Interviews: 1972-1983 (this abstract)
First Published: 1991 (Russian); 1993 (English)
Source: Molotov Remembers, conversations with Feliks I. Chuev; edited by Albert Resis. Ivan R. Dee (Publisher) 1993. Note: These abstracts were taken from the English version, which is an abridged form of the Russian version. The English version has 437 pages, while the Russian version is 735 pages. No explaination nor notice is given for why the English version has been so thoroughly abridged.
Translated: Not cited.
Transcription/Markup: Brian Baggins
Fair Use: Molotov Reference Archive (marxists.org) 2005. This document has been reproduced in accordance to § 107 of Title 17 in US Copyright Law. Particularly, we wish to convey to readers that the above mentioned book has an enormous wealth of insightful and revealing information on Soviet history. Enclosed is a sample of such material.
They write now that Stalin trusted Hitler, that Hitler deceived him with the pact of 1939, lulled his vigilance. Stalin trusted him...
Such a naive Stalin. No. Stalin saw through it all. Stalin trusted Hitler? He didn't trust all his own people!
[No date cited] page 23
At what point did the fate of the Revolution hang in the balance?
The transition to the New Economic Policy....
Our policy was flexible but forward-looking. Just at that point the workers' opposition started up. Among workers as well as among peasants, an entirely new party began in fact to take shape. They accused us of jettisoning our line, of renouncing socialism, of renouncing leadership of the working class, of drifting with the current toward capitalism....
But otherwise Soviet power would have been lost.
7-31-1972, page 247
To stage a purge of the party is very dangerous. The best people are the first purged. Many people who are honest and speak frankly are expelled while those who keep everything in the dark and are eager to curry favor with the party chiefs retain their positions.
2-3-1973, page 255
Dzerzhinksy was a radiant, spotless personality. Yagoda was a filthy nobody who wormed his way into the party and was only caught in 1937. We had to work with reptiles like that, but there were no others. No one! Now you understand why so many mistakes were made. They deceived us, and innocent people were sometimes incriminated. Obviously one or two out of ten were wrongly sentenced, but the rest got their just desserts.
1-9-1981, page 257
The fact that we survived, that socialism endured and after the War moved forward, all of this, in my opinion, is our greatest accomplishment of this period. Yes, in this achievement the epidemic of repressions itself played a crucial role.... Someone had to remain untainted by all repression. So Stalin took the lead.... I was one of his chief supporters. I have no regrets over it.
12-9-1982, page 259
It is said that Stalin and Molotov considered only themselves to be true Leninists.
There was no alternative. Had we not regarded ourselves as Leninists, and had we not attacked those who wavered, we could have been weakened.
10-14-1983, page 260
"I recall as a child," said Shota Ivanovich, "that it was terrible, it was horrible when NKVD agents appeared. It was a fear, I imagine, analogous with that inspired by the Gestapo."
8-16-1977, page 261
I would even say that their confessions contained only 10 percent absurdities, perhaps less. They confessed to certain things on purpose in order to show how preposterous the whole trial was. That was a struggle against the party.... The confessions seemed artificial and exaggerated. I consider it inconceivable that Rykov, Bukharin, and even Trotsky agreed to cede the Soviet Far East, the Ukraine, and even the Caucausus to a foreign power. I rule that out.
12-4-1973, page 264
The heart of the matter is this. I believe we had to pass through a period of terror, because we had already waged a struggle for more than ten years. The terror cost us dearly, but without it things would have been worse. Many people who should not have been touched suffered. But I believe that Beria on his own could not have done it. He carried out the orders, very harsh orders, issued by Stalin.... Stalin insisted on making doubly sure: spare no one, but guarantee absolute stability in the country for a long period of time — through the war and postwar years, which was certainly achieved.
4-29-1982, page 278-79