Joseph Hansen

GPU Book The Great Conspiracy
Rehashes Moscow Frame-Up Trials

(31 August 1946)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 10 No. 35, 31 August 1946, p. 7.
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(Fourteenth in a series on the Moscow Trials and their significance)

The Kremlin undoubtedly hopes that the recently published book, The Great Conspiracy, will divert the attention of rank and file Stalinists from the failure to bring up the Moscow Trials at Nuremberg.

But unfortunately for the. Kremlin frame-up machine, this book only succeeds in further exposing the falsity of the Moscow Trials. To unravel all the lies and distortions of the authors, Sayers and Kahn, would require a shelf of books the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. However, consideration of a few paragraphs in the first chapter will show precisely how the Stalinist lie machine operated in composing this latest piece of Kremlin propaganda.

Lie Machine

The lie machine opens its “colorful tale” by introducing Raymond Robins, whom they make out to be a kind of Ambassador Joseph E. Davies in the days of the Bolshevik revolution. This man with an “outdoor mind” and a “passionate concern for the welfare of the common man” sees facts straight even if he does favor capitalist exploitation over the Soviet system. And so begins the “carefully documented evidence” with which the lie machine constructed the book.

Immediately after the Bolsheviks took power, declare Sayers and Kahn, “Robins wasted no time. He drove out to Smolny and asked to see Lenin.” Get that! – Lenin.

“‘I was for Kerensky,’ said Robins frankly, ‘but I know a corpse when I see one and I regard the Provisional Government as dead. I want to know whether the American Red Cross can serve the Russian people without injury to our national interests. I am against your domestic program, but it is none of my business what happens in domestic Russia. If Kornilov, or the Czar or anyone else had the power I would be talking to him!’”

Now here is how it was told in Raymond Robins’ Own Story, as printed in 1920: “Robins went to see Trotsky shortly after the Bolshevik revolution had put Trotsky into office.” Get that! – Trotsky.

The original source then describes how Robins had been “in support of Kerensky and therefore against the Bolsheviks.”

“When Robins came to Trotsky’s door, there were soldiers there: and when he got inside, there was a man standing by Trotsky’s desk who at once showed much excitement. ‘Kerensky-ite,’ he cried, pointing to Robins. ‘Counter-revolutionary.’ He had heard Robins addressing the Russian soldiers against peace and in favor of fighting Germany. ‘Counter-revolutionary,’” he continued.

“Robins raised his arm in a gesture he hoped was commanding and calm, and said to his interpreter:

“‘Tell Commissioner Trotsky it is true I did everything I could to help Kerensky and to keep the Commissioner from getting into power.’

“Trotsky frowned.

“‘But tell the Commissioner,’ said Robins ‘that I differ from some of my friends. I know a corpse when I see one, and I think the thing to do with a corpse is to bury it, not to sit up with it. I admit that the Commissioner is in power now.’

“Trotsky looked mollified.

“‘But tell the Commissioner,’ said Robins, ‘that if Kornilov or Kaledine or the Czar were sitting in his place, I would be talking to them.’”

“Trotsky looked less mollified. Robins hastened to state his whole errand.

“‘Tell the Commissioner,’ he said, ‘that I have come to ask him: Can the American Red Cross Mission stay in Russia with benefit to the Russian people and without disadvantage to the Allied cause? If so, it will stay. If not, it will go.’

“Trotsky looked at Robins steadily, and considered.”

We have quoted this entire section in order to show how “carefully” Sayers and Kahn have documented The Great Conspiracy. All their documentation is of the same lying type. Yet the fly leaf of the book brazenly proclaims: “None of the incidents of dialogue in The Great Conspiracy has been invented by the authors!”

Take the very next two paragraphs on the same page 16 of The Great Conspiracy:

“Lenin took an immediate liking to the dynamic, outspoken American. He tried to explain to Robins the character of the new regime.

“‘They say I am a dictator,’ Lenin declared. ‘I am for the moment. I am a dictator because I have behind me the will of the mass of the peasants and workers. The moment I cease to do their will, they will take the power from me, and I would be as helpless as the Czar.’”

Raymond Robins’ Own Story gives a different version. There in a chapter on Lenin following the exceedingly interesting one on Trotsky. Robins quotes at great length from Lenin on the character of the new regime, how the Soviet system extends democracy into economy and how Communism must replace capitalism on a world scale.

Did Sayers and Kahn present Lenin as a personal dictator because that would please Stalin more than Lenin’s real explanation about the new regime? Are they afraid to print anything that would reveal how far Stalin has gone in betraying Leninism?

Perhaps that is why Sayers and Kahn decided not to print such explanations of Lenin as the following on page 2 of Raymond Robins’ Own Story: “The flame of the Socialist revolution may die down here. But we will keep it at its height till it spreads to countries more developed. When you see a Council of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies in Berlin you will know that the proletarian world revolution is born.”

Robins’ 1920 book tells more about Leon Trotsky than any other Bolshevik except Lenin. This was only natural since Robins acted as an “unofficial” ambassador for the United States and Trotsky was then head of the Foreign Commissariat of the Soviet Union. Today, however, Sayers and Kahn quote Robins as having had a conversation with Lenin in which the head of the Bolshevik Party “spoke of his and Stalin’s plans” in regard to the nationalities in Russia “and told me that Stalin had just been elected Commissar of Nationalities.”

One Catch

There is one little catch. To get Stalin’s name even mentioned like this in connection with the Bolshevik revolution, Sayers and Kahn had to get really “careful” with their documentation. A footnote explains that “Robins wrote the authors” of The Great Conspiracy on this point in November 1943! That is, 23 years after he set down his first impressions of the Bolshevik regime!

Let Sayers and Kahn explain how it happened Robins did not even mention Stalin in his 1920 book while filling chapter after chapter with the inseparable names of “Lenin and Trotsky!”

Robins’ 1943 praise of Stalin should be judged in the light of the following boast he made to the American anti-Bolsheviks of 1920: “I was fighting Socialism before some of you ever thought of it, and I shall be fighting Socialism when some of you have quit.”

Thus far we have considered the outright lies and distortions in only five paragraphs and a footnote on two pages of the first chapter of this product of the Kremlin frame-up artists. Imagine the task of similarly exposing all the lies in the entire book!

The jacket claims that The Great Conspiracy is “more strange and startling than the most sensational spy fiction.” It is indeed “strange and startling.”

Some of the most obvious blunders in the Moscow frame-ups are repeated without any change. Other blunders are not to be found even with the most diligent probing into these pages of Kremlin sewage. Pyatakov’s airplane, for instance, is still flying in The Great Conspiracy. Yet it was proved nine years ago that Pyatakov never landed in Oslo in an airplane and consequently lied about talking with Trotsky! This airplane crashed through the structure of the frame-up in the Second Moscow Trial while Pyatakov was still on the stand. That didn’t stop Stalin from shooting Pyatakov, or Sayers and Kahn from repeating his lie.

The Great Conspiracy repeats in the text that “Leon Trotsky, accompanied by his son Sedov, crossed the Franco-Italian border on a false passport and met Krestinsky at the Hotel Bavaria in Merano,” Italy. A footnote explains that “Trotsky was then living at St. Palais, a small village at the foot of the Pyrenees in the South of France.” Let Sayers and Kahn look at a map. The Pyrenees are on the border of Spain and not Italy. Thus at the time of the alleged meeting, Trotsky was some 600 miles away. This blunder of the GPU frame-up machine was called to the attention of the world more than eight years ago!

Hotel Bristol

The Great Conspiracy carefully avoids other blunders of the GPU frame-up machine. We will mention one, probably the most notorious blunder of all in the Moscow Trials, the one about Holtzman meeting Sedov in Copenhagen in the Hotel Bristol years after it was tom down arid while Sedov was in another country. This famous incident, one of the main pillars of the Moscow Trials, is not even mentioned by Sayers and Kahn.

Holtzman is not even listed as one of the defendants, although he was shot after making this “confession.” The Kremlin’s frame-up artists really burned their fingers with the non-existent Hotel Bristol. It seems they decided not to burn their fingers on it again in this book.

All the propaganda about The Great Conspiracy peddled by the Stalinist press hammers on the theme of its “careful” documentation. It is not necessary however to wade very far in this reeking Kremlin bilge to see what the highly-touted “documentation” is actually worth. Sayers and Kahn bungled the job before they finished the first chapter.

(To Be Continued)


Last updated on: 18 June 2021