August 20 (morning session)


The court then proceeds to examine the witness Safonova, whose case has been set aside for separate trial and who was summoned at the request of the State Prosecutor.

Safanova testifies that she was a member of the Trotskyite centre and took an active part in the work of that centre.She goes on to say that in 1931 I. N. Smirnov informed the centre of the Trotskyite organization, in the persons of Ter-Vaganyan, Mrachkovsky and herself, that he had received in Berlin, through Sedov, instructions to adopt terroristic methods of struggle. I. N. Smirnov, in conveying these instructions, emphasized that they came from Trotsky. Safonova further testifies: "At that same meeting Smirnov informed us that the centre had decided to adopt terrorism, and in the first place to commit a terroristic act against Stalin. In 1932 Smirnov reseived from Trotsky directions brought by Gaven. These directions were a direct confirmation of Trotsky's instruction on terrorism previously received by Smirnov through Sedov. Smirnov also informed us about these directions. These directions were not only a confirmation of those conveyed through Sedov, but were at the same time instructions on the necessity of hastening the terroristic act against Stalin."

Safonova cites another fact illustrating I. N. Smirnov's attitude towards terrorism. "One day," she says, "Mrachkovsky, on returning from an official visit to Stalin, related his conversation with Stalin. I myself and I. N. Smirnov were present. In relating his conversation with Stalin, Mrachkovsky linked up his story with the prospect of our further struggle and declared that the only way out was to assassinate Stalin. I. N. Smirnov strongly backed Mrachkovsky's conclusion.

"Before my departure for the Amur-Baikal railway construction job in December 1932," says Safonova, continuing her evidence, "I had a conversation with Smirnov about the further work of our organization in connection with the decision on terrorism which had been adopted. I. N. Smirnov categorically confirmed that Stalin must be assassinated, that Stalin would be assassinated."

Smirnov denies that he had passed on to Ter-Vaganyan, Mrachkovsky and Safonova Trotsky's instruction to adopt terrorism. He also denies that, when Mrachkovsky returned after his talk with Stalin, he spoke of the necessity of assassinating Stalin. However, replies to questions put by Comrade Vyshinsky to Ter-Vaganyan, Safonova and Mrachkovsky establish that this actually did take place.

In view of the fact that Safonova's evidence completely exposed Smirnov, Comrade Vyshinsky makes clear the relations between Smirnov and Safonova.

Vyshinsky:  What were your relations with Safonova?

Smirnov:  Good.

Vyshinsky:  And more?

Smirnov:  We were intimately related.

Vyshinsky:  You were husband and wife?

Smirnov:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  No personal grudges between you?

Smirnov :  No.

The evidence of the accused and of witnesses utterly exposes Smirnov as one of the principal leaders of terrorism against the leaders of the Party and the Soviet government, which Smirnov pursued on the direct instructions of Trotsky.

This concludes the morning session.