The Red Terror – Part 2 of 2
Excerpt from “Russia and the Jews”
by Udo Walendy
[admin: Kulaks are successful farmers]
Within a few years, from 1928 to 1931, 138,000 civil servants were removed from public service. Of them, 23,000 were classified under “Category I,” “enemies of Soviet power,” and lost their civil rights. . . . From January 1930 to June 1931, 48% of the engineers in the Donets region were dismissed or arrested; in the transportation sector alone, 4,500 “sabotage specialists” were “exposed.”
A decree of December 12, 1930 enumerated more than 30 categories of people from whom citizenship rights were withdrawn: “former landowners, former traders, former nobles, former policemen, officials who worked under the czars, former kulaks, former lessors or owners of private enterprises, former officers of the White Army, clergymen, monks and nuns, former members of the political parties” etc.69
Including their family members, about 7 million human beings were affected by this, losing not only the right to vote but also their right to an apartment, to medications, to food rations and, after passage of a new “internal passport” law, the right to move to another place.
After the law of August 7, 1932 was issued, “for each theft or waste of socialist property”—such as the gathering of ears of corn from already harvested fields—merely between August 1932 and December 1933, more than 125,000 humans were convicted, and of them 5,400 were condemned to death.70
And from Solzhenitsyn’s The Jews in the Soviet Union:
The number of farmers who flooded into Soviet cities fleeing from collectivization and “de-kulakization” between 1928 and 1932 has been estimated at some 12 million.71
Lazar Kaganovich, Genrikh Yagoda and Vyacheslav Molotov pushed their requisition commandos out into the countryside. Soon thereafter, in 1932-33, 5 or 6 million humans died like animals of hunger in Russia and Ukraine, right on the edge of Europe. “But the free press of the free world maintained its perfect silence!72
A not inconsiderable number of Jewish communists had made themselves lords of life and death over the countryside. It should surprise no one that this has stuck in the memory of those millions affected throughout the Ukraine, the Volga and Urals areas of Russia, on the Crimean Peninsula and elsewhere in Russia. Solzhenitsyn’s The Jews in the Soviet Union explains:
Yet another colleague of many years’ duration of N.Y. Yeshov [appointed people’s commissar of the interior in September 1936] was Isaac Shapiro. He functioned after 1934 as Yeshov’s adviser, then as the director of the NKVD secretariat, then as head of the “Special Section” of the GUGB (another infamous part of the state security apparatus). In December 1936, of the 10 directors of the Soviet agencies for state security marked with code numbers, seven are Jews.73
Solzhenitsyn also enumerates the Jewish names directing the “National Camp Administration” (Gulag):
Yes, there too there was a large portion of Jews. The photo portraits I have reproduced from the Soviets’ own self-congratulatory book of 1936 [shown in The GULAG Archipelago] of the leadership of the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal project have provoked much outrage; it is said I had selected only Jewish faces. But I made no selections. I simply ran the photographs of all the highest directors of the White Sea-Baltic Sea labor camp from this immortal work. Whose choice and whose guilt is it if all were Jews?74
THE JEWISH MASS MURDERERS
Solzhenitsyn dug out many more names and stressed in his book that this camp administrative machinery stayed hidden from the public, because of (among other reasons) constant transfers of personnel, in spite of incredible distances across the USSR. Therefore, only after the collapse of Soviet rule in 1990 could the personnel situation gradually and fragmentarily be clarified. However, this is his conclusion:
Among these regional rulers [“district” and “regional” authorities of the GPU and the NKVD], there were still many Jews throughout the entire 1930s who decided questions of life or death for each inhabitant.75
The GPU and/or NKVD also disposed of special military units, including artillery, tanks and air squadrons, and in addition their own troops watching the borders and the railroads; others conducted the transports of forced labor- ers and guarded forced labor colonies. Beyond even that, these security agencies maintained their own special sub- units within all Red Army units above battalion strength and within the military academies.
Regarding the methods of Red terror, Solzhenitsyn refers to two cases that recently have again become known:
- a) The poison-injecting professor Gregory Mayranovsky, to whose “NKVD Laboratory X,” beginning in 1937 (with “X” being the “special department for operational technology”) those “condemned to death for experimental purposes” were supplied. Each door of the five cells for experiments on humans had a peephole with a magnifying lens.76
In 1951 he was arrested, but not for his crimes; instead it was because of what he knew.
- b) The “poison gas wagons” that were the “invention” of Isaiah Davidovich Berg in 1936, and which were put into active service by the NKVD.
Solzhenitsyn details this in his The Jews in the Soviet Union:
Berg was the director of the economics department of the NKVD in the Moscow area. Here one can see how important it is to also know about those who did not sit in the highest positions at all. . . . Berg transported (as ordered) people for shooting. But when, in the Moscow area three “troikas” of death-sen-tences became busy at the same time, the work began to overwhelm the shooting squads. Then the idea occurred to someone to strip the victims, bind and gag them, and throw them into a closed truck, which was camouflaged as a bread delivery van. Over the course of the trip . . . gases were conducted into the back compartment of the truck in such a way that upon arrival at the shooting ditch, those arrested were already “taken care of.” [admin: I cannot see how this can be done without poisoning the driver also?!]
Let it be noted that Berg was shot himself shortly thereafter, in 1939—not because of these monstrosities, but instead after an indictment for “conspiracy.” In 1956 . . . he was rehabilitated, although at that time the history of his invention of said toxic gas wagons was clearly noted in his file— a notation that has stayed in there right up to our times, when it was discovered by journalists.77
After the Soviet occupation of the Baltic in the year 1940, one Kaplan, as the NKVD boss of the Duena area, ravaged it so much that, Solzhenitsyn says, “in 1941, right after the departure of the [retreating] Soviet troops and even before the Germans arrived, the rage of the population unloaded itself against the Jews like an explosion.78
For the “Red Terror,” The Black Book of Communism draws up the following balance, whose figures, in relation to numerous other estimations, are “starkly reduced”:
“In the years 1919 and 1920 the Red Terror in Russia either murdered or deported between 300,000 and 500,000 victims.”79
This number includes those massacred by the Bolsheviks during the overwhelming of the White Army of General Wrangel on the Crimea around the end of October 1920. By the end of December, just in this one region the Bolsheviks murdered approximately 50,000 civilians.80
The number Solzhenitsyn specifies of 120,000 to 150,000 total victims, including those of the “de-Cossackization” of the Don, Caucasus and Kuban areas, signifies only those human beings actually killed.81
But what is not considered in arriving at these numbers are conditions—such as starvation, cold and disease— caused by the Bolsheviks during the civil war, which themselves caused the death, according to Stuart Kahan, the Jewish nephew of Lazar Kaganovich, of approximately 9 million human beings.82
As a consequence of the Bolshevik agricultural policy and the resulting civil war, in particular in the Volga area, central Russia and Siberia, about 5 million humans succumbed to a horrific food crisis in 1921 and 1922. 83 Of the 30 million human beings in the hunger area, many were saved only by foreign assistance.
Just in the few days between August 29 and September 5, 1924, the Cheka shot 12,578 human beings.84 There is no record of any Jews having been shot. In place of a still-lacking total figure for Cheka murders in connection with the “de-kulakization campaign,” itself a part of the obligatory collectivization phase of 1927-1930, there exists a confidential GPU report of Feb. 15, 1930 sent to the people’s commissar of the interior at that time, Genrikh Yagoda. By discussing the execution of his Order No. 44/21, it reveals to us the language used at the time and the methods of Bolshevik state terror. The report proudly states:
As for the liquidations—both individuals taken out of circulation and mass operations—we arrive at a total figure of 64,589. In the preparatory measures, there were 52,166 liquidations (those of individuals), and 12,423 through mass operations. In just a few days our “production quota” was exceeded, i.e., 60,000 kulaks of the first category.
Solzhenitsyn says they were targeted for “counterrevolutionary activity and for being farmers who owned property.” 85 Against Jews there were no Cheka pogroms.
And from The Black Book of Communism:
From February 1930 to December 1931, more than 1,800,000 de-kulakized persons [farmers stripped of their farms] were deported to camps. When on January 1, 1932 the authorities carried out their first major head-count, only 1,317,022 persons were registered. The loss was thus about one-half million. . . . The number of those who succeeded in escaping was surely high.
. . . Starting in the summer of 1931 the GPU bore exclusive responsibility for the deportees, who were now called “special colonists.” . . . For 1932 the Gulag administration reported the arrival of 71,236 new deportees, and for 1933 an influx of 268,091 new special settlers was registered. . . . In 1933, the year of the Great Famine, the authorities announced 151,601 deaths from among the 1,142,022 special colonists.86
The farm collectivization, the “de-kulakization,” the requisitioning raids, the stripping of citizenship rights and the sudden flight of 12 million rural inhabitants into the cities, which included the planned famine disasters from Ukraine to Kazakhstan, cost at least 6 million human lives.
That did not prevent the Soviet leadership from spreading a mantle of silence over this crime and at the same time, in order to have funds for the purchase of foreign industrial goods, from exporting 1.8 million metric tons of wheat.87
According to official investigations which Nikita Khrushchev successfully urged at the XXIInd Party Congress in 1958, just in 1937-1938 the NKVD arrested 1,575,000 persons. Of these, 1,345,000 were condemned, and of these, 681,692 were executed.88 In reality the death number was very much higher; through malnutrition and physical weakening in the Gulag camps, the death rate became 10 times that of the shooting rate.89 We learn just from the minutes of a meeting of the Politburo of Feb. 17, 1938 the following:
The NKVD in Ukraine is hereby permitted to arrest an additional number of kulaks and other anti-Soviet elements [the farmers have become anti-soviet elements because they feed people which must stop!] and to have the matter handled by the troikas. The NKVD contingent in the Ukrainian SSR is hereby also increased to 30,000. (90)
This repression also victimized 35,020 military officers, up into the highest ranks of the Red Army. The total number of executed officers is still not known; some of those arrested were only removed from the Red Army, and of them some were later reused during the war. Three of the five field marshals were sentenced to death, as were 13 of the 15 army generals, 8 of the 9 admirals, 50 of the 57 commanding generals, 154 of the 186 division generals, and as for the [political] commissars, all 16 army commissars and 25 of the 28 commissars of army corps were executed.91
These “cleansing waves” crashed over not only the party but even one-third of the people’s commissars and half the deputy ministers.92 Just as affected were businessmen, the intelligentsia and many others. Researchers in KGB files have found 383 central lists with 44,000 names on them, to which 39,000 notations “dead” are attached,93 the result of quick work by “troikas” consisting of district attorneys, NKVD and police chiefs who condemned people to death according to quotas they had to meet.94 “The scum that has seeped into the organs of state security” was an expression by the NKVD’s new boss, N. Yeshov, who followed his own victims into death by bullet two years later, in 1938, as did approximately 21,000 other “scum.”95
Confirmed deaths: 300,000 in the camps between 1934 and 1940; by considering the years 1930-33, for which there are no exact numbers, there were probably 400,000 deaths for the entire decade.
To this figure we must add approximately 600,000 more who perished en route during the deportation.96
A total of 7 million human beings were delivered to the Gulag’s camps and work colonies during the years 1934- 1941. For the years 1930-1933, no exact numbers are known.97
On Jan. 1, 1940 there were 1,670,000 prisoners in the 53 “labor camps for reeducation” and in the 425 “work colonies for reeducation.” One year later there were 1,930,000. In the prisons about 200,000 human beings awaited their conviction or transportation into a camp.98
The difference between 7 and 1.65 million prisoners is not explained. It likely is composed of the deceased, released prisoners, escapees and denizens of yet further camps and “those deported beyond the camp fences,” who were assigned to hard labor as “special settlers,” as Solzhenitsyn referred to them.
There were twice as many as these—or even many more.99
Yet uncounted in all of this are the half-free roaming vagabond prisoners.
“The 1,800 Kommandanturas of the NKVD administered more than 1,200,000 “special settlers.”100
In two other historical investigations the judgment of Stalin’s “worker and peasant paradise” is as follows:
- a) “A conservative estimate of the number of arrests in the years 1937 and 1938 is about 7 million and, if one assumes that in early 1937 5 million were behind bars or barbed wire, by the end of 1939 one would arrive at a total number of 12 million had there not been shootings, starvations and death by exhaustion. About 2 million will have died off during their detention—and about 10% of the arrested 5 million or more were shot each year, which for 1937-1938 would produce the figure of around 1 million killed by bullets.
As we are told by Ronald Hingley in The Russian Secret Police 1565-1970: “By this calculation, at the end of 1938 there must have been about 9 million humans in detention, of them 8 million in concentration camps and over 1 million in various prisons.”101
- b) “Thus, over the period of obligatory collectivization beginning in 1929 and the carefully planned and organized hunger holocaust of 1932-1933 that worsened it, and the concealed genocide of the Ukrainian people, various estimates and demographic investigations agree that between 7 million and 10 million human beings were eliminated. The mass shootings of so-called ‘people’s enemies’ that began in the early 1930s and culminated in the hysteria of the ‘Great Purge’ of 1937-1939, robbed yet another 5 to 7 million human beings of their life.
According to Joachim Hoffman, “and about another 1 million people died as a result of the annexation of eastern Poland and the Baltic republics between 1939 and 1941.”102 Hoffman adds, “The mortality rate stayed enormous in the 80 big concentration camp complexes and the “hundreds of single camps.” Just in the concentration camp of Kolyma [in far northeastern Siberia], at least 3 million human beings perished from the terrible living conditions and temperatures as low as -60 degrees C.”103
A sum total of 40 million Bolshevik terror victims 1917-1941 is now generally considered realistic.
Solzhenitsyn tells us, however,“by the computations of the emigrated statistics professor Kurganov, this ‘relatively light’ suppression that ran from the beginning of the October Revolution through 1950 cost us [Russians] about 66 million human lives.” [GULAG Archipelago, p. 37]
“In the year 1939 there were 8.5 million Soviet citizens, or 9% of the adult population of the USSR in concentration camps and prisons.”104
“This can be said with certainty: on the eve of the war with Germany (1941), 20% of the work performed in the Soviet Union was forced labor.”105