People under communism; Terror as a system of power, part two
Bill Carr you do plead guilty to the charges brought against you. Yes I plead guilty to the charges brought against me accused Rick of you plead guilty to the charges brought against you. I do you plead guilty to the charges brought against you. I plead guilty. Accuse Christians. Do you plead guilty to the charges brought against you. I plead not guilty. I am not a Trotskyite. I was never a member of the block of right Trotskyites of whose existence I was not aware. Now have I committed any of the crimes with which I am presently charged. In particular I plead not guilty to the charge of having had any connections with the German intelligence service. Do you corroborate the confession you made at the preliminary investigation. Yes at the preliminary investigation I confessed. But I have never been a Trotskyite. I repeat the question do you plead guilty and later has the examination of the accused men was being conducted by on the ski. Then state prosecutor Christine tried to
put in the record a letter he wrote in one thousand twenty seven dissociating himself from Trotsky. The records contain a letter dated July 11th 1927 taken from you during the search. But there is another letter. November 27. There is no such letter that cannot be cured with drugs and goats. You hear this dialogue. Yes it's Christians trying to get Egypt out the Cure's Christian ski. I ask you don't listen because you'll be saying that you do not hear. I don't feel well and still later on the same day you told me about the people in the coming year to foreign affairs who helped him in his work and among them he mention you son of a Christian scheme. Did you hear this testimony. I deny it absolutely absolutely I have no further questions. But on the following day when once again Bush INSKEEP turned to the questioning of Christians. A surprising change had taken place in the prison with regard to his relations with Trotsky
and his guilt. A cure was Christian. You have heard the detailed explanation Rick Konski has given of your so-called departure from Trotskyism. You'll consider a cop ski's explanation correct what he says is right. If what he said is true we'll continue to deceive the court and to deny that the testimony you gave in the preliminary investigation was true. I fully confirm the testimony I gave in the preliminary investigation. What then is the meaning of the statement you made yesterday which cannot be regarded otherwise than as a piece of Trotskyite provocation and caught yesterday under the influence of a momentary feeling of false shame evoked by the atmosphere of the dock and the painful impression created by the public reading of the indictment which was aggravated by my poor health. I could not bring myself to tell the truth. I could not bring myself to say that I was guilty.
In the face of world public opinion I had not the strength to admit the truth that I had been conducting a Trotskyite struggle all alone. I request the court to register my statement that I fully and completely admit that I am guilty of all the gravest charges brought against yours. What explanation can be given of this double reversal of testimony. It was Christine's kid tortured overnight by the examiners of the NKVD. We do not know. Whatever the reason and whatever the reasons for the confessions of the others true for us in whole or in part one fact these trials did demonstrate Stalin could move ruthlessly to stamp out any possibility of challenge to his own power coming from within the party. During this period the terror was sweeping over the whole country on an unprecedented scale. You will recall that one of the accused in the second show trial was Henry young himself once head of the
NKVD when you're going to fell possibly because of Stalin's fear of his control of the NKVD apparatus. He was replaced by New York in September 1036 and it was under good direction that the terror reached its peak. Arrests ran into the hundreds of thousands of squads of examiners concentrated on a single prisoner with only one object in view to extract a confession. True or False fantastical plausible but in any case a confession once a confession was extracted the prisoner was returned to his overcrowded cell and waited usually for the decision of an NKVD Administrative Tribunal announced to him by a prison official. The common run of prisoners received sentences of three five or ten years in correctional labor camps. I had not. These people all signed confessions admitting they had participated in treasonable schemes and plots to overthrow the Soviet power. Leading communists some of them
fanatical supporters of Stalin ironically enough were caught up in this indiscriminate purge. The leadership of the Red Army was decimated. Bureaucrats from every department of the Soviet government diplomats trade union officials from some moral leaders trust directors along with writers and scientists vanished behind the walls of the NKVD prisons and were followed by their friends colleagues and subordinates. A mere denunciation was frequently sufficient to start the process that ended in a prison camp or often enough. The execution Sela this the great purge represents terror gone berserk indiscriminate. But in its special way grimly efficient it has come to be called the Jena. In 1938 as the years shot out of control the dictatorship became alarmed by party resolution in newspaper articles it sought to dissociate itself from responsibility for what was taking place party careerists were blamed for
injustices. And then the last extraordinary twist of the terror was applied the purges themselves were purged the prisons now began to fill up with NKVD examiners who the year before had been busy extracting confessions. It was now their turn to confess. Some prisoners had the dubious satisfaction of meeting their own torturers in their cells. The purge of the purges did not spare Guizhou off removed as head of the NKVD in July 1938. He disappeared soon after. We do not know his ultimate fate. In 1939 under-age Dunn of police member publicly made what verbal amends the dictatorship deemed necessary. Quoting the words of his master Stalin he said some of our party leaders suffer from a lack of concern for people. Members of the party for workers as a result of this heartless attitude towards people discontent and bitterness are artificially created among a section of the party
and the Trotskyite double dealers artfully hook onto such embittered comrades and skillfully decoy them into the bog of Trotskyite wrecking. We must have a change in party rules which can ensure an attentive approach and careful investigation of accusations brought against party members which will protect their rights from all arbitrary procedures. We must abolish the resort to expulsion from the party for trifling misdemeanor. Stalin in the words of Professor Fein Saad had once more demonstrated his remarkable instinct for stopping short and reversing course at the brink of catastrophe. And finally the dictatorship displaces the Central Committee. Under the new head of the NKVD Levy You bet yeah. The Great Purge was gradually
brought under control. Many prisoners were released restored to their old positions and even promoted with a Stalinist clique in absolute control of the government of the Soviet Union. The NKVD attention was now directed toward possible sources of danger in the event of war. The victims of past purges who treasured thoughts of vengeance and the peoples of the regions occupied by the Red Army after the signing of the pact with Hitler and the occupied region of Poland hundreds of thousands were swept up into the NKVD net on the Baltic states were taken over in 1040 the same process was repeated the pattern of coercion and terror which had worked so well within the Soviet Union was applied anew with methodical regularity. And after the German invasion certain elements within the union like the Germans of the Volga region experienced the same treatment of arrest interrogation and administrative sentence to the penal camps. After the defeat of the Nazis the millions of Soviet nationals prisoners of war
or deported laborers who found themselves in Germany what assembled into camps and screened by means of intensive interrogations to determine the degree of their contamination by the capitalistic West. Once more the labor camps were supplied with large fresh contingents of victims as a result. Those who had willfully taken up arms against the Soviet state were in most cases some really executed. What is it like to be a victim of the terror. Some of those who suffered either a Soviet citizens or a citizens of one of the occupied countries have lived to report their stories. One of them missed again is the Glickman formerly a Polish citizen and now a citizen of the United States has set down the details of his own experience in his book tell the West published in English by the Gresham press in 1988. Mr. Blix Min's account is remarkable for the objectivity with which he was able to report the harrowing impact of the terror upon the mind and body of a victim. His story takes on added interest for many of us
because Mr. Glickman was the half brother of victim one of the leaders of the socialist movement in Poland. It will be recalled that Viktor Altos execution by the Soviet government along with that of his colleague Gandy Airlie he caused worldwide protests when it finally became known in 1903. Mr. Glickman was a Warsaw lawyer in one thousand thirty nine and a member of the Warsaw city council. He holds degrees from the Sorbonne and the University of Warsaw and has taught at Roosevelt College Chicago. Mr. Glickman How did you come to be arrested. My story begins in 1939 when the Germans approached Warsaw. I was not yet mobilized but on September the 17th when I was already in the eastern part of Poland the Soviet army occupied half of Poland the eastern half of Poland. Now this time my brother Victor was
arrested in Kabul. I tried to help him but I didn't manage. And later I was arrested myself. The Soviet secret police comes in and they for the first few weeks make use of local citizens former communist or present communist arms them and let them do several services for them. And so the boy with the red armband stopped me and asked me. They worked under orders from the NKVD and I was brought immediately into the office and then later into the prison of the NKVD. Mr. Glickman was in a charge made against you for a long time no trial was made at all but right in the beginning I had to pass that experience. That was an graved in my memory more than any other experience. This was the target of this. You may translate it in English as a list. Is there really a Soviet
institution that over and over again. I had to pass in all my wanderings oversight of prisons and camps but the first time was the most shocking because I expected all of a sudden the men saw that officer of the NKVD simply without warning shouted an order under arrest. In the beginning I didn't understand what he meant. I looked around there was no place to put my cloth. No place to sit down I was standing in the middle of her on the grassy muddy floor dirty. Everybody was spitting on it and I began to undress I kept my suit of clothes in my hands and awaited the of the became angry. What are you waiting for. And this account completely and throw away what you have in your hands. I had no choice. With one
kick of his feet he threw it into a corner and began the third. It was such a in on details. My buddy made me bent over and raised my hand so all other kinds of exercises to find out whether nothing was hidden. But not this efficiency of the search but the way he did it the degrading words to you the insulting remarks and drugs. But something that is difficult to forget and he was through with me. He pushed me to the wall and told me Don't turn back. Pushed me nearer closer to the wall. I touched my nose to the wall and then he began searching my cloth. Then all of a sudden he was in a hurry. He shouted be dressed. No. After this long examination was over. Were you released.
No. Then I was put into a prison cell. And then you can wait for a long long time before one night something happens. And this interrogation. I didn't have too many. But this court also and always at night but other people were taken day and night as most of the night for weeks and months on end. All of a sudden one day they gave back my belongings and told me that I'm free. What did you do then. I decided to try to eat. We you know didn't know at the time. Belong to two Ania and it was free. My wife was at this time afraid to expose the baby to the call. So we agreed that I will make the attempt alone and then tried to arrange for her to get in a safer way to me. But I was caught
on the demarkation line and put back to prison. I never saw them again. They're both assassinated by Germans after you were arrested at the demarcation line. What happened then Mr. Glickman then began my longer prison experience. I spent many months in the Oceana prison and later a shorter time in other prisons. Were you ever beaten during these interrogations. I personally was never to be. But I have witnessed many of my colleagues inmates in the prison coming back from night interrogation bruised and beaten up badly. Mr. Glickman would you describe the conditions that you found when you were assigned to a cell. We were three of us brought into the cell number one man a prison. The prisoners were counting seventy seven seventy eight seventy nine. It meant that we were of the 77 78 79 prisoners coming to the cell
and on the door. I have seen an old Polish time cause it was an old Polish prison saying cell number one. Fifteen men as you think back on that experience know what stands out in your mind as the worst features of your confinement is overcrowding. But the most horrible that stands out in my memory was this before creating fall air we had to live in. When this summer began even before noon in spring then we were already almost 90 people in the same cell and the only windows two windows we had in our room. The cover of this plank for no fresh air could come in. It became really a hell and we all would be like as we would have asked me. This is the most horrible thing. The people inside it didn't suffer I spend in prisons about eight months then what happened. Then one day I was called to
the warden and I learned what the remains futile. He gave me a slip of paper on which it was said that the special counsel in Moscow the so-called US obvious obvious Tanya decided to imprison me for five years in a collective labor camp for tying to cross illegally border and as being a socially dangerous element. I asked the Borden is it a concentration get no he said. Concentration camps exist only in capitalist countries not in to solve it Union the Soviet Union has corrective labor camps after a few days they were finally taken to a train taking us to the corrective labor camps all the time we never knew where we had taken to. But it turned out later that we were brought to task for a camp called cut glass which is a place to which day by day it's called of trains bring prisoners from all
over Russia. It is a place where they are told at least cite the which camp each of them is to be sent. What experiences do you recall most vividly during this train ride Mr. Glickman. We were crowded in a cattle car we didn't under arrest. We didn't wash for all the three weeks on our way. We didn't get but twice any warm water or warm food. The most harrowing things that we experienced in our way was the lack of water. A bucket or water or two of most for the whole car was the most we could get. And then the water was given to the car. The criminals first took the water to their place and after they had as much as they could they gave the amazing water to us. The political the non-criminals and so thorough was the most horrible thing. After this three weeks of travelling in the train we were taken on
food to our camp. And this is a very large area covered by bags. It is maybe the greatest camp area I have seen in all my wanderings of Elizabeth camps because as I said this is a chance for camp. At first we were taken to a special zone surrounded by barbed wire fences. So for of several weeks we were in our own zone but occasionally the irrational criminals the so-called king did manage to penetrate to our zone and steal whatever they could and our belongings very very tempting for them. It turns out that our belonging was where in fact the greatest asset we could have shoe through clothing and all our other small of our things. The thought pre-season camp that we could exchange it for food.
One day we were taken all the holes on one long long haul and thousands tens of thousands of us were standing in the Rolls all day long in the frost waiting we didn't know for what purpose. And then several people said were NKVD officers in fine furth with Valentin. It means felt boots began walking amongst us looking at our faces trying to figure out our hells our muscles to pick up the label for the needed. The problem was not to be cheated and not to get any sick or invalid prisoners that they would have to feed even as little as they feed them. There was a kind of a slave market where you finally said Mr. Glickman I was sent to the boot camp. It is north east European Russia not
far from the Arctic on the north and near the Euros on the east. This trip lasted only for 10 days and 10 and we could This time look out from the windows. And what we saw was the picture that remained for ever in my memory. We could see only one side. But a bit wild and what dollars but of the wild and watched dollar again and again. Kingdom of slave labor camps. No. Finally when you arrive at your destination what happened to you. I was assigned to the wood cut at the gate and in the morning at 5 o'clock they had their way. I jumped in the ration. They come out from the barracks to go to the roll call to the gate.
It doesn't take us long to be ready because nobody under arrest us and who goes to sleep. So one minute we are ready now we have to wash but that is no water and you take a little snow. If you are very fast you then you use your sleeve to deny yourself your end of the kitchen for the morning Kasha kind of gruel if you spoon fulls and then you are ready for the roll call at the gate. From a distance you hear music band playing to cheer us up. We are waiting and then the gate after brigade conducted into the vault for work. Still dark we go under Gods and their dogs. How long was your working day. According to the regulations our work day was two hours longer than the normal work the officer would work at until the outbreak of the war. Our work they were supposed to be 10 hours after the outer wall
12 hours a day but in fact they made us work sometimes an hour sometimes longer in order to fulfill the assignment of the day. But if you add the hour as we were walking to and from the hours we were waiting for the Morning Call call and for the evening roll call in the cold in the snow. You could say that we were on our feet 15 16 a sometimes 17 hours a day. Will you tell us how you were fed Mr. Glickman. Our food depended on our output each function had it for each smallest function in the camp was calculated in the daily quota that they called norm which had to be fulfilled and if fulfilled gives you 100 percent but avoid to this who cannot fulfill it and the quarter was so high that the great majority of prisoners with their best will could at best
perform 50 60 percent of the quota were the criminals in the camp. This is one of the worst features of the professional criminal. They are in the minority in the camp and they are the real bosses of the camp. They are prevented by the administration. They are considered the most reliable most truth Worsley by the administration. They occupy all both the administration of the camp gives to the prisoners almost all forced are occupied by these hardened criminals. Even the administration was frightened little of them. And they used to take advantage of their privileged position and many many sufferings are caused not by the administration but the criminal prisoners with whom we had to live day and night together. And one final question Mr. Glickman. How did you obtain your release from the camp I got my release before my sentence was
over. That action political prisoners vote is to long get released even if their sentence is up. Camp authorities had no eye to the leader Peter not even if his files show that he sent and what's up. And sometimes an order for the extension of the camp down with calm for another 5 8 or 10 years. The purpose of relieving the POWs prisoners was to organize a Polish army against the Germans but this army did not fight and decided to front and so we left for Persia Persia was the first free country we had after Russia and then through Europe. I came to the United States after the war. Thank you Mr. Glickman for your precise account of what it means to be a victim of a terrible system of political control through you your millions of fellow sufferers have been able as the title of your own book says to tell the West.
Since the end of the war information concerning the activities of the MGB has not been plentiful. Mass deportations of the native populations from the Baltic States and other border areas of European Russia have been reported. The Soviet press has also during this period carried on campaigns against collective farm abuses and noted cases of corruption in the bureaucracy and in industry. It has also carried accounts of purges in the party and among intellectuals although there have been no indications of mass arrests on the scale of the 1037. Yes just you know the MGB continues to claim its victims and forced labor has become an integral feature of the Soviet totalitarian system. At the beginning of this program some idea of the pervasive influence of the secret police on Soviet life was briefly sketched. Dr. M. famed sot of Harvard University well sum up for us the significance of the use of Terra as a system of power. Now Dr. Fein saw by the use of tear the dictator
eliminates actual or suspected rivals but terror achieves a more indirect goal. It paralyzes within the minds of members of the governing elite itself. Those thoughts of rivalry and independence which might lead eventually to concrete challenges to the dictators absolute rule the terror also acts as a broom by sweeping out of office one group of individuals it automatically sweeps in ambitious individuals from the lower echelons. There is circulation but no permanence no possibility that is for the development of positions of power. Too strong for the dictator to destroy. But meanwhile the removal of thousands of skilled individuals from the life of the country inevitably weakens it. The manipulation of terror as a system of power is a delicate
art. A dictator in command of modern armaments in a secret police can transform his subjects into robots an automaton. Yes but if he succeeds too well he runs the risk of destroying the sources of creative initiative on which the survival of his own regime depends. This is a problem which the Soviet dictatorship cannot evade over the long run. It may well turn out to be the rock on which the Soviet system will founder style Lina's shown an awareness of the problem. He needs terror to safeguard his monopoly of power but he also knows that he cannot depend on terror alone. His is a system of rule in which incentives and indoctrination also have their appointed place. There is room for the carrot as well as a stick for the positive lure of privileges and rewards
as well as the negative threat of the forced labor camp. A residue of insecurity remains which even the most skillful manipulation cannot eliminate. The dictator tries to build his security on the insecurity of his subjects because he faces the constant problem of liquidating all actual or potential competitors. His dependence on the secret police is absolute. The secret police follows its own laws of growth. It thrives on crisis and lives by emphasizing sinister threats at home and abroad. The atmosphere of universal suspicion which it breeds envelops the ruling group itself the dictator becomes the victim of the Frankenstein's monster which he has created the
ultimate hazard of terror as a system of power is that it ends by terrorizing the master as well as the slave. Owner. To. Go in. You have just heard. Tara as a system of power. One in a transcribed series of full hour programs. People under communism. Based on documented evidence and expert knowledge about the power and intention of the Soviet Union. Materials for this broadcast were supplied by Dr. Merle Fein side professor of Government at Harvard University and director of political studies at the Russian Research Center. This series as a whole was prepared in consultation with scholars from the Russian Institute of Columbia University. The Hoover Institute in library at Stanford University and the
- People under communism
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Part two of this program discusses how fear and intimidation are powerful tools of control in the Soviet Union.
- Other Description
- A series of documentaries, interviews and talks based upon documented evidence and expert knowledge about the power and intentions of the Soviet Union.
- Politics and Government
- Persecution--Soviet Union
- Media type
Advisor: Fainsod, Merle, 1907-1972
Narrator: Scourby, Alexander, 1913-1985
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Writer: Driscoll, David
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-38-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “People under communism; Terror as a system of power, part two.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 5, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-0c4sns6t>.
- APA: People under communism; Terror as a system of power, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-0c4sns6t