Fabricated Affairs
12 May, 2011

Stalin went after his friends and his closest entourage in 1920’s and 30’s. As a matter of fact, nothing new was happening at all – the same old Stalinist ways were in motion. That was one of those infamous communist tools used to perpetuate the image of the great leader’s aloofness and inaccessibility. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – So Stalin saw his potential successors in those young men and therefore got rid of them. Is that right?
SM

– Yes, he saw in them his actual rivals. Just as he went after his closest friends and fellow-revolutionaries in the 1920’s and 30’s, he used the same method in this case. This was actually the way for him to acquire the image of even more inaccessible leader. As I have said before, Stalin had his individual style of purging people. He would first work on negative PR of a targeted victim and only after that he would physically eliminate the person, thus justifying his action in the public eye. Interestingly enough, the longer a person shined in Stalin’s constellation, the more problematic it became to get rid of that person. This became especially difficult after WW II, when the highly-ranking members of Stalin’s entourage acquired limitless authority among the Soviet people. Stalin could cope with Voznesenski and Andreev rather easily, but getting rid of Beria was practically unimaginable because he was a world-renowned authority and incomparable professional in the eyes of the Soviet people. When Stalin gave impetus to the ‘Mingrelian Affair’, he made a vicious comment: ‘Look for the chief Mingrelian’ – Beria was a Mingrel. Everybody understood immediately who he had meant. The case was definitely fabricated for handling Lavrenti Beria. Just as difficult was getting rid of Khrushchev, Kaganovich and Molotov. Literally for years, these people ruled the Soviet republics, headed the ministries, stayed shoulder to shoulder with Stalin during the War and shared the glory of the victor with him. Therefore, it was very difficult to prove now that they were not heroes but the enemies of the Soviet people and traitors of motherland. The case called the Doctor’s Plot was directed against Kaganovich and Molotov (both the members of the famous Politburo) just as the Mingrelian Affair was aimed at eliminating Beria.
GJ – What was the gist of the Doctors Plot?
SM – A group of extremely famous doctors (90 % of them were of the Jewish origin) was accused of not only lack of professionalism but deliberate killing people, as if they were the organizers and participants in Andrei Zhdanov’s (Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) death. It was concocted that Zhdanov’s death was triggered by incorrect treatment which was perpetrated deliberately. This opinion was perpetuated by press, saying that those awful doctors (the Jews) were trying to kill people through deliberate mistreatment of their health. The Soviet press described all that nonsense so dexterously that until the fall of 1952 people would rather die when they got sick than go and see a doctor. The Soviet citizens were nursing a personal feeling in their heart of harts that he or she was a good person and a patriot of his or her country, and was afraid to get killed by doctors.
GJ – What did Kaganovich and Molotov had to do with that case?
SM – Molotov’s wife was Jewish, and Kaganovich was a Jew himself. Their names too were mentioned in an unsavory context on regular basis – sometimes in the 19th Party Congress documents and in the press every now and again. The usual rumor was that they were the venerators of the capitalist way of life which meant that they were the enemies of the Soviet people. In 1952, Stalin promoted the new cadres – Brezhnev, Kosygin and Suslov. By the way, these were the people who in 1964 would oust Krushchev and take power in their hands, but at that time they were not powerful enough to seriously confront the aging party elite. Although the old guard (Stalin’s team players) was discredited and restricted in power, they still managed to organize a counter attack against Stalin.

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