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which went to London as an instruction from com. Molotov, the following clarification was made: if necessary, if you are asked, what the term “agreed levels” means, you must say that we have in mind a reduction of arms and armed forces by one third. Com. Molotov then excused himself, saying that he had made an oversight, that it was a mistake, but I consider it necessary to speak about this.
between our party and the leadership of the CPY, there was the fact that the Yugoslav leaders distanced themselves from the principled international positions for which they had stood in the previous period.
In a discussion of this issue in the CC Presidium, some doubt was expressed in relation to the awkwardness and incorrectness of the given explanation. However, the following arguments followed in defense of the given explanation of the reasons for the rupture: that if we did not say that the main reason was Beriia's and Abakumov's intrigues, then the responsibility for the rupture would fall on Stalin, and that was impermissable.
These arguments should not be accepted.
(Source: TsKhSD f.2, op. 1, d. 173, II. 76 ff. Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie.)
Ed. Note: In February 1945, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met in the Palace of Livadia at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss and agree on the postwar order. 2
Ed. Note: In October 1944, Churchill and Stalin met in the Kremlin and divided up spheres of influence in Europe, allegedly on the back of an envelope. For details, see Albert Resis, “The Churchill-Stalin Secret ‘Percentages' Agreement on the Balkans, Moscow, October 1944,” American Historical Review 83 (197778) pp. 368-87.
Khrushchev. Without asking the CC.
Evening, 9 July 1955
Bulganin. (Chairman) Com. Molotov has the floor.
Khrushchev. Without even asking the members of the Politburo. I am a member of the Politburo, but no one asked my opinion.
Molotov. Com. Khrushchev is speaking imprecisely (netochno).
Khrushchev. I want once again to repeat: I was not asked, although I (was) a member of the Politburo.
Molotov. You must not forget that the basic and real reason for the rupture was the move of the leadership of the CPY from a position of communism to a position of nationalism, and not just someone's intrigues which, of course, also played their role.
Did such a departure by the Yugoslav leaders from communism occur or not? We must give an answer to that question...
Does this mean that there are no grounds for rapprochement between the USSR and Yugoslavia? No, it does not.
If a rapprochement and an improvement of relations between the Soviet Union and this or that country which does not belong to the socialist camp (for instance, India or Finland) is possible, then, consequently, an improvement in relations and a rapprochement between the USSR and Yugoslavia is also possible, if Yugoslavia shows, along with the USSR, an aspiration to this. In the present conditions such a rapprochement is possible chiefly along intergovernmental (Ed. note: i.e., non-party) lines.
In our relations with Yugoslavia, we cannot forget the fact that Yugoslavia left the people's democratic countries with which it was together from 1945-1947. But, on the other hand, we must reckon with and appreciate the fact that Yugoslavia, although it drew closer to the imperialist camp, is trying in some capacity to preserve its sovereignty and national independence, although in recent years
Molotov. (Ed. note: Molotov presents the development of Soviet-Yugoslav relations since World War Two for about twenty minutes.) Comrades, the issue of Yugoslavia has great political significance. Obviously, the complex nature of the Yugoslav issue is clear to us all...
If one were to judge by this statement, it would appear that the main reason for the rupture in relations between the CPSU and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) in 1948 was some “materials” which were fabricated by the enemies of the people Beriia and Abakumov, and the rest is not worthy of attention.
From what I have said and from a real acquaintance with the materials, one can, however, establish that this statement, which tries to explain the reason for the rupture in relations with the CPY in large part by the hostile intrigues of Beriia and Abakumov, does not fit with the factual situation. Beriia and Abakumov's intrigues, without a doubt, played a certain role here, but this was not of chief importance.
The groundlessness of that explanation, it seems to me, is visible from the following:
First, it was incorrect to place the blame for the rupture in relations between the CPSU and the CPY only on our party, while keeping silent about the responsibility of the CPY. This falsely exonerates (obeliaet] the leadership of the CPY, for which there are no grounds.
Secondly—and this is the important point—it should not be ignored that as the basis of the disagreement
untied its hands to speak out against the USSR at any time on all and sundry issues of international relations. The government of Yugoslavia has not yet once said that it has revised these views, or even that its foreign policy is closer to the position of the USSR and the people's democratic countries than to the position of the powers in the imperialist camp...
[TsKhSD, f.2, op. 1, d. 173, II.1-11. Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie.)
its ties with countries like the USA, England and others, and together with this, its dependence on these countries, have have become stronger and stronger. It [Yugoslavia] is between two camps, tilting towards the capitalist countries. In view of this, it is completely clear that it is our task to weaken Yugoslavia's ties with the capitalist countries which are pulling it into the imperialist camp, be they commercial, economic, or military-political ties, which are putting Yugoslavia in a position of dependence on imperialism. For this, it is necessary to increase and strengthen Yugoslavia's ties with the USSR and the people's democratic countries, showing all possible vigilance in relation to the remaining ties that Yugoslavia has with the capitalist countries. Such a policy will strengthen our socialist camp and at the same time will weaken the camp of the imperialist countries. Such a policy is correct, let's say, in relation to India (or Finland), and is all the more correct in relation to Yugoslavia, where the revolutionary traditions of partisan struggle against fascist occupiers are alive and sympathies for the USSR are great in the people, and where such post-war revolutionary victories as the nationalization of large industry and others, which were accomplished when Yugoslavia marched in the same ranks as the people's democratic states which had arisen at that time, have been preserved. However, it should not be forgotten that in recent years (1949-1955), Yugoslavia has made a series of steps backward both in the city (the weakening of state planning authority in relation to nationalized industry), as well as especially in the countryside, where in recent years a line of renouncing the collectivization of agriculture has been followed.
We must make sure that Yugoslavia does not enter the North Atlantic bloc, or any of its international affiliates, and that Yugoslavia leaves the Balkan union, [since) two of the three participants (Turkey and Greece) are members of the North-Atlantic bloc. It is also in our interest to help Yugoslavia reduce its economic dependence on the USA and other capitalist countries. We must expand and strengthen cooperation with Yugoslavia, above all in the international arena, in the struggle to strengthen peace in Europe and in the whole world. The same can be said in relation to possible international cooperation in the economic sphere, insofar as joint steps with Yugoslavia and other countries in the interest of normalizing international trade and against discrimination and other aggressive actions by capitalist countries headed by the USA, are possible and desirable.
However, appropriate caution and a critical approach should be shown toward Yugoslavia's political steps, bearing in mind that in recent years Yugoslavia's position on a series of issues (for instance, on the German issue) has been closer to the position of the Western powers than to the position of the USSR and the people's democratic countries. It should not be forgotten that in accusing the Soviet Union of imperialist tendencies and of the so-called policy of “hegemony," the Yugoslav government has
Continued from page 33 bered, “The commission report was given by Pospelov (he was and remains pro-Stalinist). The facts were so terrifying that when he spoke, especially in very serious places (tiazhelyi), tears appeared in his eyes and his voice trembled. We were all stunned, although we knew much, but all that the commission reported we, of course, did not know. And now it all was verified and confirmed by documents."5
After the report Khrushchev stated his position: “Stalin was incompetent (nesostoiatel'nost') as a leader (vozhd). What kind of leader (is this], if he destroys everyone? We must show the courage to speak the truth. Opinion: tell the Congress; to consider: how to tell the Congress. Whom to tell[?] If we do not tell, then we are dishonest (nechestnost') towards the Congress. Maybe have Pospelov prepare a report and tell—the causes of the cult of personality, the concentration of power in one (set of] hands, in dishonorable (nechestnykh) hands.":6
[Ed. Note : Behind the scenes of the ongoing Congress, the Presidium edited Khrushchev's speech. The passage below was excised.]
“Every member of the Politburo can tell of disrespectful (bestseremonnyi) treatment by Stalin of Politburo members. I present, for example, this case. Once, not long before his death, Stalin summoned several members of the CC Presidium. We went to his dacha and began to discuss several questions. It happened that on the table across from me there was a big stack of papers, which hid me from Stalin.
Stalin testily shouted: “Why are you sitting there?! Are you afraid that I will shoot you? Do not be afraid, I will not shoot, sit a bit closer.' There are your relations with members of the Politburo."7
(Source : V.P. Naumov, “K istorii sekretnogo doklada N.S. Khrushcheva na
20th s'ezde KPSS,” Novaia i noveishaia istorija 4 (1996) pp. 147-168, reprinted in Forum fur osteuropaische Ideen- und Zeitgeschichte 1(1997), pp. 137177. Special thanks to Donal O'Sullivan for permission to reprint. Translated by Andrew Grauer.)
1 Mikojan's diary can be found in the Presidential Archive (APRF, f.39, op.3, d. 120). 2
Malin Notes are located in the Center for the Storage of Contemporary Documentation (TsKhSD, f.3, op.8, d.389). 3 The draft of Khrushchev's speech can be found in TsKhSD, f.1, op.2, d.16. 4
TsKhSD f. 3, op. 8, d. 389, 11. 52-54. 5
APRF f. 39, op. 3, d. 120, 11. 115-116. 6
TsKhSD f. 3, op. 8, d. 389, 1. 62. 7
TsKhSD f. 1, op. 2, d. 16, 11. 76-77.
Concluding Word by com. N.S. KHRUSHCHEV
[12 July 1955)
Comrades. I want to read you a telegram which com. Gromyko cited in part, since this document is of interest in understanding the position of the Yugoslav leaders. It is a communication from our ambassador in Yugoslavia about a conversation with com. Tito.
On 29 June com. Tito invited the Soviet ambassador to visit him and had a lengthy conversation with him. Here is what com. Val’kov wrote about that:
“In a conversation with me on 29 June Tito told me the following:
At present, Tito said, there are many conversations among the Yugoslavs and foreign representatives, surrounding the communication published in the Yugoslav press on 28 June about his, Tito's, acceptance of an invitation to visit the Soviet Union.
I noted that at a lunch in the Egyptian mission on 28 June the Canadian ambassador, the Egyptian envoy, the Japanese envoy, and the English consul all asked me about this issue. After this Tito noted that he would be happy to visit the Soviet Union and, in keeping with the understanding with comrades Khrushchev and Bulganin, the trip would take place next year. Concerning (U.S. Secretary of State John Foster] Dulles' announcement at a 28 June press conference on the fact that the possibility of the Yugoslav president's visiting the United States of America would be reviewed favorably if the Marshal expressed a desire to visit the United States of America, Tito said that the Americans would have to wait a long time for the expression of such a desire, if indeed they ever wait long enough (to hear it)." (Laughter in the hall). Not badly put!
Voice from the audience. Not bad...
Now on Austria. This is a very important issue. I remember how Stalin, about a year before his death, said several times:
- Why don't we conclude a treaty with Austria?
But this matter kept being postponed; it was said that we would resolve it after Trieste. When the Trieste matter got cleared up, comrade Stalin again ask[ed]:
- Why aren't we concluding a treaty with Austria?
After Stalin's death, somehow com. Malenkov and I began talking with com. Molotov about Austria. He told us that the Austrian issue was a very complex one which we needed very much (i.e. to keep on the agenda without resolving it), [and] that its resolution had to be delayed.
Here, at the plenum, I will frankly say that I believed Molotov's word on everything, [and] like many of us, thought that he was a great and experienced diplomat. Sometimes you'd look and then reason and think:
- Damn it (chert voz'mi), maybe I am missing something! After all, that is what it means to be a diplomat-he sees, and I don't see anything (laughter in the hall). I'm telling you this in all sincerity.
Some time passed, and I still wanted to find out what
Molotov saw in the Austrian issue and (why) he was fighting to drag out its resolution, but I can't see [it).
I came to the conclusion that there was no reason for us to drag out this matter, since time was beginning to work against us. In Austria we are losing our good position by dragging out a resolution to the issue of a peace treaty with the country. I then say to com. Bulganin:
- You know what I think, Nikolai Aleksandrovich? In my opinion, the Austrian issue as Molotov understands it is reminiscent of an egg which has gone bad. Soon you will have to throw it in the garbage because everything will change and there will be no value in resolving it positively. And that is really so.
But if we had gone halfway (vyshli navstrechu) with a resolution of the Austrian issue when the events connected with the conclusion of the Paris agreement had just ripened, after all, then the issue of these agreements could have arisen in a different way.
Voice from the Presidium. Correct.
Voice from the hall. The Paris agreement wouldn't have come about.
Khrushchev. We put forward the Austrian issue in a discussion of the CC Presidium. I said to com. Molotov:
- Listen, Viacheslav Mikhailovich, you understand this issue. But some comrades and I do not understand why we should delay the conclusion of a treaty with Austria. Explain to us how you understand it. Perhaps I will begin to understand it differently; after all, we aren't fools. And when I understand, I will support you; after all, right now I don't see anything complicated in it. I see only stupidity on our side, which consists of the fact that we are dragging out the conclusion of a peace treaty with Austria for no apparent reason.
We discussed the issue and came to the conclusion that we should conclude a peace treaty with Austria, [and] make sure that Austria became a neutral state. When we came to such a decision, Molotov said:
- It is good that it was decided this way. After all, I did not object to such a decision.
Comrades! We, all of the members of the Presidium, each spoke to Molotov twice, reporting to him that it was necessary to stop dragging out the Austrian issue and to resolve it. And you know how we usually resolve issues in the Presidium,—we don't speak because everything is already clear and that issue that has been brought for examination does not need additional clarification. And here, I repeat, we all spoke several times without convincing com. Molotov that it was impossible to delay any further on this matter.
Kaganovich. And (we spoke] quite sharply [i dovol'no ostro).
Khrushchev. During the discussion I ask[ed] com. Molotov:
- Tell me, please, are you for or against war?
- Then what are you achieving by having our troops sit in Vienna? If you stand for war, then it would be
correct to stay in Austria. It is a beach-head (platsdarm], issue?
Perhaps in another month he will say that he approved
Or take the issue of arms control. For a long time we understand
the Austrian communists do not under- took an incorrect position, proposing to cut the armed stand, and Austrian workers begin to see our troops as forces of all countries by one third. With such a stance on occupiers. Communists abroad also do not understand us. the issue [postanovka voprosa), they will send us to the Why are we sitting in Austria; what are we waiting for devil and put forward convincing arguments as well. Who there?
will make such an agreement? We have so many million Com. Molotov was commissioned to prepare a draft. (men) at arms (and the Americans have data on this). We He presented the draft, but it said that if an anschluss were say: let's disarm, cut armaments by a third. And what sort to be prepared of Austria with Germany, we would reserve of disarmament can there be here; can they really discuss the right to lead our troops into Austria. There was a lot of our draft? Judge for yourself: we have, for example, six all sorts of nonsense in the draft presented by the MID. million soldiers, reduced by one third-four (million) are I said to com. Molotov:
left. They have, for instance, three million, which must - Listen, we have to look at things realistically and also be reduced by one third. After this, what sort of concretely. Let's assume that we manage to conclude a correlation of forces is left after that? By making that sort treaty in which this is said. Imagine that they prepare an of proposal, we give the imperialists trump cards to anschluss. After all, after we find out about it, everything decline our proposal; we will look like opponents of will be ready for an anschluss-artillery will be deployed disarmament. The rulers of bourgeois states under the where they should be, and troops will be assembled. After pressure of their people also raise the issue of disarmaall, they are not fools, and know that if there is an
ment. In order to knock all of the trumps out of the hands anschluss, we can oppose an anschluss and, probably, of the imperialists, we decided to introduce a proposal that, repulse it. So, in such a situation, would you start a war? on the issues of arms control, we start from the conditions
You have to keep in mind, after all, that the Austrians of each state, taking into account the size of the territory of and Germans are nations (natsii] close to one another. If the country, the quantity of its population, and other someone set us such conditions: to separate the Russians conditions. Based on these conditions, we must attain from the Ukrainians or Belorussians, what would we say? arms cuts to an appropriate level. Is this decision correct? We would say, without pausing for thought:
Undoubtedly, it is correct. Such a proposal permits us the - You take your proposals to God's mother [k bozh'ei possibility of taking the initiative. materij!
We adopted a resolution of the CC Presidium on this Why should we stick our noses into that matter? issue and instructed com. Molotov to inform com. Malik Remember what has already happened. After the First about it, but he sent a different directive, did not fulfill the World War, France reserved rights for itself as to the Saar, resolution of the CC Presidium, as com. Bulganin has the Ruhr, and the Rhineland zones. But Hitler came to correctly stated here. At the meeting of the CC Presidium power in Germany. He squeezed France, seizing the Saar we asked com. Molotov: why did he do so? He explained district [and] the Ruhr (and] Rhineland zones, and what it like this: I gave correct instructions, but when they became of it? An embarrassment. The French disgraced looked at the ciphered communication, it turned out that it themselves, since it became clear that France was not in a was incorrectly written. Com. Molotov admitted that he condition to defend itself. And Hitler, having gotten cocky had made an error in this matter, for which we then gave [obnaglev], began to mobilize forces for other expansionist him a warning... adventures. I said to Molotov:
(Source: TsKhSD f.2, op.1, d. 176, II.282-95. Translated by - Why should we do what you are proposing in
And so when we all bore down on him (navalilis' na
- Did I really object to the resolution of the Austrian
"Stalin, comrades, is such a figure that many historians will break their teeth trying to learn this history;
and there will still be something left to learn."
Khrushchev's Second Secret Speech
Much has already been written about Khrushchev's secret speech to the closed session of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) on the evening of 24-25 February 1956. The secret speech, “On the cult of personality and its consequences,” ignited a flame which set the communist world afire. In one fell swoop Stalin was branded a criminal by Khrushchev.1 The international communist movement went through a period of chaos following Khrushchev's revelations and nowhere was this more apparent than in Poland.
On 12 March 1956, the Polish United Worker' Party (PUWP) lost its own leader. Boleslaw Bierut, ill with pneumonia, had traveled to the 20th CPSU Congress but he never returned. He died of heart failure in Moscow shortly after reading the secret speech, which the Soviets provided to all the leaders of the fraternal parties on the evening of 24 February. The secret speech found its way to Poland with the delegates who returned to Warsaw.2 Bierut's death forced Khrushchev to move quickly. He travelled to Warsaw with Bierut's body for the state funeral and remained there for a week. Khrushchev met with the Polish leadership to settle the succession question. On 20 March, the PUWP held its 6th plenum to chose a new First Secretary. Khrushchev was invited to make a speech and to participate in the proceedings. Below is an excerpt of his 73 page, largely extemporaneous, often incoherent and ungrammatical explanation to the Polish comrades of why he gave the secret speech at the 20th congress, as well as other matters. This speech was not included in the official protocol of the 6th plenum and
3 remained hidden in the Polish archives until recently. It was never translated and has never been published before.
Khrushchev was an emotional speaker who tended to speak his mind. A number of episodes are noteworthy in this speech: Khrushchev said that the legacy in foreign policy left by Stalin was terrible; that Stalin was smart, but suffered from a persecution complex; that we after all coped with foreign policy despite Stalin's warnings; that we could not arrest Stalin on 22 June 1941; that we should “demoralize NATO;” that Stalin had called him a Pole.4 Moreover, Khrushchev agreed to answer questions by the Polish comrades from the floor about the secret speech and Stalin's legacy
(L.W. Gluchowski is a researcher associated with CREES at the University of Toronto and the Institute for Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.)
The Speech by Comrade Khrushchev
20 March 1956, Warsaw
[Head of State Council] Comrade Aleksander Zawadzki (in Polish]
Comrades, the [PUWP] Politburo has taken advantage of the occasion afforded by Comrade Khrushchev's visit with us, and has invited Comrade Khrushchev to meet with the Central Committee plenum. As a result we should treat this as the beginning of the plenum—the actual meeting will begin in the late afternoon.
I suggest, in the name of all present, that we give Comrade Khrushchev a heartfelt greeting, at this, our plenum. (Applause.) We ask that Comrade Khrushchev take advantage of this meeting, and speak to all who are gathered, from a perspective of personal experience.
I was told that you're familiar with the report presented at the closed session of the congress. You also read it. Now, comrades, I would like to talk about a very crucial question—the question of the cult of personality.
The report of the closed session (of the 20th CPSU congress) you have read. But...... [Ed. Note: Dots not enclosed in parentheses are found in the original.) with such openness we presented these questions. We didn't hide anything; we said everything. Why did we introduce this question to the party congress? We had a discussion. We exchanged opinions, if such a topic should be touched. People, for decades, thought like this. And suddenly, we'll show them that it's not that clean, how we always looked at and understood this subject, that it's dirty, this subject. We discussed it a lot, argued about it, and finally decided to present this question. This is our capital, and we have to use it. Our biggest capital is that which aids in reinforcing the ranks of our party. And capital which aides in reinforcing our authority among the masses is our main capital. After the death of Stalin, we freed tens of thousands of people from jails. We reinstated thousands of people to party membership. We reinstated our friends. I talked to one of them, who spent sixteen years with...... This is my
Comrade Khrushchev (in Russian]
My task is very difficult because I don't know which problems interest you, the Polish United Workers' Party. The questions [discussed at the 20th (CPSU] congress. All the questions of the 20th congress.