Friday, 26 April 2013

Khrushchev on how Soviets obtained "confessions"

Nikita Khrushchev on February 25, 1956, making his famous speech to twentieth
Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in which he denounced Stalin

In the speech Khrushchev revealed how the Stalinist regime forced: "a person confesses to crimes which he has not committed."

When Stalin said that one or another should be arrested, it was necessary to accept on faith that he was an “enemy of the people.” Meanwhile, Beria’s gang, which ran the organs of state security, outdid itself in proving the guilt of the arrested and the truth of materials which it falsified. And what proofs were offered? The confessions of the arrested, and the investigative judges accepted these “confessions.” And how is it possible that a person confesses to crimes which he has not committed? Only in one way – because of the application of physical methods of pressuring him, tortures, bringing him to a state of unconsciousness, deprivation of his judgement, taking away of his human dignity. In this manner were “confessions” acquired.
The wave of mass arrests began to recede in 1939. When the leaders of territorial Party organizations began to accuse NKVD workers of using methods of physical pressure on the arrested, Stalin dispatched a coded telegram on January 20, 1939 to the committee secretaries of provinces and regions, to the central committees of republican Communist parties, to the [republican] People’s Commissars of Internal Affairs and to the heads of NKVD organizations. This telegram stated:
“The Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) explains that the application of methods of physical pressure in NKVD practice is permissible from 1937 on in accordance with permission of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) ... It is known that all bourgeois intelligence services use methods of physical influence against representatives of the socialist proletariat and that they use them in their most scandalous forms.
“The question arises as to why the socialist intelligence service should be more humanitarian against the mad agents of the bourgeoisie, against the deadly enemies of the working class and of kolkhoz workers. The Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) considers that physical pressure should still be used obligatorily, as an exception applicable to known and obstinate enemies of the people, as a method both justifiable and appropriate.”
Thus, Stalin had sanctioned in the name of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) the most brutal violation of socialist legality, torture and oppression, which led as we have seen to the slandering and to the self-accusation of innocent people.
[emphasis added]

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