August 20 (morning session)


Zinoviev begins his testimony by relating the history of the restoration of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre in 1932. He emphasizes that there never were any material differences between the Trotskyites and the Zinovievites.

"Our differences with Trotsky after the Fifteenth Congress," says Zinoviev, "when Trotsky used the world 'treachery' in relation to me and Kamenev, were really slight zig-zags, petty disagreements. We committed no treachery whatever against Trotsky at that time, but committed one more act of treachery against the Bolshevik Party to which we belonged."

But it was precisely at that moment, says Zinoviev, continuing his testimony, that we were completely adopting, as our main line,double-dealing to which we had already resorted previously, which we had practised in 1926 and in 1927. In 1928, however, after the Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U., we could not take a single step, we could not utter a single word without betraying the Party in one way or another, without resorting to double-dealing in one way or another. "From 1928 to 1932," Zinoviev says further, "there was not for one moment any real difference between ourselves and the Trotskyites. And so the logic of things carried us to terrorism.

"We banked on a growth of difficulties. We hoped that they would grow to such an extent that we and the Rightists and the Trotskyites, and the smaller groups associated with them, could come out openly. We dreamt of coming out in a united front. At that time we thought that the Rightists had most chances of success,that their prognoses were more likely to come true, and that their names would have particular power of attraction. At that time we attempted to place particular emphasis on our closeness to them."

Continuing, Zinoviev says: "At the same time certain underground groups of the Right as well as of the so-called 'Left' trend, sought contact with me and Kamenev. Approaches were made by the remnants of the 'Workers' Opposition': by shlyapnikov and Medvedyev. Approaches came from the groups of the so-called 'Leftists': that is, Lominadze, Shatskin, Sten and others. Approaches also came from the so-called 'individuals,' to whose numbers belonged Smilga, and to a certain extent, Sokolnikov."

Zinoviev further says: "In the second half of 1932 we relized that our banking on a growth of difficulties in the country had failed. We began to realize that the Party and its Central Committee would overcome these difficulties. But both in the first and in the second half of 1932 we were filled with hatred towards the Central Committee of the Party and towards Stalin."

Continuing, Zinoviev says: "We were convinced that the leadership must be superseded at all costs, that it must be superseded by us, along with Trotsky. In this situation I had meetings with Smirnov who has accused me here of frequently telling untruths. Yes, I often told untruths. I started doing that from the moment I began flighting the Bolshevik Party. In so far as Smirnov took the road of fighting the Party, he too is telling untruths. But it seems, the difference between him and myself is that I have decided firmly and irrevocably to tell at this last moment the truth, whereas, he it seems has adopted a different decision.

Vyshinsky:  Are you telling the whole truth now?

Zinoviev:  Now I am telling the whole truth to the end.

Vyshinsky:  Remember that on January 15-16, 1935, at the sessions of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court, you also asserted that you were telling the whole truth.

Zinoviev:  Yes. On January 15-16 I did not tell the whole truth.

Vyshinsky:  You did not tell the truth, but you maintained that you were telling the truth.

Continuing his testimony, Zinoviev relates that during his conversations with Smirnov in 1931 he conferred with him with regard to an understanding on uniting the Trotskyites and the Zinovievites on the basis of terrorism and that this was done on Trotsky's instruction. "I. N. Smirnov entirely agreed with this instruction, and carried it out wholeheartedly and with conviction, "testifies Zinoviev. "I spoke a great deal with Smirnov about choosing people for terroristic activities and also designated the persons against whom the weapon of terrorism was to be directed. The name of Stalin was mentioned in the first place, followed by those of Kirov, Voroshilov and other leaders of the Party and the government. For the purpose of executing these plans, a Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre was formed, the leading part in which was played by myself-Zinoviev,and by Smirnov on behalf of the Trotskyites."

Vyshinsky:  Thus, summing up your testimony, we may draw the conclusion that in the organization of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist bloc  and centre, the decisive part was played, on the one hand, by you, as the leader of the Zinovievites, and, on the other, by Trotsky through his representatives?

Zinoviev:  That is correct.

Vyshinsky:  At that time Trotsky's principal representative and even deputy in the U.S.S.R. was I. N. Smirnov?

Zinoviev:  That is correct.

Vyshinsky:  Was the recognition of the necessity of terrorism the decisive condition for uniting the Trotskyites and Zinovievites?

Zinoviev:  Yes.

Vyshinsky:  Did you and Smirnov designate the persons against whom terror was to be directed in the first instance? Is it true that these persons were Comrade Stalin, Comrade Kirov and Comrade Voroshilov?

Zinoviev:  That was the central question.

Continuing his testimony Zinoviev states, in reply to a question by Comrade Vyshinsky as to what practical steps were taken in preparation for the assassination of the leaders of the Party and the government, that in the autumn of 1932 a conference was held in Ilyinskoye attended by himself, Kamenev, Evdokimov, Bakayev and Karev. At this conference Bakayev was entrusted with the practical direction of matters connected with terrorism.

Continuing, Zinoviev says: "When Kamenev and I went into exile after the Ryutin affair fell through, we left Evdokimov, Bakayev and Smirnov in charge of terroristic activities. We placed special hopes on Smirnov." "At the same time," says Zinoviev, "I conducted negotiations with Tomsky, whom I informed about our bloc  with the Trotskyites. Tomsky expressed complete solidarity with us. After our return from exile the first steps we took were directed toward liquidating, if one may so express it, the breakdown of our terroristic activities, the fiasco of the conspirators, and toward restoring confidence in order to be able to continue our terroristic activities later on. We continued our tactics, which represented a combination of ever subtler forms of perfidious doubledealing with the preparation of the conspiracy."

"After the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov," says Zinoviev, "our perfidy went to such lengths that I sent an obituary about Kirov to Pravda , That obituary was not published. As far as I remember, Kamenev, and I think Evdokimov also, wrote obituaries on Kirov. At all events, Kamenev knew that I would send in my obituary.

Vyshinsky:  Then you did that by preliminary arrangement?

Zinoviev:  As far as I remember, I told Kamenev that I was sending in an obituary. He, I think, said that he would either send one himself or that the office at which he was working would send a collective obituary which he would sign.

Vyshinsky:  Don't you recall this, accused Kamenev?

Kamenev:  I do not remember. And I did not know that Zinoviev intended to send in an obituary. I knew that after the events of December I, and after the arrest of Bakayev and Endokimov, Zinoviev came to me and showed me the draft of a letter addressed to Yagoda, General Commissar of State Security, in which he stated that he was disturbed by these arrests and asked to be summoned in order to establish the fact that he, Zinoviev, had nothing to do with this murder.

Vyshinsky:  Was that the case, accused Zinoviev?

Zinoviev:  Yes, it was.

Kamenev:  Then I said that he should not do that because I thought that after all we had done we ought to keep some composure.

Vyshinsky:  Did you succeed in keeping your composure?

Kamenev:  Yes, I wrote no such letter.

After that, Zinoviev states, he sent Bakayev in 1934 to Leningrad to investigate the progress reached in the preparations for the assassination of Kirov. Zinoviev says: "I sent Bakayev to Leningrad as one who enjoyed our confidence, who knew very well the personnel of the terrorists, in order to check up on the people, the situation, the degree of preparedness, etc. On his return fromLeningrad Bakayev reported that everything was in order."

Vyshinsky:  Were you sure that everything was going on well?

Zinoviev:  I considered that all the work had been done.

Vyshinsky:  Did you hasten, did you expedite the assassination of Kirov? Were there times when you expressed dissatisfaction with a certain measure of slowness on the part of your terrorists?

Zinoviev:  Yes, I expressed some dissatisfaction.

Vyshinsky:  Can we say that you were not only the organizer and inspirer of the assassination of Kirov, but also the organizer of the more expeditious realization of this event?

Zinoviev:  There was a time when I tried to expedite it.

Continuing his testimony, Zinoviev speaks of his meetings with M. Lurye (Emel) who had brought Trotsky's terrorist instructions. "I knew," Zinoviev says, "that M. Lurye was a Trotskyite, and not a Trotskyite only, for when he spoke one could even hear the language of a fascist."

Vyshinsky;  In what did his fascism show itself?

Zinoviev:  His fascism showed itself when he said that in a situation like the present we must resort to the use of every possible means.

From a reply to a question put by Comrade Vyshinsky to M. Lurye it becomes clear that Zinoviev met M. Lurye three times after the latter's arrival from Berlin. At one meeting between M. Lurye and Zinoviev, at the latter's apartment, the conversation between the two was frank. They discussed the terrorist instructions of Trotsky which M. Lurye had reseived in Berlin through Ruth Fischer and Maslov, and which he then conveyed to Zinoviev through Herzberg.

M. Lurye says: "I asked Zinoviev whether he was informed about the case of Nathan Lurye. Zinoviev replied in the affirmative."

Further, M. Lurye told Zinoviev that Nathan Lurye was connected with a certain Franz Weitz. When Zinoviev asked who Franz Weitz was, M. Lurye informed him that Franz Weitz was a man particularly trusted by Himmler, the present chief of the Gestapo. "I again asked him," continues M. Lurye, "whether he was posted on this group. Zinoviev replied in the affirmative. To my perplexed question as to whether it was permissible for Marxists to practise individual terror and maintain contact with fascist groups, followed the reply. 'You are an historian, aren't you, Moissel Ilyich,' and he drew the parallel of Bismarck and Lassalle, adding: 'why cannot we today utilize Himmler?' "

After Lurye's replies Zinoviev asserts that this sentence was uttered by Lurye himself. He admits however that Lurye actually visited him in his apartment and discussed terrorism with him.

Replying to a question put to him by Comrade Ulrich, President of the Court, about the part he, Zinoviev, played in preparing a terroristic act against Comrade Stalin, Zinoviev says that he took part in this affair and that he knew of two attempts on the life of Comrade Stalin in which Reingold, Dreitzer and Pickel had taken part. Zinoviev also confirms that he rekommended his private secretary, Bogdan, to Bakayev, the leader of the terrorist groups, as the one to assassinate Comrade Stalin.

Vyshinsky:  Did you recommend Bogdan to Bakayev for the purpose of carrying out the assassination of Comrade Stalin? Do you confirm that?

Zinoviev:  I do.