Soviet Show Trials

After the death of his wife, Joseph Stalin became very close to Sergey Kirov. The two men went on holiday together and many felt that he was being groomed for the future leadership of the party by Stalin. This appeared to give him more confidence and at meetings of the Politburo he sometimes questioned Stalin's decisions. In September, 1932, when Martemyan Ryutin was arrested for calling for the re-admission of Leon Trotsky to the Communist Party, Stalin demanded his execution. Kirov argued against the death penalty being used. When the vote was taken, the majority of the Politburo supported Kirov against Stalin. (1)

Kirov was now seen as the leader of the liberal faction in the Politburo, a group that included Mikhail Kalinin, Kliment Voroshilov and Janis Rudzutak, that pleaded with Stalin for leniency towards those who disagreed with him. He argued that people should be released from prison who had opposed the government's policy on collective farms and industrialization. Kirov, who was the leader of Communist Party in Leningrad, did his best to restrain the political police in his own domain. Rudzutak, the vice-premier and the leader of the trade unions, exercised his influence in the same direction. (2)

Stalin began to worry about the growing popularity of Kirov with the members of the Communist Party. As Edward P. Gazur has pointed out: "In sharp contrast to Stalin, Kirov was a much younger man and an eloquent speaker, who was able to sway his listeners; above all, he possessed a charismatic personality. Unlike Stalin who was a Georgian, Kirov was also an ethnic Russian, which stood in his favour." (3)

At the 17th Party Congress in 1934, when Sergey Kirov stepped up to the podium he was greeted by spontaneous applause that equalled that which was required to be given to Stalin. In his speech he put forward a policy of reconciliation. He argued that people should be released from prison who had opposed the government's policy on collective farms and industrialization. (4)

The last duty of a Congress was to elect the Central Committee. Usually this was a formality. The delegates were given the ballot, a list of names prepared by Stalin. The voters crossed out names they opposed and voted for the names left unmarked. Although the results were never published but according to some sources, Kirov received one or two negatives Stalin received over 200. All the candidates were automatically elected but this was another blow to Stalin's self-esteem. (5)

As usual, that summer Kirov and Stalin went on holiday together. Stalin, who treated Kirov like a son, used this opportunity to try to persuade him to remain loyal to his leadership. Stalin asked him to leave Leningrad to join him in Moscow. Stalin wanted Kirov in a place where he could keep a close eye on him. When Kirov refused, Stalin knew he had lost control over his protégé. Kirov had several advantages over Stalin, "his closeness to the masses, his tremendous energy, his oratorical talent". Whereas, Stalin "nasty, suspicious, cruel, and power-hungry, Stalin could not abide brilliant and independent people around him." (6)

According to Alexander Orlov, who had been told this by Genrikh Yagoda, Stalin decided that Kirov had to die. Yagoda assigned the task to Vania Zaporozhets, one of his trusted lieutenants in the NKVD. He selected a young man, Leonid Nikolayev, as a possible candidate. Nikolayev had recently been expelled from the Communist Party and had vowed his revenge by claiming that he intended to assassinate a leading government figure. Zaporozhets met Nikolayev and when he discovered he was of low intelligence and appeared to be a person who could be easily manipulated, he decided that he was the ideal candidate as assassin. (7)

Assassination of Sergy Kirov

Zaporozhets provided him with a pistol and gave him instructions to kill Kirov in the Smolny Institute in Leningrad. However, soon after entering the building he was arrested. Zaporozhets had to use his influence to get him released. On 1st December, 1934, Nikolayev, got past the guards and was able to shoot Kirov dead. Nikolayev was immediately arrested and after being tortured by Genrikh Yagoda he signed a statement saying that Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev had been the leaders of the conspiracy to assassinate Kirov. (8)

On his arrest, Zinoviev wrote to Stalin: "I tell you, Comrade Stalin, honesty, that from the time of my return from Kustanai by order of the Central Committee, I have not taken a single step, spoken a single word, written a single line, or had a single thought which I need conceal from the Party, the Central Committee, and you personally... I have had only one thought - how to earn the trust of the Central Committee and you personally, how to achieve my aim of being employed by you in the work there is to be done. I swear by all a Bolshevik holds sacred, I swear by Lenin's memory... I implore you to believe my word of honor." (9)

Victor Kravchenko has pointed out: "Hundreds of suspects in Leningrad were rounded up and shot summarily, without trial. Hundreds of others, dragged from prison cells where they had been confined for years, were executed in a gesture of official vengeance against the Party's enemies. The first accounts of Kirov's death said that the assassin had acted as a tool of dastardly foreigners - Estonian, Polish, German and finally British. Then came a series of official reports vaguely linking Nikolayev with present and past followers of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and other dissident old Bolsheviks." (10)

According to Alexander Orlov, who was Chief of the Economic Department for Foreign Trade who worked closely with Genrikh Yagoda, the head of the Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD): "Stalin decided to arrange for the assassination of Kirov and to lay the crime at the door of the former leaders of the opposition and thus with one blow do away with Lenin's former comrades. Stalin came to the conclusion that, if he could prove that Zinoviev and Kamenev and other leaders of the opposition had shed the blood of Kirov." (11)

Maurice Latey, the author of Tyranny: A Study in the Abuse of Power (1969), has put forward the theory that Stalin had learnt something from Adolf Hitler, who the previous year, had used the case of the half-witted arsonist Marinus van der Lubbe had been found guilty of setting fire to the Reichstag and therefore gave him the pretext for destroying the opposition. "It may have been engineered by Stalin himself in order to kill two birds with one stone - to get rid of Kirov and to give an excuse for the great purges that were to follow." (12)

Leonid Nikolayev and his fourteen co-defendants were executed after their trial but Zinoviev and Kamenev refused to confess. Y. S. Agranov, the deputy commissar of the secret police, reported to Stalin he was not able to prove that they had been directly involved in the assassination. Therefore in January 1935 they were tried and convicted only for "moral complicity" in the crime. "That is, their opposition had created a climate in which others were incited to violence." Zinoviev was sentenced to ten years hard labour, Kamenev to five. (13)

Stalin now had a new provision enacted into law on 8th April 1935 which would enable him to exert additional leverage over his enemies. The new law decreed that children of the age of twelve and over who were found guilty of crimes would be subjected to the same punishment as adults, up to and including the death penalty. This provision provided NKVD with the means by which they could coerce a confession from a political dissident simply by claiming that false charges would be brought against their children. Soon afterwards, Stalin began ordering the arrests of "tens of thousands of suspect Bolsheviks". (14)

Zinoviev, Kamenev and Smirnov (August, 1936)

On 20th November, 1935, Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev were charged with espionage on behalf of hostile foreign powers. Early in 1936, about forty of the KGB's top operatives were summoned to Moscow for a conference. They were advised that a conspiracy against Stalin and the Government had been uncovered and that it would be left to them to secure confessions. Over 300 political prisoners were ruthlessly interrogated and subjected to inordinate pressure in order to gain information against Zinoviev and Kamenev that could be used in court against the defendants. One member of the interrogating team, claimed: "Give me long enough and I will have them confessing that they are the King of England". However, according to Alexander Orlov only one of those men tortured was willing to give evidence against Zinoviev and Kamenev. (15)

In July 1936 Yezhov told Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev that their children would be charged with being part of the conspiracy and would face execution if found guilty. The two men now agreed to co-operate at the trial if Joseph Stalin promised to spare their lives. At a meeting with Stalin, Kamenev told him that they would agree to co-operate on the condition that none of the old-line Bolsheviks who were considered the opposition and charged at the new trial would be executed, that their families would not be persecuted, and that in the future none of the former members of the opposition would be subjected to the death penalty. Stalin replied: "That goes without saying!" (16)

Lev Kamenev
The last known photograph of Lev Kamenev (1936)

The trial opened on 19th August 1936. Also charged was Ivan Smirnov, Konon Berman-Yurin, Vagarshak Ter-Vaganyan and twelve other defendants. It is claimed that five of these men were actually NKVD plants, whose confessional testimony was expected to solidify the state's case. The presiding judge was Vasily Ulrikh, a member of the secret police. The prosecutor was Andrei Vyshinsky, who was to become well-known during the Show Trials over the next few years. The foreign press were allowed to attend the trial and were shocked to hear that Zinoviev, Kamenev and the other defendants, were part of a terrorist organisation, under the leadership of Leon Trotsky, were attempting to overthrow the communist government of the Soviet Union. It was claimed that Trotsky was under the influence of Adolf Hitler and that he eventually planned to impose a fascist dictatorship on the Soviet people. (17)

Yuri Piatakov accepted the post of chief witness "with all my heart." Max Shachtman pointed out that it was important to consider those who did not testify: "Of the hundreds and perhaps thousands arrested for the purposes of the trial, it is significant that only a small handful were found who could be prevailed upon to make the 'confessions' that fell in so neatly with every charge of the prosecution. Every single one of them (the GPU provocateurs excepted) was a capitulator, who had once, twice and three times in the past signed whatever statement was dictated to him by Stalin. (18)

On 20th August, 1936, Lev Kamenev was cross-examined and admitted that he had worked with those on the right of the party, including Nikolai Bulganin and Maihail Tomsky, to undermine Stalin: "I personally conducted negotiations with the so-called 'Leftist' group of Lominadre and Shatsky. In this group I found enemies of the Party leadership quite prepared to resort to the most determined measures of struggle against it. At the same time, I myself and Zinoviev maintained constant contact with the former 'Workers' Opposition' group of Shlyapnikov and Medvedyev. In 1932, 1933 and 1934 I personally maintained relations with Tomsky and Bukharin and sounded their political sentiments. They sympathized with us... having set ourselves the monstrously criminal aim of disorganizing the government of the land of socialism, we resorted to methods of struggle which in our opinion suited this aim and which are as low and as vile as the aim which we set before ourselves." (19)

He was followed by Gregory Zinoviev who also made a full confession. He claimed that he worked closely with members of the Workers' Opposition, such as Alexander Shlyapnikov: "We were convinced that the leadership must be superseded at all costs, that it must be superseded by us, along with Trotsky... I spoke a great deal with Smirnov about choosing people for terroristic activities and also designated the persons against whom the weapon of terrorism was to be directed. The name of Stalin was mentioned in the first place, followed by those of Kirov, Voroshilov and other leaders of the Party and the government. For the purpose of executing these plans, a Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre was formed, the leading part in which was played by myself - Zinoviev,and by Smirnov on behalf of the Trotskyites." (20)

On the final date of the trial the defendants made further statements. Ivan Smirnov said: "I communicated Trotsky's instructions on terrorism to the bloc to which I belonged as a member of the centre. The bloc accepted these instructions and began to act. There is no other path for our country but the one it is now treading, and there is not, nor can there be, any other leadership than that which history has given us. Trotsky, who sends direction and instructions on terrorism, and regards our state as a fascist state, is an enemy; he is on the other side of the barricade; he must be fought." (21)

Gregory Zinoviev
The last known photograph of Gregory Zinoviev (1936)

Gregory Zinoviev confessed to being involved in the assassination of Sergy Kirov: "I would like to repeat that I am fully and utterly guilty. I am guilty of having been the organizer, second only to Trotsky, of that block whose chosen task was the killing of Stalin. I was the principal organizer of Kirov's assassination. The party saw where we were going, and warned us; Stalin warned as scores of times; but we did not heed these warnings. We entered into an alliance with Trotsky.... We took the place of the terrorism of the Socialist-Revolutionaries.... My defective Bolshevism became transformed into anti-Bolshevism, and through Trotskyism I arrived at fascism. Trotskyism is a variety of fascism, and Zinovievism is a variety of Trotskyism." (22)

Lev Kamenev added: "I Kamenev, together with Zinoviev and Trotsky, organised and guided this conspiracy. My motives? I had become convinced that the party's - Stalin's policy - was successful and victorious. We, the opposition, had banked on a split in the party; but this hope proved groundless. We could no longer count on any serious domestic difficulties to allow us to overthrow. Stalin's leadership we were actuated by boundless hatred and by lust of power." Kamenev's final words in the trial concerned the plight of his children: "I should like to say a few words to my children. I have two children, one is an army pilot, the other a Young Pioneer. Whatever my sentence may be, I consider it just... Together with the people, follow where Stalin leads." This was a reference to the promise that Stalin made about his sons." (23)

On 24th August, 1936, Vasily Ulrikh entered the courtroom and began reading the long and dull summation leading up to the verdict. Ulrikh announced that all sixteen defendants were sentenced to death by shooting. Edward P. Gazur has pointed out: "Those in attendance fully expected the customary addendum which was used in political trials that stipulated that the sentence was commuted by reason of a defendant's contribution to the Revolution. These words never came, and it was apparent that the death sentence was final when Ulrikh placed the summation on his desk and left the court-room." (24)

The following day Soviet newspapers carried the announcement that all sixteen defendants had been put to death. This included the NKVD agents who had provided false confessions. Joseph Stalin could not afford for any witnesses to the conspiracy to remain alive. Edvard Radzinsky, the author of Stalin (1996), has pointed out that Stalin did not even keep his promise to Kamenev that his wife, Olga Kamenev, and their two sons, would be saved. All three of them were either shot or died in a prison camp. (25)

Most journalists covering the trial were convinced that the confessions were statements of truth. The Observer wrote: "It is futile to think the trial was staged and the charges trumped up. The government's case against the defendants (Zinoviev and Kamenev) is genuine." (26) The New Statesman agreed: "It is their (Zinoviev and Kamenev) confession and decision to demand the death sentence for themselves that constitutes the mystery. If they had a hope of acquittal, why confess? If they were guilty of trying to murder Stalin and knew they would be shot in any case, why cringe and crawl instead of defiantly justifying their plot on revolutionary grounds? We would be glad to hear the explanation." (27)

The New Republic pointed out: "Some commentators, writing at a long distance from the scene, profess doubt that the executed men (Zinoviev and Kamenev) were guilty. It is suggested that they may have participated in a piece of stage play for the sake of friends or members of their families, held by the Soviet government as hostages and to be set free in exchange for this sacrifice. We see no reason to accept any of these laboured hypotheses, or to take the trial in other than its face value. Foreign correspondents present at the trial pointed out that the stories of these sixteen defendants, covering a series of complicated happenings over nearly five years, corroborated each other to an extent that would be quite impossible if they were not substantially true. The defendants gave no evidence of having been coached, parroting confessions painfully memorized in advance, or of being under any sort of duress." (28)

The Socialist Appeal (18th December, 1937)
The Socialist Appeal (18th December, 1937)

Walter Duranty, the New York Times correspondent based in Moscow, also accepted the idea that the executed men were also involved with Adolf Hitler in trying to bring down the Soviet government. "A widespread plot against the Kremlin was discovered, whose ramifications included not merely former oppositionists but agents of the Nazi Gestapo." When supporters of the men executed raised doubts about the conspiracy, Duranty commented that "it was unthinkable that Stalin and Voroshilov... could have sentenced their friends to death unless the proofs of guilt were overwhelming." (29)

Piatakov, Radek and Sokolnikov (January, 1937)

In January, 1937, Yuri Piatakov, Karl Radek, Grigori Sokolnikov, and fifteen other leading members of the Communist Party were put on trial. They were accused of working with Leon Trotsky in an attempt to overthrow the Soviet government with the objective of restoring capitalism. Robin Page Arnot, a leading figure in the British Communist Party, wrote: "A second Moscow trial, held in January 1937, revealed the wider ramifications of the conspiracy. This was the trial of the Parallel Centre, headed by Piatakov, Radek, Sokolnikov, Serebriakov. The volume of evidence brought forward at this trial was sufficient to convince the most sceptical that these men, in conjunction with Trotsky and with the Fascist Powers, had carried through a series of abominable crimes involving loss of life and wreckage on a very considerable scale." (30)

Edvard Radzinsky, the author of Stalin (1996) has pointed out: "After they saw that Piatakov was ready to collaborate in any way required, they gave him a more complicated role. In the 1937 trials he joined the defendants, those whom he had meant to blacken. He was arrested, but was at first recalcitrant. Ordzhonikidze in person urged him to accept the role assigned to him in exchange for his life. No one was so well qualified as Piatakov to destroy Trotsky, his former god and now the Party's worst enemy, in the eyes of the country and the whole world. He finally agreed I to do it as a matter of 'the highest expediency,' and began rehearsals with the interrogators." (31)

One of the journalists covering the trial, Lion Feuchtwanger, commented: "Those who faced the court could not possibly be thought of as tormented and desperate beings. In appearance the accused were well-groomed and well-dressed men with relaxed and unconstrained manners. They drank tea, and there were newspapers sticking out of their pockets... Altogether, it looked more like a debate... conducted in conversational tones by educated people. The impression created was that the accused, the prosecutor, and the judges were all inspired by the same single - I almost said sporting - objective, to explain all that had happened with the maximum precision. If a theatrical producer had been called on to stage such a trial he would probably have needed several rehearsals to achieve that sort of teamwork among the accused." (32)

Piatakov and twelve of the accused were found guilty and sentenced to death. Karl Radek and Grigori Sokolnikov were sentenced to ten years. Feuchtwanger commented that Radek "gave the condemned men a guilty smile, as though embarrassed by his luck." Maria Svanidze, who was later herself to be purged by Joseph Stalin wrote in her diary: "They arrested Radek and others whom I knew, people I used to talk to, and always trusted.... But what transpired surpassed all my expectations of human baseness. It was all there, terrorism, intervention, the Gestapo, theft, sabotage, subversion.... All out of careerism, greed, and the love of pleasure, the desire to have mistresses, to travel abroad, together with some sort of nebulous prospect of seizing power by a palace revolution. Where was their elementary feeling of patriotism, of love for their motherland? These moral freaks deserved their fate.... My soul is ablaze with anger and hatred. Their execution will not satisfy me. I should like to torture them, break them on the wheel, burn them alive for all the vile things they have done." (33)

Purge of the Soviet Army

It is claimed that Reinhard Heydrich developed a plan to damage the Red Army. In January 1937, a Soviet journalist heard stories that senior members of the German Army were having secret talks with General Mikhail Tukhachevsky. This idea was reinforced by a diplomat from the Soviet embassy in Paris who sent a telegram to Moscow saying he had learned of plans "by German circles to promote a coup de'etat in the Soviet Union" using "persons from the command staff of the Red Army." (34)

According to Robert Conquest, the author of The Great Terror (1990), the story had been created by Nikolai Skoblin, a NKVD agent who had appeared to be one of the leaders of the Russian opposition based in Paris. "Skoblin had long worked as a double agent with both the Soviet and the German secret agencies, and there seems no doubt that he was one of the links by which information was passed between the SD and the NKVD. According to one version... the Soviet High Command and Tukhachevsky in particular were engaged in a conspiracy with the German General Staff. Although this was understood in SD circles as an NKVD plant, Heydrich determined to use it, in the first place, against the German High Command, with whom his organization was in intense rivalry." (35)

Major V. Dapishev of the Soviet General Staff has claimed that the plot "originated with Stalin" as he wanted to purge the leadership of the armed forces. Roy A. Medvedev, has argued in Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (1971) that he is convinced that Heydrich arranged the forgery of the documents. However, he points out: "It would be a mistake to think that these false accusations were the main cause of the destruction of the best cadres. They were only a pretext. The real causes of the mass repression go much deeper. Any serious investigation would have exposed the Nazi forgery against Tukhachevsky, but Stalin did not order an expert investigation. It would have been even easier to establish the falseness of many other materials produced by the NKVD, but neither Stalin nor his closest aides checked or wanted to check the authenticity of these materials." (36)

On 11th June, 1937, Tukhachevsky and seven other Soviet generals appeared in court on the charges of treason for having conspired with Germany. All were executed. "Following the Tukhachevsky trial, the wave of executions of the officer corps of the military was like a wind blowing over a huge field of wheat; no one escaped. Any officer, no matter how remotely connected to Tukhachevsky and the seven deposed generals in the past or present, was rounded up and executed. In turn, the military subordinates of the newly executed commanders became the next group of candidates for elimination and so on, like a never-ending web of destruction. Even the top echelon of Soviet marshals and generals, who had signed the verdict for the actually non-existent trial of Tukhachevsky and the other generals, disappeared one by one, never to be heard of again. By the end of the reign of terror, the officer corps of the Soviet Army had been decimated beyond recognition." (37)

Bukharin, Rykov and Yagoda (March, 1938)

The next show trials took place in March, 1938, and involved twenty-one leading members of the party. This included Nickolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Krestinsky and Christian Rakovsky. Another leading figure in the government, Maihail Tomsky, committed suicide before the trial. They were all charged with attempting to assassinate Joseph Stalin and the other members of the Politburo, "to restore capitalism, to wreck the country's military and economic power, and to poison or kill in any other way masses of Russian workers." (38)

Raphael R. Abramovitch, the author of The Soviet Revolution: 1917-1939 (1962) pointed out that at his trial: "Bukharin, who still had a little fight left in him, was extinguished by the concerted efforts of the public prosecutor, the presiding judge, GPU agents and former friends. Even a strong and proud man like Bukharin was unable to escape the traps set for him. The trial took its usual course, except that one session had to be hastily adjourned when Krestinsky refused to follow the script. At the next session, he was compliant." (39) However, he did write to Stalin and ask: "Koba, why is my death necessary for you." (40)

They were all found guilty and were either executed or died in labour camps. Isaac Deutscher has pointed out: "Among the men in the dock at these trials were all the members of Lenin's Politbureau, except Stalin himself and Trotsky, who, however, though absent, was the chief defendant. Among them, moreover, were one ex-premier, several vice-premiers, two ex-chiefs of the Communist International, the chief of the trade unions, the chief of the General Staff, the chief political Commissar of the Army, the Supreme Commanders of all important military districts, nearly all Soviet ambassadors in Europe and Asia, and last but not least, the two chiefs of the political police: Yagoda and Yezhov." (41)

Walter Duranty always underestimated the number killed during the Great Purge. As Sally J. Taylor, the author of Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty (1990) has pointed out: "As for the number of resulting casualties from the Great Purge, Duranty's estimates, which encompassed the years from 1936 to 1939, fell considerably short of other sources, a fact he himself admitted. Whereas the number of Party members arrested is usually put at just above one million, Duranty's own estimate was half this figure, and he neglected to mention that of those exiled into the forced labor camps of the GULAG, only a small percentage ever regained their freedom, as few as 50,000 by some estimates. As to those actually executed, reliable sources range from some 600,000 to one million, while Duranty maintained that only about 30,000 to 40,000 had been killed." (42)

Primary Sources

(1) Gregory Zinoviev, speech at his trial (20th August, 1936)

We banked on a growth of difficulties. We hoped that they would grow to such an extent that we and the Rightists and the Trotskyites, and the smaller groups associated with them, could come out openly. We dreamt of coming out in a united front. At that time we thought that the Rightists had most chances of success,that their prognoses were more likely to come true, and that their names would have particular power of attraction. At that time we attempted to place particular emphasis on our closeness to them."

At the same time certain underground groups of the Right as well as of the so-called 'Left' trend, sought contact with me and Kamenev. Approaches were made by the remnants of the 'Workers' Opposition': by Shlyapnikov and Medvedyev. Approaches came from the groups of the so-called 'Leftists': that is, Lominadze, Shatskin, Sten and others. Approaches also came from the so-called 'individuals,' to whose numbers belonged Smilga, and to a certain extent, Sokolnikov."

In the second half of 1932 we relized that our banking on a growth of difficulties in the country had failed. We began to realize that the Party and its Central Committee would overcome these difficulties. But both in the first and in the second half of 1932 we were filled with hatred towards the Central Committee of the Party and towards Stalin.

We were convinced that the leadership must be superseded at all costs, that it must be superseded by us, along with Trotsky. In this situation I had meetings with Smirnov who has accused me here of frequently telling untruths. Yes, I often told untruths. I started doing that from the moment I began flighting the Bolshevik Party. In so far as Smirnov took the road of fighting the Party, he too is telling untruths. But it seems, the difference between him and myself is that I have decided firmly and irrevocably to tell at this last moment the truth, whereas, he it seems has adopted a different decision...

I spoke a great deal with Smirnov about choosing people for terroristic activities and also designated the persons against whom the weapon of terrorism was to be directed. The name of Stalin was mentioned in the first place, followed by those of Kirov, Voroshilov and other leaders of the Party and the government. For the purpose of executing these plans, a Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre was formed, the leading part in which was played by myself-Zinoviev,and by Smirnov on behalf of the Trotskyites.

Student Activities

Russian Revolution Simmulation

Bloody Sunday (Answer Commentary)

1905 Russian Revolution (Answer Commentary)

Russia and the First World War (Answer Commentary)

The Life and Death of Rasputin (Answer Commentary)

The Abdication of Tsar Nicholas II (Answer Commentary)

The Provisional Government (Answer Commentary)

The Kornilov Revolt (Answer Commentary)

The Bolsheviks (Answer Commentary)

The Bolshevik Revolution (Answer Commentary)

Classroom Activities by Subject

The Middle Ages

The Normans

The Tudors

The English Civil War

Industrial Revolution

First World War

Russian Revolution

Nazi Germany


(1) John Simkin, Stalin (1987) page 54

(2) Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949) page 352

(3) Edward P. Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General (2001) page 30

(4) Robert C. Tucker, Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above (1992) page 260

(5) Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2003) page 132

(6) Roy A. Medvedev, Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (1971) pages 165-166

(7) Edward P. Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General (2001) page 31

(8) Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin (1996) pages 312-318

(9) Gregory Zinoviev, letter to Joseph Stalin (16th December, 1934)

(10) Victor Kravchenko, I Chose Freedom (1947) page 167

(11) Alexander Orlov, The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes (1953) page 27

(12) Maurice Latey, Tyranny: A Study in the Abuse of Power (1969) page 111

(13) Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2003) page 167

(14) Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949) page 355

(15) Edward P. Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General (2001) page 36

(16) Alexander Orlov, The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes (1953) page 140

(17) John Simkin, Stalin (1987) page 56

(18) Max Shachtman, Socialist Appeal (October 1936)

(19) Lev Kamenev, speech at his trial (20th August, 1936)

(20) Gregory Zinoviev, speech at his trial (20th August, 1936)

(21) Ivan Smirnov, speech at his trial (23rd August, 1936)

(22) Gregory Zinoviev speech at his trial (23rd August, 1936)

(23) Lev Kamenev, speech at his trial (23rd August, 1936)

(24) Edward P. Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General (2001) page 41

(25) Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin (1996) page 333

(26) The Observer (23rd August, 1936)

(27) The New Statesman (5th September, 1936)

(28) The New Republic (2nd September, 1936)

(29) Walter Duranty, The Kremlin and the People (1941) pages 146-148

(30) Robin Page Arnot, The Labour Monthly (November 1937)

(31) Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin (1996) page 338

(32) Lion Feuchtwanger, Moskva (1937) page 108

(33) Maria Svanidze, diary entry (20th November, 1936)

(34) Soviet Embassy in Paris, telegram to Moscow headquarters (16th March, 1937)

(35) Robert Conquest, The Great Terror (1990) page 198

(36) Roy A. Medvedev, Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (1971) page 300

(37) Edward P. Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General (2001) page 442

(38) Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949) page 369

(39) Raphael R. Abramovitch, The Soviet Revolution: 1917-1939 (1962)

(40) Robert Service, Stalin: A Biography (2004) page 592

(41) Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949) page 368-369

(42) Sally J. Taylor, Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty (1990) page 271