Research Project - #PRN/33 Operation Swan Lake


(2028 - 2029)



Speech of Bukharin





BUKHARIN. Let me relate to you how I explained this matter.

Comrade Mikoian says the following: On the most basic question,

he, Bukharin, has differences of opinion with the party: In

essence, he stuck to his old positions. This is untrue. In no way

have I stuck to my previous positions -- not on industrialization,

not on collectivization, [and] not on village restructuring in

general. But with regards to stimuli in agriculture, this question

was not clear to me until the matter came round to the legislation

on Soviet trade. I consider the entire problem, as a whole, was

resolved after the introduction of laws on Soviet trade. Prior to

this, this problem, very important but not all-embracing, was not

clear to me. When this matter became pertinent to product turnover

in [illegible] and Soviet....

[intervening pages of transcript missing]



I would like to make one more remark. Apparently Mikoian has

said: How, then, are you not responsible, as you say, for

[illegible] this whole "school" sits? I do bear responsibility for

this. But the question involves the degree of responsibility; it

is a matter of the quality of this responsibility. During the

process of confrontation [and cross-examination], I told Kaganovich

that I am responsible for the death of Tomskii because, in 1928-29,

had I not headed up groups of rightists, it is possible that

Tomskii's fate might also have been different. I bear

responsibility for this fact. However, it is necessary to

establish the degree and nature of this responsibility.

Responsibility for what transpired with these youth over an

indefinite number of years qualitatively and quantitatively differs

from, let's say, the responsibility of a person who orders another

person to do something and that person carries out the order. I am

not shifting responsibility from myself; more than anyone else, I

accept the gravity of this responsibility. However, I would like

to say that the measure of responsibility, the characterization of

this responsibility, is absolutely specific in nature, and it

should be expressed as I have expressed it here.

[intervening pages of transcript missing]

[...] two people? This is an obvious lie. How could Kulikov offer

two versions in answer to this absolutely and exceptionally

terrible question? How could Sokol'nikov advance two ideas at the

same time?

(VOICE: Rozit, Slepkov, and others mention this).

BUKHARIN: In what regard about this? If one speaks

"generally" in this way, nothing at all is said: It is the same as

when a student is asked where Moscow is on the map, and he

immediately covers the whole map with the palm of his hand.

Regarding the Riutinskii platform. It was presented by Ezhov

as one of the top-priority issues requiring deliberation. This is

very understandable from the point of view of constructing an

indictment. The Riutinskii platform (if you could prove that I

have any connection to it) would be a real treasure, because of its

concern with the most crucial moments in the struggle with Soviet

power, its concern with terror, and [illegible], etc., etc. I

studied the vast number of pages of [material?] especially from the

angle of the Riutinskii platform. Nonetheless, I feel that it is

necessary here to look closely at this matter which, after all, is

in testimony. Astrov testifies that the authors were Rykov [...]

[intervening pages of transcript missing]

[...] Errio did not see; it is even there, they say, that I

maintained contact with Skrypnik (for a right-wing deviation, I

would have to be linked to the positions of Skrypnik); it has been

established, they say, that I stand for a democratic republic and,

at the same time, it is known that I spoke about it, let's say, at

an assembly, and a whole series of other things. I cannot answer

all these questions separately, since it would require too much

time, so I'll take only the fundamental ones.

I'd like to say a few words about terror. Comrades, the

question of membership in the party seems to me simply to be naive:

if a person takes the terrorist point of view against the

leadership of the party, then the question as to whether he may be

a party member is a naive question.

I have absolutely no relationship with terror, not by a single

word or thought. When I hear these things, it seems to me that the

conversation concerns other people; perhaps I am sitting here and

hearing about another person. I do not understand how I can be

charged with such an accusation; to me this is absolutely

incomprehensible [and] I look on this as "a sheep looking at new

gates" [i.e., I feel totally lost in foreign territory].

POZERN: These are not "new gates"--that's the problem.

BUKHARIN: To your way of thinking, perhaps they are not new

gates, but then I'm not a sheep either.[intervening pages of transcript missing]



STALIN: You should not and do not have the right to slander

yourself. This is a most criminal thing.

MOLOTOV: That which you have stated concerning the famine is

simply an anti-Soviet thing.

VOICES FROM THE ROOM: A counterrevolutionary thing!

STALIN: You must come around to our position. Trotskii with

his disciples, Zinov'ev and Kamenev, at one time worked with Lenin,

and now these people have negotiated an agreement with Hitler.

After this, can we label such things as shocking? Absolutely not.

After everything that has happened to these gentlemen, former

comrades, who have negotiated an agreement with Hitler, a sellout

of the USSR, there is nothing surprising in human affairs.

Everything has to be proven and not [just] replied to using

exclamation points and question marks.

MOLOTOV: And anti-Soviet matters should not be engaged in.

MOLOTOV: Let us call a recess, comrades.


Library of Congress


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