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documentation is far from complete.
Research Notes on Soviet intelligence and documents on nuclear weapons in Cuba and China, among others, conclude Bulletin 10. Andropov's 1967 report, his first as KGB Chairman, gives us an inside overview of the world's largest intelligence agency charged with both domestic and foreign responsibilities. For millions, the Cold War is synonymous with nuclear terror. In this Bulletin the moment of purest dread (at least for Americans) comes on page 227, when the Soviet rocket forces on Cuba are ordered to "be prepared, following a signal from Moscow, to deal a nuclear missile strike to the most important targets in the United States of America."
The next to last article leads off a series of CWIHP publications dealing with Ukraine. Together with the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, CWIHP has begun a Kyiv initiative. It was almost axiomatic among sovietologists that the Soviet Union could not survive the loss of Ukraine. Khrushchev, who served as Party boss there in the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to become General Secretary in Moscow, certainly thought so. In his concluding remarks to the July 1955 CC CPSU plenum, Khrushchev exclaimed: 12
If someone set us such conditions: to separate the Russians from the Ukrainians or Belorussians, what would we say? We would say, without pausing for thought: You take your proposals to the mother of God (k bozhei materi).
The two Stalin conversations in this Bulletin show the dictator in two moods, in two roles. Other talks show other facets. Scholars in possession of transcripts, memcons, reports and memoir materials in any language on Stalin's meetings with top leaders in the period 1939-1953 are invited to contribute and send them to CWIHP by mail or FAX. The 3-4 October 1997 Stalin Workshop in Budapest and the 19-20 March 1998 Moscow Workshop will be followed by other Stalin events.
The section on the End of the Cold War is also the overture to a larger project, jointly planned with the National Security Archive at George Washington University and leading to commemorative activities and publications in 1999-2001. The nearness of the events to be covered will almost certainly inspire controversy.11 This issue of the Bulletin aims only to raise the thorny question of dating the Cold War's demise by publishing two sets of documents that offer divergent perspectives from different regions of the world, Southeast Europe and Northeast Asia. The Soviet Foreign Ministry's presentation to the American Ambassador of the “Brezhnev doctrine” as a gift on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1989, bears note as a key symbolic turning point. The Cherniaev excerpt, previously available to Japanese readers only, reveals the long and laborious process by which Gorbachev tried to change the insular nature of Soviet-Japanese relations, but he ran out of time.
The Deng section invokes the memory of the late paramount leader of the PRC by shedding light on his role in Sino-Soviet affairs between 1956 and 1963, the
very years when fraternal relations were breaking down. Was renewed entente possible even as late as 1962? Did a group within the CCP leadership favor this option, even counter to Mao Zedong's views? These are crucial questions for understanding the ultimate end of SinoSoviet cooperation, the origins of the Cultural Revolution and the prehistory of the Strategic Triangle. Just as Bulletins 6-9 and the CWIHP conference at the University of Hong Kong in January 1996 focused attention on SinoSoviet disagreements regarding the Korean War, even at the height of the two regimes' intimacy, Bulletin 10 and the October 1997 Beijing conference co-sponsored by CWIHP (See pp.150–151) highlight documents on persistent themes and practices of unity, where the powers of hindsight would emphasize ineluctable discord. Once again, access to East-bloc documents shows that these historical processes were much more complex and multisided than previous analysts have portrayed them (or indeed, could portray them in the absence of archival access). Of course, many aspects are still unclear and the
The first installment on the Ukrainian initiative is Mark Kramer's presentation of the diary of Politburo member, Petro Shelest, who served simultaneously as Ukrainian Communist Party First Secretary. This top-level source adds a whole new subplot to the history of the Prague Spring, while highlighting the largely unexplored importance of Ukraine (and Slovakia) in the Cold War. 13
1997 has been a busy year at the Cold War Project. In addition to serving as organizer or lead co-organizer of conferences/workshops in Beijing, Budapest, Warsaw and Washington, CWIHP put up a new website at:
The ease and availability of web use as a reference tool has risen greatly in the past five years. Furthermore, as CWIHP-published materials multiply, the information becomes much more accessible via electronic search than in print. The inclusion below of the Gromyko-Vance talks of 28-30 March 1977 illustrates the division of labor. One printed Bulletin page is devoted to excerpts and overview, while the Electronic Bulletin carries the twenty-page full text. Of course, those who want to read hardcopy should feel free to download and reproduce. CWIHP is committed to helping all those who want to read our electronic publications up onto the web.
It is traditional at this point to make acknowledgements, although I know I do not have enough space to name all those who have contributed to this Bulletin and Electronic Bulletin. First of all, I want to thank Dean Anderson, George Bowen, Joe Brinley, Sam Crivello, Rob Litwak, John Martinez, Michael O'Brien, and the Smithsonian Institution, without whom the website would have never happened. Christian Ostermann was the best Co-editor and Associate Director one could wish for. Christa Sheehan Matthew deserves full credit for the greatly improved appearance, layout, and French translations. I am grateful to Andrew Grauer for putting up with some unusual scheduling. Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie is the name that appears most often in this Bulletin, because he translated much more than his share. Without Tom Blanton, CHEN Jian, Leo Gluchowski, Mark Kramer, Odd Arne Westad, and Vlad Zubok, I might have despaired of finally getting the Bulletin out. Without Jim and Annie Hershberg, I certainly would have.
Wishing everybody happy archival hunting in 1998.
Poland and Hungary, see Mark Kramer, “New Evidence on Soviet Decision-Making and the 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises” CWIHP Bulletin 8-9, pp. 358-410. This is also the longest CWIHP Bulletin article of all time. 7 Of course, we should not forget that if Khrushchev, in attacking Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov can allow himself to mock the whole Soviet diplomatic corps by saying, “that is what it means to be a diplomat—he sees, and I don't see anything. (laughter in the hall)," any bickering over foreign policy issues may actually mask a personal attack on the Foreign Minister or his institutional stronghold, the “MID.” For quote, see p. 42 below. 8
To a certain extent, it appears that the Soviet Presidium was trying to replicate its own collective" nature in other East-bloc countries by removing the Stalinist party chieftains, who had ruled the fraternal parties in a dictatorial manner. In the Hungarian document, Matyas Rakosi, Hungary’s mini-Stalin, was forced to humble himself with such comments as: “Regarding hubris, that's an illness that one can not detect, just like one can not smell one's own odor.” On the scope of change, Molotov was most direct : “The comrades had a chance to become convinced that even though we are talking about Hungary, this issue is not only Hungary, but all the peoples' democracies.” (See pp. 85, 83 below.) 9 This is not to say that Stalin was loquacious. It is unimaginable that Stalin would speak for hours impromptu like Khrushchev (pp. 44ff. below) or Gorbachev (pp. 196 ff.). 10 On the Hopkins mission, see William Taubman, Stalin's American Policy : From Entente to Détente to Cold War (New York, 1982), pp. 101, 103-7. The Harriman quote comes from a memorandum of conversation for the 26 May 1945 meeting between Hopkins and Stalin held in Box 179 of the Harriman Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The editor is grateful to Jim Hershberg for locating and providing this document. 11 Examples of such discussions are: “The Kramer-Blight et al. Debate on Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Cuba” (Bulletin 3), “The Sudoplatov Controversy on Atomic Espionage” (Bulletins 4, 5), and “The Cumings-Weathersby Exchange on Korean War Origins” (Bulletin 6-7). 12
See p. 43 below. 13 In Summer 1997, a CWIHP delegation consisting of Jim Hershberg, Mark Kramer, David Wolff and Vladislav Zubok visited the archives of Chisinau (Kishinev), Kyiv, Riga, and Vilnius, where over 8000 pages of materials (often unavailable in Moscow) were gathered. These will be an important resource in the preparation of planned CWIHP Bulletins on “Intelligence and the Cold War,” “Nationalism and the Cold War," and “The End of the Cold War,” as well as for additional publications on Cold War crises in Central and Eastern Europe.
David Wolff, Editor
| A. I. Mikoian, the longest serving member of the Presidium/ Politburo (1926-1966), wrote these words in reaction to the presentation to the Presidium of the (P.N.) Pospelov report, the first detailed, documented study of Stalin's mass slaughter of Party cadres. For more on this, see Naumov and Gluchowski articles below. Mikoian's Memoirs are cited as Presidential Archive of the Russian Federation (AP RF), f. 39, op.3, d.120, although it appears that the file has actually already been transferred to the Russian Center for the Storage and Study of Contemporary Documentation (RTsKhIDNI) in preparation for declassification. 2 Stalin was a night owl and, therefore, so were his minions. On the abolition of nocturnal summonses under Khrushchev, see John Gaddis, We Now Know (Oxford University Press: New York, 1997), p. 206. 3 On the assassination plans, see p.137 below. 4
The materials of the March 1953 plenums can be found in TsKhSD (Storage Center for Contemporary Documentation), f.2, op.1, dd.23-26; Additional materials are available on Reel 7 of the Volkogonov papers in an article draft entitled “Smert Stalina" (Library of Congress, Manuscript Collection); Qualified medical personnel had become scarce after Stalin took to torturing his doctors, an ultimately effective, though indirect, way for one of history's greater tyrants to hasten his own end. 5
Vojtech Mastny has recently argued in his Beer-prize winning book (see p. 74 below) that only "irresistible Western pressure” coinciding with internal crisis might have caused significant change in the Kremlin's policies. See Vojtech Mastny, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years (Oxford University Press: New York, 1996), p. 190. 6 V. N. Malin was head of the General Department of the CC CPSU under Khrushchev and kept detailed notes of Presidium discussions and decisions. For his notes on the crises of 1956 in
Table of Contents
The Drama of the Plenums: A Call to Arms
Khrushchev. You want to turn everything back in order then to take up the axe yourself.
that is not what I want.
n the third week of June 1957, a series of meetings of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) found N.S. Khrushchev, the First Secretary, in the minority. With a Kremlin coup in the offing, Khrushchev managed to convoke a CC plenary session, whose outcome was not at all certain prior to the meeting's opening. But by the third day, when the epigraph above was spoken, it was clear that the Army and security organs, together with the CC, would support Khrushchev. Thus, Molotov had no axe at hand and Khrushchev's concern was purely rhetorical, a reminder of the true correlation of forces on the plenum floor. This kind of showmanship is illustrative of the theatrical qualities of the plenum transcripts, excerpts from which are presented here for the first time in English translation. Additional materials can be found on the CWIHP website.
For the most part, the CC CPSU Presidium/Politburo members staged and took leading roles in the drama. 2 Under Stalin, and later under Brezhnev, autocratic rule produced unanimously-approved speeches and decisions to be rubber-stamped by the plenum. But during the Khrushchev years, especially between 1953 and 1957, "collective leadership" produced multiple Presidium scripts to compete on the plenum floor, with the winning narrative to be determined by the audience. With this in mind, the selection of cadres for the plenum (to paraphrase Stalin) would decide all.” Of course, the structure of
3 CPSU work and promotion was such that all Presidium members had chaired innumerable meetings of the aktiv and knew all the organizational tricks. But Khrushchev was best of all, both at garnering loyalty and placing the trustworthy onto the CC. This is not to say, as Mark Kramer points out in his essay, that the plenum decisions were made in the course of the session. Nonetheless, the plenum discussions provide us with a window into the Presidium-level discussions that did lead to the key decisions, just prior to the plenums themselves.
Aside from the sharp dialogue generated by clashing scripts, another theatrical plenum element is the role of the "voices” rising up from the plenum floor to interrupt the speaker. Although one can not tell from the transcripts, one suspects that these are generated by loyalists handpicked for their eloquence to play a role somewhere between claque and Greek chorus. Their functions are
multiple, serving sometimes as echo (Mikoian: That is why Nikita Sergeevich (Khrushchev] blew up. I also almost blew up. Voices: Blew up.), sometimes as a prompt (Pospelov: The July 1955 plenum recorded this. Voice: On Yugoslavia.), and sometimes for emphasis (Khrushchev: How much gold did we spend then, com. Malenkov, 200250 tons? Voice. If not more.). Heckling was also part
of the job, as was laughing at the right jokes and myriad other planned impromptus. 4
The three essays that begin this section each cover different ground. Vladislav Zubok's piece most closely captures the core problematic of this Bulletin issue. As each of Khrushchev's competitors is expelled from the inner circles of power, Zubok chronicles the key foreign policy decisions linked to the demotion. Beriia, Malenkov, Molotov, and Zhukov followed each other down in dizzying succession. Gael Moullec reminds us that foreign policy and leadership struggle were just a small part of the issues touched on by the plenums. The social and cultural history of the Cold War can also draw from this invaluable source. Mark Kramer's article will be essential reading on this topic and for all those planning work in fond 2 at the former Central Committee archives in Moscow (now known as the Center for the Storage of Contemporary Documentation, or TsKhSD) for many years to come.
The plenum excerpts themselves help tie together the various sections of this Bulletin. (Excerpts from the July 1953 plenum, at which Beriia was denounced, have already appeared in English and are summarized in CWIHP Bulletin 1, and are therefore omitted here.) In January 1955, the role of Malenkov and Beriia during the 1953 German events took center stage, complementing Christian Ostermann's essay and accompanying documents. By July 1955 Molotov and Khrushchev clashed over the normalization of relations with Yugoslavia. These discussions supplement the Yugoslavia section. Khrushchev’s “second secret speech” at the Sixth Plenum of the Polish United Workers' Party in March 1956 adds context to Stalin's conversations with Yugoslav leaders. In the part of the Bulletin devoted to Deng Xiaoping and Sino-Soviet relations, we often see Deng eager for information about plenum results. Chinese matters, as well as wide-ranging foreign policy disagreements, appear in the June 1957 transcripts." Mark Kramer's essay also
5 makes clear how extensively the plenum sessions treated
China in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Although the second secret speech” comes from the Polish archives and the June 1957 plenum materials have been published in Russian and Chinese, the remaining excerpts, including extensive citations in the Kramer, Moullec and Zubok essays, come directly from TsKhSD's fond 2.6 In the spring of 1996, with the preliminary polls for Russia's presidential election suggesting that the Communists might take back power and reclaim their archives, CWIHP's former director James G. Hershberg launched a special initiative to study and copy these documents while available. Although the alarm proved
7 premature, the happy result is that CWIHP was able to gather a substantial collection of plenum records, now on deposit and available for general use in the reading room of the National Security Archive at The George Washington University as part of READ, the Russian and East European Archival Database. We hope that the brief excerpts and expert commentary assembled here will whet appetites for more systematic exploration, both in Washington and Moscow, of this important Cold War source.
from power in late 1964, the older name, Politburo, was
This is known in the political science literature by a term
An example where the hecklers clearly found their way through the thick skin to a soft spot follows: Molotov: (quoting Pravda, citing Khrushchev) “If, for instance—N.S. Khrushchev adds as a joke—our (foreign) minister Gromyko and your secretary (of state) Dulles met, in a hundred years they wouldn't agree on anything, and, perhaps, only our grandsons would wait long enough to get any results from these negotiations.” Voice: Read on. Molotov: Read on yourself. Voice. It is being said as a joke there. Molotov: One does not play with the authority of the MID of the USSR in front of bourgeois governments. (All examples are drawn from June 1957 plenum extracts published here or on the CWIHP website.)
This helps to explain why the transcripts of the June 1957 plenum sessions, first printed in Istoricheskii arkhiv 3-6 (1993) and 1-2 (1994) have already appeared in a two-volume set in Chinese. See Sugong gongchandang zuihou yige "fandang" jituan (The CPSU Final “Antiparty“ Group) (Beijing, 1997). The introduction by one of Mao's Russian translators (who is also often present at Deng's meetings with the Soviets), Yan Mingfu, has since been reprinted twice in the popular press. See Wenhui dushu zhoubao 4 October 1997 and Zuojia wenzhai 24 October 1997. 6
TsKhSD (Tsentr khraneniia sovremennoi dokumentatsii) = Center for Storage of Contemporary Documentation. This is the former CC CPSU working archive. 7
CWIHP associates participating in this initiative included Ray Garthoff, Hope Harrison, James G. Hershberg, Mark Kramer and Vladislav Zubok.
1 The following morning, on June 25, Khrushchev staged a similar reminder with a reference to Molotov's wanting “to return to some of Stalin's bad methods." Other comments by Khrushchev on Stalin's methods can be found in the Warsaw “Second Secret Speech” introduced in this Bulletin by Leo Gluchowski. 2
Starting from the 19th Party Congress in October 1952, the Politburo was renamed the Presidium. With Khrushchev's fall
More Evidence on Korean War Origins from the
July 1955 CPSU Plenum
[Ed. Note: During the past five years the CWIHP Bulletin has hosted important new findings on the origins of the Korean War. This excerpt from the plenums, though present in the verbatim record, was later expunged from the internal-circulation print version, since it so clearly contradicts the Soviet Union's official pronouncements. Further East-bloc documentation on the Korean War can be found in Bulletin 3, pp.1, 14-18; Bulletin 4, p. 21; Bulletin 5, pp. 1-9; Bulletin 6-7, pp. 30-125; and Bulletin 8-9, pp. 237-242.)
Khrushchev. Viacheslav Mikhailovich [Molotov), this smells a bit hostile to us (nemnozhko ot vrazhdebnogo nam v etom otnoshenii popakhivaet). Viacheslav Mikhailovich, if you, as minister of foreign affairs, analyzed a whole series of our steps, (you would see that) we mobilized people against us. We started the Korean War. And what does this mean? Everyone knows this.
(Anastas] Mikoian. Aside from our people, in our country.
Khrushchev. Here, Viacheslav Mikhailovich, this must be borne in mind; everything must be understood, everything analyzed, [and] only then can one come to the correct conclusion. We started the war. Now we cannot in any way disentangle ourselves. For two years there has been no war. Who needed the war?...
(Source: TsKhSD f.2, op. 1, d. 173, II. 76 ff. Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie.)