Let us now turn to the methods by which these people operated.
This, perhaps, is one of the most shameful pages in the story of their shameful criminal activities.
In conformity with the "principle" of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite underground bloc to seize power by any means, the members of this bloc widely practised double-dealing as their principal method in their relations with the Party and the Government. They transformed this double-dealing into a system which all the Azefs and Malinovskys, all the secret police, with all their spies, provocateurs and agents for diversive activities, might well envy.
Reingold stated that in 1933-34 Zinoviev told him in a private conversation - and Zinoviev corroborated this before the whole world at this trial - that "the principal, practical task that confronted their underground organization was to organize their terroristic work so secretly as not to compromise themselves in any way."
Perhaps this is an exaggeration? Of course not. What Reingold said conforms to the logic of things.
"The main thing during an investigation," said Zinoviev in instructing his accomplices, "is to deny all connection with the organization, arguing that terror is incompatible with the views of Bolsheviks-Marxists" (Vol. XXVII, p. 112).
Trotsky also recommended that in the event of a terroristic act being committed, they should dissociate themselves from the Trotskyite organization and take up a position analogous to that taken by the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries toward Madam Kaplan who shot at Vladimir Ilyich (Lenin). We know what that means. We remember that after Kaplan fired her treacherous bullet at Lenin, the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries issued a leaflet in which they categorically declared that they had nothing to do with this terroristic act. Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev adopted the same tactics.
Zinoviev said: "We took the path of a carefully considered and profoundly secret plot, we regarded ourselves as Marxists, and remembering the formula 'insurrection is an art,' altered it to suit our purposes and declared that 'plotting against the Party, against Stalin, is an art.' "
The masters of this "art" are now sitting in the dock. I will not say that they are highly skilled masters. They are unskilled masters. Nevertheless, they managed to do their despicable work. What did their "art" consist of? The foremost part of their plan was by every possible means to mask their truly criminal faces.
This perhaps is one of the most striking cases in history when the word mask acquired its real meaning: these people put masks on their faces, adopted the pose of repentant sinners who had broken with the past, who had abandoned their old erring ways and mistakes which grew into crime.
It is characteristic that precisely at the time when the united Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre was intensifying its activities to the utmost, when these terroristic activities reached their highest point of development, when they were advancing to the consummation of the despicable murder of Comrade Kirov, it was precisely at that period that Zinoviev sent a letter of repentance to the Central Committee. In this letter dated May 8, 1933, that is to say, when the preparations for terroristic acts were at their height, Zinoviev not only renounced all his past mistakes, but hypocritically vowed his loyalty to socialism and to the Party.
During the very days in which he was preparing to strike a treacherous blow at the very heart of the Party, preparing a terroristic act against Comrade Stalin, this criminal who, like all those sitting in the dock at the present time, had lost every semblance of a human being, ended his letter with the following words:
"I ask you to believe that I am speaking the truth and nothing but the truth. I ask you to retore me to the ranks of the Party and to give me an opportunity of working for the common cause. I give my word as a revolutionary that I will be the most devoted member of the Party, and will do all I possibly can at least to some extent to atone for my guilt before the Party and its Central Committee."
We know now what these words were worth, we know that Zinoviev did all he possibly could to damage the Party and the work of building socialism in our country, to damage the cause of the whole international Communist movement. On June 16, 1933, he published an article in Pravda entitled "Two Parties." He publishes an article in the Central Organ of our Party in which he does everything to prove his loyalty to the Party, roundly condemns opportunism and sings hallelujahs to the victories achieved by the Party.
This was on May 8 and June 16, that is to say, in the summer of 1933. And in that very summer of 1933, as has now been definitely established at a conference of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre, Zinoviev instructs Bakayev to start the practical realization of measures of terrorism.
Zinoviev was indignant with Smirnov here when the latter reproached him for telling lies. Smirnov himself did not utter a single word of truth here, but he reproached Zinoviev for telling lies. Zinoviev was offended and said that the difference between him and Smirnov was that he, Zinoviev, "had firmly decided at this last moment to speak the whole truth, whereas Smirnov had evidently taken a different decision."
Permit me, comrades judges, to warn you against this statement of Zinoviev's. Do not believe that he really speaking the whole truth here.
At the Leningrad trial on January 15-16 Zinoviev and Kamenev performed not at all badly in one of the scenes of their cunning, perifidious masquerade. While giving evidence at the trial on January 15-16, 1935, Kamenev wanted to create the impression that he was an enemy who had finally and sincerely laid down his arms and was telling all that was in his heart against the government and the Party. He then recalled some episode in which Zinoviev concealed something of what was said in a conversation with Trotsky. In a voice of pathos and "unfeigned" indignation Kamenev reproached Zinoviev for having concealed this fact, for not speaking the truth.
But at that very time Kamenev himself, and Zinoviev, tried to deceive us, to deceive the Court and the whole country by stating that they had had no connection whatever with the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov. Then, as now, literally in the same words that were uttered yesterday, Zinoviev and Kamenev vowed that they were speaking the whole truth. It may be said that for Kamenev and Zinoviev the trial of January 15-16, 1935, was a sort of rehearsal of the present trial, which they did not expect, perhaps, but which they did not escape any more than they could escape from fate.
I will come back to the "remarkable" evidence given at the trial in Leningrad. I mention it now only in order to warn you, and through you, through the Court, to warn the whole country, not only against Kamenev and Zinoviev, but against all other doubledealers, all other traitors whom unfortunately we still have in our ranks and who talk about their repentance, who dissociate themselves, and mask themselves, in order the better to thrust their knife into the back of the Party, of our country, of our great cause.
Not the slightest confidence must be placed in these certified and hardened deceivers!
They themselves understand that they do not deserve any confidense. While examining Zinoviev I asked him: "Are you speaking the whole truth now?" And he ansvered: "Now I am speaking the whole truth to the very end."
But what proof is there of this? How can we believe them when they have surpassed all conceptions of perfidy, cunning, deceit and treachery?
Zinoviev carried this perfidy to such lengths that after the murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov he sent an obituary notice to Pravda. The only thing he said here about that was: "That obituary was not published as far as I remember." And that is all.
Here is the obituary; I have it in my hand. Zinoviev dated it, if I am not mistaken, the 4th or 7th of December, most probably the 4th of December.
You, Zinoviev, gave this obituary notice on Comrade Kirov the title "The Beacon Man." How did you start the obituary notice which you intended for the press, and which, consequently, was to become public property?
"This could be observed throughout the 17 years of our revolution, at every moment when the enemy contrived to strike a blow at the Bolsheviks. . . . That is what happened when the enemy succeeded in striking a palpable blow on the battlefields of the Civil War, that is what happened . . . " etc., etc.
And further on Zinoviev writes: "The grief of the Party is the grief of the whole people, of all peoples of the U.S.S.R. The Party's mourning is the mourning of the whole of our great country. . . . The whole people have felt the bitterness of bereavment."
It is true that the bitterness of bereavment and anger against the treacherous shot was felt by the whole country. That feeling was really shared by the whole country, young and old.
But to what extent does this concern you?
"The foul murder of Sergei Mironovich Kirov has in truth roused the whole Party, the whole of the Soviet Union." "The loss of this beloved and dear man has been felt by all as the loss of one who is nearest and dearest of all. . . ."
This is what you, the accused Zinoviev, wrote in this terrible and disgraceful article. Why did the Party lose this near and infinitely dear S. M. Kirov, accused Zinoviev? The Party lost this man who was so near and dear to us because you, the accused Zinoviev, killed him, you killed him with your own hands, your hands are stained with Kirov's blood! . . .
"Beloved son of the Party," you wrote. What insolent sacrilege!
"A son of the working class - this is what this Beacon Man was," "our dear, deep, strong. . . . One could not help believing him, one could not help loving him, one could not help being proud of him."
This is what Zinoviev wrote, exceeding all bounds of cynicism!
Such is this man. He loved him, he was proud of him, and he killed him! The miscreant, the murderer, mourns over his victim! Has anything like it ever occurred before?
What can one say, what words can one use fully to describe the utter baseness and loathesomeness of this: Sacrilege! Perfidy! Duplicity! Cunning!
It was you, Zinoviev, you who with your sacrilegious hand extinguished this beacon, and you began publicly and hypocritically to tear your hair in order to deceive the people.
Whom did you kill? You killed a magnificent Bolshevik, a passionate tribune, a man who was dangerous to you, a man who fought devotedly for Lenin's testament and against you. You killed this man in a flash of time by the bullet fired by the despicable hand of Nikolayev, and two or three days afterwards you sent an article to the Pravda in which you wrote about the "extinguished beacon." Where shall we find the word with which to appraise this despicable trick! I can not find the words in my vocabulary!
We will now pass to Kamenev, the second pillar of the socalled Zinovievite group, this hypocrite "in an ass's skin," as he himself expressed it at the Seventeenth Congress of the Party.
I ask the Court to pay attention to the articles Kamenev published in 1933. Kamenev wrote these articles almost simultaneously with those written by Zinoviev by mutual agreement. Kamenev published an article in Pravda in which he, like Zinoviev, renounced his past erring ways, condemned his own mistakes and said that "the man who had fought Lenin for decades became the most important figure in the opposition," etc., etc. "It is clear," wrote Kamenev in this article of May 25, 1933, "that the resistance to the policy headed by Comrade Stalin was based on the premises which made members of the Party in October 1917 come out as the opponents of the policy of Lenin." Weeping and groaning, Kamenev tried to prove that he had broken off relations with his old friends and concluded his article with an appeal to all of them to abandon all resistance which was interfering with the work of building socialism.
This was in May 1933. And in the summer of 1933, after the return of Kamenev and Zinoviev from exile, a meeeting of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre was held in Zinoviev's apartment for the purpose of organizing terroristic acts against the leaders of the Party and the Soviet government.
When Kamenev was asked about this here, his replies were curt. The following dialogue took place between me and him, which I will take the liberty to repeat. I asked:
"What appraisal should be given the articles and statements you wrote in 1933, in which you expressed loyalty to the Party? Deception?
"Kamenev: 'No, worse than deception.'
"Vyshinsky: 'Worse than deception; worse than perfidy - find the word. Treason?
"Kamenev: 'You have found the word!' "
Later on he said that he not only did this in agreement with Zinoviev, but that it was all done in fulfilment of the plan to seize power that had been drawn up beforehand, which plan was combined with the necessity of winning confidence.
There is a small detail which is of some importance for defining the moral, or, if you will, the ideological level of the accused Kamenev, for characterizing his interest at the time, for characterising some of his moral premises.
I would like to mention one of the books of Machiavelli (Vol. I). It was published in 1934 by the "Academia" Publishing House, of which Kamenev was then the head, and has a prefase by Kamenev. It is a very interesting book. It was written in the 16th century. The author wrote it for a prince in order to instruct him in the art of governing the state in accordance with his princely interests. Marchiavelli wrote: "You must know that there are two ways of contending, by law and by force: the first is proper to men; the second to beasts.
"But because many times the first is insufficient, recourse must be had to the second. A prince must possess the nature of both beast and man."
This pleased Kamenev very much, and in his short preface to this book he wrote the following interesting words: "A master of political aphorism and a brilliant dialectician. . . ." (According to Kamenev Machiavelli was a dialectician! This hardened schemer turns out to be a dialectician!) "A master of political aphorism. . . . " A fine aphorism indeed! Machiavelli wrote: to fight by means of law is characteristic of men, to fight by means of force is characteristic of the beast; pursue this bestial policy and you, says Machiavelli, will achieve your goa! And this the accused Kamenev calls being a "master of political aphorism."
Let us hear what Kamenev writes further: ". . . . A dialectician who from his observations had formed the firm opinion that all concepts of the criteria of good and evil, of the permissible and impermissible, of the lawful and criminal were relative. . . ." Evidently, according to Kamenev, this is dialectics: mixing up what is criminal with what is not criminal, the lawful with the unlawful, good with evil is a new "Marxian" in terpretation of dialecties a la Machiavelli.
"Machiavelli," wrote Kamenev in 1934, "made his treatise into an astonishingly sharp and expressive catalogue of the rules by which the ruler of his time was to be guided in order to win power, to hold it and victoriously to withstand any attacks upon it," You had a good teacher, Kamenev, but you, and you must be given credit for this, have excelled your teacher.
Futher on you write in this preface: "This is far from being the sociology of power, but from this prescription there magnificently stand out the zoological features of the struggle for power in the society of slave owners based on the rule of the rich minority over the toiling majority."
That is so. But you wanted to employ in our society the methods of struggle and the principles of struggle that were worthy of slave owners; you wanted to apply them against our society, against socialism. You write: "Thus, this secretary of the Florentine bankers and their ambassador at the Pope's Court, by accident or design, created a shell of tremendous explosive force which disturbed the minds of rulers for centuries. . . ." You, Kamenev, adopted the rules of Machiavelli, you developed them to the utmost point of unscrupulousness and immorality, you modernized them and perfected them.
I do not ask you, comrades judges, to regard this book as material evidence in this case. I am not using this book to prove that the accused are guilty of the crimes of which they are charged. I simply thought it necessary to devote a few minutes of attention to this circumstance, in order to show the ideological source from which Kamenev and Zinoviev obtained their sustenance at that time - these men who even now, at this trial try to preserve their noble pose of Marxists capable of thinking and arguing in conformity with the principles of Marxism.
Drop this clownish farce! Tear the mask from your faces once and for all! Here Kamenev calls Machiavelli's book a shell of enormous explosive force. Evidently Kamenev and Zinoviev wanted to use this shell to blow up our socialist fatherland. They miscalculated! And although Machiavelli was a puppy and a yokel compared with them, nevertheless, he was their spiritual preceptor. "Machiavellism," and Azefism served you as the source of your activities and your crimes. Now this has been exposed by Zinoviev and Kamenev themselves: murder, cunning, perfidy and masquerade were the principal, decisive methods in their criminal activities.
Yesterday, Zinoviev and Kamenev, frankly if cynically, admitted that this entered into the plan of their activities. This was testified to by Reingold, this was testified to by others of the accused, and I think that a sufficiently exhaustive characterization of this methods is contained in the materials which I have presented. Summing up this part of my speech, I can say that the Trotskyite-Zinovievite centre was organized on a terrorist basis and had its program, a very primitive and simple one, it is true, expressed in only a few words, a program which did not even need for drafting the two hours to which the accused themselves contemptuously referred. Their program of home policy was confined to murder; their program of foreign policy was confined to defeat of the U.S.S.R. in war; their method was perfidy, cunning and treason.