Moscow Trials. The Case of Bukharin

Interrogation of accused Bukharin - Morning Session March 7

COMMANDANT OF THE COURT: The Court is coming, please rise.

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. The session is resumed. Accused Bukharin, continue your testimony about your anti-Soviet activities.

Bukharin: Very well. The day before yesterday I finished by saying that at the end of 1932 the bloc of Rights, Trotskyites and Zinovievites was formed on the basis of the Ryutin platform. By that time terrorist sentiments had already begun to develop amongthe participants of the counter-revolutionary organization of the Rights. They were to be marked among my so-called disciples, in the Matveyev group surrounding Uglanov, among Rykov's supporters and among certain trade union functionaries, as was at one time disclosed in the press. The formation of the group of conspirators in the Red Army relates to that period. I heard of it from Tomsky, who was directly informed of it by Yenukidze, with whom he had personal connections, and with whom in addition it was more convenient for him to be in contact because they lived along the same corridor in the Kremlin.

Both of them, Tomsky and Yenukidze, as I heard-though "heard" is not a particularly suitable word; rather I was informed by Tomsky and Yenukidze, who told me that in the upper ranks of the Red Army the Rights, Zinovievites and Trotskyites had then united their forces; names were mentioned to me - I don't vouch that I remember them all exactly - but those I have remembered are Tukhachevsky, Kork, Primakov and Putna.

Thus the connections with the centre of the Rights followed the line of: the military group, Yenukidze, Tomsky and the rest. Approximately at this time, i.e., towards the end of 1932 or the beginning of 1933, the so-called contact centre was formed, which included representatives of various anti-Party counter revolutionary trends, including the Rights.

In returning to the story or to the evidence regarding the criminal activity of the counter-revolutionary Right bloc, I wish firstly to deal with the idea of the coup d'état as one of the central criminal ideas, and the practical preparations that corresponded to it, because this very idea and the corresponding practical preparations developed in conformity with various periods and the general political situation in the various stages of its development.

The inception of the idea of the coup d'état among us Right conspirators relates approximately to the years 1929-30, and at that time this coup d'état In its embryo form was conceived, or rather was spoken of, as a coup d'état on relatively a very narrow basis. I would say that it was an idea of a circumscribed coup d'état, or rather of a "palace coup" (I again fear to say so, lest the impression be got that I wish to shirk responsibility here), and was for the first time expressed by Tomsky in connection with the circumstance that at that time Yenukidze, who was personally connected with Tomsky and was frequently In his company. had charge of the Kremlin guard; at the same time there was a possibility for Rykov, who was Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, to make use of his official position. In this connection there were a number of legal opportunities and loopholes facilitating ail kinds of secret criminal activities, and therefore this could serve as a definite condition under which this "palace coup"' could be effected. It dates approximately to the years 1920, but at that time they did not proceed to carry the "palace coup" into effect, and did not do so, strictly speaking, for tyro reasons: the one reason was a wider one...

VYSHINSKY: Why they did not proceed to put it into effect is not so interesting as why they did; why they did not, why it did not take place, is of no interest to us.

Bukharin: Very good, I shall not dwell on this if it is not of interest.

VYSHINSKY: You have already reached the year 1933.

Bukharin: The reason I wanted to refer to this question is that it is connected with the practical preparations....

VYSHINSKY: So speak of the practical preparations, instead of telling us why this or that did not take place. The Court is interested in knowing what took pface, and why.

Bukharin: Yes, but every negation contains an affirmation, Citizen Procurator. Spinoza once said that in the sphere of determination...

VYSHINSKY: Speak concretely: how were you preparing the seizure of power, with whose aid, by what means, with what aims and objects in view?

Bukharin: Since we did not undertake a "palace coup" for reasons which you are not interested in listening to here, we proceeded to orientate ourselves on kulak revolts....

VYSHINSKY: What is the meaning of the expression "palace coup"? Am I to understand that this means the direct seizure of power, the seizure of power by the forces of your bloc?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct; politically by by the forces of the bloc. But why do I say "palace coup"? This means by forces organizationally concentrated in the Kremlin.

VYSHINSKY: By, such forces as would prove to be at your disposal, but not necessarily by forces that were in the Kremlin?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: Then would it not be better to speak not of a "palace coup," but of an attempt to seize power by means of an armed uprising?

Bukharin: No, it is not quite correct to speak of an armed uprising.

VYSHINSKY: Why not? You wished to seize power with arms in hand?

Bukharin: An armed uprising is a mass affair, while here it was a matter of a narrower...

VYSHINSKY: What masses? You had no masses with you.

Bukharin: Consequently it is not an uprising.

VYSHINSKY: An uprising with the aid of a group.

Bukharin: If you choose to define an uprising by a group as an uprising, then it is correct.

VYSHINSKY: In any case, it is more correct than to speak of a "palace coup," which is supposed to take place in some palace.

Bukharin: When speaking of a "palace coup," I had in view...

VYSHINSKY: A group of plotters?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: I believe it will be better to call it so. Tell me, how did you prepare the group of plotters for the seizure of power?

Bukharin: That refers to the following period. Perhaps you will allow me to relate the facts in chronological order, as I have my material arranged, at first about the "palace coup," then the transition to an uprising, from an uprising to, strictly speaking, a coup d'état.

VYSHINSKY: Tell me, what was the main abject of the group of plotters in this sphere?

Bukharin: Even at that period the main object was the overthrow of the Soviet government by force.

VYSHINSKY: Well, tell us then how you were preparing for the overthrow of the Soviet government by force.

Bukharin: At that period we were already discussing the question of the overthrow of the Soviet government by force, with the aid of a group of military participants in the plat.


Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: A group of participants in your plot?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: In the persons of Tukhachevsky, Primakov and some others?

Bukharin: There was the Yenukidze group as well.

VYSHINSKY: We have already spoken of the Yenukidze group.

Bukharin: Absolutely correct. In 1931-32, in connection with the changed political situation, the main stress was laid on the development of the insurrectionary movement, and the counter. revolutionary Right organization, headed by the centre of the Rights, provoked several kulak revolts which, Citizen Procurator, were already dealt with in part when you questioned me in connection with Yakovenko, Slepkov, etc.

VYSHINSKY: On your direct instructions and under your leadership?

Bukharin: Absolutely correct. I can mention here yet another fact which has not been referred to. At that time I spoke about myself. I seat Slepkov to prepare a kulak revolt in the Kuban. Rykov sent Eismont to the Caucasus, and he entered into connections with the Right-winger Pivovarov and the Trotskyite Beloborodov; this has been referred to during the Court investigation. In addition I can tell the Court that I was informed by P. Petrovsky and Zaitsev of kulak sabotage as a sort of preliminary stage preceding sharper forms of struggle.

VYSHINSKY: In so far as you have mentioned Eismont, I ask you to testify regarding your connections with Whiteguard circles and German fascists.

Bukharin: I don't understand what you have in view.

VYSHINSKY: I repeat, tell the Court of your connections, of connections between your conspiratorial group and Whiteguard circles abroad and the German fascists. Is the question clear?

Bukharin: I do not know of this. In any case, I don't remember.

VYSHINSKY (to the Court): Allow me to ask Rykov. Did you hear my question? What can you say in this regard?

Rykov: I knew from Pivovarov that the Cossack League, organized on the instructions, on the advice of Slepkov...

VYSHINSKY: The Whiteguard Cossack League?

Rykov: Yes .... That through the re-emigrants who made up the forces of this counter-revolutionyry organization, it was connected with the remnants of the Cossack émigrés abroad, and this connection was facilitated by the aid received from the German fascists.

VYSHINSKY: So that the group of conspirators in the North Caucasus, of which you knew from Pivovarov's words, was in contact with the Whiteguard Cossack League abroad, and with the German fascists.

Rykov: Yes, that's so.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, did you know of this, did . you know Pivovarov?

Bukharin: I did not know Pivovarov.

VYSHINSKY: What was Pivovarov's position in the North Caucasus?

Bukharin: He was at the head of Soviet state power in the North Caucasus.

VYSHINSKY: So you knew that Pivovarov was Chairman of the Territorial Executive Committee in the North Caucasus?

Bukharin: I knew that he was Chairman of the Territorial Executive Committee,. but I did not know him personally.

VYSHINSKY: Rykov knew that Pivovarov was the head of a local group of traitors and counter-revolutionaries in the North Caucasus, and that he was connected with Whiteguard Cossack circles abroad, but you, Bukharin, did not know this?

Bukharin: I don't dispute the possibility of such a fact, but I did not know it.

VYSHINSKY: Was it a fact, or was it not, that Pivovarov was connected with Whiteguard Cossack circles abroad?

Bukharin: I cannot deny it. I can only conjecture that it could be so, since our line was to make use of all forces.

VYSHINSKY: Including Whiteguard forces as well?

Bukharin: That was not excluded.

VYSHINSKY: Was that clear to you?

Bukharin: I don't deny that this was possible, bat I cannot recall it with a sufficient degree of exactitude, there is not the material in my mind to enable me to remember about connections with the Whiteguard Cossack League abroad.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, was there such a fact as the one mentioned by Rykov, who knew of it as one of the leaders of your organization?

Bukharin: There is no such fact in my mind. But I cannot deny the possibility, of such a fact. What is more, it is very likely that such connections existed.

VYSHINSKY: You wish to present matters as if you were not practically concerned with these crimes.

Bukharin: How so, when I sent Yakovenko to Siberia to organize armed kulak insurrections, and sent Slepkov to, the North Caucasus for the sane purpose?

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, did Bukharin know of this fact, or did he not?

Rykov: The initiative of the organization of this League, according to Pivovarov, belonged to Slepkov, who was sent to the North Caucasus by Bukharin, and who, I presume, was given definite instructions and directives by Bukharin.

VYSHINSKY: So then, Slepkov was sent to the North Caucasus on Bukharin's initiative. Accused Bukharin, do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I sent Slepkov there as an individual skilled in the organization of the insurrectionary movement. But once he got there, found his bearings and learnt what organizations there were, Slepkov could undertake certain steps without me.

VYSHINSKY: Do you bear responsibility for these criminal acts as one of the leaders of the organization?

Bukharin: Undoubtedly I do bear responsibility.

VYSHINSKY: For the connections of your organization with Whiteguard Cossack circles and German fascists?

Bukharin: Of course I do.

VYSHINSKY: Was there such a fact?

Bukharin: If others say that there was such a fact, then there was.

Rykov: I categorically assert that such a commission was given, that Slepkov was sent to the North Caucasus because he played an important role and was able to gather a counter-revolutionary organization together. I do not know whether he spoke to Bukharin on this point, but the initiative there, according to Pivovarov, belonged to Slepkov.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, these connections followed Bukharin's line?

Rykov: The idea followed Bukharin's line.

VYSHINSKY: The idea and the practical application of it.

Rykov: Slepkov did it.

Bukharin: I don't deny having sent Slepkov there. I sent him to establish contact with Whiteguard Cossack circles.

VYSHINSKY: Was this included in the plan of your leadership?

Bukharin: I did not specifically say so.

VYSHINSKY: Do you assert that you were unaware of the contacts with German fascists and Whiteguard Cossack circles?

Bukharin: I did not know.

VYSHINSKY: Rykov knew, Slepkov knew, but you did not?

Bukharin: They were there on the spot.

VYSHINSKY: Did you send Slepkov there?

Bukharin: Yes, I did.

VYSHINSKY: Were you connected with Slepkov when he was there?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: Did you talk to him about what he did there?

Bukharin: Later on?

VYSHINSKY: Yes, later on.

Bukharin: We had no detailed conversation.

VYSHINSKY: But did you meet him?

Bukharin: I met him once.

VYSHINSKY: You met once, and this was enough to enable you to discover whether he had fulfilled your commission or not.

Bukharin: No, we did not speak about it.

VYSHINSKY: Tell me, what was the subject of your conversation?

Bukharin: We talked very little.

VYSHINSKY: You sent Slepkov to organize a kulak Insurrection. Slepkov engaged in the organization of this insurrection and worked in this direction.

Bukharin: He did not give me a detailed reply.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, was this so or not?

Bukharin: I sent him.

VYSHINSKY: Did he fulfil your instructions?

Bukharin: Apparently he did.

VYSHINSKY: Apparently?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: But did he speak to you about it?

Bukharin: I say that I met him once.

VYSHINSKY: Did Slepkov tell you how he had fulfilled your commission?

Bukharin: I don't remember his having said much.

VYSHINSKY: But why do you say that he did not speak in detail?

Bukharin: He spoke in general.

VYSHINSKY: He spoke in general?

Bukharin: Yes, in general.

VYSHINSKY: If he spoke in general, then he spoke?

Bukharin: If he spoke in general, then he spoke.

VYSHINSKY: But you have only just said that he did not speak.

Bukharin: He did not speak in detail.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, accused Bukharin, did you send Slepkov to organize Whiteguard kulak insurrections?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Did he inform you how he had fulfilled your commission?.

Bukharin: He did not say how he had fulfilled it.

VYSHINSKY: But how did he fulfil it?

Bukharin: He said that there were disorders there.

VYSHINSKY: Not Insurrections, but disorders?

Bukharin: The conversation rapidly passed, to, another topic, about the preparations for the conference in 1932.

VYSHINSKY: Your conversations of course passed very rapidly from one topic to another. It is important for me to establish that at that time in the North Caucasus there was a part of your Right-wing plotting organization.

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: So it is a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: That you knew about it?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: That you sent Slepkov there to establish contact with this organization. That Slepkov did something there in this direction of which he spoke to you... Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: That there were kulak disorders there. Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: That this was connected with his activity. Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: And was connected with your activity. Is that a fact?

Bukharin: It is.

VYSHINSKY: Further, it is known that this North Caucasus group was in contact with Whiteguard Cossack émigré circles .... Is that a fact or not?

Bukharin: I have told you that I cannot deny this fact, Citizen Procurator.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, is it a fact or not that a group of your confederates in the North Caucasus Was conntcted with Whiteguard émigré Cossack circles abroad? Is that a fact or not? Rykov says it is, Slepkov says it is.

Bukharin: If Rykov says it is, I have no grounds for not believing him.

VYSHINSKY: Can you answer me without philosophy?

Bukharin: This is not philosophy.

VYSHINSKY: Without philosophical twists and turns.

Bukharin: I have testified that I had explanations on this question.

VYSHINSKY: Answer me "No."

Bukharin: I cannot say "No," and I cannot deny that it did take place.

VYSHINSKY: So the answer is neither "Yes" nor "No"?

Bukharin: Nothing of the kind, because facts exist regardless of whether they are in anybody's mind. This is a problem of the reality of the outer world. I am no solipsist.

VYSHINSKY: So that regardless of whether this fact entered your mind or not, you as a plotter and leader were aware of it?

Bukharin: I was, not aware of it.

VYSHINSKY: You were not?

Bukharin: But I can say the following in reply to your question: since this thing was included in the general plan, I consider it likely, and since Rykov speaks of it In a positive fashion, I have no grounds for denying it.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, It is a fact?

Bukharin: From the point of view of mathematical probability it can be said, with very, great probability, that it is a fact.

VYSHINSKY: So that you are unable to give a plain answer?

Bukharin: Not "unable,"' but there are some questions that cannot be answered outright "Yes" or "No," as you are perfectly well aware from elementary logic.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to ask Rykov again: was Bukharin aware of this fact?

Rykov: I did not speak to him about it.

VYSHINSKY: Now, did Bukharin know about it or not?

Rykov: I personally think with mathematical probability that he should have known of it.

VYSHINSKY: That's clear. Accused Bukharin, were you aware that Karakhan was a participant in the conspiratorial group of Rights and Trotskyites?

Bukharin: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware that Karakhan was a German spy?

Bukharin: No, I was not aware of that.

VYSHINSKY (to Rykov): Were you aware, accused Rykov, that Karakhan was a German spy?

Rykov: No, I was not.

VYSHINSKY: Were you not aware that Karakhan was engaged in negotiations with certain German circles?

Rykov: Negotiations regarding the centre of the Rights?

VYSHINSKY: Yes, of course, regarding the centre of, the Rights.

Rykov: Yes, yes.

VYSHINSKY: Treasonable negotiations?

Rykov: Treasonable.

VYSHINSKY: With whom did he conduct these negotiations, with what institution?

Rykov: (No reply.)


Rykov: I don't know that.

VYSHINSKY: In that case, tell the Court: what was the line of the negotiations?

Rykov: The line was...At that time negotiations were conducted with German government circles.

VYSHINSKY: With which circles?

Rykov: On the question of their attitude to the Rights, to a possible coup d'état by the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Were there negotiations regarding the organization of the defeat of the U.S.S.R., or not?

Rykov: I don't know that.

VYSHINSKY: Then I wish to remind Rykov of the following testimony given by him at the preliminary investigation - Vol. 1, p. 112: 'Consequently not only the Tukhachevsky group, which was a component part of our organization, worked to prepare the defeat of the U.S.S.R. This defeat was prepared for by our entire international orientation and Karakhan's negotiations." Is that correct?

Rykov: It is.

VYSHINSKY: Then what follows from this?

Rykov: I had in view defeat not in the direct sense of the word. I had in view that if a group of plotters in any country engages In negotiations with the enemy, then, firstly, the very fact of these negotiations in itself must assist in hastening war - the enemy will the sooner undertake his offensive the more support he has Within the country - and, secondly, the ability of the country to defend itself, and of the other to attack, correspondingly changes,that is, the defence weakens while the offensive becomes stronger.

VYSHINSKY: So then this fact took place?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And further: "In our very international orientation, our starting point veal that we needed to receive support from the international bourgeoisie and we linked up our activity and the success of our counter-revolutionary work in the U.S.S.R. with direct aid from fascism." In brackets it states; "Karakhan's negotiations." Can the conclusion be drawn from this that Karakhan with your knowledge, sngapd to negotiations with fascist circles, regarding support for your treasonable activity on definite conditions? Was that the case?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And what were the conditions?

Rykov: Firstly, a number of economic concessions, and secondly the so-called dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: What does that mean?

Rykov: That means the separation of the national republics and placing them under a protectorate, or making them dependent, formally not dependent, but actually dependent on...

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, territorial concessions?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Did Karakhan propose in the name of your bloc to cede to the Germans some part of the territory of the Soviet Union?

Rykov: The matter was somewhat different.

VYSHINSKY: I speak of the meaning of these concessions.

Rykov: I myself did not meet Karakhan. I know this from Tomsky, who explained it in my presence arid in that of Bukharin.

VYSHINSKY: So that means Bukharin also knew? Allow me to ask Bukharin. Did you know?

Bukharin: I did.

Rykov: He explained it in this way: the German fascists accept these conditions, i.e., privileges as regards concessions, trade agreements, etc., but on their part they demand. that the national republics be given the right to free separation.

VYSHINSKY: Well, and what does that mean?

Rykov: It was not what we proposed. This was a new demand on the part of the Germans. In plain language, this means, of course, the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, handing over part of the U.S.S.R. to the Germans?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, you were aware that Karakhan, with your knowledge, engaged in negotiations with German circles to hand over part of the U.S.S.R. Precisely what part?

Rykov: There was no talk about that.

VYSHINSKY: Did your plan include a point about severing the Ukraine for the Germans, or did it not?

Rykov: I personally cannot say about the Ukraine, I repeat, not because we were against the Ukraine being severed.

VYSHINSKY: But were you against or for its being severed?

Rykov: There was simply no talk among us about the Ukraine being severed,. and the question was not decided then.

VYSHINSKY: Did you have in view -severing the Ukraine in favour of German fascism?

Rykov: Such was the formula.

VYSHINSKY: Not a formula but in practice?

Rykov: In practice the question at issue could be that of Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: And of the Ukraine?

Rykov: No. We could not decide this question without the consent of the Ukrainian counter-revolutionary organizations.

VYSHINSKY: Then I address myself to the accused Bukharin. Did you in 1934 engage in negotiations with Radek on this subject?

Bukharin: Not negotiations, but conversations.

VYSHINSKY: All right, conversations. Did they take place or not?

Bukharin: They did, only not about that.

VYSHINSKY: Then about what?

Bukharin: Radek told me of his negotiations with Trotsky, that Trotsky had engaged in negotiations with the German fascists regarding territorial concessions in return for help to the counterrevolutionary organizations.

VYSHINSKY: That's it, that's it.

Bukharin: I then objected to Radek.

VYSHINSKY: Did Radek tell you that on Trotsky's instructions the Ukraine was to be ceded, yielded to the Germans?

Bukharin: I definitely remember about the Ukraine.

VYSHINSKY: Were there such conversations or not?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: And about the Far East?

Bukharin: About the Ukraine I definitely remember; there was talk of other regions, but I do not remember which.

VYSHINSKY: You testified as follows: "Trotsky; while urging the intensification of terrorism, yet considers the main chance for the advent of the bloc to power to be the defeat of the U.S.S.R. in a war against Germany and Japan at the cost of territorial concessions (the Ukraine to the Germans, andthe Far East to the Japanese)." Was that so?

Bukharin: Yes, it was.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, these are the concessions?

Bukharin: I was not In agreement.

VYSHINSKY: Further it states: "I did not object to the idea of an understanding with Germany and Japan, but did not agree with Trotsky on the extent."

Bukharin: Read the next phrase as well, where the extent and character are explained.

VYSHINSKY: I have read and want to speak about this.

Bukharin: I said I was against territorial concessions.

VYSHINSKY: No. I want to speak about this. And so Radek told you that Trotsky gave instructions to cede the Ukraine to the Germans. Did he say this?

Bukharin: He did, but I did not consider Trotsky's instructions as binding on me.

VYSHINSKY: Was Rykov aware of this conversation with Radek, or not?

Rykov: Whom are you asking?

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin.

Bukharin: I don't remember whether I told Rykov,


Rykov: He did not tell me.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently you were unaware of Bukharin's conversation with Radek?

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: But did he talk privately to Bukharin?

Rykov: Who?

VYSHINSKY: Radek. Accused Bukharin, how did Radek talk to you? What post did you occupy at that time?

Bukharin: It is not a matter of the post.

VYSHINSKY: What post did you occupy?

Bukharin: I was the editor of the "Izvestia."

VYSHINSKY: Did you talk to Radek as the editor of the "Izvestia," or as a member of the plotting organization?

Bukharin: You understand perfectly well that I spoke to him as a member of the plotting organization.

VYSHINSKY: Rykov and Tomsky then constituted the centre, and under these conditions you said nothing of this conversation with Radek?

Bukharin: Excuse me, I wish to answer this question. I cannot answer every question in one word. I do not possess sufficient ability for that.

The conditions under which we met were of a conspiratorial character, since we hardly met together at all, but spoke from' time to time, making use of meetings in corridors, in the streets, etc. It may have happened that I did not tell him of this conversation. I say this not in order to whitewash Rykov; it is to be explained by the conspiratorial methods that existed in the organization of the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Do your deny that you passed on to Rykov such a serious conversation as the one you had with Radek? Did you not tell Rykov about your serious conversations with Radek?

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, I did not consider Trotsky's directions as obligatory for us all.

VYSHINSKY: I am not speaking of directions, but of conversations.

Bukharin: I do not remember and therefore cannot say whether I spoke of this. I don't remember this.

VYSHINSKY: You do not deny, but you don't remember. I will ask Rykov. Accused Rykov, when you spoke of dismemberment, which parts of the U.S.S.R. did you have in mind?

Rykov: When Tomsky reported on the additional demands of the German fascists to the Rights, we accepted this proposal in the main in its general form.

VYSHINSKY: What was in question here, or what parts of the U.S.S.R.?

Rykov: There was no specific talk regarding which republics, which parts of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: At the preliminary investigation, and here in Court, you testified that Karakhan engaged in negotiations with the German fascists regarding help for your plot. Was that a fact or was it not?

Rykov: Regarding help for the plot? If political aid is meant, then it was to secure a favourable attitude towards it.

VYSHINSKY: In return for what?

Rykov: I have already enumerated.

VYSHINSKY: Territorial concessions. What part of the U.S.S.R. did this concern?

Rykov: We did not specify this.

VYSHINSKY: You did not define this?

Rykov: No, we did not.

VYSHINSKY: But did you have a definite part of the U.S.S.R. in mind or not? Or did you speak in the general abstract?

Rykov: What happened was what I have already stated.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say?

Rykov: We accepted conditions favourable to the practical activity of the centre of the Rights. This was put into effect in our work, in our guidance regarding Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: So then the Germans were concerned about Byelorussia? For whose benefit?

Rykov: I cannot say what the Germans were concerned about.

VYSHINSKY: They were concerned that you might hand over Byelorussia to whom? Not to the Germans?

Rykov: To the Poles.

VYSHINSKY: But what about the Germans? It would appear that the Germans were fussing around for the benefit of others. For whom? The Poles? The Germans render you a service, and in return for this you hand over Byelorussia to the Poles. They turn out to be in a ridiculous position.

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: I revert to the first question. Consequently, Karakhan engaged in negotiations with the Germans. Apparently this took place with the knowledge of your bloc. Did Bukharin know of this?

Rykov: Tomsky told me and Bukharin of this.

VYSHINSKY: So, then, was Bukharin aware of this? Accused Bukharin, were you aware of this?

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, I have already said twice that I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse this?

Bukharin: What exactly does "this" Mean?

VYSHINSKY: What you have already said twice.

Bukharin: I did not endorse it. At the preliminary Investigation I gave detailed testimony to the effect that Karakhan...

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse it?

Bukharin: I was faced with the fact itself, because Karatkhan...

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse these negotiations conducted by Karakhan with the German fascists?

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, I say that this was a political fact.

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse Karakhan's negotiations with the German fascists on behalf of the bloc?

Bukharin: In general, as regards the negotiations...I endorsed, that is to say, considered it expedient....

VYSHINSKY: Not in general, but the negotiations conducted by Karakhan?

Bukharin: I have already explained to you, Citizen Procurator, that the situation was such that Karakhan went without a preliminary decision of the joint centre and returned...

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware that Karakhan was engaged in negotiations with the German fascists?

Bukharin: I was. I knew of this from Tomsky, from Karakhan himself...

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse these negotiations?

Bukharin: Or disavow? I ,did not disavow them; consequently I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: I ask you, did you endorse them, or not?

Bukharin: I repeat, Citizen Procurator: since I did not disavow them, I consequently endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, you endorsed them?

Bukharin: If I did not disavow them, consequently I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: That's what I am asking you: that is to say you endorsed them?

Bukharin: So then "consequently" is the same as "that is to say."

VYSHINSKY: What do you mean, "that is to say"?

Bukharin: That is to say, I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: But you say that you learnt of this post factum.

Bukharin: Yes, the one does not contradict the other in the slightest.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to question the accused Rykov.


VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, did Karakhan undertake these negotiations on his own initiative?

Rykov: He undertook them on the instructions, on the initiative of Tomsky. But Bukharin and I endorsed this initiative when these negotiations were reported to us.

VYSHINSKY: Did you endorse not only the fact of the negotiations but also the initiative, that is, the affair as a whole?

Rykov: We are neither of us little children. If you don't endorse such things, then you must fight against them. One cannot play with neutrality in such things.

VYSHINSKY: And so it can be established that Karakhan conducted negotiations with the German fascists with Bukharin's knowledge. Accused Rykov, do you confirm this?

Rykov: Yes.

Bukharin: What is the meaning of "with Bukharin's knowledge"? It was not the case that I knew that he, was going there.

VYSHINSKY: I am not speaking about his going there. Do you know what initiative means?...

Bukharin: I can guess vaguely.

VYSHINSKY: Vaguely? I see that your position compels you to guess vaguely about very clear things.

Bukharin: Possibly.

VYSHINSKY: The accused Rykov has just testified to the Court in your presence that Karakhan began negotiations with the Germans not on his own initiative, but on that of Tomsky....

Bukharin: But then neither Rykov nor I knew of this.

VYSHINSKY: But when you learnt later, did you endorse it?

Bukharin: Rykov has already stated that in such cases there can be no such thing as neutrality; if I did not put an end to them, then I endorsed them. But this is a paraphrase of what I said: if I did not disavow them, I endorsed them.

VYSHINSKY: And so, accused Bukharin, you bear responsibility for these negotiations of Karakhan with the Germans?

Bukharin: Undoubtedly.

VYSHINSKY: For the negotiations regarding the preparations for defeat?

Bukharin: The question was not put that way.

VYSHINSKY: Regarding help to you?

Bukharin: In general I spoke of help...of neutralization...

VYSHINSKY: Rykov has already explained to you.

Bukharin: It seems to me that he is explaining to the Court, and not to me.

VYSHINSKY: He explained that the very fact of the negotiations with the enemy means assisting him.

Bukharin: Well, yes, in that sense, but I draw a difference-that was not how the question was dealt with from the legal aspect, because...

VYSHINSKY: How was help to have been rendered? In assisting the success of the conspiracy?

Bukharin: During the conspiracy there might be German intervention against us in general.... That has to be neutralized, and that means help.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, that they should help you to maintain power.

Bukharin: To neutralize them and thereby to help us in maintaining power.

VYSHINSKY: At the price of certain concessions?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: The accused Rykov stated that at that period the question of severing Byelorussia was discussed. Is that how I am to understand it?

Bukharin: My impression of it is quite a different one.

Rykov: Tomsky informed us that the Germans lied told Karakhan that, in addition to economic concessions, the German fascists insisted on the national republics being given the. right of secession. We immediately understood and interpreted it as meaning the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, as meaning the surrender of Byelorussia?

Rykov: And thereupon, as far as I remember (and one must not and cannot forget such things), we accepted it in this general form.

VYSHINSKY: Who is meant by "we"?

Rykov: I, Bukharin and Tomsky.

VYSHINSKY: Is that correct, accused Bukharin?

Bukharin: Not altogether, not about Byelorussia, but about the Ukraine.

VYSHINSKY: So, now it's about the Ukraine. But till now we were dealing with Byelorussia?

Bukharin: You have not questioned me on this point, so that logically there is nothing contradictory in what I say.

VYSHINSKY: Allow me to show the accused Rykov his testimony, Vol. 1, p. 119, where it says: "I must, however, say that the question of the orientation on Poland with a view to securing her support in case of our advent to power arose considerably earlier, namely, in 1930-31." Do you confirm this?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin, do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I don't know; and don't remember this:

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, whom: did you, have in mind when you referred 'to this question?.

Rykov: I referred to my relations with the representatives of the Byelorussian organization.

VYSHINSKY: But did you hot discuss this question with Bukharin?

Rykov: I cannot assert that.

VYSHINSKY: Then allow me to readout your further testimony: "At that period' this question was? on several occasions the, subject of discussion between myself, Bukharin and Tomsky, on the one hand, " etc. Thus I ask you: so you did discuss - this question with Bukharin?

Rykov: "This question" meant the agreement with the counter-revolutionary Byelorussian organization. Perhaps I did not express myself quite correctly, but that was what I had in view.

VYSHINSKY: Apparently you had, in view what was in view. Here it is clearly stated that the question of an orientation on Poland was discussed in 1930-31. And further it states: "this period," that is, precisely at that time, this question, that is, the question of the orientation on Poland

Rykov (after a silence): There is no such thing it my testimony, perhaps there is some other word.

VYSHINSKY: Here every word plays a big part.

Rykov: That is absolutely correct.

VYSHINSKY: It says outright: at that period this question, that is, the question which was spoken of before; the question of the orientation on Poland. Please read it.

(Rykov is handed his testimony given at the preliminary investigation.)

Rykov: Here it states: "At that period this question..." this refers to the whole of the previous paragraph, and not to the last phrase of the paragraph at all.

VYSHINSKY: I read further: "The general formula we then agreed on amounted to this; that in the negotiations with the Poles, with whom contacts had already been restored by that time through -Chervyakov, we would agree to the Byelorussian Soviet Republic being severed front the U.S.S.R."

Is that so? With whom did you discuss this question?

Rykov: I discussed this with Goloded and Chervyakov, they were aware of the matter.

VYSHINSKY: They were aware of the matter? And was Bukharin aware of it?

Bukharin: I did not meet Chervyakov.

VYSHINSKY: That you didn't meet Chtrvyakov is not the point. I am speaking of Rykov. I submit to him these three paragraphs from his testimony: The first reads: "I must, how. ever, say that the question of the orientation on Poland was repeatedly discussed in 1930-31." The second paragraph: In this period, i.e., in the period 1930-31, this question, i.e., the question spoken of previously, the question of the orientation on Poland, was on several occasions a subject of discussion between myself, Bukharin, Tomsky and Chervyakov, former Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Byelorussia. Chervyakov has been a covert, but exceptionally active participant of the Right organization since 1928." The third paragraph: "The general formula we then agreed on amounted to this, that in the negotiations with the Poles, with whom contacts had already been restored by that time through Chervyakov, we would agree to the Byelorussian Soviet Republic being severed from the U.S.S.R."

Do you confirm this?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, did you know of all this?

Bukharin: In 1930 such a question could not arise. Hitler was not yet in power at that time.

VYSHINSKY: But this question was raised. The history of your treachery did not begin-with Hitler.

Bukharin: That is true.

VYSHINSKY: Did you have conversations with Rykov and Tomsky in 1930-31?

Bukharin: I don't remember.

VYSHINSKY: Now Rykov testifies to the fact that there were such conversations. I ask you, were there such conversations oar not? Yes or no?

Bukharin: And I say I don't remember. I have the right to tell the Court not what you want, but what really happened.

VYSHINSKY: I don't demand this of you.

Bukharin: I have the right to say to the Court, and do say, f don't remember.

VYSHINSKY: You don't remember? Accused Rykov, what do you say?

Rykov: The first report of this was made by Tomsky; he referred to Chervyakov, who had been at his country house. And then the three of us discussed this question on the strength of Tomsky's report and adopted this proposal regarding contact with the counter-revolutionary Byelorussian organization. At any rate it was in Bukharin's presence.

VYSHINSKY: Since this was in Bukharin's presence, Bukharin knew of it.

Allow me to address myself to Sharangovich, one of the leaders of the Byelorussian underground organization of plotters. Accused Sharangovich, what have you to say in this regard?

Sharangovich Both Goloded and Chervyakov informed our organization of this line, as of an accomplished fact. Besides, I must say that Tomsky never figured in conversations regarding this line; Rykov and Bukharin were mentioned. In addition, Chervyakov had several conversations with Bukharin, after which he not only informed me, but informed our organization, at a meeting of the centre, making reference to Bukharin and Rykov.

VYSHINSKY: The following paragraph from Rykov's reply: "There were several variations which consisted exactly in this. The idea was to give this compensation to Poland in the event of our coming to power in war time. The factors giving rise to the war, the attack by the imperialist powers (Poland and Germany), the war we were engineering in order to come to power, we did everything possible to sharpen and stimulate this factor in all our practical activities."

Do you confirm this testimony of yours?

Rykov: I do.

VYSHINSKY: Whom did you have in view?

Rykov: I had in view the centre of the Rights.

VYSHINSKY: Whom personally?

Rykov: I have already said quite a lot about this.

VYSHINSKY: I want you not to be ashamed and to say it here.

Rykov: I had Bukharin in mind. The centre consisted of three persons: myself, Bukharin and Tomsky. Consequently this refers to Bukharin as well.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently this refers to Bukharin as well?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you confirm this?

Bukharin: In general the centre possessed such a line.

VYSHINSKY: The next paragraph of Rykov's reply, page 120, reads as follows: "Chervyakov developed exceptionally intensive work in Byelorussia in his relations with the Poles. He was connected with them in his illegal activities. He drew all the practical conclusions from these instructions of ours." Do you confirm this, Rykov?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, Chervyakov and the people connected with you maintained systematic connections with the Poles?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: They were executing your instructions?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Isn't this an espionage connection?

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: What kind of connection is it?

Rykov: There was an espionage connection there, too.

VYSHINSKY: But was there an espionage connection maintained by a part of your organization with the Poles on your instructions?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Espionage?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Bukharin included?

Rykov: Of course.

VYSHINSKY: Were you and Bukharin connected?

Rykov: Absolutely.

VYSHINSKY: So you were spies?

Rykov: (No reply.)

VYSHINSKY: And the organizers of espionage?

Rykov: I am in no way better than a spy.

VYSHINSKY: You organized espionage, so you, were spies.

Rykov: It may be said, yes.

VYSHINSKY: It may be said, spies. I am asking, did you organize connections with the Polish intelligence service and the respcctive spy circles? Do you plead guilty to espionage?

Rykov: If it is a question of organization, then in this case, of course, I plead guilty.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you plead guilty to espionage?

Bukharin: I do not.

VYSHINSKY: After what Rykov says, after what Sharangovich says?

Bukharin: I do not plead guilty.

VYSHINSKY: When the organization of the Rights was set up in Byelorussia, you were at the head of it; do you admit that?

Bukharin: I have told you.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you, do you admit it or not?

Bukharin: I took no interest in Byelorussian affairs.

VYSHINSKY: Did you take an interest in espionage affairs?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: And who did take an interest?

Bukharin: I received no information with regard to activities of this kind.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, was Bukharin receiving any information with regard to activities of this kind?

Rykov: I never spoke to him about it.

VYSHINSKY: What do you mean, you never spoke? And what about your conversation with Bukharin concerning the espionage connections of the Byelorussian organization with the Poles?

Rykov: In this conversation there was no special emphasis put on its being an espionage connection.

VYSHINSKY: I am speaking of the nature of the connection, of its essence.

Rykov: It was inevitable. Under these conditions, any kind of connection with the Poles automatically and inevitably, and everybody understands that very rapidly develops into espionage connections.

VYSHINSKY: Not only was it inevitable that they should develop, but they did develop?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Under your leadership?

Rykov: I mean to say that we did not personally direct this development; however, it is not a question of direct leadership but of general leadership. We absolutely and definitely bear responsibility for this.

VYSHINSKY: There is no point in making a pious face, accused Bukharin. Better admit what exists. And what exists is the following: you had a group of your accomplices, fellow- conspirators in Byelorussia, headed by Goloded, Chervyakov and Sharangovich. Is that right, Sharangovich?

Sharangovich It is.

VYSHINSKY: And on Bukharin's and Rykov's instructions, and under their leadership, you established connections with the Polish intelligence service and with the Polish General Staff? Is that right, Sharangovich?

Sharangovich Absolutely right.

VYSHINSKY: Under your leadership also with regard to the espionage connections. Is that right, Sharangovich?

Sharangovich Absolutely right.

VYSHINSKY: Consequently, who was the -organizer of the espionage in which you engaged?

Sharangovich Rykov, Bukharin.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, they were spies.

Sharangovich Quite right.

VYSHINSKY: Just as...

Sharangovich As I myself.

VYSHINSKY: Be seated. (To Rykov.) Accused Rykov, did Goloded tell you in 1932 that all more or less important appointments of people to responsible posts in Byelorussia were first co-ordinated with the Polish intelligence service?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Did Bukharin know of this?

Rykov: I cannot say.

VYSHINSKY: You do not know? You do not want to betray your pal?

Rykov: What I mean to say is that in those cases when I know that he is not telling the truth, I am exposing him, but in those cases when I do not know, I cannot and shall not do it.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you with regard to tine fact that the Poles were giving their consent to the various appointments to official posts in Byelorussia. Wag this known to your leading centre?

Rykov: I knew of it. As for Bukharin, I never spoke to him about it. I also knew that Chervyakov and Goloded maintained connections, not only with me; but with Bukharin and Tomsky as well. Whether or not they spoke of this to Bukharin I cannot say, because I was not preterit at those conversations.

VYSHINSKY: Do you think that it would have been natural for Goloded to speak to Bukharin about this question? Or did they have to keep it a secret from Bukharin?

Rykov: I think that, naturally, he spoke to Bukharin, but what they talked about I do not know.

VYSHINSKY: I shall ask you now by way of makings supposition: do you suppose that Bukharin knew of this?

Rykov: This circumstance... I prefer to speak only of what I know; and as to what I do, not know my position in this Court room is riot such as to allow me to advance suppositions.

VYSHINSKY: And did you have any conversations with Bukharin about the affairs of the conspiracy, in Byelorussia?

Rykov: The only conversation which took place and whieh I remember - perhaps there were others but I have no recollection of them - that was during the early stage of our relations, which sprang up as a'result of Tomsky's information.

VYSHINSKY., Why, you yourself said that even during the period of 1931 there were several occasions when you and Bukharin spoke about these questions. I have just reminded you of pages 119-20 of the case.

Rykov: But the conversations related not only to what you are asking about...

VYSHINSKY. Did you speak to Bukharin on several occasions?

Rykov: About the fact that there was an organization in Byelorussia, that work was already being carried on....

VYSHINSKY: What kind of work?

Rykov: Counter-revolutionary work in support of our...

VYSHINSKY: Which included also espionage work?

Rykov: I do not recall any conversations dealing especially with. this espionage work. I do not exclude the possibility that there were such conversations, but I do not remember.

VYSHINSKY: Tell us, please, were there any instructions re celved from the Poles with regard to undermining the defence capacity?

Rykov: I know of two cases. You asked me the same question two sessions before this. I mentioned two cases which are known to me - these refer to horses and road-building. You asked, why road-building? I answered: apparently in order to impede the movement of our troops.

VYSHINSKY: Did Bukharin know of this? Of this instruction of the Polish intelligence service to disrupt and destroy our defence capacity?

Rykov: This question, like the previous ones, I cannot answer.

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware of the treasonable activities of the Polish spy Ulyanov?

Rykov: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did Bukharin know about it?

Rykov: I do not know.

VYSHINSKY: Were you aware of the treasonable activities of the Polish spy Benek?

Rykov: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Was Bukharin aware of it?

Rykov: I do not know.

VYSHINSKY: Permit me then, Comrade President, to read page 127 of the record which contains the following question to Rykov and his reply: "Question: With regard to being informed of and directing the activities of your organization in Byelorussia, you are talking all the time almost exclusively about yourself; but what was the role of the other members of the centre? Answer: What I have deposed here..." And what you deposed there was about Benek, about Ulyanov, about the instructions of the Poles concerning undermining the defence capacity, about the appointment of official persons with the knowledge of the Polish intelligence service-did you depose that?

Rykov: And something else besides.

VYSHINSKY: Did you depose that?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: "What I have deposed here was, of course, known to the other members of the centre, to Bukharin and Tomsky." Do you confirm this?

Rykov: This refers to all our relations with Byelorussia.

VYSHINSKY: No, you will not wriggle out of this, I shall read further.... "What I have deposed here," and what you deposed here refers to the Polish instructions to damage the strategical means of communication - this is on page 123 of the record, it refers to the treasonable espionage work of Benek - page 124 of the record, it refers to the treasonable espionage work of Ulyanov - pages 125 and 126 of the record. Finally, this is page 127, where it says: "From Chervyakov's information I retained in memory the most important thing, namely, that the leadership of our organization in Byelorussia received active assistance from the Polish Intelligence service in corrupting the revolutionary movement in Western Byelorussia," etc. And the question: "You are talking about yourself, but tell us about your accomplices who knew about this." The answer: "The other members of the centreBukharin and Tomsky - knew of it too."

Rykov: You have there the word "obviously." It implies that this is a supposition on my part, that my certainty is not based on direct facts.

VYSHINSKY: I asked you and you answered that you preferred to talk about the things which you knew.

Rykov: But I made the reservation there "obviously."

VYSHINSKY: In this case, I shall read on: "Bukharin and Tomsky knew... " Here you do not say "obviously, " but you say, Bukharin and Tomsky knew, Schmidt was partly initiated into these affairs-you are referring to Vasily Schmidt - "But I dwelt more on my own role for the reason that, by a decision of the centre, the main connections with the Byelorussian anti-Soviet organization of the Rights were concentrated in my hands." Is this clear?

Rykov: It is clear to me.

Bukharin: I was not asked a single word about this during the preliminary investigation, and you, Citizen Procurator, did not question me for three months, not a single word.

VYSHINSKY: I am questioning you now. This is my right.

Bukharin: But at the preliminary investigation...

VYSHINSKY: Be so kind as not to instruct me how to conduct a preliminary investigation, the more so since you do not understand a thing about it. You understand more about the affairs for which you find yourself in the dock.

Bukharin: Possibly.

VYSHINSKY: Was the accused Rykov, by your decision, put in charge of the connections with the counter-revolutionary organizations?

Bukharin: In a general way, he was put in charge.

VYSHINSKY: And your status was that of a secret member?

Bukharin: Inside there was no status of secrecy.

VYSHINSKY: With regard to connections with the Byelorussian group?

Bukharin: Generally everything was done with secrecy.

VYSHINSKY: But your status was that of particular secrecy?

Bukharin: This term cannot be applied here, it does not fit.

VYSHINSKY: Do you want, to argue about the term?

Bukharin: No, I do not want to argue, on. the contrary, I keep silent.

VYSHINSKY: I ask the Court to authenticate this. What I, have cited here is fully identical with what was written in the original record signed by Rykov. And I request that this be presented to Rykov so that he may identify his signature.

Rykov: I do not deny it.

VYSHINSKY: The word "obviously" refers to the previous sentence, but with regard to Bukharin there is no "obviously." "Bukharin and Tomsky knew, Schmidt was partly initiated."

THE PRESIDENT: I corroborate that these quotations correspond to the original record which has Rykov's signature on each page.

Rykov: I affirm that the word "obviously" refers to what has been read,

VYSHINSKY: The word "obviously" is not there.

Rykov: My deposition - "Bukharin and Tomsky knew, Schmidt was partly initiated "-should be understood with the word "obviously." I am trot a very good stylist. If I said the word "obviously" in the first sentence, and the second sentence represents a paraphrase of the first sentence, the word "obviously" is implied.

VYSHINSKY: According to your supposition, did Bukharin know of these espionage connections, or did he not?

Rykov: He should have known, but in less detail and in fewer particulars than I knew. But which details, which particulars, which facts out of those I related and knew in greater detail than he, that I cannot tell.

VYSHINSKY: If by the decision of the centre you were entrusted with maintaining the connections with the Byelorussian group, that means that you knew all the details of the connections.

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: Through the connections which you maintained you should have known everything.

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: Through the connections which you maintained you should have known everything you were doing.

Rykov: I should have known what I was doing? I don't understand what you are driving at.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you, were you supposed to know what you were doing?

Rykov: What I was doing?

VYSHINSKY: Of course.

Rykov: That is to say, you are asking me whether I was in a state of consciousness or unconsciousness? Always in a state of consciousness.

VYSHINSKY: And did Bukharin know everything?

Rykov: I did not speak to Bukharin about details.

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about details but about the substance. Did Bukharin know the substance?

Rykov: Bukharin was informed about the substance of the connection and knew about it.

VYSHINSKY: That is what I wanted to establish. Permit me to consider it established that Rykov and Bukharin knew the substance of the treasonable connection which included espionage. Is that correct, Rykov?

Rykov: That is, espionage followed.

Bukharin: So it appears that I knew something from which something followed.

VYSHINSKY: You will argue it out at leisure.

Rykov: I am afraid that there will be no leisure.

VYSHINSKY: That is for the Court to decide. I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, proceed.

Bukharin: In 1933-34 the kulaks were already smashed, an insurrectionary movement ceased to be a real possibility, and therefore in the centre of the Right organization a period again set in when the orientation toward a counter-revolutionary conspiratorial coup became the central idea. Thus, from a "palace coup," from a combination of a coup with a mass insurrection, and from an orientation toward a mass insurrection with the corresponding practical conclusions, we passed on to counterrevolutionary plotting pure and simple. And the central idea became that of a coup d'état which was to be accomplished by means of an armed conspiracy.

The forces of the conspiracy were: the forces of Yenukidze plus Yagoda, their organizations in the Kremlin and in the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs Yenukidze also succeeded around that time in enlisting, as far as I can remember, the former commandant of the Kremlin, Peterson, who, apropos, was in his time the commandant of Trotsky's train.

Then there was the military organization of the conspirators Tukhachevsky, Kork and others.

VYSHINSKY: What year was that?

Bukharin: I think it was in 1933-34.

VYSHINSKY: And at the same time you carried on negotiations of a defeatist and treasonable nature with Khodjayev?

Bukharin: I had one single talk with Khodjayev in 1936.

VYSHINSKY: In 1936. And what was this talk about?

Bukharin: Which this?

VYSHINSKY: The one you had with Khodjayev.

Bukharin: In 1936?


Bukharin: Properly speaking, I heard Khodjayev's evidenee, I heard what he said in Court, and I have quite a number of corrections to proffer to what was said.

VYSHINSKY: First we shall deal with those matters which require no corrections, and you will proffer your corrections later.

Bukharin: As you say.

VYSHINSKY: Did you tell Khodjayev that there already existed art agreement with fascist Germany?

Bukharin: No, I did not.

VYSHINSKY: (to the Court): Permit me to question the accused Khodjayev.

Accused Khodjayev, did Bukharin talk with you?

Khodjayev: Yes, he did.

VYSHINSKY: How, when, where, and about what specifically?

Khodjayev: It was in the month of August, when Bukharin came to Tashkent....

VYSHINSKY: Recount briefly what you have stated in Court.

Khodjayev: I gave my testimony during the preliminary investigation, I also gave it in Court. The conversation between me and Bukharin took place at my country house in Chimgan.

Bukharin: I stated the same.

Khodjayev: After reviewing the international situation of the U.S.S.R., after reviewing the situation in various European countries - I spoke about this in detail in my preliminary testimony - and then after reviewing the internal situation of the Soviet Union, Bukharin said that it was necessary so to direct our activities that these activities should help to bring about the defeat of the Union.

VYSHINSKY: That is to say, he considered this a natural process?

Khodjayev: According to what he said, the internal and international situation were leading up to this. He said that we, the Rights, had an agreement with fascist Germany, and that we were planning an agreement with Japan.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, were you with Khodjayev at his country place?

Bukharin: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did you carry on a conversation?

Bukharin: I carried on a conversation and kept my head on my shoulders all the time, but it does not follow from this that I dealt with the things of which Khodjayev just spoke; this was the first conversation...

VYSHINSKY: It is of no consequence whether it was the first or not the first. Do you confirm that there was such a conversation?

Bukharin: Not such a conversation, but a different one, and also secret.

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about conversations in general, but about this conversation.

Bukharin: In Hegel's Logic" the word "this" is considered to he the most difficult word....

VYSHINSKY: I ask the Court to explain to the accused Bukharin that he is here not in the capacity of a philosopher, but a criminal, and he would do better to refrain from talking here about Hegel's philosophy, it would be better first of all for Hegel's philosophy....

Bukharin: A philosopher may be a criminal.

VYSHINSKY: Yes, that is to say, those who imagine themselves to be philosophers turn out to be spies. Philosophy is out of place here. I am asking you about that conversation of which Khodjayev just spoke; do you confirm it or do you deny it?

Bukharin: I do not understand the word "that." We had a conversation at the country house.

VYSHINSKY: What is there that you can't understand? The conversation, the conterts of which were here related by Khodjayev. Is this clear?

Bukharin: If you are referring to the contents of the conversation, then the contents were somewhat different; but this conversation at the country house did take place.

VYSHINSKY: What different contents?

Bukharin: It was the first time in my life that I spoke to Khodjayev about politics. This explains the nature of the conversation. I told him that it was necessary for us to be prepared to overthrow the Soviet government by forcible means, and that for this purpose it was necessary to take advantage of possible mass movements which might occur there. Secondly...

VYSHINSKY: What has that got to do with the agreement with fascist Germany?

Bukharin: I said nothing about an agreement.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Khodjayev, did Bukharin speak about an agreement?

Khodjayev: I confirm that he said the things of which he spoke here, but immediately after that he spoke about an agreement with Germany.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk about England?

Khodjayev: Yes, there was. He said that an agreement with England was being considered and that the Right centre would, on its part, take measures to effect this agreement, and that we, the centre of the nationalist organization of Uzbekistan, must, on our part, also take the necessary steps in this direction.


Khodjayev: In the sense of establishing connections with the British resident agents.

VYSHINSKY: Through whom?

Khodjayev: With regard to the question of "through whom," we, myself and Bukharin, established this not in the sense of an instruction but merely in the course of the conversation.

VYSHINSKY: It was, a consultation?

Khodjayev: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you confirm this part of Khodjayev's evidence?

Bukharin: I told Khodjayev that in our foreign political orientation we must make use of all keys, including the British.

VYSHINSKY: So you spoke not about a British orientation, but about British keys?

Bukharin: If it pleases you, about British keys.

VYSHINSKY: And could you say it in plainer words?

Bukharin: In foreign policy we orientated ourselves exclusively on the neutralization of Japan and Germany and on their assistance, which, however, did not preclude the necessity of taking advantage of the international contradictions....

VYSHINSKY: Toward whom did you consider it necessary to orientate yourselves?

Bukharin: I beg your pardon, it is I who am speaking and not you.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, do not forget that it is not you who regulates the questions and answers here.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you: what was your opinion? Towards whom were you to orientate yourselves?

Bukharin: I told him that it was necessary to take advantage of the international contradictions....

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, do you confirm Khodjayev's evidence?

Bukharin: I said that we would have to deal with various foreign' states, and that it was impossible to deal with only one group, but that it would be necessary to deal with the others as well.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, you did tell Khodjayev that it would be necessary to orientate yourselves towards certain foreign states?

Bukharin: You see, I gave up using the expression "orientation" because of its ambiguity, and therefore I am making it more precise....

VYSHINSKY: Well, now make it more precise.

Bukharin: I told him...

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk of England?

Bukharin: There was.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk of Japan?

Bukharin: There was.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk of Germany?

Bukharin: There was.

VYSHINSKY: Was there any talk to the effect that it was necessary to utilize both the ones and the others in the interests of your struggle against the Soviet government?

Bukharin: The question was not put that way. After all, it was the first time I spoke to Khodjayev.

VYSHINSKY: And you spoke of overthrowing the Soviet government this first time!

Bukharin: Yes, for a very simple reason. There is nothing for you to gesticulate about.

THE PRESIDENT: Accused Bukharin, do not forget where you are now.

Bukharin: This conversation was carried on in terms which spelt absolute secrecy, and not a single word was said....

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about terms, I am asking you about the contents of the conversation.

Bukharin: I am using the same words which I used in my testimony during the preliminary investigation....

VYSHINSKY: But I am not speaking about words. I will be compelled to cut the interrogation short because you apparently are following definite tactics and do not want to tell the truth, hiding behind a flood of words, pettifogging, making digressions into the sphere of politics, of philosophy, theory and so forth - which you might as well forget about once and for all; because you are charged with espionage and, according to all the material of the investigation, you are obviously a spy of an intelligence service. Therefore stop pettifogging. If this is the way you want to defend yourself I shall cut the interrogation short.

Bukharin: I am answering your questions.

VYSHINSKY: Did you talk with Khodjayev about overthrowing the Soviet government, which your conspiratorial group was preparing for?

Bukharin: I spoke in vague nebulous formulas.

VYSHINSKY: But such formulas as he could understand?

Bukharin: Perfectly right.

VYSHINSKY: (to Khodjayev): Did you understand?

Khodjayev: Absolutely.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, it is not a question of words but of the contents. Did you say that it was necessary to orientate yourselves in your foreign relations towards various foreign states, and to make use of the internal contradictions and international contradictions in the interests of the struggle of your group of conspirators against the Soviet government?

Bukharin: Right.

VYSHINSKY: Did you say it?

Bukharin: I did.

VYSHINSKY: Hence, Khodjayev is right when he says that you spoke to him about connections with British spies.

Bukharin: But there was nothing of this.

VYSHINSKY: (to Khodjayev): Was it so, Khodjayev?

Khodjayev: It was.

Bukharin: But this is nonsense, because assistance is not determined by spies...

Khodjayev: I do not say spies, but resident agents.

VYSHINSKY: As you see, not just spies but resident agents.

Khodjayev: We established with him that it was best to act either through some Tadjik people or to send a person to Afghanistan.

VYSHINSKY (to Bukharin): Do you deny this?

Bukharin: I do. Nobody asked me about this.

VYSHINSKY: Well, I am askin you.

Bukharin: During the year I spent in prison I was not once asked about it.

VYSHINSKY: We are asking you here in an open proletarian Court, we are asking you here in this Court before the whole world.

Bukharin: But you did not ask me about this before.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you again, on the basis of the testimony which was here given against you: do you choose to admit before the Soviet Court by what intelligence service you were enlisted - the British, German or Japanese?

Bukharin: None.

VYSHINSKY: I have no more questions to put to Bukharin.

THE PRESIDENT: Adjournment for 30 minutes.

*        *        *

COMMANDANT OF THE COURT: The Court is. coming, please rise.

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. The session is resumed. Accused Bukharin, proceed with your evidence; only speak more to the point.

Bukharin: All right, I shall.

I said last that an organization of a criminal counterrevolutionary conspiracy was created, which included the forces of Yenukidze, of Yagoda, the organization in the Kremlin, in the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, the military organization and forces of the Moscow garrison under the leadership of the conspirators of the military group, which, as is self-understood, did not exclude the utilization of other forces and cadres which were made up of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites. The more so that in the military group itself, which was the immediate organizer of the forces on which devolved the actual organization of the military coup, there had existed for a comparatively long period a bloc between the Rights, Trotskyites and Zinovievites, who, if my memory does not fail me, had joined this military group before the contact centre was organized.

During the period preceding the Seventeenth Party Congress, Tomsky broached the idea that the coup d'état with the help of the armed counter-revolutionary forces should be timed exactly for the opening of the Seventeenth Party Congress. According to Tomsky's idea, an integral part of this coup was to be a monstrous crime - the arrest of the Seventeenth Party Congress.

This idea of Tomsky's was subjected to a discussion, though a very cursory one; but objections to this idea were raised on all hands. I am afraid of making an error, but it seems to me that it happened this way: that first this was discussed in the Right centre, but, since it was turned down there, the question was discussed in the so-called contact centre.

Pyatakov objected to this idea not for considerations of principle, but for considerations of tactics, because that would have aroused extreme indignation among the masses. In a word, objections were voiced not for considerations of principle, but for purely tactical considerations. This idea was rejected. But the fact alone that this idea was conceived and that it was subjected to a discussion speaks sufficiently clearly of the whole monstrosity and criminality of an organization of this sort.

I must say that at a much earlier period I personally had already given instructions to Semyonov to organize terrorist groups and reported this to our Right centre. It was accepted. Thus, I, more than any other member of the centre, am responsible for the organization of Semyonov's terrorist groups.

I must also stop to continue a thought which I have already touched on in part, or the facts which I have mentioned-our allying with various counter-revolutionary forces, especially and particularly with the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks. As regards my direct practical activities at that time, and not only my theoretical formulations, I must testify that I tried to establish a connection of this kind through a number of intermediaries and also personally. I also charged the Socialist-Revolutionary Semyonov - who was mentioned during the interrogation the day before yesterday - to get in touch with the underground members of the Socialist-Revôlutionary Central Committee, who, If I am not mistaken, were then In exile (which does not alter the case), and consequently I am directly responsible for it not only as a member of the Right centre, but directly responsible in the immediate sense of the word.

Secondly, I tried to establish contact with organizations and groups of Socialist-Revolutionaries abroad through a certain Chlenov. This was one of the men in our diplomatic service, whom I had known years ago, since our school days, when he was a member of a Social-Democratic organization of that time. I say this not byway of a digression into history, but to explain and show why I felt such confidence in him despite the conspiratorial nature of the work of that time. And he tried to establish connections with the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries; when he returned, he had no time to discuss the matter with me in detail, but from this conversation I ascertained approximately the following. The Socialist- Revolutionaries agreed in principle to support the bloc and maintain contact with the -Rights, Trotskyites, Zinovievites, and the like. But they demanded formal guarantees, almost in written form, their conditions being that the peasant policy should be changed in the spirit of a kulak orientation, that the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik Parties should be legalized-which obviously implied that the government which would be set up if the conspiracy were successful would be a coalition government.

Furthermore, during my last trip abroad in 1936, after the conversation with Rykov, I established contact with the Menshevik Nikolayevsky, who is very close to the leading circles of the Menshevik Party. From the conversation with Nikolayevsky I ascertained that he knew about the agreements between the Rights, Zinoviev's and Kamenev's people, and the Trotskyites, and that in general he was in the know of all that was going on, including the Ryutin platform. The concrete and new element of our conversation was that in the event of the exposure of the centre of the Rights, or the contact centre, or the upper organization of the conspiracy generally, there would be, through Nikolayevsky, an understanding with the leaders of the Second Internatioral that they would launch a suitable campaign in the press.

Besides myself, some other prominent leaders of the organization of Rights and Trotskyites (in this case I can speak about the Rights, I have no information about the others) also had contact, were establishing criminal connections with representatives of counter-revolutionary organizations which had been set up long ago. Rykov had connections with the Mensheviks through Nikolayevsky. I forgot to say that my meeting with Nikolayevsky was facilitated for me, and not only facilitated, but camouflaged, by the fact that I had to meet with this Nikolayevsky by virtue of my official business. Thus I had a quite legitimate cover behind which I could carry on counterrevolutionary conversations and make agreements of one: kind or another. Smirnov, or Foma, as he was called, had important connections of long standing. These connections had been made when he was still in the People's Commissariat of Agriculture, where, as you know, there were a number of prominent figures of the Socialist-Revolutionary and kindred movements. Everybody knows that some of them have been tried for wrecking. And Smirnov on his part was likewise arranging connections with the Socialist-Revolutionaries.

Thus, there is not a shadow of doubt - and I admit it fully and entirely - that apart from the bloc with the Trotskyites, Zinovievites, Kamenevites and bourgeois-nationalist organizations, there was also absolutely direct and real contact with SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, for which I myself was to a large extent directly to blame of course, as a leader of the centre of the Rights. This meant in the first place the underground Socialist-Revolutionaries who had remained here, that is to say, the former Central Committee of the official Party of SocialistRevolutionaries, and, in the second place, the organization abroad, which was principally rallied around such a person As Mark Vishnyak, the former secretary of the Constituent Assembly.

After the great debacle of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites in connection with the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov, after this...

VYSHINSKY: You: want to go on to another period already, but I would like to ask some questions in connection with the Socialist-Revolutionaries: Bessonov testified here concerning his journey to Prague and his meeting with Sergei Maslov. In Bessonov's conversation with Maslov reference was made to Bukharin arid Rykov. Bessonov said so here. You remember?

Bukharin: I thought he, said he had been informed about the underground activities of Bukharin and Rykov.

VYSHINSKY: That is what I want to ask Bessonov before you continue. Accused Bessonov, did Maslov tell you chat he knew about, Bukharin's underground activity?

BESSONOV: He said that he was aware of the counterrevolutionary views of the Right opposition and their underground activities.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, did you have direct connections with Maslov?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: You knew what Maslov was doing in Prague, that he was the organizer of a counter-revolutionary kulak party, that he was living on an income derived from a foreign intelligence service and from his newspapers and journals? Is that so, accused Bessonov?

BESSONOV: Quite true.

VYSHINSKY: Through whom did he obtain his information?

Bukharin: I do not know, but I think it was through the surviving members of the Socialist-Revolutionary Central Committee abroad.

VYSHINSKY: You were connected with the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries?

Bukharin: Through Chlenov I was connected with Rapoport.

VYSHINSKY: A Socialist-Revolutionary?

Bukharin: This Rapoport was connected with Mark Vishnyak.

VYSHINSKY: And they were connected?

Bukharin: I do not know, but I can guess. You know that old acquaintances usually keep in touch in emigration.

VYSHINSKY: So you suppose that Sergei Maslov was informed about your underground activities through members of the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionary organization abroad or...

Bukharin: Or through Rapoport or Vishnyak.

VYSHINSKY: And in regard to Rykov through Nikolayevsky?

Bukharin: No, I do not think so.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Rykov, have you any conjectures as to where Sergei Maslov could have obtained his information?

Rykov: I have no information and no conjectures on this point.

VYSHINSKY: Did you inform your Menshevik connections about your underground activity?

Rykov: No.

VYSHINSKY: Then how was it?

Rykov: They knew that I was conducting work against the Central Committee.

VYSHINSKY: How did they know?

Rykov: They knew it from me.

VYSHINSKY: But you said...

Rykov: I understood you to mean that a certain organization was conducting work, but what kind of work...

VYSHINSKY: Underground, anti-Soviet. Did they know?

Rykov: They knew it to this extent, but they did not know more concrete things.

VYSHINSKY: And there was no need for them to Know more concrete things. So we may suppose that the émigré circle with which Nikolayevsky was associated was informed about your underground activities by him?

Rykov: I can say nothing about this.

VYSHINSKY: This is not experts evidence but an elucidation of your connections.

Rykov: I have spoken about my connections. You are asking it this contact passed to Maslov?

VYSHINSKY: Of course.

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: You Informed Nikolayevsky about your underground work?

Rykov: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, from Bessonov's testimony it can be taken that Maslov maintained contact with the Rights and was posted on their counter-revolutionary activities. You, as the leader of this counter-revolutionary organization, were consequently also in the sphere of this contact. Do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I was not in the sphere of this contact. I was in the sphere of contact with the Socialist-Revolutionaries. I have no information as to what they were doing, but in reply to your question I make a conjecture as to the possible channel.

VYSHINSKY: Through what channels this could pass?

Bukharin: Yes, the channels through which this could pass.

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, proceed.

Bukharin: So, I left off at the question of the composition of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites," which, as it appears from the entire material, is called the centre of Rights and Trotskyites but actually has a much broader content not only from the point of view of its hangers-on or its environment, but from the point of view of its very composition.

VYSHINSKY: In speaking about these connections of your centre and your bloc, you have said nothing about connections with the foreign intelligence service and fascist circles.

Bukharin: I have nothing to testify on this subject.

VYSHINSKY: Apart from what you have testified already?

Bukharin: Yes. Apart from what I have testified.


Bukharin: When the fascists came to power in Germany, exchanges of opinion commenced among the leaders of the counterrevolutionary organizations concerning the possibility of utilizing foreign states in connection with a war situation. Here I must say frankly, and I tell the Court what I precisely remember, that in this major question, which is a very important subject for the Court's consideration and for the determination of the legal sanction, the Trotskyites were outright for territorial concessions, while on the whole the leading circles of the Right counterrevolutionary organization were primarily concerned with concessions; trade agreements, duties, prices, supplies of raw material, fuel, etc. In short, various concessions of an economic nature. When I began my testimony I told the Court that I, as one of the leaders of the counter-revolutionary bloc, am not just as a cog in the wheel, bear responsibility for absolutely everything done by this organization. But in so far as concrete things are concerned, I think that it can be said of this case that the guiding. principle in the bloc, the most active political principle in the sense of the acuteness of the struggle, in the sense of far-reaching criminal connections, etc.; was after-all the Trotskyite section. I repeat, I say this not in order to disclaim the responsibility of the Right section, since in this case from the point of view of criminology it is not important, who first said "a," who repeated this "a," who exposed and reported it; but from the point of view of the internal mechanics of this case and from the point of view of elucidating the personal role of Trotsky, who, unfortunately, is beyond the reach of the Court; I think this question has a certain importance, and that is why I make bold to emphasize it here.

In the summer of 1934 Radek told me that directions had been received from Trotsky, that Trotsky was conducting negotiations with the Germans, that Trotsky had aheady promised the mans a number of territorial concessions, including the Ukraine. If my memory does not fail me, territorial concessions to Japan were also mentioned. In general, in these negotiations Trotsky already behaved not only as a conspirator who hopes to get power by means of anarmed coup at some future date, but already felt himself the master of Soviet land, which he wants to convert from Soviet to non-Soviet.

I must say that then, at that time, I remonstrated with Radek. Radek confirms this in his testimony, just as he confirmed at a confrobtation with me that I objected to this; that I considered it essential that he, Radek, should write and tell Trotsky that he was going too far in these negotiations, that he might compromise not only, himself, but all his allies, us Right conspirators in particular, and that this meant certain disaster for us. It seemed to me that with the growth of mass patriotism, which is beyond all doubt, this point of view of Trotsky's was politically and tactically inexpedient from the standpoint of the plan of the conspiracy itself, and that much greater caution was needed.

VYSHINSKY: Who said that?

Bukharin: I said it. I even considered that preliminary negotiations were not needed.

VYSHINSKY: To avoid exposure?

Bukharin: No, there were also other considerations....

VYSHINSKY: As you have just said, you pointed out thett that this might lead too far .... You were afraid of exposure?

Bukharin: I do not speak of exposure in the sense of arrest, but in the sense that the whole business might have come to grief.

VYSHINSKY: I am also speaking of this. You expressed this point of view out of caution, to save your plot from ruin?

Bukharin: This will have to be turned round a bit....

VYSHINSKY: You can turn it round as much as you like.... What year was this?

Bukharin: The conversation with Radek took place in the summer of 1934.

VYSHINSKY: And the conversation with Karakhan was later?

Bukharin: It took place after his arrival in Moscow in 1935.

VYSHINSKY: And was this conversation. with Karakhan preceded by a conversation with Yenukidze, or was the conversation with Yenukidze on this topic later?

Bukharin: The first conversation was with Tomsky.

VYSHINSKY: So, the conversation with Tomsky was the basis?

Bukharin: There were three conversations on this, subject.

VYSHINSKY: We will proceed to that later. Continue.

Bukharin: Must I dwell on the internal aspect of the Affair, op the conversations that took place, or is this of no interest?

VYSHINSKY: That depends on what the conversations were about.

Bukharin: Of course they were not about the weather.

VYSHINSKY: Tell the Court about your crimes.

Bukharin: Tomsky considered it permissible to take advantage of war and preliminary agreements with Germany. This I opposed by the following arguments. I said that in the first place if Germany were to intervene in one way or another during the war to help the counter-revolutionary coup, then, as it always happens, Germany, being rather a strong military and technical factor, would inevitably put her feet on the table and tear up any preliminary agreement. which had been concluded. Secondly, I advanced the argumentthat since this was to be a military coup, then by virtue of the very logic of things the military group of the conspirators would have extraordinary influence, and, as always happens in these cases, it would be just that section of the joint upper group of the counter-revolutionary circles that would command great material forces, and consequently political forces, and that hence a peculiar Bonapartist danger might arise. And Bonapartists - I was thinking particularly of Tukhachevsky - would start out by making short shrift of their allies-and so- called inspirers in Napoleon style. In myconversations I always called Tukhachevsky a "potential little Napoleon," and you know how Napoleon dealt with the so-called Ideologists.

VYSHINSKY: And you considered yourself an ideologist?

Bukharin: Both an ideologist of a counter-revolutionary coup and a practical man. You, of course, would prefer to hear that I consider myself a spy, but I never considered myself a spy, nor do I now.

VYSHINSKY: It would be more correct if you did.

Bukharin: That is your opinion, but my opinion is different.

VYSHINSKY: We shall see what the opinion of the Court is. Tell us how you conducted this "ideological" conversation with Tomsky then or at any other time; did Tomsky propose two variants for the seizure of power?

Bukharin: I am coming to that in the next few words.

VYSHINSKY: I'll wait.

Bukharin: Very well. I wanted to say that after these preliminary conversations in 1935-1 do not know what other factors played a part before the adoption of any decision on the part of the Right centre and on the part of the contact centre: whether Tomsky was being pressed by Yenukidze or the military circles, or jointly by Yenukidze, the Trotskyites and the Zinovievites - but the fact is that Karakhan left without a preliminary conversation with the members of the leading centre, with the exception of Tomsky.

Now I want to tell the Court what I remember concerning the three conversations that took place after Karakhan's arrival. The first conversation was with Tomsky, the second with Yenukidze and the third with Karakhan, who introduced certain details and an added coefficient into the conversation.

As I remember, Tomsky told me that Karakhan had arrived at an agreement with Germany on more advantageous terms than Trotsky.

VYSHINSKY: First of all, tell us about Tomsky. I am interested in your talk with Tomsky concerning your plan of a coup d'état, as you call it, the seizure of power. When did you have a conversation about opening the front to the Germans?

Bukharin: I am coming to that now.

VYSHINSKY: Can you touch on the question of how you and Tomsky were going to open the front to the Germans in case of war?

Bukharin: I will speak about this a bit later.

VYSHINSKY: You do not care to speak on the subject that interests the investigation now?

Bukharin: I shall speak about this front.

VYSHINSKY: I put the question for the third time. When did you have a conversation about opening the front to the Germans?

Bukharin: When I asked Tonisky how he conceived the mechanics of the coup he said this was the business of the military organization, which wan to open the front.

VYSHINSKY: So Tomsky was preparing to open the front?

Bukharin: He did not say that.

VYSHINSKY: Yes or no?

Bukharin: I asked how he visualized the mechanism of this intervention.

VYSHINSKY: Whose Intervention?

Bukharin: Of certain foreign states.

VYSHINSKY: Did he say taw it was conceived?

Bukharin: Tomsky did say.

VYSHINSKY: Tomsky said, "open the front"?

Bukharin: I will put it exactly.

VYSHINSKY: What did he say?

Bukharin: Tomsky said that this was a mattes for the military organization, which was to open the front.

VYSHINSKY: Why was it to open the front?

Bukharin: He did not say.

VYSHINSKY: Why was it to open the front?

Bukharin: From my point of view, It ought not to open the front.

VYSHINSKY: From the point of view of your organization?

Bukharin: From the point of view of our organisation.

VYSHINSKY: Were they to open the front from the point of view of Tomsky, or not?

Bukharin: From the point of view of Tomsky? At any rate, he did not object to this point of view.

VYSHINSKY: He agreed?

Bukharin: Since he did not object, it means that most likely he three-quarters agreed.

VYSHINSKY: He nevertheless kept one-quarter in reserve? BUKHARIN: I only wanted to stress the point.

VYSHINSKY: I am asking you. Answer the question.

Bukharin: Citizen Procurator, you said that every word was very important to the Court.

VYSHINSKY: Permit me to read Bukharin's testimony, Vol.V, pp. 95-96: "Tomsky told me that two variants were discussed: the case where the new government would be farmed in time of peace," and thin meant that the conspirators would organize a new government in time. of peace; and "the case where if would be organized in time of war; in the latter case the, Germans were demanding big economic concessions," concessions of which I have already spoken, "and were insisting upon cession of territory." Tell us, is this true or not?

Bukharin: Yes, that is all true.

VYSHINSKY (continues to read): "I asked Tomsky how the mechanism of the coup, was visualized in this connection. He, said that this was the business of the military organization, which was to open the front to the Germans."

Bukharin: Yes, correct.

VYSHINSKY: Did Tomsky agree with this, or not?

Bukharin: He said "was to" ("dolzhna"); but the meaning of these words is "müssen" and not "sollen."

VYSHINSKY: Leave your philology aside. In Russian "was to" means "was to."

Bukharin: It means that the military circles had the idea that in that case these military circles...

VYSHINSKY: No, not the idea, but they were to. That means...

Bukharin: No, it does not mean.

VYSHINSKY: So they were not to open the front?

Bukharin: From whose point of view? Tomsky told me what the military said, what Yenukidze said.

VYSHINSKY: And what did you testify?

Bukharin: I know very well what I testified.

VYSHINSKY: "Tomsky said that the coup was the business of the military organization, which was to open the front to the Germans." Is the question clear?

Bukharin: I said that I asked Tomsky: "How is the mechanism of this intervention visualized?" He answered: "This is the business of the military organization, which is to open the front to the Germans." Whereupon I said....

VYSHINSKY: No more for the present. They were to open the front. That is, they intended to open the front to the Germans?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: In which circles?

Bukharin: In the circles of the military organization.

VYSHINSKY: Did Tomsky agree to this?

Bukharin: He did not say so directly.

VYSHINSKY: He three-quarters agreed?

Bukharin: I am telling you that from what he said it followed that he probably agreed to this.

VYSHINSKY: And when he told you this, did-you object?

Bukharin: I did.

VYSHINSKY: And why did you not write "I objected"?

Bukharin: That is written here later on.

VYSHINSKY: What is written later on is something entirely different.

Bukharin: That means that I objected.

VYSHINSKY: What Is written later is: "Whereupon I said that in that case... " In which case?

Bukharin: In case the front were opened.

VYSHINSKY: Right. "In that case it would be expedient to try those guilty of-the defeat at the front. This will enable us to win over the masses by playing on patriotic slogans."

Bukharin: But permit me, I will explain that to you, if you will allow me.

VYSHINSKY: One moment. Let us examine it in order, in order. Was this your objection?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: Is that what you told him: "The front must not be opened"?

Bukharin: Yes.

VYSHINSKY: But where is this written?

Bukharin: It is not written, but it is self-understood.

VYSHINSKY: And what does playing on patriotic slogans mean?

Bukharin: The word "play" here was not meant in an odious sense....

VYSHINSKY: "Was to" is not meant in its right sense, and "play" is not meant in its right sense.

Bukharin: "Was to" in Russian has two meanings.

VYSHINSKY: And we want to have one meaning here.

Bukharin: That is what you would like, but I am entitled not to agree with you. It is well known that in German "sollen" and "müssen" have two meanings.

VYSHINSKY: You are accustomed to speak in German, but we are speaking in the Soviet language.

Bukharin: The German language in itself is not odious.

VYSHINSKY: You are continuing to speak in German, yon are already accustomed to negotiate with the Germans in their language. But here we speak in Russian. When Tomsky told you that it was necessary to open the front to the. Germans, then, if you objected, you should, have said as follows: "I objected, I said that I would not consent to such a betrayal, to such treason." did you say that?

Bukharin: No, I did not. But If I said that it was necessary.

VYSHINSKY: To play on patriotic slogans, that is, to speculate on them, to pretend that somebody committed treason; but that you were patriots ....

Bukharin: That is not quite so, because In other, parts of my testimony, including the confrontation with Radek, and during all the conversations with Radek, I objected to what Radek said and declared that Tomsky did not understand...

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, that you have hire employed a jesuitical method, a perfidious method, is borne out by the following. Permit me to read further: "I had in mind that by this, that is, by the conviction of those guilty of the defeat, we would be able at the same time to rid ourselves of the Bonapartist danger that alarmed me."

Bukharin: Yes, quite true.

VYSHINSKY: So that is how you "objected" to the opening of the front.

Bukharin: One task by no means interferes with the other.

VYSHINSKY: One task is the opening of the front....

Bukharin: No, not the opening of the front.

VYSHINSKY: To try those guilty of defeat at the front, to play on patriotic slogans, and thus get off scat free.

Bukharin: An entirely different orientation.

VYSHINSKY: That is the conversation you had with Tomsky. Is it correctly recorded here?

Bukharin: Correctly, of course, but you did not read everything.

VYSHINSKY: I have read three paragraphs; are they correctly recorded?

Bukharin: The three paragraphs are quite correctly recorded.

VYSHINSKY: Did you speak to Yenukidze on this subject?

Bukharin: I did speak to Yenukidze.

VYSHINSKY: Did you speak to Karakhan?

Bukharin: I did.

VYSHINSKY: What did Yenukidze and Karakhan say on this subject?

Bukharin: Yenukidze...

VYSHINSKY: In general confirmed this?

Bukharin: In general he confirmed it. Tomsky learnt this front Karakhan and Yenukidze.


Bukharin: They confirmed, firstly, that Karakhan had concluded an agreement with the Germans on conditions of economic concessions of territories, to which Karakhan did not reply, saying that this matter must be discussed. It included a formula regarding the severance of the Union Republics. Thirdly, about pacts.

VYSHINSKY: Thirdly,about opening the front?

Bukharin: Thirdly, about the pacts of mutual assistance of the U.S.S.R. with Czechoslovakia and France.

VYSHINSKY: Did you have a pact with them?

Bukharin: I am conveying what Tomsky said about what he was told by Karakhan. That is what he said. The Germans demanded the annulment of these pacts.

VYSHINSKY: Of whom with whom?

Bukharin: Of the new government.

VYSHINSKY: You thought that you were already the government?

Bukharin: We did not think so, but Karakhan said that in case...

VYSHINSKY: Was it sanctioned?

Bukharin: We did not afterwards object, which means that we sanctioned it.

VYSHINSKY: That is, you thought that you were acting as a government?

Bukharin: The meaning of the pact...

VYSHINSKY: Then you would break the alliance with Czechoslovakia?

Bukharin: You did not let me finish. Karakhan replied to this in the affirmative. We reckoned on deceiving the Germans and on not fulfilling this demand.

VYSHINSKY: And so you built everything on deception. And they reckoned on deceiving you?

Bukharin: That always happens.

VYSHINSKY: On using you and then throwing you on to the muck heap.

Bukharin: That is so.

VYSHINSKY: In general, both of you lost.

Bukharin: Happily, that is so.

VYSHINSKY: Happily for us, that is so. And did you talk to Karakhan about opening the front?

Bukharin: Karakhan said that the Germans were demanding a military alliance with Germany.

VYSHINSKY: And are the gates closed to an ally?

Bukharin: Karakhan gave me an answer to this question.

VYSHINSKY: That the gates are closed to an ally?

Bukharin: No.

VYSHINSKY: That means to open the gates?

Bukharin: Pardon me, there was no alliance yet.

VYSHINSKY: But there were expectations, plans?

Bukharin: Well, just now the Soviet Union has an alliance with France, but that does not mean that it opens the Soviet frontiers.

VYSHINSKY: What did you have?

Bukharin: We had nothing; there were verbal plans.

VYSHINSKY: You do not want to admit that you were the initiator of the proposal to open the front in case of an attack bye the Germans.

Bukharin: No. But Rykov affirms this because it is now perfectly clear....

VYSHINSKY: But Rykov confirms that Bukharin was the initiator of this idea. Accused Rykov, is that correct?

Rykov: I first heard about opening the front from Bukharin.

Bukharin: And that is true. But that does not mean that I was the initiator. It was after the conversation with Tomsky.

VYSHINSKY (to Rykov): Did Bukharin object to it?

Rykov: He did not object in my presence.

VYSHINSKY: Be seated. (To Bukharin.) Continue your account. I consider that the question of opening the front is clear. I have no more questions.

Bukharin: I forgot to say and mention that when Trotsky was negotiating with the Germans, the Rights were already a component part of the "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" and that consequently they were partners to these negotiations; even in spite of the fact that Trotsky did this on his own initiative, independently of any preliminary arrangement.

That In the main is all I have to say, I think.

THE PRESIDENT: Comrade Procurator, the accused Bukharin has finished his testimony.

VYSHINSKY: I have no questions to put.

THE PRESIDENT: Comrade Procurator, we have now tie settle the question of summoning the witnesses. Or shall we proceed to interrogate Bukharin on the events of 1918?

VYSHINSKY: I have already done so.

THE PRESIDENT: We must decide at what time to summon the witnesses: now, or after the adjournment?

VYSHINSKY: If the witnesses are present I would request to have them called in now.

THE PRESIDENT: The first witness to be called is Yakovleva?


THE PRESIDENT: Call in the witness.

VYSHINSKY: While the witness is being called in, permit me to put to Bukharin a question in connection with his testimony at the preliminary investigation - p. 94, Vol. V. May 1 read it?


VYSHINSKY: "We clearly perceived the gigantic growth of Soviet patriotism, which growth was connected with the tangible growth of the might, strength and prosperity of the broad masses, the extraordinary popularity of Stalin's slogan that ere would not surrender a single inch of Soviet land, which in our eyes was a perfectly obvious indication of this growing patriotism." Do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I do.

VYSHINSKY: "To set ourselves up against this slogan, how. ever cunning our political calculations might be, would most certainly have meant isolating ourselves from the masses once and for all, rendering our position meaningless in advance, and our plans utterly hopeless." Do you confirm this?

Bukharin: I confirm it fully.

VYSHINSKY: I have no more questions.


Army Military Jurist
President of the Military Collegium of
the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R.
Military Jurist First Rank