August 19 (morning session)


The accused Mrachkovsky was the man most in the confidence of Trotsky and personally closest to him. In the past he had occupied an important position in the army. From 1923 onwards he had carried on, in conjunction with Trotsky, Trotskyite anti-Soviet work. He had been a member of the leading centre of the underground Trotskyite terrorist organization, had worked under the personal direction of Trotsky, from whom he was receiving instructions through I. N. Smirnov as well as directly to organize terroristic acts against the leaders of the Party and the Government. Being one of the leaders of the counter-revolutionary Trotskyite underground organization, he, in 1932, had joined the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre together with I. N. Smirnov and V. A. Ter-Vaganyan.

Mrachkovsky relates in detail the history of the formation of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre. He says that on returning from exile in 1929 he only on paper admitted the correctness of the general line of the Party; actually, however, together with other former members of the opposition, he returned from exile with the perfidious intention of continuing the struggle against the Party. Asked by Comrade Vyshinsky to say definitely to whom he was referring, Mrachkovsky said that he, Mrachkovsky, and also I. N. Smirnov and Ter-Vaganyan, had jointly taken the firm decision to organize a further struggle against the Party. Mrachkovsky at the same time admits that this counter-revolutionary group had no political platform, that "the platform drawn up in the preceding period of 1925-27 was upset by the fact of correctness of the general line of the Party."

Mrachkovsky goes on to say that already in 1931 this Trotskyite group openly discussed the question of terrorism. I. N. Smirnov, who had visited Berlin, brought back instructions from Trotsky, which he received through Trotsky's son, L. Sedov, to the following effect: "Until we put Stalin out of the way, we shall not be able to come back to power."

Vyshinsky:  What do you mean by the expression: "Until we put Stalin out of the way"?

Mrachkovsky:  Until we kill Stalin. At that very meeting, in the presence of Smirnov, myself, Ter-Vaganyan and Safonova, I was given the task of organizing a terrorist group, that is to say, to select reliable people. The same task was assigned to Dreitzer together with me. That period, 1931 and 1932, was spent in inducing and preparing people to commit terroristic acts. For this purpose I recruited Yatsek and Yudin. Dreitzer recruited another group of people including Schmidt, Kuzmiehev and some others whom I don't remember. As I have already said, this period was spent in preparing people for organizing terroristic acts against Stalin, Voroshilov and Kaganovich.

Mrachkovsky goes on to state that in the second half of 1932 the question was raised of the necessity of uniting the Trotskyite terrorist group with the Zinovievites. The question of this unification was raised by I. N. Smirnov who, in doing so, argued that the Trotskyite forces by themselves were too weak and that therefore it was necessary to unite all counter-revolutionary groups. It was at that time that Smirnov sent a letter to Trotsky through Holtzman in which he informed Trotsky of the state of the Trotskyite organization and put before him the question of uniting with the Zinovievites. It was also at that time that Trotsky conveyed to them through his emissary, Gaven, that union must take place on the basis of terrorism, and Trotsky once again emphasized the necessity of killing Stalin, Voroshilov and Kirov.

Vyshinsky:  Another question to Smirov. Do you corroborate the testimony of Mrachkovsky that in 1932 you received a reply from Trotsky through Gaven?

Smirnov:  I received a reply from Trotsky through Gaven. Vyshinsky:  And in addition, did you receive verbal information on the conversation with Trotsky?

Smirnov:  Yes, also verbal conversation.

Vyshinsky:  You, Smirnov, confirm before the Supreme Court that in 1932 you received from Gaven the direction from Trotsky to commit acts of terrorism?

Smirnov:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Against whom?

Smirnov:  Against the leaders.

Vyshinsky:  Against which?

Smirnov:  Stalin and others.

Continuing his testimony, Mrachkovsky observed that after receiving the instruktions from Trotsky approving the formation of a bloc  with the Zinovievites, Smirnov instructed Ter-Vaganyan to bring about the formation of this bloc.  The terrorist bloc  of theTrotskyites and the Zinovievites was formed at the end of 1932. Mrachkovsky related that before his departure from Moscow in 1932, Smirnov had asked him to see Reingold, who was leading the Moscow terrorist group, and to come to an agreement with him about uniting all forces.

Vyshinsky:  On what basis?

Mrachkovsky:  On the basis of organizing the assassination of Stalin.

Vyshinsky:  Smirnov said: Go to Reingold and come to an agreement with him about . . .

Mrachkovsky:  . . . Uniting our terrorist forces for the purpose of assassinating Stalin, Voroshilov and Kaganovich.

Mrachkovsky goes on to say that on his departure from Moscow he instructed Reingold to get in touch with Dreitzer who was to direct the terroristic activities of the Moscow centre. On arriving in Moscow again in the summer of 1934 he met Dreitzer who informed him about the work of the terrorist centre. Questioned by Comrade Vyshinsky, Dreitzer confirms this statement by Mrachkovsky. Mrachkovsky goes on to say that Dreitzer informed him about the organization of the Moscow terrorist sentre of Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc,  consisting of himself, i.e.,  and also Reingold and Pickel. Questioned by Comrade Vyshinsky, Reingold and Pickel confirm the statement that they were members of the Moscow terrorist centre.

In summer of 1934 Mrachkovsky met Kamenev. "Kamenev," testifies Mrachkovsky, "confirmed to me the fact that a Moscow terrorist centre had been organized. Kamenev expressed dissatisfaction with the slowness with which the work of preparing terroristic acts was proceeding. During this conversation he said that Bakayev was organizing in Leningrad, apparently very successfully, although slowly, a terroristic act against Kirov."

Continuing his testimony, Mrachkovsky states that in December 1934 , while in Kazakhstan, he reseived from Dreitzer a letter of Trotsky's, written in invisible ink, which had approximately the following contents - Dear friend, the task that confronts us today is to accelerate the assassination of Stalin and Voroshilov. In the event of war, it is necessary to adopt a defeatist position and take advantage of the confusion. Nuclei must be organized in the Red Army. The letter was signed "Starik" (old man).

Mrachkovsky emphasizes the fact that he knew Trotsky's handwriting very well and that he had not the slightest doubt that the letter had actually been written by Trotsky. Emphasizing that he stood particularly close to Trotsky, Mrachkovsky states that during the last few years of his work with Trotsky, in 1923-27, no one could get to see Trotsky without him, Mrachkovsky, and also that all Trotsky's correspondence passed through his hands.

Comrade Vyshinsky asks Mrachkovsky what role I. N. Smirnov played in the terrorist Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre. Mrachkovsky emphasizes that he, Mrachkovsky, did everything with the knowledge of Smirnov and that Smirnov knew the people whom he, Mrachkovsky, was preparing to commit terroristic acts.

Questioned by Comrade Vyshinsky whether he confirms Mrachkovsky's testimony, Smirnov asserts that Mrachkovsky's statements do not conform with the facts.

Vyshinsky:  You were a member of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre. That you admit. Here Mrachkovsky is not sinning against the truth. That is the first point. Secondly, the centre was organized on the basis of terrorism against the leaders of the Party and the government. Is that right?

Smirnov:  That is right.

Vyshinsky:  Did you receive from Trotsky instruktions on terrorism as a means of struggle?

Smirnov:  Yes.

Mrachkovsky then goes on to tell the Court about the activities of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre. The members of this centre were Zinoviev, Kamenev, Lominadze, Mrachkovsky, Ter-Vaganyan and others.

Comrade Vyshinsky then asks Zinoviev:

Vyshinsky:  When was the united centre organized?

Zinoviev:  In the summer of 1932.

Vyshinsky:  During what period of time did it function?

Zinoviev:  Actually up to 1936.

Vyshinsky:  What were its activities?

Zinoviev:  Its main activities consisted in making preparations for terroristic acts.

Vyshinsky:  Against whom?

Zinoviev:  Against the leaders.

Vyshinsky:  That is against Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, and Kaganovich? Was it your centre that organized the assassination of Comrade Kirov? Was the assassination of Sergei Mironovich Kirov organized by your centre, or by some other organization?

Zinoviev:  Yes, by our centre.

Vyshinsky:  In that centre there were you, Kamenev, Smirnov,Mrachkovsky and Ter-Vaganyan?

Zinoviev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  So you all organized the assassination of Kirov?

Zinoviev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  So you all assassinated Comrade Kirov?

Zinoviev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Sit down.

In connection with Mrachkovsky's testimony, the accused Ter-Vaganyan is examined. He admits that negotiations for the formation of a united Trotskyte-Zinovievite terrorist bloc  were started as far back as June 1932 and that in the first stages of the negotiations he, Ter-Vaganyan, had served as intermediary between Lominadze and Kamenev, and between Smirnov and Zinoviev.

I. N. Smirnov denies Mrachkovsky's testimony to the effect that he, Smirnov, had conveyed Trotsky's instructions about terrorism to the Moscow Trotskyite centre.

Vyshinsky:  I ask leave to read Vol. XXIX, p. 115, of the record of the examination of Smirnov on August 13 by Scheinin, Examining Magistrate for cases of special importance, according to which Smirnov said that in 1931 Sedov gave terroristic directions. Here is Smirnov's testimony: "On my return to Moscow I reported this to Safonova and Mrachkovsky."

Vyshinsky:  Well, now, does this correspond to what you said five minutes ago?

Smirnov:  (Remains silent.)

Vyshinsky:  I ask that permission be given to Smirnov himself to read this passage from the evidence. As Smirnov persists in his denials, tries to evade responsibility, I ask that he read this passage from the evidence in front of everybody present here.

Smirnov  (reading his testimony): "In 1931 Sedov gave terroristic directions which, on my return to Moscow, I reported to Safonova and Mrachkovsky."

Vyshinsky  (to Mrachkovsky): Mrachkovsky, did you learn about Sedov's line on terrorism from Smirnov?

Mrachkovsky:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  After Smirnov's return from Berlin did you meet him?

Mrachkovsky:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Did you speak to him?

Mrachkovsky:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Together with Safanova?

Mrachkovsky:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  And you knew about these directions of Sedov's?

Mrachkovsky:  Yes, I so affirm.

Vyshinsky:  Smirnov, did you hear that?

Smirnov:  (Remains silent.)

In reply to the questions of Comrade Ulrich, President of the Court, Smirnov admits that he also communicated Trotsky's instructions to Ter-Vaganyan. In reply to Comrade Vyshinsky, the accused Kamenev once again states that "the instructions Smirnov had personally received from Trotsky - the directions on terrorism - had been passed on as given by Smirnov and that they were of decisive importance to the organization."

At the end of Mrachkovsky's examination Vyshinsky asks Bakayev in what part of 1934 he went to Leningrad.

Bakayev:  In the autumn.

Vyshinsky:  For what purpose?

Bakayev:  To ascertain the preparedness of the organization to assassinate Kirov.

Vyshinsky  (to Kamenev): Did you give the instructions to make preparations for assassination of Kirov?

Kamenev:  Yes, in the autumn.

Vyshinsky:  In the autumn you and Evdokimov instructed Bakyev to go to Leningrad to check up on the progress which was being made by the Leningrad Trotskyite-Zinovievite group in its preparations to assassinate Kirov? Is that right, do you confirm that?

Kamenev:  Yes that is true. I I confirm that.