林、苏联,或亲苏联共产党人犯下的罪行。斯奈德的资料主要源于波兰和乌克兰,源于一些很难找到的书籍和文章。

我发现,斯奈德所称的每一个“罪行”都是假的,捏造的。斯奈德经常故意曲解他的参考文献。更多的时候,他引用了反共的波兰和乌克兰的二手资料来替他说谎。同样,没有一条控诉成立。

这一大规模的胡编乱造意义显著。其一,斯奈德的书现在是被广泛引述的权威。斯奈德曾在《血地》中“说”了什么,人们就认为事实就是什么。

不过更广泛的意义还在于此:斯奈德背后有一整队非常反共的波兰、乌克兰的民族主义研究者群在帮着他。而他,大体上正是把该团队的研究成果“零售”给英文世界的读者。斯奈德自己倒也花了多年时间研究两次世界大战之间的东欧历史。

然而斯奈德找不到一条由苏联、斯大林,甚至亲共产主义团体犯下的真正“罪行”!理所当然的是,这个专心致志的反共团队,在他们的后苏联国家的扶持下查阅档案、从所有的东欧语言里吸取养料,本是没有道理发现不了斯大林或苏联“真正”的罪行的——只要它们存在过。这就是“罪行”子虚乌有的最好证明。

我这本关于斯奈德的《血地》(Bloodlands)的书,姑且叫做《血色谎言》(Blood Lies),会在这个月出版。

我的下一本书,计划于明年,也就是2015年出版,是关于列夫·托洛茨基在20世纪30年代,特别是从1934年12月至他1940年去世期间的著作。与前苏联档案的证据放在一起,而今托洛茨基自己的档案更让我们看到,在此期间,托洛茨基如何有意涂改了苏联和斯大林,基洛夫谋杀和莫斯科审判。他这样做是为了保全自己的阴谋。做一个阴谋家自然而然就要说谎。但一开始是他自己的追随者相信了托洛茨基的谎言,接着,赫鲁晓夫的秘密讲话之后,许许多多的人也相信了。所以,我认为这项研究至关紧要。

一个人问的问题不可避免地反映和暴露出他的政治意图,我也不例外。我相信在斯大林时代的布尔什维克党的历史能给后人很多教益,虽然这段历史被反共人士扭曲、模糊,有待重写。那些想从过去寻求指引的政治活动家,那些坚信能通过吸取从前的斗争经验来为创造更好的世界做出巨大贡献的、有政治觉悟的学者们,势必能从苏联留下的遗产中学到很多东西。

就像迷失于更多凭想象绘制的地图的中世纪水手,我们被主流的、主要是虚假的苏联历史给误导了。探索世界上第一个社会主义实验的历史真相的进程还几乎尚未开始。我相信这对我们的未来意义深远。我希望你们能在这个问题上同意我的看法。

感谢大家的倾听。下面我会尽我所能地答问,并虚心听取你们的批评。

(清华大学学生求是学会等集体翻译) 格雷弗·弗教授简介

格雷弗·弗(Grover Furr),国际知名俄苏问题专家、历史学家。1979年普林斯顿大学比较文学博士,现任美国新泽西蒙特克莱尔州立大学(Montclair State University)英语系教授。主要研究领域包括中世纪文学、苏联史、国际共产主义运动等。格雷弗·弗教授曾与俄罗斯学者合著《被诽谤的斯大林》(Yuri Mukhin, Grover Furr & Aleksei Golenkov. Slandered Stalin. Moscow: Algorithm / Penguin Books. 2010)、《1937年,斯大林依法审判,无可上诉!》(Grover Furr & Vladimir L. Bobrov. 1937. Justice Stalin. Not Appealable! . Moscow: Penguin Books. 2010)等书。2007年出版《反斯大林的卑劣行径》(Grover Furr. Anti-Stalinist Meanness. Moscow: Algorithm. 2007,2010年重版),成为俄罗斯畅销书,短期内销售了近两万册。《反斯大林的卑劣行径》彻底颠覆了西方某些历史学家和报刊对赫鲁晓夫“秘密报告”的高度评价,不仅推翻了他们关于“秘密报告”是“二十世纪最有影响的演讲”之类的溢美之词,还得出了完全相反的结论:赫鲁晓夫整个“秘密报告”“全部由谎言拼凑而成”,而赫鲁晓夫用于直接“揭露”斯大林或贝利亚的论据,没有一件与事实相符。2012年格雷弗·弗出版《斯大林与民主,托洛茨基与纳粹》(Grover Furr. Stalin and Democracy - Trotsky and the Nazis. Istanbul: Software Update, 2012.),2013年出版《谋杀基洛夫:历史、学术与反斯大林的范式》(Grover Furr. The Murder of Sergei Kirov: History, Scholarship and the Anti-Stalin Paradigm. Kettering, OH: Erythros Press & Media. 2013),2014年出版《血腥的谎言》,主要揭露耶鲁大学教授Timothy Snyder的Bloodlands. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (N.Y: Basic Books, 2010)一书的 欺骗性,Snyder书的主要目的,是要证明斯大林等于希特勒。2015年格雷弗·弗教授将出版一本专论,揭露1930年代托洛茨基言 论中的谎言。由于格雷弗·弗多年来致力于回击国际资产阶级对斯大林和苏联革命的抹黑和诽谤,美国右翼保守主义名人、作家David Horowitz将其列为“美国101个最危险的学者之一”(David Horowitz. The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America)。格雷弗·弗教授的《反斯大林的卑劣行径》一书不日将刊行中文版。格雷弗·弗的网页是http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/

1 罗伊·A·麦德维杰夫(Roy A. Medvedev,1925—):1925年生于格鲁吉亚加盟共和国首府第比利斯。属于苏联少数民族。他曾在列宁格勒大学学习哲学和教育学,并在该大学获得职业教育方面科学学位候选人提名。他对苏联历史和政治哲学的兴趣显然是被赫鲁晓夫1956年在苏共第20次代表大会上的报告中所揭露出来的所谓“内幕”激发起来的。麦德维杰夫1959年完成其博士学位论文,不久就出版了两部教育学方面的论著。1962年他开始写作《让历史来审判》。本书对所谓“斯大林主义”进行了严厉抨击,认为它是历史上的一种变态。麦德维杰夫在1969年被开除出共产党。两年以后,就在出版《让历史来审判》以及《关于疯狂的问题》〔和他的同胞兄弟——现住伦敦的生物学家曹瑞斯(Zhores)合著〕前夕,他辞去了在教育科学研究院职业教育研究所的工作。从那以后,集中精力从事持不同政见者的活动。他的著作和文章经常在西方发表。在《让历史来审判》 于1973年出版。他的第二部主要著作《论社会主义民主》1975年出版。1979年之后,麦德维杰夫的作品被大量翻译成中文出版。

2 亚历山大猠哈伊洛维奇攠尔洛夫(Александр Михайлович Орлов;1895年-1973年),原名列夫费尔德宾(Лев Фельдбин),是一位苏联秘密警察,军衔为少将。曾获得列宁勋章,大清洗时流亡美国,后成为反共产主义作家。奥尔洛夫出生在白俄罗斯博布鲁伊斯克的一个东正教犹太人家庭,曾在莫斯科大学学习,后来加入沙俄军队。俄国内战爆发之后奥尔洛夫加入苏联红军,成为陆军总参谋部情报局(GRU)的军官,活跃于乌克兰的基辅。后来前往阿尔汉格尔斯克,进入内务人民委员会附属国家政治局中工作。1924年5月,成为秘密警察中的一员。作为内务人民委员部的间谍,他曾先后前往巴黎、柏林、美国、奥地利、英国等地活动。后来西班牙内战爆发,内务人民委员部派遣奥尔洛夫前去协助西班牙第二共和国,并在内战中扮演重要角色。20世纪三十年代,奥尔洛夫的上司阿布拉姆斯卢茨基声称得到消息,说德军计划刺杀奥尔洛夫,准备为奥尔洛夫装备一个卫队;但奥尔洛夫认为其目的是为了监视自己,因此婉拒了这个建议。1938年,叶若夫向奥尔洛夫发出电报,要求他前往比利时安特卫普的一艘船上与苏联特工接头。奥尔洛夫认为自己将会被逮捕回国,而回国后可能遭到逮捕处决,因此拒绝回国并且携妻女流亡美国。在美国,他过起了隐居生活,用俄语写下《斯大林肃反秘史》(The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes)一书。此后又将其翻译成英语,于1953年在美国出版。该书的出版轰动了整个西方世界,他本人则成为美国中情局的被保护人。1963年,赫鲁晓夫政权不再将奥尔洛夫列为叛国者。
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GF, The Continuing Revolution in Stalin-Era Soviet History Pt 2 – Tsinghua ver 03 05.09.14.docx

Professor Grover Furr

Part Two: "The Soviet Union's History Seen from the Trotsky Archives and Russian Declassified Documents after the Cold War."

Tsinghua University, May 20, 2014, 18:30 - 21:00.

7428 words = 47 ninutes reading in English

A. Introduction

Soviet history has been falsified since the Russian Revolution of November 7, 1917. The first to lie about it were the forces who tried to overthrow the Revolution.

The Mensheviks, defeated and in exile, published many books and newspapers until the late 1960s. The Mensheviks formed the foundation for Russian studies in the United States and probably elsewhere too.

The “Whites”, or monarchist forces, fought the Bolsheviks with great savagery. Ultimately defeated, they went into exile, mainly in Western Europe. They also published books and newspapers. The Whites sponsored terrorist and espionage groups inside the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s.

The “Whites” were a kind of reactionary nationalist group. Other nationalists included Belorussian and Ukrainian nationalists. They had sided with the Allied intervention in 1919-1920 that tried to overthrow the Revolution. During the 1920s and 1930s the Belorussian and Ukrainian Nationalists moved even more sharply to the right, joining up with Hitler’s Nazis.

After World War 2 these and other so-called “nationalists” that had collaborated with the Nazis in fighting the Red Army and in murdering millions of Soviet Prisoners of War and civilians moved to the West. There they were supported by the American Central Intelligence Agency. The Ukrainian Nationalists especially entered academia, where they began to produce anticommunist propaganda in academic disguise.

After the end of the USSR in 1991 the Ukrainian Nationalists left Canada, the USA, and Western Europe and returned to Ukraine. There they came to dominate the study of history in schools and universities and historical discussion in the mass media. During the period 2000-2009 they became the single most influential force over the Ukrainian government’s anticommunist falsification of history. They are very powerful in the current Ukrainian government.

In addition to these openly anticommunist forces there are some anticommunist forces from within the Bolshevik Party. Leon Trotsky was expelled from the USSR in 1929. After that he organized a movement under his leadership that attacked the Bolshevik leadership of the USSR in every possible way

Trotsky was assassinated at Stalin’s order in August 1940. He had little influence until Khrushchev’s Secret Speech at the 20th Party Congress of 1956. Khrushchev’s Speech made Trotsky seem like a prophet and a genius. It revived the almost-dead Trotskyist smovement, which is now an important anticommunist force in many countries.

B. Khrushchev Lied

In terms of its practical impact on world history Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech” is the most influential speech of the 20th century and possibly of all time. In it Khrushchev painted Stalin as a bloodthirsty tyrant guilty of a reign of terror lasting more than two decades. As a direct result of this speech about one-half of all members of communist parties in the non-communist bloc quit their parties within two years.

After the 22nd Party Congress of 1961, where Khrushchev and his men attacked Stalin with even more venom, many Soviet historians elaborated Khrushchev’s lies. These falsehoods were repeated by Cold War anticommunists like Robert Conquest. They also entered “left” discourse not only through the works of Trotskyists and anarchists, but through those of “pro-Moscow” communists who of course had to accept Khrushchev’s version.

Khrushchev’s lies were amplified during Mikhail Gorbachev’s and Boris Eltsin’s time by professional Soviet, then Russian, historians. Gorbachev orchestrated an avalanche of anticommunist falsehoods that provided the ideological smokescreen for the return to exploitative practices within the USSR and ultimately for the abandonment of socialist reforms and a return to predatory capitalism.

During 2005-2006 I researched and wrote the book Khrushchev Lied. Its long subtitle reads: “The Evidence That Every ‘Revelation’ of Stalin’s (and Beria’s) “Crimes” in Nikita Khrushchev’s Infamous ‘Secret Speech’ to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, is Provably False.”

In my book I identify 61 accusations that Khrushchev made against either Stalin or, in a few cases, Beria. I then studied each one of them in the light of evidence available from former Soviet archives. To my own surprise I found that 60 of the 61 accusations are provably, demonstrably false.

The fact that Khrushchev could falsify everything and get away with it for over 50 years suggests that we should look carefully at other supposed “crimes” of Stalin and of the USSR during his time.

My book has been translated into six languages. A Chinese translation, by Professor Ma Weisian of CASS, is scheduled to appear within the next few months.

Khrushchevites and Western Anticommunists

Khrushchev sponsored many Soviet historians who elaborated his falsehoods in thousands of books and articles. Well-known examples include Roy Medvedev, Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism and Aleksandr Nekrich, June 1941.

The lies of the Khrushchevites were picked up and repeated by Western anticommunist writers who spread them outside the USSR Important examples are Robert Conquest, who wrote The Great Terror. Stalin’s Purge of the ‘30s and many other books. All Conqeust’s books rely heavily on Khrushchev-era sources, though Conquest also cites any and all anticommunist books and articles, regardless of their credibility, such as Alexander Orlov, The Secret History of Stalin’s Crimes.

Another important book that relies heavily on Khrushchev-era sources is Steven F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, published in 1973 and reprinted many times since.. My Moscow colleague Vladimir L. Bobrov and I have published a detailed study of the 10th chapter of Cohen’s book, in which Cohen traces Bukharin’s life from 1930 until his trial and execution in March 1938. In that article we show two things. First, that Cohen relies almost exclusively on Khrushchev-era sources.

Second, we show that virtually every single statement Cohen draws from the Khrushchev-era sources is false. We were able to prove this by carefully studying the documents from former Soviet archives that have been published since the end of the USSR. Just as I did with Khrushchev’s Secret Speech, we use this archival evidence to prove that Cohen’s statements and fact-claims, taken from Khrusuchev –era sources, are false.

Gorbachev and afterwards

Mikhail Gorbachev, after 1985 the final First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party (and after March 15, 1990 President of the Soviet Union) began in 1987 an anti-Stalin campaign that was even more fierce than that which Khrushchev had unleashed after the 22nd Party Congress of November 1961. Under Gorbachev hundreds of books and thousands of articles were written supposedly to prove how evil not only Stalin, but all Soviet leaders had been. The first work of Western anticommunist scholarship ever published in the Soviet Union was Cohen’s book on Bukharin, which Gorbachev personally praised and sponsored.

Gorbachev, and after him Boris Eltsin, promised that along with “perestroika”, or “restructuring” of the economy along capitalist lines, they would sponsor “glasnost’”, or “openness” about Soviet history. For a short time many former Soviet archives were partly open to researchers, though almost exclusively to anticommunist researchers. But in 1995 many or most documents were “reclassified”, made secret again, unavailable to scholars.  No reason was given, though we can guess that this was because the documents do not support the anticommunist version of Soviet history that is now official in Russia today.

Today document collections are being published. These are very important! But this process is closely overseen by anticommunist scholars, often associated with the “Memorial Society”, a viciously anticommunist organization that claims to be a “human rights” group and that gets funding from Western sources such as the Soros Foundation. Most of the investigative  evidence related to the Moscow Trials, the Military Purges, the “Ezhovshchina” or “Great Terror”, and other important events of high politics of the 1930s, are classified, unavailable to researchers today. This remains true even though by Russian law documents are supposed to be declassified and made available to researchers after 75 years. But this is not done.

Nevertheless, a great many important documents have been published, sometimes in obscure sources, By carefully identifying them, collectiving them, and studying them, it is now possible to discover the truth about many or most of the important events of the Stalin period. This is the subject of my talks in Beijing this year, both at this university and at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who has sponsored my trip to Beijing and my presentations.

C. The Murder of Sergei Kirov

At about 4:30 p.m. on December 1, 1934 Leonid Vasil’evich Nikolaev, an unemployed Party member, shot Sergei Mironovich Kirov First Secretary of the Bolshevik Party in Leningrad in the back of the skull. Nikolaev then tried to shoot himself in the head but missed and fainted.

At first he seems to have claimed that he had killed Kirov on his own. Before a week was out Nikolaev had admitted that he was part of a conspiracy by a clandestine group of Party members opposed to Joseph Stalin and favoring Grigorii Zinoviev, Leningrad First Secretary before Kirov.

Interrogations of those whom Nikolaev had named, and then of the persons named by those men, led to a number of partial and a few fuller confessions. Three weeks after the murder fourteen men were indicted for conspiracy to kill Kirov. They were tried on December 28-29, convicted, and executed immediately.

The larger significance of the Kirov murder unfolded gradually during the next three years. The threads that bound the Kirov conspirators to Zinoviev and Kamenev led to the three Moscow “Show Trials” of 1936, 1937 and 1938, and to the trial of the military commanders known as the “Tukhachevsky Affair” of 1937.

In his “Secret Speech” Khrushchev cast doubt on the official version of the Kirov assassination. Khrushchev’s men tried hard to find any evidence they could to prove that Stalin had been behind Kirov’s murder. Unable to do so, they settled at length for a story that Nikolaev had acted on his own. However, the version that Stalin had caused Kirov to be killed continued to circulate, becoming widely believed both inside and outside the Soviet Union.

Since 1990 the view officially accepted in Russia has been that Nikolaev acted alone, and that Stalin “used” Kirov’s murder to frame former or putative rivals, forcing them to admit to crimes they had never committed, and executing them and, ultimately, many thousands more.

My goal has been to solve the Kirov murder case. I review all the evidence as objectively as possible, with appropriate skepticism, and without any preconceived conclusion in mind. The main conclusion of my study is that Nikolaev was not a “lone gunman” at all. The Soviet investigators and prosecution got it right in December 1934. A clandestine Zinovievite conspiratorial organization, of which Nikolaev was a member, killed Kirov.

D. Trotsky in the 1930s

The Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites

Shortly after the Leon Trotsky Archive at Harvard’s Houghton Library was opened in January 1980 Trotskyist historian Pierre Broué discovered letters between Leon Sedov and his father Trotsky that proved the existence of a bloc between Trotskyists and other opposition groups within the USSR. Sometime in the middle of 1932 Sedov informed his father as follows:

[The bloc] is organized. In it have entered the Zinovievites, the Sten-Lominadze group and the Trotskyists (former “[capitulators]”)

. The group of Safar. Tarkhkan. has not formally entered yet – they stand on too extreme a position; they will enter in a very short time. – The declaration of Z. and K. concerning their enormous mistake in ’27 was made during negotiations with our people concerning the bloc, immediately  before the exile of Z and K. –

About the same time American historian Arch Getty was discovering that Trotsky had secretly sent letters to at least Radek, Sokol’nikov, Preobrazhenskii, Kollontai, and Litvinov. The first three had been Trotskyists before publicly recanting their views. Getty did not find the letters – only the certified mail receipts for them. Getty realized this meant that the Trotsky Archive had been “purged”. These letters had been removed. Other materials had undoubtedly been purged as well.

The only reason to “purge” the archives would have been to remove materials that would have seemed incriminating – that would have negatively impacted Trotsky’s reputation. As an examination of the question of the letter to Radek shows, the letters that we know were removed proved, at the very least, that Trotsky lied during the 1930s by claiming he never maintained contact with oppositionists inside the USSR when, in reality, he was doing so, and by claiming that he would never agree to a secret bloc between his supporters and other opposi-tionist groups when in fact he had done precisely that.

Evidently Broué found the implications of this fact very disturbing. He never mentioned Getty’s discoveries of Trotsky’s letters to his supporters and others inside the USSR or the purging of the Trotsky archive, even though Broué cites the same Getty publications (an article and a book) in a very positive manner.

Therefore it had been well established by scholars by the mid-1980s that a Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc did in fact exist and that it was formed in 1932 and that Zinoviev and Kamenev were personally involved. Sedov also foresaw the entry into the group of Safarov, who in any case had a group of his own.

In an interview with the Dutch social-democratic newspaper Het Volk (= “The People”) during the second half of January 1937, at the time of the Second Mos-cow Trial, Sedov stated, in a slip of the tongue, that “the Trotskyists” had been in contact with the defendants at the First Moscow Trial of August 1936.  Sedov specifically named Zinoviev, Kamenev and Smirnov. Concerning Radek and Piatakov Sedov went on to say that “[t]he Trotskyists have had much less contact with them than with the others. To be more exact: no contact at all.” That is, Sedov tried to withdraw his “slip” about Radek and Piatakov.

But Sedov did not even try to retract the information that preceded it: that “the Trotskyists” had indeed been in contact with “the others”: Smirnov, Zinoviev, and Kamenev. This interview, “slip of the tongue” included, was published in a provincial edition of Het Volk on January 28, 1937. It was noticed by the Communist press, which called attention to Sedov’s “slip of the tongue.” (Arbeideren, Oslo, February 5, 1937; Abejderbladet, Copenhagen, February 12, 1937.) Thanks to Getty we now know that the Communist press was correct. Sedov’s remark really was a “slip of the tongue.” We know that Sedov was lying because Getty had found evidence of Trotsky’s letter to Radek. Trotsky had indeed been in touch with Radek. Sedov’s first remark, about “much less contact”, was accurate.

Therefore we have good, non-Soviet evidence, confirmed by the Trot-sky Archive, of the following:

* A “bloc” of Zinovievites, Trotskyites, and others including at least the Sten-Lominadze and, perhaps, the Safarov-Tarkhanov group (with whom they were in any case in touch) and involving Zinoviev and Kamenev themselves, was indeed formed in 1932.

* Trotsky had indeed been in touch with Zinoviev and Kamenev, as well as others, probably through his son and chief representative Sedov.

* Trotsky was indeed in touch with at least Radek and Piatakov.

* Trotsky really did send a letter to Radek, who was in Geneva at the time, in the Spring of 1932, just as Radek testified in the Janu-ary 1937 Moscow Trial.

* There is no reason to accept Trotskyist historian Pierre Broué’s conclusion that this bloc was “ephemeral” and died out shortly after it was formed, because we know the Trotsky Archive was purged at some time, while Broué had no evidence to support his statement.

Trotsky in the 1930s

Long before Khrushchev Leon Trotsky was portraying Stalin as a bloodthirsty mass killer and the Moscow Trials of the 1930s fabrications. Few people believed him until the 1950s. Then two things happened. One was Khrushchev’s Secret Speech. The second was Isaac Deutscher’s three-volume biography, especially the last volume, The Prophet Outcast.

On January 2, 1980 the Trotsky Archives at Harvard were opened. During the 1980s and ‘90s American historian Arch Getty and Pierre Broué, the foremost Trotskyist researcher in the world, discovered evidence that Trotsky had deliberately lied about his contacts with the Soviet Oppositionists. But Broué never explored the implications of what he discovered.

I have been studying all this. It will startle, even disturb, many to learn that it was not Stalin, but Trotsky who lied in his post-1934 writings about pretty much everything having to do with the Soviet Union and Stalin. It was Trotsky who invented false stories about the Moscow Trials during the 1930s.

All Trotsky biographers, both the sympathetic and the hostile, simply ignore all this. It is symptomatic of the impasse in which much of the Left finds itself today that Trotskyists have ignored the evidence, available for over 20 years now, that Trotsky’s writings about Stalin and the USSR during the 1930s are deliberate falsehoods.

I’m currently writing a book on Trotsky during the 1930s. It should be published in 2015.

E. The Moscow Trials

The newly-available evidence confirms the following conclusions:

* The defendants at the Moscow Trials of August 1936, January 1937, and March 1938, were guilty of at least those crimes to which they confessed. A “bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” did indeed exist. It planned to assassinate Stalin, Kaganovich, Molotov, and others in a coup d’état , what they called a “palace coup.”. The bloc did assassinate Kirov.

* Both Rights and Trotskyites were conspiring with the Germans and Japanese, as were the Military conspirators. If the “palace coup” did not work they hoped to come to power by showing loyalty to Germany or Japan in the event of an invasion.

* Trotsky too was directly conspiring with the Germans and Japanese, as were a number of his supporters.

* Nikolai Ezhov, head of the NKVD from 1936 to late 1938, was also conspiring with the Germans.

All anticommunist scholars takes the position that the testimony in the three Moscow Trials was fabricated by the NKVD in some way. But they fail to give any evidence that this is so, nor do they make any kind of argument to justify these very considerable omissions. In effect LENOE simply chose to ignore this and a great deal of other evidence.

In reality, no one has ever come close to proving that any of the Moscow Trials were faked. However, in the highly politicized and biased field of Soviet history the position that the Moscow Trials were all fabrications and all the defendants “framed” is not merely the “mainstream” position – it is the only position that is tolerated. Anyone who suggests that the Moscow Trials may not have been fabrications faces ridicule or worse. So there is a great deal of professional pressure to regard the trials as fabrications and little incentive to do any serious research on them.

Any objective investigation must always confront the question of verification. Therefore in this chapter we will discuss two questions. First: What is the Kirov testimony in the first Moscow Trial? Second: To what extent can we confirm or disconfirm the testimony in the first Moscow Trial?

The first public Moscow Trial of August 19-24, 1936 was preceded by a great deal of investigation. Only a very small amount of the documentation this investigation produced – confessions, statements, and some physical evidence as well – has ever been made public. Most of it by far is still top-secret in Russia today. No researcher has access to anything like the full extent of it. Nor, of course, do we.

Like any researcher or investigator, we are faced with the task of evaluating all this evidence according to objective criteria. Anticommunist researchers  simply assume that there was no merit to the charges and that Stalin was out to destroy the “former” oppositionists. In reality there is no evidence whatsoever that Stalin had a “goal” of “crushing” or “destroying” former oppositionists. There never has been any such evidence. On the contrary: there is good evidence that prior to the Kirov murder Stalin was trying to conciliate former oppositionists – or people whom he believed were former oppositionists, whose opposition he believed was in the past, as they promised it was.

Questions of Methodology

How can these materials be assessed as to their truthfulness? What, in fact, can we reasonably expect to learn from them? This problem confronts all anticommunist scholars too, though they do not directly address it. They have some interrogations, trial transcripts, and investigative materials, so we too have whatever of these materials they have chosen to disclose to us. In addition, we have all the evidence that, for whatever reasons, they omit.

A full examination of the Moscow Trials is beyond the scope of this presentation. But I do wish to emphasize the following point: There is no evidence that any of the defendants in these trials was framed, falsely convicted, innocent. Not one shred of evidence has ever been produced that the defendants in the three Moscow Trials were anything but guilty of those charges to which they confessed. No one has ever produced any evidence that the defendants were forced to testify in some manner dictated by the prosecution or NKVD. None of the “rehabilitation” documents and reports produced during Khrushchev’s and especially during Gorbachev’s era contains any evidence that the defendants were innocent. All the conclusions of all these rehabilitation reports are assertions only.

There is good evidence that some of the defendants at least did not tell “the whole truth” and that both Iagoda and other defendants, as well as Ezhov, distorted and concealed some matters at the trials. But none of this deception tends to exculpate any of the trial defendants either. It simply adds another dimension to their guilt, and to the picture of the conspiracies that we already have. From what we know, the defendants’ testimony reflects what they wanted to say.

A central problem in evaluating the Moscow Trials testimony is the question of independent corroboration of statements made at the trial through evidence that could not have been arranged, planted, or other-wise created by the prosecution. Of course the lack of independent corroboration would not mean that the trial testimony and confessions were faked by the prosecution. In the case of a skillful conspiracy there might be no independent evidence at all. It would just mean that we would have no way of comparing this testimony with independent evidence. Even if we had no independent corroboration, we could evaluate the internal consistency of the statements made by different defendants at different times.

Fortunately some evidence external to the Moscow Trials and even to the USSR itself does exist. All of this external evidence tends to corroborate the confessions of the accused.

Was the Trial Testimony Falsified?

All anticommunist scholars “beg the question.” They assume that the trial testimony was falsified in some way they do not specify. In this he follows the example of ideologically anticommunist researchers. It is easy to find historians of Soviet history who make this assumption. But it is impossible to find one who proves it, or indeed has any evidence for it at all. There has never been any evidence that the testimony at the Moscow Trials was falsified, the defendants forced to mouth confessions composed or dictated by others.

But though there is no evidence that the testimony in this trial was falsified, there is a lot of evidence of the contrary: that it was genuine. Here are a few examples of corroboration between testimony at the January 1937 trial and other established facts:

* Radek and others testify that they disagreed with the assassination of individuals (1937 Trial 71; 101-2). This corresponds to what Iagoda testified independently, as we will see in the chapter devoted to him.

* Radek’s claim that he had received a letter from Trotsky in the spring of 1932 is confirmed by a certified mail receipt found by Getty in the Harvard Trotsky archive. (92)

* Radek testified that Bukharin had told him he (Bukharin) had “taken the path of terrorism.” (99) We know from the memoirs of Jules Humbert-Droz, published in Switzerland in 1971, that Bukharin had decided to assassinate Stalin long before this.

* Sokol’nikov testified that the “united centre” of Zinovievites and Trotskyites had decided on planning terrorist acts against Stalin and Kirov “as early as the autumn of 1932.” (147) This corresponds with the testimony of Valentin Astrov, one of Bukharin’s followers, one of whose confessions has been published. Astrov had the chance to recant this after the fall of the USSR but explicitly refused to do so. Astrov also insisted that the NKVD investigators had treated him with respect and used no compulsion against him.

* Muralov stated that Ivan Smirnov had told him about his meeting abroad with Sedov. (217) In his Livre rouge Sedov admitted that he had met with Smirnov, though he claimed the meeting was entirely innocent.

* Muralov stated that Shestov had brought a letter from Sedov in 1932 with a secret message written with invisible ink. (218) We know that Sedov used antipirin to write secret messages since at least one such letter of Sedov’s survives in the Harvard Trotsky archive. In it he recommends that his father Trotsky write him back with invisible ink as well.

* Radek stated that it was he who had recommended to Trotsky that Vitovt Putna, a military commander loyal to Trotsky, be the person to negotiate with the Germans and Japanese on Trotsky’s behalf. This corresponds with Putna’s later confessions as recorded by Marshal Budienniy.

Most of this evidence might be explained as faked – if there were any evidence that the confessions, and the alleged plots, had been scripted by the NKVD. But there is no evidence of any such conspiracy to fabricate the trials, while we do have evidence that they were not scripted.

In light of these facts it is impermissible for any competent and objective researcher to simply dismiss without any consideration the very significant evidence given in the trial transcript.

F. The “Ezhovshchina”, or “Great Terror”

Since my two-part essay "Stalin and the Struggle for Democratic Reform" was written in 2004-5, a great deal more evidence has been published concerning the Opposition, the Moscow Trials of 1936, 1937, and 1938, the Military Purges or "Tukhachevsky Affair", and the subsequent "Ezhovshchina", often called "the Great Terror" after the title of the extremely dishonest book by Robert Conquest first published in 1968.

The newly-available evidence confirms the following conclusions:

* The defendants at the Moscow Trials of August 1936, January 1937, and March 1938, were guilty of at least those crimes to which they confessed. A "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" did indeed exist. It planned to assassinate Stalin, Kaganovich, Molotov, and others in a coup d’état , what they called a "palace coup" (dvortsovyi perevorot). The bloc did assassinate Kirov.

* Both Rights and Trotskyites were conspiring with the Germans and Japanese, as were the Military conspirators. If the "palace coup" did not work they hoped to come to power by showing loyalty to Germany or Japan in the event of an invasion.

* Trotsky too was directly conspiring with the Germans and Japanese, as were a number of his supporters.

* Nikolai Ezhov, head of the NKVD from 1936 to late 1938, was also conspiring with the Germans.

Ezhov

We now have much more evidence about the role of NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov than we had in 2005. Ezhov, head of the NKVD (People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs), had his own conspiracy against the Soviet government and Party leadership. Ezhov had also been recruited by German intelligence.

Like the Rights and Trotskyites, Ezhov and his top NKVD men were counting on an invasion by Germany, Japan, or other major capitalist country. They tortured a great many innocent people into confessing to capital crimes so they would be shot. They executed a great many more on falsified grounds or no grounds at all.

Ezhov hoped that this mass murder of innocent people would turn large parts of the Soviet population against the government. That would create the basis for internal rebellions against the Soviet government when Germany or Japan attacked.

Ezhov lied to Stalin, the Party and government leaders about all this. The truly horrific mass executions of 1937-1938 of almost 682,000 people were in large part unjustifiable executions of innocent people carried out deliberately by Ezhov and his top men in order to sow discontent among the Soviet population.

Although Ezhov executed a very large number of innocent people, it is clear from the evidence now available that there were also real conspiracies. The Russian government continues to keep all but a tiny amount of the investigative materials top-secret. We can’t know for sure exactly the dimensions of the real conspiracies without that evidence. Therefore, we don’t know how many of these 682,000 people were actual conspirators and how many were innocent victims.

As I wrote in 2005, Stalin and the Party leadership began to suspect as early as October 1937 that some of the repression was done illegally. From early in 1938, when Pavel Postyshev was sharply criticized, then removed from the Central Committee, then expelled from the Party, tried and executed for mass unjustified repression, these suspicions grew.

When Lavrentii Beria was appointed as Ezhov’s second-in-command Ezhov and his men understood that Stalin and the Party leadership no longer trusted them. They made one last plot to assassinate Stalin at the November 7, 1938 celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. But Ezhov’s men were arrested in time.

Ezhov was persuaded to resign. An intensive investigation was begun and a huge number of NKVD abuses were uncovered. A great many cases of those tried or punished under Ezhov were reviewed. Over 100,000 people were released from prison and camps. Many NKVD men were arrested, confessed to torturing innocent people, tried and executed. Many more NKVD men were sentenced to prison or dismissed.

Under Beria the number of executions in 1938 and 1940 dropped to less than 1% of the number under Ezhov in 1937 and 1938, and many of those executed were NKVD men, including Ezhov himself, who were found guilty of massive unjustified repression and executions of innocent people.

Some of the most dramatic evidence published since 2005 are confessions of Ezhov and Mikhail Frinovsky, Ezhov’s second-in-command. I have put some of these on the Internet in both the original Russian and in English translation. We also have a great many more confessions and interrogations, mostly partial, of Ezhov, in which he makes many more confessions. These were published in 2007 in a semi-official account by Aleksei Pavliukov.

Anticommunist Scholars Hide the Truth

All "mainstream" – that is, anticommunist – and Trotskyist researchers falsely claim that there were no conspiracies. According to them, all the Moscow Trial defendants, all the military defendants, and all those tried and sentenced for espionage, conspiracy, sabotage, and other crimes, were innocent victims. Some claim that Stalin had planned to kill all these people because they might constitute a "Fifth Column" if the USSR were attacked. Other anticommunists prefer the explanation that Stalin just tried to terrorize the population into obedience.

This is an ideological, anticommunist stance masquerading as an historical conclusion. It is not based upon the historical evidence and is inconsistent with that evidence. Anticommunist historians ignore the primary source evidence available. They even ignore evidence in collections of documents that they themselves cite in their own works.

Why do the anticommunist "scholars", both in Russia and the West, ignore all this evidence? Why do they continue to promote the false notions that no conspiracies existed and that Stalin, not Ezhov, decided to execute hundreds of thousands of innocent people? The only possible explanation is that they do this for ideological reasons alone. The truth, as established by an examination of the primary source evidence, would make Stalin and the Bolsheviks "look good" to most people.

Bukharin, Not Stalin, To Blame for the Massive Repressions

One interesting aspect of this is that Nikolai Bukharin, leading name among the Rightists and one of its leaders, knew about the "Ezhovshchina" as it was happening, and praised it in a letter to Stalin that he wrote from prison.

It gets even better. Bukharin knew that Ezhov was a member of the Rightist conspiracy, as he himself was. No doubt that is why he welcomed Ezhov's appointment as head of the NKVD -- a view recorded by his widow in her memoirs.

In his first confession, in his now-famous letter to Stalin of December 10, 1937, and at his trial in March 1938 Bukharin claimed he had completely "disarmed" and had told everything he knew. But now we can prove that this was a lie. Bukharin knew that Ezhov was a leading member of the Rightist conspiracy -- but did not inform on him. According to Mikhail Frinovsky, Ezhov's right-hand man, Ezhov probably promised to see that he would not be executed if he did not mention his own, Ezhov's, participation (see Frinovsky's confession of April 11, 1939).

If Bukharin had told the truth -- if he had, in fact, informed on Ezhov -- Ezhov's mass murders could have been stopped in their tracks. The lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people could have been saved.

But Bukharin remained true to his fellow conspirators. He went to execution -- an execution he swore he deserved "ten times over" -- without revealing Ezhov's participation in the conspiracy.

This point cannot be stressed too much: the blood of the hundreds of thousands of innocent persons slaughtered by Ezhov and his men during 1937-1938, are on Bukharin's hands.

Objectivity and Evidence

I agree with historian Geoffrey Roberts when he says:

In the last 15 years or so an enormous amount of new material on Stalin … has become available from Russian archives. I should make clear that as a historian I have a strong orientation to telling the truth about the past, no matter how uncomfortable or unpalatable the conclusions may be. … I don’t think there is a dilemma: you just tell the truth as you see it.

("Stalin’s Wars", Frontpagemag.com February 12, 2007. At http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/35305.html  )

The conclusions I have reached about the "Ezhovshchina" will be unacceptable to ideologically-motivated people. I have not reached these conclusions out of any desire to "apologize" for the policies of Stalin or the Soviet government. I believe these to be the only objective conclusions possible based on the available evidence.

I make no claim that the Soviet leadership was free from error. Stalin’s vision of a socialism leading to communism was obviously faulty in that it did not come to pass. During Stalin’s time, as during the short period of Lenin’s leadership, the Soviets made a great many errors. Error is, of course, inevitable in all human endeavor. And since the Bolsheviks were the first communists to conquer and hold state power, they were in unknown waters. It was inevitable, therefore, that they would make a great many mistakes – and they did.

However, any objective study of the evidence and the historical record shows that there was simply no alternative to forced collectivization and industrialization – except defeat at the hands of some combination of capitalist powers. Likewise, the fact that the Right, Trotskyite, and Military conspiracies really did exist but were snuffed out by the Soviet leadership, which managed to out-maneuver Ezhov and foil his conspiracy as well, proves that once again the USSR – "Stalin" – saved Europe from Naziism and all the Allies from an immense number of additional casualties at the hands of the Axis powers.

G. Conclusion

In this talk I have only touched on a few of the important events of Soviet history of the 1930s. I will discuss others in my talks at Beijing University in a few days and at CASS during this week.

In conclusion I would like to say something about objectivity and the attempt to discover the truth.

Almost all books and articles published today about Soviet history of the Stalin period are framed, and therefore controlled, by what I call the “anti-Stalin paradigm.” In Western academic discussion it is obligatory – required – that a researcher come to conclusions that confirm the anticommunist portrayal of Stalin as a vicious, evil killer and dictator, and the Soviet Union as a site of mass murder and cruelty. If you are unwilling to put your research within this biased framework you simply cannot have an academic career at all.

I have been told by two fine researchers in Soviet history – researchers who are not leftists but who strive to be objective – that no book that is not hostile to Stalin can be published by an academic publisher. That certainly is true in the West, and I believe it to be true in Russia as well.

Let me put this another way: If you were in the field of Soviet history – if you taught Soviet history in a history department anywhere in the West – I assume the situation is different here in China  – you could not do the research I do. If you did, you could not be published in the standard journals, or by mainstream academic publishers, and you would soon not be in the field of Soviet history anymore, because you wouldn’t have a job!

That is why my position is unusual. I teach in an English Department. My academic livelihood does not depend in any way on my research into Soviet history.  

This is what I have to offer.  And a lot of people around the world think it is important. Not just people on the Left, such as you are. The anticommunists also think it’s important. And they don’t like it.

A lot of people on the Right do not want the truth about the history of the communist movement in the USSR, during the Stalin years, to come to light. They want to continue to demonize it, to compare it to Hitler and fascism, and to lie about it. And that’s what they do – not only “passively”, through their “point of view”, or bias, but actively, by deliberately falsifying the evidence, sources, and history.

Marx and Engels wrote that “the proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains.” By that I assume they meant that we have no sacred cows, nothing we refuse to subject to critical scrutiny. We want to cast aside all illusions and falsehoods. Only “the truth shall make us free”, if “we” are against all exploitation of man by man; if “we” are the international working class.

Marx’s favorite slogan was “De omnibus dubitandum” – Question Everything, and your preconceived ideas and biases above all others. If you want to learn the truth, that’s what you must do.

Moreover, it is what every bourgeois detective in every detective story knows. As Sherlock Holmes used to say: Keep your mind free of precipitate conclusions. Get the facts before you form your hypotheses. Be ready to abandon an hypothesis that does not explain the established facts.

If you don’t do this – if you don’t try to discover the truth from the outset – then you are not going to stumble upon it by accident along the way. And what you will find will not be the truth.

This is what I try hard to do. None of the demonizers of Stalin and the Soviet Union, the anticommunist “experts” on the history of the communist movement, make any attempt to be objective. They do not discover the truth, then, because they don’t want to do so. They want to write “propaganda with footnotes.” And that’s what their works are.

In my presentations in the United States I quote a line from a popular and satirical singer named “Weird Al Yankovich.” He has a song titled “Everything You Know Is Wrong.” And that is the situation with Soviet history today. Everything we have been taught, at least since Khrushchev’s day about Soviet history of the Stalin period – is wrong, based on anticommunist lies (Again, things may well be different here in China).

But where we now have evidence, chiefly from former Soviet archives though also from the Trotsky Archive at Harvard University, we inevitably – always, in every single specific instance – find that the anticommunist from Leon Trotsky to Khrushchev to Gorbachev, and all the anticommunist “scholars” to the present day – are wrong, and in most cases they are deliberately lying.

I would like to cite an example, the subject of my latest book:

Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin ((N.Y: Basic Books, 2010)

Snyder, a full professor of Eastern European history at Yale, has written dozens of articles for leading intellectual journals such as the NY Review of Books. In 2010 he published Bloodlands. This book is by far the most successful attempt to date to equate Stalin with Hitler, the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany. It has garnered rave reviews in literally dozens of newspapers and journals; received prizes for historiography; and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Snyder has little to say about the Nazis. His main target is Stalin, Soviet policy, and communists generally. His broader claim is that the Soviets killed 6 to 9 million innocent civilians while the Nazis were killing about 14 million. Snyder finds parallels between Soviet and Nazi crimes at every turn.

I spent a whole year methodically checking every single footnote, every reference to anything that could be construed as a crime by Stalin, the USSR, or pro-Soviet communists. Snyder’s main sources are in Polish and Ukrainian, in hard-to-find books and articles.

I found that every single “crime” Snyder alleges is false – a fabrication. Snyder very often deliberately lies about what his sources say. More often he cites anticommunist Polish and Ukrainian secondary sources that do the lying for him. Once again, not a single accusation holds up.

The significance of this wholesale falsification is important. For one thing, Snyder’s book is now widely quoted as an authority. Snyder “said” it in Bloodlands, so it is established as a fact.

But the broader significance of Snyder’s wholesale lying and falsifying is as follows. Snyder had a team of very anticommunist Polish and Ukrainian nationalist researchers to help him. It is their work which he is, basically, “retailing” to an English-speaking audience. Snyder himself has spent many years researching Eastern Europe between the world wars.

And yet Snyder cannot find a single genuine “crime” by the USSR, Stalin, or even by pro-communist groups! Surely this team of dedicated anticommunists, armed with the support of their post-Soviet states, access to archives, and knowledge of all the Eastern European languages, would have discovered real crimes of Stalin or of the USSR – if any existed. This constitutes the best evidence we are ever likely to have that there are no such “crimes”.

My book on Snyder’s Bloodlands, tentatively titled Blood Lies, will be published this month.

My next book, planned for publication next year, in 2015, will be on Leon Trotsky’s writings in the 1930s, especially from December 1934 until his death in 1940. Evidence from Trotsky’s own archives, when put together with evidence from former Soviet archives, now permits us to see that Trotsky deliberately lied about the Soviet Union and Stalin, about the Kirov murder, and the Moscow Trials, throughout this period. He did this to preserve his own conspiracy. Naturally, one must lie if one is to be a conspirator. But Trotsky’s lies have been believed first by his own followers and then, after Khrushchev’s Secret Speech, by a great many persons. So I think this study will be of broad interest.

The questions one asks inevitably reflect and expose one's own political concerns, and mine are no exception. I believe that the history of the Bolshevik Party during Stalin's years -- a history obfuscated by anti-communist lies and as yet to be written -- has a lot to teach future generations. Political activists who look to the past for guidance, and politically-conscious scholars who believe their greatest contributions towards a better world can be made through study of such struggles in the past, have a great deal to learn from the legacy of the Soviet Union.

Like medieval mariners whose maps were more imagination than fact, we have been misled by canonical histories of the USSR that are mainly false. The process of discovering the real history of the world's first socialist experiment has scarcely begun. I believe this is of immense importance for our future. I hope you agree with me in this.

Thank you for listening to me. I am ready to answer your questions as best I can, and to receive your criticisms with humility.
  
  
  

 
 
顶端 Posted: 2014-05-27 16:44 | 1 楼
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