August 19 (evening session)


The Supreme Court then proceeds to examine the accused Pickel. Pickel was one of Zinoviev's most trusted men and for many years was in charge of his secretariat. He admits that as an active member of the Moscow terrorist centre he was aware of all the principal decisions and terroristic measures of the united centre. In the autumn of 1932 Pickel joined the fighting terrorist organization of which Bakayev was the leader, and agreed to take part in the attempt on the life of Comrade Stalin. Pickel corroborates the testimony given by Reingold and Bakayev that Zinoviev directly guided the preparations for this attempt. He gives a striking characterization of the principal leaders of this terroristic activity, including Zinoviev, who were masters in the art of playing upon the ambitions, on the particularities of each of their accomplices. To rouse passion, to rouse hatred, to rouse their supporters to the boiling point, this, according to Pickel, was the only art of which the heads of the counter-revolutionary, Trotskyite-Zinovievite terroristbloc,  were masters.

Pickel, supplementing Bakayev's testimony, states that in the autumn of 1933 Bogdan made another attempt on the life of Comrade Stalin. In this connection Pickel depicts the atmosphere that prevailed in the terrorist centre, the members of which did not besitate to resort to the most sordid methods to wipe out the traces of their criminal activities.

Pickel admits that Bogdan's suicide was in fact murder by decision of the terrorist centre. In this crime a particularly active part was played by Bakayev. Bakayev spent the whole night with Bogdan before the latter committed suicide and persuaded him either to make an attempt on Stalin's life or to commit suicide. Bogdan took his own life and, as he had been instructed, left a note making it appear that he was the victim of the Party cleansing. Pickel goes on to relate what preparations were made for a terroristic act against Comrade Stalin in 1934. Pickel's part in this was that he put Bakayev in touch with Radin whom Pickel prepared for the carrying out of his terroristic act.

Another very characteristic touch, indicating how the Trotskyites and Zinovievites tried to wipe out all traces and save their terrorist organization, was Pickel's admission that in order to avert the discovery and break-up of the organization, he was told in 1934 to go to a remote place for a time. Being a member of the Union of Soviet Writers, he easily obtained a commission to visit . . . Spitzbergen for creative work.

On his return from Spitzbergen, however, Pickel resumed his terroristic work. He admitted that soon after his arrival he met Dreitzer who informed him that preparations were being made for attempts on the lives of Kaganovich, Voroshilov and other leaders of the Party and the Government.

This concludes the proceedings of the evening session of August 19.