I now pass to the second part of my speech for the prosecution, to the practical activities of the so-called united centre and to the characterization of the role of each of the accused in this criminal conspiracy against the Soviet government.
There is not the slightest doupt that the union of the Zinovievite and Trotskyite counter-revolutionary groups which took place in the autumn of 1932 arose and grew strong on the soil and on the basis of the mutual recognition of terror as the sole and decisive method in the struggle for power - a struggle which was then the fundamental and principal task of the Trotskyites and Zinovievites.
An organization existed. An underground, conter-revolutionary, terrorist group existed. Existed and functioned. However much Smirnov may try to deny this here, he will not succeed .The facts are too strong, the facts are too numerous. We, the prosecution, have every ground for asserting that an underground, counter-revolutionary, Trotskyite-Zinovievite group existed, that this terrorist organization was created, that it was created precisely as a terrorist organization, that it developed its activities precisely as terroristic activities, that it prepared for terroristic attempts at assassination and that, to our great misfortune and horror, one of these attempts was successful. The foul murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov on December 1, 1934, was committed by this organization. This is the most horrible of the crimes which this organization succeeded in committing.
In January 1935 we tried the Moscow centre in connection with the trial of the Leningrad centre which took place a little before that, about two weeks before, and as a result of which L. Nikolayev, Kotolynov, Rumyantsev, Sossitsky and a number of others were convicted and shot. At that time we did not yet know who were the real authors, instigators and participants in this monstrous crime. But we were on the right track. The investigation directed by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs proceeded along the true and correct trail of exposing the real organizers of this crime, although the amount of evidence available at that time did not enable us to make a direct charge against Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev of organizing this murder, of guiding this murder, of committing this murder.
The verdict in the case of the so-called Moscow centre in which Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and several others played the principal roles merely said in regard to the role they played that they had fanned the terrorist sentiments of their accomplices, that they had created the objective soil upon which this crime inevitably had to grow up and did grow up.
Being absolutely objective, the investigating and prosecuting authorities did not then charge Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev with directly instigating, directly organizing this murder. The indictment stated that the investigating authorities had not established their direct participation. Nevertheless, all the materials in the possession of the investigating authorities permitted them to say that these people - Kamenev, Zinoviev, Bakayev and Evdokimov - were closely connected with this crime and, as they themselves expressed it, had to bear complete moral and political responsibility for it.
In conformity with this Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev were given in the Moscow centre case a relatively mild sentence - only deprivation of liberty.
Kamenev, Zinoviev, Evdokimov and Bakayev did all they possibly could to misrepresent the real state of affairs, to shield the real organizers and accomplices in the crime. They tried to make it appear that they had had no hand in this sordid and despicable affair. Speaking in lofty style, they declared that the counter-revolution had chosen them as the instrument of its criminal activity. It was not they who had chosen counter-revolution as the instrument of their struggle, it was counter-revolution which had chosen them as its instrument. . . .
Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bakayev and Evdokimov did all they could to assert and prove that they could not bear more responsibility for this foul murder than moral and political responsibility; but they declared that they were fully and honestly prepared to bear this responsibility, and admitted the correctness and the justness of the charges brought against them within those limits.
During the trial on January 15-16, 1935, Zinoviev said: "There are many of us sitting in the dock, more than fifteen persons, each with a different biography. Among us there are many who have belonged to the working class movement for many years. Much of what they have done they did because they had confidence in me, and for that, of course, I must torture myself. The task that I see confronting me at this stage is to repent fully, frankly and sincerely, before the court of the working class, of what I understood to be a mistake and a crime, and to say it in such a way that it should all end, once and for all, with this group."
I have already said that this statement of Zinoviev's was a pose, a manoeuvre, a tactical move.
This is the way criminals always behave. Accused of murder and robbery, they plead guilty only to robbery. Accused of robbery, they plead guilty only to larceny. Accused of larceny, they plead guilty only to receiving stolen goods. These are the usual tricks of criminals: charged with graver crimes, they plead guilty to lesser crimes. It is a trick to wipe out the traces of the crime committed, counting on the credulity of people who still, in many cases, even in criminal cases, show some confidence in criminals.
This was the position taken up by Zinoviev. An analogous position was taken up - and this they will not deny - by Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev. Caught in 1935, almost red-handed, these people admitted responsibility for the minor crime in order to evade responsibility, real responsibility, for the major crime.
Zinoviev talked about making a "frank and sincere" confession, but he did not really do that. Actually, they did all they could to shield their accomplices from the hand of Soviet justice, to leave themselves some reserves, in order at the necessary moment to use these reserves against our Party, against the leaders of our country.
This explains the whole position taken up by Zinoviev, Kamenev, Evdokimov and Bakayev at the Leningrad trial on January 15-16, 1935. "It is true," said Zinoviev, "that we are being tried on objective features." He said that he did not know many of the people who were with him in the dock at that time. Zinoviev, it would appear, did not know either Evdokimov, or Gertik, or Kamenev, or Sakhov. . . . Zinoviev said that subjectively they were "loyal" to the working class.
Zinoviev even had the effrontery to allege that he and his 15 accomplices were subjectively loyal to the working class and did not want to take the path of counter-revolution, but objectively things turned out the other way. Why did things turn out the other way? I would like the accused Zinoviev in his speech in defence to say how it happened that although he was subjectively loyal to the working class, objectively it turned out the other way. This cannot be the case; such things do not happen. If, objectively, it really turned out that way, it was only because your subjective loyalty to the revolution, accused Zinoviev, was false and rotten! What were you thinking about when you said these things? I ask you to tell us about that too, in your speech in defence.
In your fight against the Soviet government you armed yourself not only with rage but with firearms. You carried out your criminal designs in practice. You yourself spoke about duplicity, but you spoke about it in such a way as to conceal the fact that even at that moment you were continuing the policy of duplicity.
You said: "I am accustomed to feel that I am a leader; for me, personally, that played an enormous role." You said:
"I am accustomed to feel that I am a leader, and it goes without saying that I should have known everything. If I am removed from the leadership, it is either an injustice, or a misunderstanding, or for a few months. This is no justification, but I am telling you all I think, and thereby I am extracting from my body the last splinter of the crimes that are being unfolded here."
Zinoviev extracted the "last splinter" at the Leningrad trial. . . . No! He did not do that! He left that splinter, and not only that one, but several, in the body of our socialist country in order to continue to prepare for and commit the gravest crimes.
". . . I did not think otherwise: how can I be without my cirkle, without knowing everything, without being in the very heart of politics," etc.?
That was the thought that was torturing you - you thought that nothing could happen without you. . . . Your position in the past was determined by deeds, just as your present position is determined by your deeds. Approaching the question as to whether there was a centre, you said: Of course there was one up to 1929. you tried to assert that there was no centre in the subsequent years, that strictly speaking it did not function after 1929. That was deception. The old Zinovievite centre was transformed into the centre of the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite bloc. It was reorganized, it became somewhat stronger because several groups were consolidated. In 1932 it began to develop its activities on a wider scale in 1933 it displayed particular activity, it prepared for a number of terroristic acts and in 1934 it committed one of them.
Zinoviev said, "this is not the centre that existed in 1926-27," and that he had no connection whatever with this centre. how did Zinoviev then put the question of connection with the Leningrad centre? He said that "there was a group consisting of Kotolynov, Mandelstam, Myasnikov and others." An important role was played by Kotolynov, which, Zinoviev alleges, he learned from the indictment in the case of Kirov's murder.
Zinoviev wanted to assert that he learned about one of the organizers of the Leningrad terrorist group only from the indictment!
Was that really the case? No, it was not. Zinoviev sent Bakayev to Leningrad to establish contacts with the Nikolayev-Kotolynov group and to investigate how Nikolayev, Kotolynov, Mandelstamm and others were preparing to commit the crime.
Here again we have deceit, lies, again camouflage!
"We sought rapprochement with them." Already in 1935, in spite of all the camouflage, Zinoviev had to admit that he had sought rapprochement with Kotolynov and Nikolayev, and that he found this rapprochement. Now this has been established with absolute precision.
Zinoviev related that in 1932 he met Levin, who was shot in 1935 in connection with the murder of Comrade Kirov, and added: "We did not talk about organization. Nor was there any need for this: my hints were understood, I was an authority for him and he was an authority for me; I knew that this man of the 'leaderless group' would do what we told him." This, too, contains a number of half hints and half admissions, which only subsequently, after a number of clues exposing Zinoviev had been collected, made it possible to ensure Zinoviev's full confession of his part in this crime. Now Zinoviev no longer conceals the fact which yesterday Bakayev tried very hard to minimize.
Already in January 1935, in connection with the Moscow centre case, Zinoviev admitted that Vladimir Levin was particularly intimate with Bakayev. But yesterday Bakayev tried to minimize this intimacy, to minimize it by stating that he did not go to meet Levin in Leningrad for conspirative, terroristic purposes. But these were the only purposes possible, where such an intimacy existed. All the time he tried to impress: expunge the words "for this purpose" from the evidence and the indictment. No, Bakayev, we shall not expunge those words; they cannot be expunged because you went there "for this purpose," as an expert, an expert in terrorism, and your journey was not accidental!
Why did not Zinoviev send Reingold, Pickel or even Evdokimov to Leningrad? Why did Zinoviev choose Bakayev and no other to negotiate with the Leningrad group, with the group that was to murder Comrade Kirow? I find the reply to that question in Zinoviev's evidence, and partly in that of Bakayev, at the trial on January 15-16, 1935. Zinoviev's choice fell on Bakayev because Bakayev was most closely connected with Levin, who was the representative of the Zinovievites in Leningrad, who was the leader of the Leningrad terrorist underground organization, as he himself admitted before the Military Collegium, last year. We also find confirmation of this in Zinoviev's evidence: "Bakayev knew him particularly closely, he was one of the important organizers of the anti-Party struggle in Leningrad. . . ."
Accused Zinoviev, was it only anti-Party struggle? It was an anti-Soviet struggle, a counter-revolutionary struggle, a struggle which by its very nature bore an openly counter-revolutionary, anti-state, anti-Soviet character!
Zinoviev went on to say: "I did not give him any instructions,"Well, you know this is jesuitry that can hardly be exceeded. It is like the reply of the jesuit monk who, when asked: "Did this man pass here?" answered, pointing up his sleeve: "He did not pass here " . . . .
You had no contacts with Levin, but you did have contacts with him through Bakayev. Bakayev travelled on your instructions. Consequently, when you said: "I did not give him any instructions," you lied again!
Bakayev was not the only one to carry out your instructions. All of you - both Kamenev and Zinoviev, as well as the whole of your centre, carried on negotiations with Levin, Kotolynov, Nikolayev, Rumyantsev, Sossitsky, Mandelstamm and a number of other members of this gang of Leningrad Zinovievites, which has now been broken up and destroyed. The whole of your centre checked up on the progress being made by the Leningrad gang of Zinovievites in preparing for this crime; and you waited impatiently for the time when at last that loyal son of our Party, the leader of the Leningrad Bolsheviks and fiery tribune, Sergei Mironovich Kirov, would be destroyed. And they lived to see this murder committed.
In this Court Zinoviev admitted that he was pressing to hasten murder. He was in a hurry, he clutched feverishly at people like Nikolayev and Kotolynov in order to hasten this murder. Not the least motive was the desire to forestall the Trotskyite terrorists. The Trotskyites were pressing hard.
Zinoviev admitted that Smirnov was also hurrying. They were all hurrying. The Trotskyites operated with greater determination and energy than the Zinovievites. Zinoviev knew that Trotskyite terrorists were arriving from abroad. And Zinoviev declared that it was a "matter of honour" - I am ashamed to use such a word in this connection - to carry out his criminal design sooner than the Trotskyites! Hence Zinoviev's feverish impatience. That is why he was waiting every day for the moment when that treacherous shot would at last be fired in Leningrad. All his activities were directed towards committing this foul crime as soon, as swiftly and as successfully as possible!
Such was the role played by Zinoviev, such was his conduct in this affair.
In finishing with this episode, I would like now to get a straight answer from Zinoviev to the following question: Does Zinoviev now accept only moral responsibility, or the whole criminal responsibility, full responsibility, for preparing, organizing and committing the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov?
Of course, Zinoviev will say "yes." He cannot say anything else He said this on the very first day of this trial when caught in the grip of the iron chain of evidence and proof.
At that same trial Kamenev took an almost similar stand. Bakayev took a similar stand. Kamenev said that he did not know of the existence of the Moscow centre. Trying to pose as a noble person, he said that in so far as the centre existed, and this was proved, he was responsible for it. . . .
The way Kamenev put it, it amounted to this: he did not know there was a centre, but if there was a centre, well then, he knew about it. But Kamenev did know of the existence of the centre; he indeed knew. This has been proved. And now this is corroborated by fresh evidence obtained in connection with the discovery of a number of new criminal gangs operating in the same direction. This evidece throws full light on this ghastly and terrible affair.
And then Kamenev tried to pose as a man who had become politcally blind. He said: I became blind - I lived to the age of 50 and did not see this centre in which, it turns out, I myself was active, in which I participarted by action and by inaction, by speech and by silence.
It sounds like some sort of spiritualism, spiritualism and black magic!
Even at that time we realized that this was simply an attempt at concealment by means of false phrases, an attempt by means of these false phrases to conceal the truth. Now all this has been finally exposed. No, Kamenev did not become blind. Kamenev very well saw and knew what he was doing. He saw perfectly well what was going on around him, because he organized what was going on around him. Kamenev did not become blind, because he acted by speech and silence. By silence when he did not say: "Don't do that," when he should have said that; and by speech when he said: "Do it," when, perhaps, some of his younger assistants warvered and turned to him as their authority, as their mentor.
"I want to say - not in my own justification, I did not remember this before but now I recall - that some time ago Zinoviev told me that Safarov had visited him and had proposed some sort of a bloc. I said that I would not take part in any bloc because I never believed that man. Zinoviev can confirm this. I was not opposed to talking. I talked."
With whom did he talk?
"With Tolmazov and Shatsky." Tolmazov and shatsky were active members of the Leningrad Zinovievite gang which killed Comrade Kirov.
Kamenev talked with Tolmazov and shatsky, that is to say, with two of the principal organizers of the murder of Comrade Kirov. So Kamenev agreed to these conversations and carried them on through Bakayev. But he tried to conceal this.
Arguing that he could not have any connection with terrorism, Kamenev, striking a pose, said:
"Imust say that I am not a coward by nature, but I never banked on fighting with arms. I always expected that a situation would arise in which the Central Committee would be compelled to negotiate with us, that it would move up and make room for us. . . .These dreams did not recur during the past two years, simply because I am not a dreamer and not a fantast. There were fantasts and adventurers in our midst, but I do not belong to that category."
I think that Kamenev will now define his part in this affair somewhat differently. What aim did Kamenev set himself? Did he or did he not bank on fighting with arms?
At that time he said - "No." Now, two days ago, he said - "Yes." At that time he said "no" because he knew, he saw that we were as yet not in possession of all the threads of this ghastly crime, because at that stage of the investigation all the threads had not yet been finally unravelled. At that time he said: "No." Now when everything has been disclosed, he says - "yes."
Here is a characteristic fact! It shows what a great and decisive role personal motives played in this criminal "work" of Kamenev. Kamenev thought that a time must arrive when the Central Committee would move up and make room for him. but suppose it did not move up? Suppose it did not make room for him? In that case he, Kamenev, would take measures to have room made for him.
This is the whole of Kamenev's logic and politics! Logic and politics which make it utterly impossible for us to agree that he does not belong to the category of people whom he himself described as adventurers. No. Obviously he belongs to this category, as well as to the other category - the"fantasts." There was not a little of fantasy here, but there was plenty of willingness to put this fantasy into practice, to make it real, to make it a living thing even by means of adventures, by means of a bloc with spies, agents for diversive activities, secret police agents, murderers, and by direct murders. Kamenev agreed to this, Kamenev was prepared to do this.
Here is something else he said at the Leningrad trial: "I am speaking before the portraits of these great builders of socialism. . . ." It must be said that among these there was a portrait framed in black, the portrait of Comrade Kirov. Kamenev at the trial vowed before the portrait of Kirov, whom Kamenev had murdered!
" . . . Before the portraits of these great builders of sicialism I am a criminal if I lacked the strength to leave and to take with me those whom it was possible to take. . . ."
Lies! Again hypocrisy, cunning, perfidy and cynism!