Liquidation of Beria
02 June, 2011
Liquidation of Beria

One of the biggest of Beria’s blunders was that he tried to change Stalin’s repressive and punitive system. Beria’s liquidation was planned and implemented by his closest friends and fellow workers. As it seems, they did not like his reforms at all. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – Isn’t it strange that Beria, the big KGB man of such an experience and power who had numerous disclosed complicated cases under his belt, had missed on the details of the plot

organized against him?

SM – This is exactly what I am trying to explain – Beria tried to give their lives back to the people who were so terribly overwhelmed with the fear of Stalinist purges. The Kremlin dwellers were rather young at that time (Beria himself was only 53). From just a humane standpoint, it must be really hard to imagine such ingratitude: Beria returned their wives and children from exile, got them rid of that awful stress, offered them a better life style, and those guys still wanted to plot against him. Beria could not suspect anything. If he were a paranoiac like Stalin he might have gotten suspicious of the brewing mischief but he definitely was not a paranoiac. On the other hand, Beria made some mistakes of course. One of the biggest of his blunders was that he tried to change Stalin’s repressive and punitive system. Beria’s liquidation was planned and implemented by his closest friends and fellow workers. As it seems, they did not like his reforms at all. As it is commonly said, a natural slave would rather die in slavery than reign in liberty. Khrushchev, Malenkov, Kaganovich, Molotov and others (many of those Soviet leaders and party bosses lived long enough to see Gorbachev’s Perestroika - reconstruction) who were expelled from the Communist party finished their lives in home arrest. On the other hand, had they listened to Beria and supported his reforms instead of planning his liquidation, all those famous Soviet leaders could have ended as rich and happy people, exactly as Gorbachev and Shevardnadze are today – untouched and protected.

GJ – As I understand, the people who had once taken Stalin’s stand and position, could not manage to change their course of action later . . .

SM – As it became known later, the most ignorant and stupid among the plotters wanted to take power into his hands. By the initiative of Nikita Khrushchev the members of government decided to eliminate Beria which was rather difficult a thing to do. Moscow and the Kremlin were controlled by the troops under Beria’s command, so his liquidation – whether apprehension or killing on the spot – had to take place  outside Moscow or very deep into the city, right in the government premises which was not completely controlled by the Beria people. Today, it becomes known that the main role in Beria’s liquidation was plaid by the Army in addition to Khrushchev, Malenkov and Molotov, specifically Zhukov, Moskalenko, Brezhnev . . . GRU might have participated in the operation too. GRU is the Russian acronym for Main Reconnaissance Department of General Staff of the Amy. It used to be as an alternative service to KGB.

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