August 22 (morning session)

The President of the Court grants leave to the State Prosecutor, Comrade A. Y. Vyshinsky, State Attorney of the U.S.S.R., to address the Court.


Vyshinski:  Comrades judges, comrades members of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union: For three days you have very carefully and with the greatest attention examined the evidence and proof submitted to you by the State Prosecution against the people sitting here in the dock charged with having committed the gravest crimes against the state. With the greatest possible care you have subjected to investigation and judicial scrutiny every one of these proofs, every fact, every event, every step taken by the accused, who in the course of many years added crime to crime in their struggle against the Soviet state, against the Soviet power, against our Party and against the whole of our Soviet people.

Horrible and monstrous is the chain of these crimes against our socialist fatherland; and each one of these crimes deserves the severest condemnation and severest punishment. Horrible and monstrous is the guilt of these criminals and murderers, who raised their hand against the leaders of our Party, against Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Orjonikidze, Kossior and Postyshev, against our leaders, the leaders of the Soviet state. Monstrous are the crimes perpetrated by this gang wich not only made preparations to commit terroristic acts, but actually murdered one of the best sons of the working class, one of the most devoted to the cause of socialism, one of the most beloved disciples of the great Stalin, the fiery tribune of the proletarian revolution, the unforgettable Sergel Mironovich Kirov.

But monstrous as these crimes are, and however profoundly we may have been stirred and digusted by this nightmare of horrible crime, you, comrades judges, as befits a Soviet court and Soviet justice, have been weighing and appraising very calmy the facts which came before you in connection with the criminal activities of these persons whose names have long ago been covered with contempt and disgrace in the eyes of the whole people.

We have now come to the end of our judicial proceedings. We are making the final summary. We are drawing our last deductions in preparation, within a few hours, perhaps, to hear your verdict, the verdict of the Court of the land of Soviets which demands and expects from you a just, unfaltering and implacably stern decision concerning the fate of these people, these contemptible murderers, these vile and insolent enimies of the land of Soviets,of the Soviet people.

We are building a new, socialist society, a new, Soviet state, under the difficult conditions of class struggle, amidst the fierse resistance of the last remnants of the exploiting classes which we have routed and utterly crushed.

Every step in our progress is accompanied by desperate resistance on the part of our enemies who rouse against us all the forces of the old world, all the filth, all the scum of the old society, who mobilize and throw into the struggle against us the most criminal, the most hardened, the most incorrigible, decayed and dishonest elements.

Lenin taught us that "there has never been a single deep and mighty popular movement in history without filthy scum," without the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois element flighting against the Soviet Government, and resorting not only to the methods of the Savinkovs, the Gotzes, the Gegechkoris and Kornilovs, of plots and rebellions, of floods of lies and slander, but also utilizing all the elements of decay, and embarking upon every possible sordin and shameful crime.

Comrade Stalin warned us that:

"We must bear in mind that the growth of the power of the Soviet state will increase the resistance of the last remnants of the dying classes. It is precisely because they are dying, and living their last days that they will pass from one form of attack to another, to sharper forms of attack, appealing to the backward strata of the population, and mobilizing them against the Soviet power. There is no foul lie or slander that these 'have-beens' would not use against the Soviet power and around which they would not try to mobilize the backward elements. This may give ground for the revival of the activities of the defeated groups of the old counter-revolutionary parties: the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Mensheviks, the bourgeois nationalists in the centre and in the outlying regions; it may give grounds also for the revival of the activities of the fragments of counter-revolutionary opposition elements from among the Trotskyites and the Right deviationists. Of course, there is nothing terrible in this. But we must bear all this in mind if we want to put an end to these elements quickly and without great loss." [Stalin, The Results of the First Five-Year Plan,  end of Section VII.]

Three years ago Comrade Stalin not only foretold the inevitable resistance of elements hostile to the cause of socialism, but also foretold the possibility of the revival of Trotskyite counter-revolutionary groups. This trial has fully and distinctly proved the great wisdom of this forecast.

The "heroes" of this trial have linked their fate with the fascists, with the agents of secret-police departments; these "heroes" have lost all scruples and gone to the uttermost limits of duplicity and deceit, elevated perfidy and treachery to a system, to the law of their struggle against the Soviet state.

This trial has completely revealed and has once again proved how great and boundless is the rage and hatred of our enemies toward the great cause of socialism; this trial has shown how insignificant are these enemies who rushed headling from one crime to another. A contemptible, insignificant, impotent group of trailors and murderers thought that by means of their sordid crimes they could cause the heart of our great people to cease to beat! This contemptible, insignificant group of adventurers tried with their mud-stained feet to trample upon the most fragant flowers in our socialist garden.

These mad dogs of capitalism tried to tear limb from limb the best of the best of our Soviet land. They killed one of the men of the revolution who was most dear to us, that admirable and wonderful man, bright and joyous as the smile on his lips was always bright and joyous, as our new life is bright and joyous. Thy killed our Kirov; they wounded us close to our very heart. They thought they could sow confusion and consternation in our ranks.

To the murderers' treacherous shot of December 1, 1934, the whole country replied with unanimous execration. The whole country, millions and tens of millions of people, were aroused and once again proved their solidarity, their unity, their loyalty to the great banner of the Party of Lenin-Stalin. The land of Soviets rose up like an unshakable, iron wall in defence of its leaders, its guides, for every hair of whose heads these criminal madmen will ansver with their lives. In this boundless love of millions of toilers for our Party, for its central Committee, and for our Stalin and his glorious Comrades -in-arms, in this infinite love of the people lies the strength of the defence and protection of our leaders, the guides of our country and Party, against traitors, murderers and bandits.

Our great fatherland is joyously flourishing and growing.The fields of innumerable collective farms are rich with a golden harvest. Thousands of new socialist, Stakhanov factories and works are pulsating with life. Harmoniously and wonderfully our railways are working for the welfare of our fatherland, and from end to end of the country Krivonoss passenger and freight trains are speeding over the glistening ribbons of steel. Firm as granite stands our Red Army, surrounded with the love of the people, guarding the frontiers of our native land. The names of our wonderful Bolsheviks, the tireless and gifted builders of our state - Sergo Orjonikidze, Klim Voroshilov, Lazar Moisseyevich Kaganovich, the leaders of the Ukrainian Bolsheviks - Kossior and Postyshev, and the leader of the Leningrad Bolsheviks, Zhdanov, are near and dear to the hearts of us and all those who are filled with filial love for their motherland. With great and unsurpassed love, the toilers of the whole world utter the name of the great teacher and leader of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. - Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin!

Under the leadership of the Soviet government and our Party, headed by Stalin, socialism has finally and irrevocably triumphed in our country. Under the leadership of our Party the proletariat of our country took the implements and means of production from the capitalists, abolished the capitalist system which is based on private property, on exploitation, on poverty and slavery.

Under the leadership of our Party and the Soviet government the peoples of the U.S.S.R. brought about the great industrialization of our contry, increased its means of production tenfold, multiplied its national wealth and thereby created the conditions for a happy and joyous life for all the toilers of the Soviet land of socialism.The victory of socialism is first and foremost the victory of our own Bolshevik Party, of its Leninist-Stalinist general line, of its Leninist-Stalinist leadership, of its Central Committee, headed by the great Stalin.

On the basis of these victories there has been created the indestructible union of all the toilers for the further reinforcement and development of socialism; there has been created and cemented the union and friendship of all the peoples of the U.S.S.R. for the building of socialism, for defence against our enemies, against the enemies of socialism. These victories have completely changed the entire face of our country, which has been raised to an unprecedented level of economic and cultural development.

These victories have brought the working class of the U.S.S.R. enormous improvement in their material well-being. It is now many years since unemployment has been eliminated and the seven-hour day, against which the "heroes" now in the dock always persistently and treacherously fought, has been introduced. Our country has achieved unprecedented successes, impossible in any capitalist country, in developing a new, really human, socialist culture.

These victories have brought our whole country, every factory worker and collective farmer, every office worker and intellectual, a happy and a well-to-do life. And these victories are the guarantee of the unity of all the Soviet people with our government, with our Party and with its Central Committee. Are not the wide,mass, popular conferences, conceivable only in our contry, of the leading people of our factories and works, of our transport system, of our cotton and sugar beet fields, of live-stock breeders, of combine and tractor drivers, of Stakhanovites and Krivonossites with the leaders of the Party and the government the best proof of this indestructible, genuine unity and solidarity of masses of the people with the great Stalin, with our Central Committee, with our Soviet government? This is a manifestation of genuine Soviet, true democracy! And is not the mighty wave of popular wrath, now sweeping from one end of the country to the other against these despicable murderers, a striking evidence of this unity?