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history paper about totalitarian in Nazi, Soviet Union, and Fascist needs help.

HST 112
Instructor: Michael Ebner
Paper #2
DUE Friday June 24 (by midnight)
Plagiarism/Academic Dishonesty: Any violation of the university’s new Academic Integrity Policy
(http://academicintegrity.syr.edu/academic-integrity-policy/ ), no matter how minor, will be reported to
the Academic Integrity Office. Plagiarism includes: cutting and pasting text from the internet without
using quotation marks and footnotes; taking a sentence, phrase, or paragraph from a book (even our
textbook) and changing a few words (even if you footnote it); or otherwise presenting someone else’s
ideas, factual points, or words as your own. Other examples of academic dishonesty include turning in
another student’s paper, a paper from a different class, or a paper that is fundamentally similar to that of
another student.
Answer the following question in a 5-6 page, double-spaced essay (approximately 1250-1500 words).
Papers will be graded on how well you demonstrate knowledge of the course materials (lectures,
discussions, readings, especially primary sources), the clarity of your presentation and argument, and the
quality of your writing (spelling, usage, and grammatical errors should be kept to an absolute minimum;
three is too many). Make sure you have a thesis! Argue and support your thesis with examples! Prove
your argument with primary sources!!!! Indeed, the “proof” supporting your historical argument must
come from the primary sources, so do not ignore these. You must provide citations for quotes,
interpretations, or factual points that are not your own. This is not a research paper, and you should not
incorporate outside sources in your answer. You should definitely not use internet sources. Other
guidelines for writing this history essay are on the back of this page.
Question for paper #2
The Soviet Union, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany have all been referred to as “totalitarian” at some
point. Choose one of these regimes and argue whether or not, and to what extent, you believe it
was “totalitarian.” Papers should draw on the textbook, lectures, and discussions, and should support
your argument using all relevant primary sources (you must use these). In the essay, define
totalitarianism (textbook, lecture), and then discuss whether or not the regime conforms to your
Further suggestions: In order to properly answer the question, you will inevitably have to discuss the
regime’s ideology, its main policies, the use of terror, propaganda, and its relationship to society. Do
not forget that these regimes change over time. Good essays will have theses that do not simply answer
“yes” or “no,” but explain when and to what degree the regime’s policies produced, or failed to produce,
a totalitarian society. Obviously you will want to define “totalitarianism” from the lectures and
textbook. Totalitarianism was discussed in both the lectures on Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
Early on in your essay, you will need an adequate definition of totalitarianism in order to prove that a
regime was or was not totalitarian.
Also, please keep in mind that you are somewhat limited by your sources, and you should acknowledge
those limits and choose your topic carefully. So, for example, writing on Fascism would be somewhat
difficult. You would only have the Mussolini reading to work with – it is possible to write a good
paper, but it would have to be a fantastic analysis of that one document (supported by one lecture and
the textbook). Moreover, you would not be able to prove reception (that is, how ordinary people
experienced “totalitarianism”). You would have to acknowledge that you are only dealing with
Mussolini’s intent. So, keep in mind that you should limit your arguments to what you can prove. You
cannot say “Germans believed in Nazi ideology,” because you do not have evidence. We know that
some did, but other did not. You probably have the most sources for Germany, since we spent so much
time on the Nazis, all the way through the Holocaust (do not forget Primo Levi’s memoir). For the
Soviet Union, obviously use all documents available on Lenin and Stalin, including even the Heda
Kovaly memoir (excerpt) from the early 1950s (not the USSR, but tells us something about “Stalinism.”
You should draw on lectures and the textbook for context and factual points, but you must use many
primary sources to “prove” your argument.
Tips for Writing a History Essay
1. Have a clear argument. Include a thesis statement in the first paragraph. The paper should develop
your argument and provide evidence in support of it. Include a conclusion which summarizes your
2. Use quotes, but use them sparingly, not just to fill up space. A quote should explain something, or
capture its tone or style, better than you could yourself.
Only use direct quotes when the phrase, sentence, etc., is absolutely essential to your point.
You should almost never have to use direct quotes from the textbook (a secondary source). Use your
own words, and cite (footnote) the textbook for factual and interpretive points. You may occasionally
use a short phrase from the textbook if it is absolutely essential. Primary sources will be quoted
directly more often, mainly because the exact words of the writer (Napoleon, Robespierre, Hitler,
Stalin, etc.) are essential (they are the proof!). Even here, though, avoid direct quotes that are
unnecessarily long. Do not quote a whole paragraph if all you really need is one sentence and a couple
of phrases. Being economical with direct quotes is more efficient, and leaves room to make arguments
and provide additional evidence.
3. Avoid generalizations; be specific. Avoid vague terms like “people” when you mean “peasants” or
“workers” or “the nobility.” If the historical reality is complex (i.e. not all nobles were selfishly hanging
onto privilege, or the delegates of the Third Estate were not so “representative” because they were
mostly lawyers), then say so.
4. When possible, use the active voice rather than the passive. Example: “Robespierre introduced the
Terror in 1793” is stronger than “The Terror was introduced by Robespierre in 1793.”
5. Edit carefully so that your writing is clear, making sure that each word effectively conveys your
point and is not wasted. Avoid run-on sentences and sentence fragments.
6. When writing about historical events, use the past tense. It is okay to use the present tense when
discussing a document or book; however, saying “Robespierre implored the National Convention to
introduce the Terror because. . . ” is more dramatic and therefore more effective than writing “In this
document, Robespierre argues that the Terror is necessary because . . .”
7. Provide citations for direct quotes and any factual or interpretive points that are not your own
Example: (Hunt, p. 100).
8. Last, but not least, the essay should have a title!
Citations: Use footnotes
Some Select Examples of footnotes:
When you first use the source, provide the whole citation in the footnote:
Lynn Hunt et al., The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Value Edition, Volume 2,
Sixth Edition (New York: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2017), 517.
The second (and all subsequent) times you cite the source, just author and page number:
Hunt, 519
Primary Sources:
First time you cite it:
Maximilien Robespierre, “On the Political and Moral Principles of Domestic Policy,” in Course
Reader for History 112 (Summer 2019), 16.
All subsequent citations:
Robespierre, 17.
First citation:
Madame de Remusat, “Napoleon’s Appeal,” in Course Reader for History 112 (Summer 2019),
Subsequent citations:
De Remusat, 21.
Napoleon Bonaparte, “Diary,” in Course Reader for History 112 (Summer 2019), 22.
Bonaparte, 23
These examples should allow you to cite other documents in the same fashion.
More on footnotes:
To insert a footnote in MS WORD, simply go to the “references” tab, and hit the “Insert footnote”
If you still are not sure how to insert footnotes in MS Word, please look online or at this guide:
Here is an example of what footnotes (or endnotes) look like, if you had used two sources in the
following paragraph:
Blah blah blah, blah, blah blah, and Swain notes, “Blah blah blah.”1 Gaar disagrees, arguing,
“Blah, blah blah.”2 Both authors agree that there are three main issues, but Swain thinks number
two is most important.3 Gaar, on the other hand, thinks that blah blah blah.4 It is possible that
neither author is correct, although Swain raises an interesting point, saying, “Blah, blah, blah.”5
Note that footnotes are numbered sequentially throughout a paper.
Joseph P. Swain, The Broadway Musical: A Critical and Musical Survey (New York: Oxford University Press,
1990), 136.
[ the first time you quote or paraphrase from this book]
Gillian G. Gaar, She’s a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll (Seattle: Seal Press, 1992), 101-2.
Swain, 153.
[ the second time you cite Swain’s book]
Gaar, 106.
[ the second time you cite Gaar’s book]
Swain, 187.
[ the third time you cite Swain’s book]
Laws Establishing the Hitler Dictatorship
By 1932, the Nazis had emerged as Germany’s strongest single party. Hitler
demanded the chancellorship of the Weimar Republic. The president, Paul von
Hindenburg, disliked Hitler and resisted entrusting all governmental authority to a
single party that “held to such a one- sided attitude toward people with convictions
different from theirs.” But on January 30, 1933, Hindenburg gave in to political
pressure and popular demand and appointed Hitler chancellor. The Nazis were
confirmed in power and immediately began to dismantle the Weimar constitution.
On the night of February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building burned. The Nazis blamed
the communists and issued the “Decree for the Protection of the People and State,”
an article of which is presented in the first selection.
The second selection is the famous Enabling Act, which allowed Hitler and his
Reich Cabinet to issue laws that could deviate from the established constitution, yet
could not practically be challenged by representatives of the Reichstag. Its
overwhelming passage (444 to 94) gave the destruction of parliamentary democracy
an appearance of legality; from then on, the Reichstag became a rubber stamp of
approval for Hitler’s decrees. The succeeding documents show the conversion of
Hitler’s chancellorship to a dictatorship.
Document 1:
Decree for the Protection of the People and the State (Feb., 28, 1933)
[“The Reichstag Fire Decree”]
In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive
measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state:
Article 1: Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the
German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty,
on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of
assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic,
and telephone communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as
well as restrictions on proper ty, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise
Document 2:
The Enabling Act (March 24, 1933)
The Reichstag has passed the following law and, with the approval of the Reichsrat [upper house],
will be promulgated after it first has been established that it satisfies the requirements for
legislation altering the Constitution.
Article 1: In addition to the procedure for the passage of legislation outlined in the
Constitution, the Reich Cabinet is also authorized to enact laws.
Article 2: The national laws enacted by the Reich Cabinet may deviate from the
Constitution provided they do not affect the position of the Reichstag and the Reichsrat. The
powers of the President are not affected.
Article 3: The national laws enacted by the Reich Cabinet shall be prepared by the Reich
Chancellor and published in the official newspaper. They become effective, unless otherwise
specified, on the day following their publication. Articles 68-77 of the Constitution
[concerning the enactment of new legislation] do not apply to the laws enacted by the Reich
Article 4: Treaties of the Reich with foreign states which concern matters of domestic legislation
do not require the consent of the assemblies participating in legislation. The Reich Cabinet
has the authority to issue the necessary provisions for implementing these treaties.
Article 5: This law comes into effect on the day of its publication.
Document 3:
Law against the New Formation of Parties (July 14, 1933)
The government has passed the following law, which is hereby proclaimed:
Article 1: The only political party existing in Germany is the National Socialist German
Workers’ Party.
Article 2: Whoever maintains the organization of another political party, or founds a new
political party, shall be punished at hard labor for up to three years, or be sentenced to prison
between six months and three years, unless other regulations provide for a harsher punishment.
The Chancellor
Minister of the Interior
s. Frick
Minister of Justice
s. Gurtner
Document 4:
Law Concerning the Head of the German State (August 1, 1934)
The government has passed the following law, which is hereby proclaimed:
Article 1: The office of Reich President shall be combined with that of Reich Chancellor.
Therefore, all the functions heretofore exercised by the Reich President are transferred to
the Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hider. He has the authority to appoint his deputy.
Article 2: this law goes into force upon the death of Reich President von Hindenburg.
Speeches by Stakhanovites
0 The Stakhanovite movement, named for the miner Aleksei Stakhanov, started in 1935 and rapidly spread throughout the country. Stak:hanovites-workers and peasants who exceeded their production
quotas-were rewarded, honored, and, above all, publicized for
breaking production records. At regional and national Stak:hanovite
meetings, Stakhanovites were encouraged to report on their work
achievements and the rewards they had received and to give brief
formulaic life stories. These speeches by worker and peasant women
are taken from national Stakhanovite meetings~ interjections by
Stalin and other Politburo members, who often attended the meetings, are included in the minutes.
Comrades! On behalf of our plant, please allow me to extend to you my wannest Bolshevik greetings, as well as greetings to our beloved Comrade Stalin.
Long live our beloved Comrade Stalin! Hurray! [With shouts of “Hurray,”
members of the audience stand up to greet Comrade Stalin.]
Comrades, the Stakhanovite movement is leading our country to new victories.
Comrades, we know very well that the founder of our movement, Stakhanov, has
raised our production targets to a great height. The targets that were set before
have now been overturned.
How did our Stakhanovite movement originate? We had a meeting of the management and the best shock workers. 1 I was a good shock worker, but I had
exceeded the norm by only one and a half times and was still ::t long way from
what I am today. At our factory, two Komsomol members had become very famous. I felt hurt and upset: how could these two comrades exceed the norm by so
much, when I couldn’t? Was it possible that I could not achieve the same speed?
I began to look into this more closely. I began to produce 300-350 percent of the
norm, but I was still not satisfied. Then a new, totally untested machine arrived at
our factory from the Kharkov plant. After the machine was installed, I examined
it from top to bottom and inspected its gears and transmission. You see, I had
done really well on the technology test, and I knew a thing or two. The machinist
From Geroini Sotsialisticheskogo Truda (Moscow: Partizdat TsK VKP(b), 1936), 4-108 (extracts).
1 The shock worker movement, begun in the early 1930s, had many resemblances to the Stakhanovite movement, though the latter was supposed to stress innovations rationalizing production as well
as sheer output.
Makarova had finished thirty-nine pieces instead of the assigned seventeen. So I
came up to the technologist and said: “Comrade Gubarev, I want to challenge
Makarova to a competition.”
He said: “Are you serious? There is no way you could beat Makarova: you have
never worked on this machine, it’s brand new … ”
But I replied: “I am a fearless parachutist, 2 and this norm doesn’t scare me. I
will overturn it.”
He said that it was a serious matter. I answered: “Of course it is a serious
matter, but if you will just create the right conditions, 3 I’ll be ready to compete.”
So the technologist reported to the section head that I wanted to have a competition, and the head promised to create the right conditions for me to try-perhaps
something would come of it.
Makarova accepted my challenge on October 23. The 24th was a holiday, but
I didn’t take the holiday. I went to the factory, looked over the machine, set out
the parts, and started testing it. Sometime earlier I had asked Marusia Makarova
what gear she was using and where she had placed the parts. She told me everything. The very next day she found out that I was going to compete against her,
and said, “You’re a fine one, Nina. First you ask me about everything [Laughter],
and then you start competing.”
We arrived early on the morning of the 25th. I came forty minutes before the
beginning of the shift, but Marusia had gotten there even earlier. They did not let
us start before the whistle, however. We prepared everything, and, as soon as the _-:
whistle sounded, we turned on our engines. I had my parts on my left, and my
tools on my right. Hundreds of comrades came by, stopped, and watched us as we
worked. They all said, “Th’l.t’s great!”
My machine was new and heavy-five times my size. They had given us fifty
units, but we did thirty each in less than half the shift. They realized there weren’t
enough units and started bringing more, so we would not have to sit and wait.
That day we fulfilled 500 percent of the plan! At four o’clock there was a meeting,
and they gave us flowers for our good work. That day we made 175 rubles each.
At that meeting I, of course, declared to my comrades that I would help everybody work like a Stakhanovite.
The Stakhanov method allows us to improve our performance to a considerable
degree. I promise Comrade Ordzhonikidze that within a month I will overturn the
present norms and raise them twofold.
I don’t know of a single delegate at this conference who has achieved the same
results as Makarova and me. I think we won’t stop at these records, but will go
even further.
2 Parachute jumping was enormously popular in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, both recreationally
and in connection with military training. For another parachute jumping Stakhanovite, see Misostishkhova, below.
Stakhanovite record breaking required extensive organization so that the Stakhanovite would be
regularly supplied with the necessary technical support, supply of parts, raw materials, and so on. The
whole shop was involved.
Our base salary is 158 rubles a month. In September I made 462 rubles. In
October I made 886 rubles. I could have made more, of course, but there were
days when we were prevented from working.
MIKOIAN: 4 And how much did your friend make?
SLAVNIKOVA: In October my friend made 1,336 rubles.
MIKOIAN: Is she a Komsomol member, too?
SLA VNIKOVA: No, she is nonparty.
MIKOIAN: What does she do with the money?
SLA VNIKOV A: I also wanted to know what to do with the money. I asked my
friend, “Marusia, what are we going to do with all this money?” She said, “I’m
going to buy myself some cream-colored shoes for 180 rubles, a crepe-de-chine
dress for 200 rubles, and an overcoat for 700 rubles.”
We help people work faster. Our workers used to manufacture seventeen parts
at the most. They couldn’t do any more. One worker, who has been working in
our factory for seven years, was producing a lot of defective parts. So she told me,
“You’re a Komsomol member, why don’t you help me?” I put the gig on her
machine and showed her how to drill, and also recommended that she use more
power. And what do you think happened? She started producing forty parts.
Now we have special tutors who help us raise our political level and master
technology. 5
Our practice has overturned the norms set for us by the engineers. In the future
we will work with even greater enthusiasm and tum our whole plant into a
Stakhanovite, norm-breaking enterprise.
STALIN: Do you have enough machines?
SLA VNIKOV A: Yes, we do. Now we must put those machines to better use. We
told our director: “If you provide us with more parts, we’ 11 be able to produce
even more.” The director has promised to do this.
STALIN: Do you have enough workers?
SLA VNIKOV A: Yes, we do now because some workers are producing six times
their norm.
I assure my party, my beloved leader, Comrade Stalin, and the people’s commissar, Comrade Sergo [Ordzhonikidze], that we will supply our country and our
beloved Red Army ~nci its leRder, Klim Voroshi!ov, ‘.Vit.l:l. hundreds m1d t.~ousands
of top-quality tanks and armored cars! [Prolonged applause]
Comrades, I hope our dear Stakhanov, who started this whole thing, does not
hold it against us, but we would very much like to overtake him. [Prolonged
Long live our unwavering leader, our beloved Comrade Stalin, and our beloved
Red Army chief, Klim Voroshilov! [Applause]
Long live our Leninist Komsomol and its leader, Comrade Kosarev! 6 Hurray!
[Prolonged applause, shouts of “Hurray”]
A. I. Mikoian (1895-1978)-member of the Politburo of the Central Committee (1945-66), people’s commissar of the food industry (1934-38).
5 “Mastering technology” was one of Stalin’s much-quoted injunctions of the mid-1930s.
6 A. V. Kosarev (1903-1939)-general secretary of the Komsomol (1929-38).
Comrades! Before I begin my speech, let me suggest that we honor the memory
of Comrades Lenin, Frunze, 7 and Kirov 8 by standing up. [Everyone stands]
Let me speak from this exalted platform. It is so unexpected and incredible for
me to be here. Comrades, I am forty-five years old, but I have been truly alive for
only eighteen years. [Applause]
Under the guidance of our great and wise leader who works great miracles, we
are going to continue conquering such achievements.
There is not a single country where a person can live as well as we live now.
I know it from my own experience. I had been working since I was fifteen, but I
didn’t know what Communists were like, although I was active in public life. But
then I met Comrade Frunze.
We will walk the great path shown to us by our leaders, under the red banner
of Communism, and under the leadership of Comrade Stalin, and we will overfulfill our plan, and overfulfill it with honor!
The Stakhanovite movement means new methods of work. The work front is
more difficult than the war front, but we’ll uproot everything that gets in our way.
We won’t allow anybody to get in our way! We are not afraid of any obstacles!
We are strong! We are invincible!
Let me say, Comrades, that in spite of my forty-five years, I’m not in the least
tired of working because I eat well and am satisfied with my family life and with
the conditions that make me healthier and put me in a better mood.
As soon as I got back from the sanatorium in June, Comrades, I talked to the
management and asked to be given more machines.
But our management refused me. So when I read the article about Dusia
Vinogradova9 and about how her initiative had been carried out, I once again
demanded more machines. From the 12th to the 28th I worked on ten machines
and made sixty extra rubles.
I remember how we used to live before the revolution. I used to work on two
or three machines. I didn’t have any cle~in~ to work. The doth we prcdl!ced ·.v~sn’t
for me because my salary was small, and I couldn’t buy it.
I remember my childhood. I lived in a tiny apartment. There was one bed where
Mother and Father slept and a cradle for the baby, while my brother and I slept
under the bed. But now I have received a good apartment, with good furniture. So
my heart is rejoicing.
If I work on twenty machines, I’ll be making 360 meters of cloth a day. I
7 M. V. Frunze (1885-1925kivil war hero, people’s commissar for military and naval affairs
8 S.M. Kirov (1886–1934)-member of the Politburo of the Central Committee (1930–34), first
secretary of the Leningrad Regional Party Committee (1926–34).
9 E. V. (“Dusia”) Vinogradova (1914-1962)-the first Stakhanovite in the textile industry, member
of the Supreme Soviet between 1937 and 1946.
guarantee that I’ll be producing the best items in the world because there is a
demand on the part of the kolkhozniks. We are linked by unbreakable ties: we 109
give them industrial goods; they give us food. So it’s quite understandable that
we’re full of fighting zeal, energy, and Bolshevik enthusiasm for our work.
Why am I saying this? I’m saying this because I’m not just marking time-I fly
over with the speed of an airplane whenever I see that a machine has stopped.
Comrades, we should love our work with all our heart; we should put our entire
proletarian soul into it. We will never give our achievements to anybody. It’s not
just me who works according to the new intensive schedule–on our floor, all the
workers have had theirs intensified.
After this conference I will try to get everyone on our floor and the whole
factory to work the way they should.
Comrade Stalin has raised the question of mastering technology. I have worked
for thirty years and haven’t mastered technology because I didn’t have the right
kind of education; in other words, I’ve had the practice, but not the theory.
Comrades, we used to be completely illiterate and confused by the priests. It
should be mentioned that some peasants suffer from this even now, though not
I am sure that we can now liquidate not only our lack of basic education but
also our technological illiteracy. At our factory almost everybody got “excellent”
on the technology test, while just a few got “good.”
We are now in the process of retraining. We want everybody to pass the test
with excellence. We want the factory to produce only high-quality material and
to fulfill the industrial and financial plan.
I give my promise to our leaders, headed by Comrade Stalin, that we are going
to acquire more knowledge because Comrade Stalin has said that the cadres decide everything.
Long live our party and our Soviet government! [Tumultuous applause]
[Comrade Budagian s appearance on the platform is greeted with applause that
turns into an ovation, with shouts of “Hurray. ” Comrade Budagian speaks in
My first thought and my first word is to pass on the heartfelt greetings of the
Armenian kolkhozniks to the great leader of the working people, Comrade Stalin.
[Tumultuous applause]
Recently we, in Soviet Armenia, celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of our
liberation from the yoke of tsarist officials, imperialists, and their lackeys, the
dashnaks. 10
Dashnaks-members of Dashnaktsutiun, the ruling party in the independent Annenian republic
of 1918-20. In the 1930s the term dashnak was used pejoratively to mean an “Annenian bourgeois
Fifteen years ago Armenia was a land of ruins, wars, and starvation. But now,
thanks to the correct policy of our party and our great Stalin, Armenia has become
a land of prosperous living, fun, and happiness. Fifteen years ago Armenia was a
country of orphans. I also became an orphan at that time, but Soviet power, the
party, and Comrade Stalin took the place of my father; the kolkhoz became my
home; and now I am in charge of a whole brigade. [Applause]
I have the honor to be present at this conference together with members of the
government and to see with my own eyes the greatest man in the world, Comrade
Stalin. I was awarded this great honor because my brigade was successful in its
fight for a good harvest.
We have different kinds of soil. I regarded each piece of land separately and
applied the specific type of fertilizer that a given piece of land required. I treated
and fertilized the wheat-growing area with particular care. I did it with ashes. I
also made a special effort in the fight against the scourge of our fields-weeds.
This year I weeded the fields three times.
I was just as particular with the cotton and used one hundred cartloads of manure for every hectare.
I carefully tended every grapevine by fertilizing the roots and treating each one
with blue vitriol three times.
Thanks to all this, my brigade produced an average of 162 puds of first-class
winter wheat per hectare this year, compared to 61 puds last year. I succeeded in
delivering 570 puds of grapes, compared to 420 last year. I harvested Ill puds of
cotton, compared to last year’s 51 puds.
Thanks to this harvest, our kolkhoz has become prosperous. For every labor
day we distributed 8.5 kilos of wheat, 15 rubles in cash, half a kilo of grapes, and
a liter of wine. Every kolkhoznik received between 12 and 15 pailfuls of sweet
wine, to make his joyful life even more joyful. [Laughter, applause]
Next year my brigade promises to produce more than 200 puds of wheat, 600
puds of grapes, and 150 puds of cotton of the best quality from every hectare.
Our kolkhozniks have built 27 new houses and bought 250 new beds, 100
sewing machines, 60 gramophones, and 30 radio sets.
The houses of the kolkhozniks now have electricity.
Our kolkhoz met its obligations to the state completely and ahead of schedule
and, m particular, carried out the directive of Comrade Stalin concerning the
liquidation of cowlessness. We do not have a single cowless kolkhoznik left.
Comrade Stalin has said quite correctly that women were exploited in the old
days. This was especially obvious in our Armenian villages, where women were
virtual slaves. Now our female kolkhozniks have become free. Now they sometimes make more money than their husbands. How can your husband exploit you
when you make more money than he does? That usually shuts him up.
The female kolkhozniks have asked me to say a big thank you to Comrade
Stalin for the article that he introduced into the statute of the agricultural cooperative11-the article according to which a pregnant female kolkhoznik gets a paid
The Kolkhoz Charter of 1935. Stalin’s initiative in changing the original draft to provide maternity leave was much publicized.
vacation. This year twenty-three women took pregnancy leave, and I was asked
to say a very special thank you to Comrade Stalin on their behalf. [Applause]
Finally, we now have something that we in Armenia did not have for hundreds
of years-an opportunity to work in peace. For fifteen years now, our villages
have not seen interethnic wars. Fifteen years ago our land was covered with
trenches. Now those trenches have been replaced by irrigation ditches filled with
water, given to us by the Bolsheviks. Where there used to be ruins, flowers now
bloom. This peace is the result of the correct party policy-the correct, LeninistStalinist, nationality policy. The friendship of all Transcaucasian peoples has
been cemented by the Transcaucasian Federation, headed by the steadfast Bolshevik, Comrade Beria. 12 [Applause]
Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for your correct nationality policy! Thank you for
sending us such a good and firm Bolshevik as Comrade Beria!
Our peaceful labor and our borders are being protected by our beloved Red
Army and its chief, Comrade Voroshilov!
Long live our great Communist Party and the greatest leader of nations, Comrade Stalin! [Applause]
[Speaks in Bashkir. The speech is translated into Russian.]
Comrades! On behalf of the Stakhanovite socialist cattle breeders from the
Kuiurgazin meat farm, as well as on behalf of the kolkhozniks of the decorated
Bashkir Autonomous Republic, 13 I send my warmest greetings to the great and
beloved leader of the Communist Party and the working people, Comrade Stalin.
Let me tell you what I used to be and how I found the good life. When I was
one and a half, I became a fatherless orphan. Till the age of eleven I was supported
by my brother. In 1922 my brother died, and I became a day laborer. I worked as
a day laborer till I was sixteen. At that time I was married off against my will.
accordiug io the o1d custom that was still in force then.
Having lived with my husband for a year and a half, I divorced him and began
working in the kolkhoz on my own. In 1930 I became a milkmaid at the Kuiurgazin meat state farm. During the first three years I was in charge of fourteen
cows. At that time my cows gave, on average, no more than 1,500 liters a year. In
1935 I was in charge of eight cows, but my cows gave, on average, 4,370 liters of
milk. I was so successful because I treated my cows with affection, fed them
correctly, and took good care of them.
I give my promise to obtain an average of no fewer than 5,000 liters of milk
L. P. Beria (1899-1953}-first secretary of the Transcaucasus Communist Party from 1932 to
1938, when he became head of the NKVD.
Republics and cities, as well as individuals and organizations, could receive decorations (honors,
awards, and titles) in the Soviet Union.
from every cow, no fewer than 6,000 liters from the cow named Shock worker,
and no fewer than 8,000 liters from the record-holding cow, Prudent.
Our state farm has pledged to produce, in 1936, twice as much milk, butter, and
meat as in 1935. I assure you that this pledge, too, is going to be fulfilled.
We are grateful to our leader, Comrade Stalin, for the good and bright life he
has given us. Before Soviet power we Bashkir women and Bashkir girls didn’t
have any rights at all. Only thanks to the leadership of the Communist Party and
Comrade Stalin did we Bashkir girls and women become active participants and
conscious builders of the new life.
Before, we couldn’t even dream of what we can see now. Here I am, speaking
in the Kremlin before our leaders. Our parents couldn’t have imagined anything
like that. Thanks again to Comrade Stalin and all the Communist Party that gave
us this wonderlul and joyful life. [Applause]
Long live our great Stalin! [Applause]
Long live our Communist Party! [Applause]
[Comrade Gadiliaeva walks up to the presidium and shakes hands with
the leaders of the party and state. The audience is on its feet, applauding
Comrades, please allow me to greet our dear teacher and leader, Comrade Stalin.
Also, please allow me to greet our government. [Applause]
We collective farmers and state farm employees are happy to report to our party
and government that the state plan for the development of animal husbandry in
Omsk Province has been fulfilled, even overlulfilled.
The kolkhozniks and state farm employees have asked me to thank Comrade
Stalin for our prosperous, cultured, and joyful lives. [Applause]
I will tell you about my life and about how I used to live. I was born in Penza
Province. When I was eleven I lost my mother and became an orphan. When Tw:u:
twelve I was given as a nanny to the village kulaks, and then, when I was fourteen,
to the manor house, to look after their children. By the age of sixteen I was already
married. They thought that my husband was going to be a good one because he
was an only child and that meant he wouldn’t be drafted into the army. In those
days people thought your life would be good if your husband wasn’t going to be
I couldn’t read or write. My life was very bad, and I didn’t know that there was
a different, better life.
I joined state farm No. 54, in Omsk Province. That was in 1930. At first it was
difficult for me. I was made a milkmaid, and I didn’tknow the job. They gave me
eighteen cows, but I couldn’t read and didn’t even know the numbers of my cows.
I worked for a while and, although it was hard, I got used to it. In 1935 they
opened an adult literacy course in our sovkhoz. I did well on the test, learned to 111
read and write, and it became easier for me to do my work. As a good worker, I
was transferred to the shed with the calves. I worked there from 1933 to 1934. Our
livestock expert, Comrade Karelin, taught us how to take care of the calves. After
I learned the calf-feeding norms, it became easy for me to work. But at that time
I was going through a difficult period. My husband died, and I was left with three
children. I had a really hard time with them. At that time the director of farm No.
3 surrounded himself with kulaks, and I was deprived of my party candidate
status and kicked out of the state farm.
So I moved to the city of Omsk. I thought about the state farm often and felt
homesick, so I sent an application to the head of the state farm political department. Soon afterward a party purge began, and all the alien elements who had
surrounded the farm director were purged from the party. I was reinstated as a
party candidate member and returned to the state farm. I started working as a
milkmaid at the head farm. But those who were left over after the purge continued
to persecute me for my good work. So I’m really grateful to the political department: it has protected me and has always helped me in my work. In 1934 I passed
the technology test and became a Class-One milkmaid. I work well and live well.
I have my own apartment with electric lighting, a gramophone, and a radio set.
My daughter is in the sixth grade.
Having studied Comrade Stalin’s speech at the conference for leading harvester operators, all our milkmaids joined the Stakhanovite movement in order to
obtain more milk and tum more cows into record-holding producers.
I pledge to obtain an average of 5000 liters of milk per cow in 1936: 6000 liters
from the cow Steel, 7000 liters from the cow Freedom, 6500 liters from the cow
Construction Site, and 6500 liters from the cow Zaza. [Applause]
When Comrade Kaganovich 14 was in Omsk, he said that our milk yields were
low and had to be improved. It is true. We will meet the demands of our party and
government and produce as much milk and butter as necessary. We challenge
Cheliabinsk Province to a socialist competition. [Applause]
We live very well! We are happy people, Comrades, because we are working
wit.’-1 cur beloved leader and tt:adu;:r, Comrade Staiin. [Applause J
Long live our leader and teacher, Comrade Stalin! [Applause]
Long live our government! [Applause]
Long live our great Red Anny! [Applause]
Long live our conference! [Applause]
Allow me to shake hands with our leaders.
[Tumultuous applause, shouts of “Hurray.” The audience is on its feet. Comrade Razina goes up to the presidium and shakes hands with the leaders of the
party and government.]
L. M. Kaganovich (1893-1991}-memberofthe Politburo of the Central Committee (1930–57),
deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (1938-57), people’s commissar of transport
of the USSR (1935-37, 1938-42, 1943-44).
[Comrade Misostishkhova speaks in Kabardian.]
On behalf of the collective farmers of the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Region, please allow me to extend my heartfelt greetings to the leader of nations, our
beloved Comrade Stalin. [Applause]
Our collective farm includes eight hundred households and fourteen field brigades. Our kolkhoz is one of the best in the region, and my team is the best in our
kolkhoz. [Applause]
Bearing in mind Comrade Stalin’s words that a kolkhoz woman is a great
force, 15 we worked very well in 1935.
But whatever we accomplished in 1935, we consider to be insufficient.
I am hereby making my firm commitment to our beloved Comrade Stalin, to all
the other leaders of the party and state gathered here today, and to the conference
as a whole that in 1936 my team will harvest one hundred centners 16 of com and
forty centners of wheat from each hectare of land. [Applause] We have reached
the point where we can force the earth to yield as much grain as we may possibly
need. [Applause]
I challenge everyone present to harvest one hundred centners of com and forty
centners of wheat from each hectare. I challenge Maria Demchenko, who unfortunately is not here today, to enter into a socialist competition with me. 17 I will
accept as a referee between Maria Demchenko and myself any party organization
or party member that Comrade Stalin may appoint to that role. [Tumultuous applause] And let them report to Comrade Stalin whether it is Maria Demchenko or
me who becomes number one. [Tumultuous applause]
Our success in 1935 is not only the result of our use of agricultural technology, but, most of all, it is the result of Stalin’s concern for real people. We
worked heroically, but we were no less heroic in our concern for each and every
Our kolkhoz, our brigade, and my team live a cultured and prosperous life. We
have everything necessary for civilized work ancl 1Pi~nre: a radio, a telephone,
electricity, a club, a school, a movie theater, and a newspaper. We have everything in abundance. We live cultured lives. [Applause]
Now let me say a few words about myself. In my kolkhoz I am a recordholding worker of the kolkhoz fields. But in addition to that, I am also ready for
labor and defense. [Points to her “Ready for Labor and Defense” and “Voroshilovs Marksman” badges.]
Stalin told the First All-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Shock Workers in February 1933 that
“women in the kolkhozy are a great force.”
Centner-a unit of weight equivalent to one hundred kilograms.
At the Second All-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Shock Workers, the Ukrainian combine operator
Maria Demchenko formally initiated the “500’er movement,” a campaign to grow more than five
hundred centners of sugar beets per hectare.
STALIN: How old are you?
MISOSTISHKHOV A: Seventeen. I am also a record-holding mountain climber. I
was the first, together with Comrade Kalmykov, to climb the highest mountain in
Europe, Elbrus. [Tumultuous applause, turning into an ovation. Shouts of “Hurray. “] When I reached the highest point of Mount Elbrus, my first words were
“Long live our beloved leader, our dear Comrade Stalin! May he live a thousand years!” [Tumultuous applause, turning into an ovation. All rise. Shouts of
Everything I am wearing I received as a reward for my good work in the kolkhoz. Besides the dress and the shoes, I received a sewing machine in Nalchik.
Now I’m preparing myself for parachute jumping. I haven’t done it yet because
I didn’t have enough time after storming Mount Elbrus. But, Comrades, I give my
word to Comrade Voroshilov that in parachute jumping I am also going to be
ahead of the men. [Tumultuous applause, turning into an ovation.]
Everything we have, all our achievements have only become possible under the
Soviet regime, as a result of the victory of socialism. In the old days our people
were abused. Our people were backward and illiterate. But now I study Russian;
I study literature.
Rest assured, Comrade Stalin, that, if need be, I and all the female kolkhozniks
of Kabardino-Balkaria will beat back the enemies of the revolution and the
enemies of socialism with the same success we are achieving in the kolkhoz.
We have been brought up and are still being brought up by our glorious, great
Communist Party.
We are being guided by Comrade Stalin-that’s why we are invincible! [Prolonged ovation by everyone in the audience.]
Long live the great Communist Party!
Long live our friend, our teacher, the beloved leader of the world proletariat, Comrade Stalin! [Tumultuous applause, turning into an ovation. Shouts of
Long live the leader of our dear Red Army, Comrade Voroshilov! [Ovation.
Shouts of “Hurray for Comrade Voroshilov! “]
[[pon the ccnclu:;ion of her speedt, Cumrude lviisosrishkhova goes up to the
presidium and shakes hands with Comrade Stalin and all the other members of
the presidium. The audience is on its feet, applauding tumultuously. The ovation
lasts several minutes.]
Censorship of the Press (November 9, 1917)
V. I. Lenin
In the difficult and critical period of the revolution and the days that immediately followed it,
the Provisional Revolutionary Committee was forced to take several measures against the
counter-revolutionary press in different degrees.
There were immediate outcries from all sides that the new, socialist government had violated
a fundamental principle of its program by restricting freedom of the press.
The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government reminds the people that the liberal facade of the press
actually conceals the interests of the propertied classes. It is they who control the majority of
the press in order to poison the minds and obscure the consciousness of the masses without
Everyone knows that the bourgeois press is one of the most powerful weapons of the
bourgeoisie. At this crucial moment when the new power of workers and peasants seeks to
consolidate and affirm itself, it is reckless to leave this weapon completely in the hands of
the enemy, for at such an important time, the press is just as dangerous as bombs and machineguns. That is why the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government has been forced to take extraordinary;
·but temporary measures to stem the torrent of filth and slander in which the yellow and green
press would be only too glad to ·drown the recent victory of the people.
As soon as the new order consolidates its power, all administrative pressure on the press will be
terminated and it will be granted complete freedom within the bounds of legal responsibility.
This is in keeping with a law that is expansive and most progressive in this respect.
However, because the Council of People’s Commissars is aware that any restriction of the
press, even at critical moments, is allowed only within the limits of what is absolutely necessary, it
therefore resolves:
General Provisions on the Press
1. Only those publications can be suppressed which
(1) call for open resistance or insubordination to the Workers’ and
Peasants’ Government; (2) sow sedition through a slanderous distortion
of facts; (3) instigate actions of an obviously criminal . . . nature.
2. Publications can be restricted, temporarily or permanently, only by
decision of the Council of People’s Commissars.
3. The present ordinance is temporary and will be repealed by a special
decree as soon as normal conditions of public life set in.
Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars,
Establishment of the Secret Police (December 20, 1917)
V. I. Lenin
The Commission is to be called the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for the
Struggle with Counter-Revolution and Sabotage and is to be attached to the Council of
People’s Commissars. The duties of the Commission are as follows:
1) To investigate and prevent all acts of counterrevolution and sabotage throughout
Russia, no matter the origin.
2) To bring before the Revolutionary Tribunal all counter-revolutionaries and
saboteurs and to establish measures to combat them . . . .
The Commission shall finally be established tomorrow. . . .The Commission shall keep an
eye on the press, saboteurs, right Socialist Revolutionaries and strikers and can take the
following measures: confiscation, imprisonment, confiscation of cards, publication of the
names of the enemies of the people, etc.
Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars,
State and Revolution (August 1917) (excerpt)
V. I. Lenin
Earlier the question was put thus: to attain its emancipation, the proletariat must overthrow the
Bourgeoisie, conquer political power and establish its own revolutionary dictatorship.
Now the question is put somewhat differently: the transition from capitalist society,
developing towards Communism, towards a Communist society, is impossible without a
“political transition period,” and the state in this period can only be the revolutionary
dictatorship of the proletariat.
What, then, is the relation of this dictatorship to democracy?
We have seen that the Communist Manifesto simply places side by side the two ideas: the
“transformation of the proletariat into the ruling class” and the “establishment of democracy.”
On the basis of all that has been said above, one can define more exactly how democracy
changes in the transition from capitalism to Communism.
In capitalist society, under the conditions most favourable to its development, we have
more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always
bound by the narrow framework of capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains, in
reality, a democracy for the minority, only for the possessing classes, only for the rich. . . .
Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich—that is the
democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the mechanism of capitalist
democracy, everywhere, both in the . . . details of suffrage (residential qualification, exclusion
of women, etc.), and in the technique of the representative institutions . . . on all sides we
see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions,
obstacles for the poor, seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has himself never
known want and has never been in close contact with the oppressed classes in their
mass life (and nine-tenths, if not ninety-nine hundredths, of the bourgeois publicists and
politicians are of this class), but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze
out the poor from politics and from an active share in democracy.
Marx splendidly grasped this essence of capitalist democracy, when . . . he said that the
oppressed were allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the
oppressing class should be in parliament to represent and repress them!
But from this capitalist democracy—inevitably narrow, subtly rejecting the poor, and
therefore hypocritical and false to the core—progress does not march onward, simply, smoothly
and directly, to “greater and greater democracy,” as the liberal professors and petty bourgeois
opportunists would have us believe. No, progress marches onward, i.e., towards Communism,
through the dictatorship of the proletariat; it cannot do otherwise, for there is no one else and
no other way to break the resistance of the capitalist exploiters.
But the dictatorship of the proletariat—i.e., the organization of the vanguard of the
oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of crushing the oppressors—cannot produce merely
an expansion of democracy. Together with an immense expansion of democracy which for the
first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for
the rich folk, the dictatorship of the proletariat produces a series of restrictions of liberty
[by itself oppressing] the exploiters, the capitalists. We must crush them in order to free
humanity from wage-slavery; their resistance must be broken by force; it is clear that where there
is suppression there is also violence, there is no liberty, no democracy.
Engels expressed this splendidly . . . when he said . . . that “as long as the proletariat still
needs the state, it needs it not in the interests of freedom, but for the purpose of crushing its
antagonists; and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom, then the state, as such,
ceases to exist.” Democracy for the vast majority of the people, and suppression by force, i.e.,
exclusion from democracy, of the exploiters and oppressors of the people—this is the modification
of democracy during the transition from capitalism to Communism.
Only in Communist society, when the resistance of the capitalists has been completely
broken, when the capitalists have disappeared, when there are no classes (i.e., there is no
difference between the members of society in their relation to the social means of production), only
then “the state ceases to exist,” and “it becomes possible to speak of freedom.” Only then a really
full democracy, a democracy without any exceptions, will be possible and will be realized. And only
then will democracy itself begin to wither away due to the simple fact that, free from capitalist
slavery, from the untold horrors, savagery, absurdities and infamies of capitalist exploitation,
people will gradually become accustomed to the observance of the elementary rules of social life that
have been known for centuries and repeated for thou- sands of years in all school books; they
will become accustomed to observing them without force, without compulsion, without
subordination, without the special apparatus for compulsion which is called the state.
The Communist Emancipation of Women (1920)
V. I. Lenin
The thesis must clearly point out that real freedom for women is possible only through
communism. The inseparable connection between the social and human position of the
woman, and private property in the means of production, must be strongly brought out. . . . And
it will also supply the basis for regarding the woman question as a part of the social question,
of the workers’ problem, and so bind it firmly to the proletarian class struggle and the revolution.
The Communist women’s movement must itself be a mass movement, a part of the general mass
movement. Not only of the proletariat, but of all the exploited and oppressed, all the victims of
capitalism or any other mastery. . . . We must win over to our side the millions of toiling
women in the towns and villages. Win them for our struggles and in particular for the
communist transformation of society. There can be no real mass movement without women .

Could there be more damning proof of [female exploitation] than the callous acquiescence
of men who see how women grow worn out in the petty, monotonous household work, their
strength and time dissipated and wasted, their minds growing narrow and stale, their hearts
beating slowly, their will weakened? Of course, I am not speaking of the ladies of the bourgeoisie
who shove onto servants the responsibility of all household work, including the care of children.
What I am saying applies to the overwhelming majority of women, to the wives of workers
and to those who stand all day in a factory.
So few men—even among the proletariat—realize how much effort and trouble they could
save women, even quite do away with, if they were to lend a hand in “woman’s work.” But no,
that is contrary to the “right and dignity of a man.” They want their peace and comfort. The
home life of the woman is a daily sacrifice to a thousand unimportant trivialities. The old master
right of the man still lives in secret. His slave takes her revenge, almost secretly. The backwardness
of women, their lack of understanding for the revolutionary ideals of the man decrease his joy
and determination in fighting. They are like little worms which, unseen slowly but surely rot and
corrode. I know the life of the worker, and not only from books. Our Communist work among
the women, our political work, embraces a great deal of educational work among men. We must
root out the old “master” idea to its last and smallest root, in the party and among the masses.
That is one of our political tasks, just as is the urgently necessary task of forming a staff of
men and women comrades, well trained in theory and practice, to carry on party activity among
working women.
The government of the proletarian dictatorship, together with the Communist Party and
trade unions, is of course leaving no stone unturned in the effort to overcome the backward ideas
of men and women, to destroy the old Communist psychology. In law there is naturally complete
equality of rights for men and women. And everywhere there is evidence of a sincere wish to put
this equality into practice. We are bringing the women into the social economy, into legislation
and government. All educational institutions are open to them, so that they can increase their
professional and social capacities. We are establishing communal kitchens and public eatinghouses, laundries and repair shops, infant asylums, kindergartens, children’s homes, educational
institutes of all kinds. In short, we are seriously carrying out the demand in our program for the
transference of the economic and educational functions of the separate household to society.
That will mean freedom for the women from the old household drudgery and dependence on
man. That enables her to exercise to the full her talents and her inclinations. . . . We have the
most advanced protective laws for women workers in the world, and the officials of the organized
workers carry them out.
Stalin: Introduction
After establishing his dictatorship over the Communist Party, Stalin moved
to consolidate his control over all aspects of Soviet society. Stalin’s practical mind was
in direct contrast to the ideologue Trotsky. Stalin rejected Trotsky’s emphasis on
immediate world revolution and embarked on the rapid, large-scale industrialization
of the Soviet Union. He sought to create “socialism in one country” and understood
that Lenin’s revolution had taken place in at best an imperfectly industrialized country,
one that would have difficulty competing with the productive capacity of Western
capitalism. In the mid-1920s, Stalin decided to continue the New Economic Policy
(NEP) that Lenin had developed to establish rudimentary capitalism and increase
production among shop workers and peasants. But by 1928, he had taken steps to
replace this with an economy planned and directed by the state. In 1928, the first
Five-Year Plan was introduced for “expansion of the national economy.” The plan
prioritized heavy industry and the construction of steel mills, dams for the production
of hydraulic electricity, and plants for the production of automobiles and chemicals
The goals of this “command economy” were impressive: steel production was
to go from 4.2 million tons to 10 million tons; coal from 35 million to · 150 million
tons, electric power from 5 million to 22 million kilowatt-hours. In the following
speech, Stalin explains the importance of industrialization.
“Either Perish or Overtake Capitalistic Countries” (1931)
Joseph Stalin
Science, technical experience, knowledge, are all things that can be acquired. We may not have
them today, but tomorrow we will. The main thing is to have the passionate Bolshevik desire to
master technique, to master the science of production. Everything can be achieved, everything
can be overcome, if there is a passionate desire to do so.
It is sometimes asked whether it is not possible to slow down the tempo somewhat, to put
a check on the movement. No, comrades, it is not possible! The tempo must not be reduced!
On the contrary, we must increase it as much as is within our powers and possibilities. This is
dictated to us by our obligations to the workers and peasants of the USSR. This is dictated
to us by our obligations to the working class of the whole world . . . . To slacken the tempo
would mean falling behind. And those who fall behind get beaten. But we do not want to be
beaten. No, we refuse to be beaten! . . .
In the past we had no fatherland, nor could we have one. But now that we have
overthrown capitalism and power is in our hands, in the hands of the people, we have a
fatherland, and we will defend its independence. Do you want our socialist fatherland to
be beaten and to lose its independence? If you do not want this you must put an end to its
backwardness in the shortest possible time and develop genuine Bolshevik tempo in
building up its socialist system of economy. There is no other way. That is why Lenin said
on the eve of the October Revolution: “Either perish, or overtake and outstrip the advanced
capitalist countries.” We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must
make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or we shall be crushed.
Collectivized agriculture, wherein all land was owned by the proletariat and worked in
common for the benefit of the whole community, had always been considered an integral
aspect of communism. Although Karl Marx had little to say about its organization, this was a
preeminent problem for Lenin and later Stalin. Lenin had conceived of the peasantry as a rural
proletariat of agricultural workers who also belonged to the “working class.” All income after
expenses and taxes from the collective farm were to be shared based on the total number of
workdays performed by each member of the collective. The farmers were also permitted a
“private plot” of not more than one acre for use as a garden, and a cow, pigs, and chickens.
In the 1920s the government offered special subsidies and favorable tax treatments to join
the collective farms, but by 1928 only one peasant in sixty had joined. The first Five-Year
Plan called for 17.5 percent of the cultivated land to be organized as collective farms. But there
was great resistance, especially from a class of prosperous middle- class farmers called Kulaks.
They had prospered because of their efficiency and expected to reap the benefits of their
dedicated labor. Stalin decided to force the issue and declared the Kulaks to be -class enemies,
as the following account confirms. Communist squads from the cities were sent into the
countryside to seize the grain and livestock of the Kulaks. In response, the Kulaks often burned
their property in defiance. They were executed by the thousands.
“Collectivization and the Liquidation of the Kulaks” (1929)
Joseph Stalin
“Can Soviet power and the work of socialist construction rest for any length of time on two
different foundations: on the most large-scale and concentrated socialist industry, and the
most scattered and backward, small-commodity peasant farming? No, they cannot. Sooner or
later this would be bound to end in the complete collapse of the whole national economy.
What, then, is the solution? The solution lies in enlarging the agricultural units, in
making agriculture capable of accumulation, of expanded reproduction, and in thus
transforming the agricultural bases of our national economy. But how are the agricultural
units to be enlarged?
There are two ways of doing this. There is the capitalist way, which is to enlarge the
agricultural units by introducing capitalism in agriculture-a way which leads to the
impoverishment of the peasantry and to the development of capitalist enterprises in
agriculture. We reject this way as incompatible with the Soviet economic system.
There is a second way: the socialist way, which is to enlarge the agricultural units to
introduce collective farms and state farms in agriculture, the way which leads to the
amalgamation of the small-peasant farms into large collective farms, employing machinery
and scientific methods of farming, and capable of developing further, for such agricultural
enterprises can achieve expanded reproduction.
And so, the question stands as follows: either one way or the other, either back-to
capitalism, or forward- to socialism. There is no third way, nor can there be . . . .
What does this mean? It means that we have passed from the policy of restricting the
exploiting proclivities of the Kulaks to the policy of eliminating the Kulaks as a class. This
means that we have made, and are still making, one of the decisive turns in our whole policy . . .
Could we have undertaken such an offensive against the Kulaks five years or three
years ago? Could we then have counted on success in such an offensive? No, we could not.
That would have been the most dangerous adventurism . . . . Why? Because we still
lacked a wide network of state and collective farms in the rural districts which could be
used as strongholds in a determined offensive against the Kulaks. Because at that time we
were not yet able to substitute for the capitalist production of the Kulaks the socialist
production of the collective farms and state farms . . . .
Now we are able to carry on a determined offensive against the Kulaks, to break their
resistance, to eliminate them as a class and substitute for their output the output of the
collective farms and state farms. No, the Kulaks are being expropriated by the masses of poor
and middle peasants themselves, by t h e e masses who are putting solid collectivization into
practice. Now, the expropriation of the Kulaks in the regions of solid collectivization is no
longer just an administrative measure. Now, the expropriation of the Kulaks is an integral part
of the formation and development of the collective farms. Consequently it is now ridiculous
and foolish to discourse on the expropriation of the Kulaks. You do not lament the loss of the
hair of one who has been beheaded.
There is another question which seems no less ridiculous: whether the Kulaks should be
permitted to join the collective farms. Of course not, for they are sworn enemies of the
collective-farm movement.
“The Gulag: Stalin’s Sadistic Nature Thirsted for Blood”
Anonymous Eyewitness (1938)
Certain Trotskyites, including Vladimir Ivanov, Kossior, and Trotsky’s son, Sergei Sedov, a
modest and likeable youth, who had imprudently refused to follow his parents into exile in 1928,
were taken in a special convoy to Moscow. We can only believe that Stalin was not satisfied
simply to hurl them _ into the tundra; his sadistic nature thirsted not only for blood; he wished
first to immeasurably humiliate them and torture them, coercing them into false self-accusations.
Ivanov and Kossior disappeared without trace behind the walls of the Lubyanka prison. As for
Sergei Sedov, after a “treatment” at the Lubyanka he was “tried” at Sverdlovsk, where he had
worked as an engineer at the electric station; according to the newspaper stories, “he recalled
having devoted himself to acts of sabotage” and other “crimes,” for which he was condemned
to be shot. . . .
The whole winter of 1937-38 some prisoners, encamped in barracks at the brickyard, starved
and waited for a decision regarding their fate. Finally, in March, three NKVD [Secret Police]
officers, with Kashketin at their head, arrived by plane at Vorkuta, coming from Moscow. They
came to the brickyard to interrogate the prisoners. Thirty to forty were called each day,
superficially questioned five to ten minutes each, rudely insulted, forced to listen to vile namecalling and obscenities. Some were greeted with punches in the face; Lt. Kashketin himself
several times beat up one of them, the Old Bolshevik Virap Virapov, a former member of the
Central Committee of Armenia . . . .
Two days later, there was a new call, this time of forty names. Once more there was a ration of
bread. Some, out of exhaustion, could no longer move; they were promised a ride in a
cart. Holding their breath, the prisoners remaining in the barracks heard the grating of the
snow under the feet of the departing convoy. For a long time there was no sound; but all
on the watch still listened. Nearly an hour passed in this way. Then, again, shots
resounded in the tundra; this time, they came from much further away, in the direction of
the narrow railway which passed three kilometers from the brickyard. The second
“convoy” definitely convinced those remaining behind that they had been irremediably
The executions in the tundra lasted the whole month of April and part of May. Usually one day
out of two, or one day out of three, thirty to forty prisoners were called. It is characteristic to
note that each time, some common criminals, repeaters, were included. In order to terrorize the
prisoners, the officials, from time to time, made publicly known by means of local radio, the list
of those shot. Usually broadcasts began as follows: “For counter-revolutionary agitation, sabotage,
brigandage in the camps, refusal to work, attempts to escape, the following have been shot . . .”
followed by a list of names of some political prisoners mixed with a group of common criminals.
At the beginning of May, a group of women were shot. . . . At the time of execution of
a male prisoner, his imprisoned wife was automatically liable to capital punishment;
and when it was a question of well-known members of the Opposition, this applied
equally to any of his children over the age of twelve.
Winston Churchill
and the Sinews of Peace Address
March 5, 1946
Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri
This speech may be regarded as the most important Churchill delivered as Leader of the Opposition (1945-1951). It
contains certain phrases “the special relationship,” “the sinews of peace”-which at once entered into general use,
and which have survived. But it is the passage on “the iron curtain” which attracted immediate international
attention, and had incalculable impact upon public opinion in the United States and in Western Europe. Russian
historians date the beginning of the Cold War from this speech. In its phraseology, in its intricate drawing together
of several themes to an electrifying climax – his speech may be regarded as a technical classic.
The President of Westminster College spoke first and then introduced President Harry S Truman. Truman
introduced Churchill. The text of the speech follows. Churchill ad-libbed at times, so the words Churchill delivered
will depart occasionally from the text he prepared.
You can listen to the speech at History and Politics Out Loud http://www.hpol.org . The link for the speech is:
I am glad to come to Westminster College this afternoon, and am complimented that you should
give me a degree. The name “Westminster” is somehow familiar to me. I seem to have heard of it
before. Indeed, it was at Westminster that I received a very large part of my education in politics,
dialectic, rhetoric, and one or two other things. In fact we have both been educated at the same,
or similar, or, at any rate, kindred establishments.
It is also an honor, perhaps almost unique, for a private visitor to be introduced to an academic
audience by the President of the United States. Amid his heavy burdens, duties, and
responsibilities – unsought but not recoiled from – the President has traveled a thousand miles to
dignify and magnify our meeting here to-day and to give me an opportunity of addressing this
kindred nation, as well as my own countrymen across the ocean, and perhaps some other
countries too. The President has told you that it is his wish, as I am sure it is yours, that I should
have full liberty to give my true and faithful counsel in these anxious and baffling times. I shall
certainly avail myself of this freedom, and feel the more right to do so because any private
ambitions I may have cherished in my younger days have been satisfied beyond my wildest
dreams. Let me, however, make it clear that I have no official mission or status of any kind, and
that I speak only for myself. There is nothing here but what you see.
I can therefore allow my mind, with the experience of a lifetime, to play over the problems
which beset us on the morrow of our absolute victory in arms, and to try to make sure with what
strength I have that what has been gained with so much sacrifice and suffering shall be preserved
for the future glory and safety of mankind.
The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for
the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring
accountability to the future. If you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty
done but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement. Opportunity is
here now, clear and shining for both our countries. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will
bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that constancy of mind,
persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall guide and rule the conduct of
the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove
ourselves equal to this severe requirement.
When American military men approach some serious situation they are wont to write at the head
of their directive the words “over-all strategic concept.” There is wisdom in this, as it leads to
clarity of thought. What then is the over-all strategic concept which we should inscribe today? It
is nothing less than the safety and welfare, the freedom and progress, of all the homes and
families of all the men and women in all the lands. And here I speak particularly of the myriad
cottage or apartment homes where the wage-earner strives amid the accidents and difficulties of
life to guard his wife and children from privation and bring the family up in the fear of the Lord,
or upon ethical conceptions which often play their potent part.
To give security to these countless homes, they must be shielded from the two giant marauders,
war and tyranny. We all know the frightful disturbances in which the ordinary family is plunged
when the curse of war swoops down upon the bread-winner and those for whom he works and
contrives. The awful ruin of Europe, with all its vanished glories, and of large parts of Asia
glares us in the eyes. When the designs of wicked men or the aggressive urge of mighty States
dissolve over large areas the frame of civilized society, humble folk are confronted with
difficulties with which they cannot cope. For them all is distorted, all is broken, even ground to
When I stand here this quiet afternoon I shudder to visualize what is actually happening to
millions now and what is going to happen in this period when famine stalks the earth. None can
compute what has been called “the unestimated sum of human pain.” Our supreme task and duty
is to guard the homes of the common people from the horrors and miseries of another war. We
are all agreed on that.
Our American military colleagues, after having proclaimed their “over-all strategic concept” and
computed available resources, always proceed to the next step-namely, the method. Here again
there is widespread agreement. A world organization has already been erected for the prime
purpose of preventing war, UNO, the successor of the League of Nations, with the decisive
addition of the United States and all that means, is already at work. We must make sure that its
work is fruitful, that it is a reality and not a sham, that it is a force for action, and not merely a
frothing of words, that it is a true temple of peace in which the shields of many nations can some
day be hung up, and not merely a cockpit in a Tower of Babel. Before we cast away the solid
assurances of national armaments for self-preservation we must be certain that our temple is
built, not upon shifting sands or quagmires, but upon the rock. Anyone can see with his eyes
open that our path will be difficult and also long, but if we persevere together as we did in the
two world wars – though not, alas, in the interval between them – I cannot doubt that we shall
achieve our common purpose in the end.
I have, however, a definite and practical proposal to make for action. Courts and magistrates
may be set up but they cannot function without sheriffs and constables. The United Nations
Organization must immediately begin to be equipped with an international armed force. In such a
matter we can only go step by step, but we must begin now. I propose that each of the Powers
and States should be invited to delegate a certain number of air squadrons to the service of the
world organization. These squadrons would be trained and prepared in their own countries, but
would move around in rotation from one country to another. They would wear the uniform of
their own countries but with different badges. They would not be required to act against their
own nation, but in other respects they would be directed by the world organization. This might
be started on a modest scale and would grow as confidence grew. I wished to see this done after
the first world war, and I devoutly trust it may be done forthwith.
It would nevertheless be wrong and imprudent to entrust the secret knowledge or experience of
the atomic bomb, which the United States, Great Britain, and Canada now share, to the world
organization, while it is still in its infancy. It would be criminal madness to cast it adrift in this
still agitated and un-united world. No one in any country has slept less well in their beds because
this knowledge and the method and the raw materials to apply it, are at present largely retained in
American hands. I do not believe we should all have slept so soundly had the positions been
reversed and if some Communist or neo-Fascist State monopolized for the time being these dread
agencies. The fear of them alone might easily have been used to enforce totalitarian systems
upon the free democratic world, with consequences appalling to human imagination. God has
willed that this shall not be and we have at least a breathing space to set our house in order
before this peril has to be encountered: and even then, if no effort is spared, we should still
possess so formidable a superiority as to impose effective deterrents upon its employment, or
threat of employment, by others. Ultimately, when the essential brotherhood of man is truly
embodied and expressed in a world organization with all the necessary practical safeguards to
make it effective, these powers would naturally be confided to that world organization.
Now I come to the second danger of these two marauders which threatens the cottage, the home,
and the ordinary people – namely, tyranny. We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties
enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable
number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon
the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police governments. The power of the
State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating
through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties
are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not
conquered in war. But we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of
freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and
which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English
common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.
All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by
constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the
character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought
should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should
administer laws which have received the broad assent of large majorities or are consecrated by
time and custom. Here are the title deeds of freedom which should lie in every cottage home.
Here is the message of the British and American peoples to mankind. Let us preach what we
practice – let us practice – what we preach.
I have now stated the two great dangers which menace the homes of the people: War and
Tyranny. I have not yet spoken of poverty and privation which are in many cases the prevailing
anxiety. But if the dangers of war and tyranny are removed, there is no doubt that science and cooperation can bring in the next few years to the world, certainly in the next few decades newly
taught in the sharpening school of war, an expansion of material well-being beyond anything that
has yet occurred in human experience. Now, at this sad and breathless moment, we are plunged
in the hunger and distress which are the aftermath of our stupendous struggle; but this will pass
and may pass quickly, and there is no reason except human folly or sub-human crime which
should deny to all the nations the inauguration and enjoyment of an age of plenty. I have often
used words which I learned fifty years ago from a great Irish-American orator, a friend of mine,
Mr. Bourke Cockran. “There is enough for all. The earth is a generous mother; she will provide
in plentiful abundance food for all her children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and in
peace.” So far I feel that we are in full agreement. Now, while still pursuing the method of
realizing our overall strategic concept, I come to the crux of what I have traveled here to say.
Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained
without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means
a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.
This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise. Fraternal association requires not
only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems
of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading
to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and
to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the
continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air
Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the
mobility of the American Navy and Air Force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire
Forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings.
Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care
in the near future.
The United States has already a Permanent Defense Agreement with the Dominion of Canada,
which is so devotedly attached to the British Commonwealth and Empire. This Agreement is
more effective than many of those which have often been made under formal alliances. This
principle should be extended to all British Commonwealths with full reciprocity. Thus, whatever
happens, and thus only, shall we be secure ourselves and able to work together for the high and
simple causes that are dear to us and bode no ill to any. Eventually there may come – I feel
eventually there will come – the principle of common citizenship, but that we may be content to
leave to destiny, whose outstretched arm many of us can already clearly see.
There is however an important question we must ask ourselves. Would a special relationship
between the United States and the British Commonwealth be inconsistent with our over-riding
loyalties to the World Organization? I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means
by which that organization will achieve its full stature and strength. There are already the special
United States relations with Canada which I have just mentioned, and there are the special
relations between the United States and the South American Republics. We British have our
twenty years Treaty of Collaboration and Mutual Assistance with Soviet Russia. I agree with Mr.
Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, that it might well be a fifty years Treaty so far as
we are concerned. We aim at nothing but mutual assistance and collaboration. The British have
an alliance with Portugal unbroken since 1384, and which produced fruitful results at critical
moments in the late war. None of these clash with the general interest of a world agreement, or a
world organization; on the contrary they help it. “In my father’s house are many mansions.”
Special associations between members of the United Nations which have no aggressive point
against any other country, which harbor no design incompatible with the Charter of the United
Nations, far from being harmful, are beneficial and, as I believe, indispensable.
I spoke earlier of the Temple of Peace. Workmen from all countries must build that temple. If
two of the workmen know each other particularly well and are old friends, if their families are
inter-mingled, and if they have “faith in each other’s purpose, hope in each other’s future and
charity towards each other’s shortcomings” – to quote some good words I read here the other day
– why cannot they work together at the common task as friends and partners? Why cannot they
share their tools and thus increase each other’s working powers? Indeed they must do so or else
the temple may not be built, or, being built, it may collapse, and we shall all be proved again
unteachable and have to go and try to learn again for a third time in a school of war,
incomparably more rigorous than that from which we have just been released. The dark ages may
return, the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science, and what might now shower
immeasurable material blessings upon mankind, may even bring about its total destruction.
Beware, I say; time may be short. Do not let us take the course of allowing events to drift along
until it is too late. If there is to be a fraternal association of the kind I have described, with all the
extra strength and security which both our countries can derive from it, let us make sure that that
great fact is known to the world, and that it plays its part in steadying and stabilizing the
foundations of peace. There is the path of wisdom. Prevention is better than cure.
A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what
Soviet Russia and its Communist international organization intends to do in the immediate
future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies. I have a
strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people and for my wartime comrade,
Marshal Stalin. There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain – and I doubt not here also towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and
rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We understand the Russian need to be secure on her
western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to
her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas.
Above all, we welcome constant, frequent and growing contacts between the Russian people and
our own people on both sides of the Atlantic. It is my duty however, for I am sure you would
wish me to state the facts as I see them to you, to place before you certain facts about the present
position in Europe.
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the
Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe.
Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous
cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are
subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many
cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone – Greece with its immortal
glories – is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French
observation. The Russian- dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make
enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on
a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were
very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far
beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police
governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no
true democracy. Turkey and Persia are both profoundly alarmed and disturbed at the claims
which are being made upon them and at the pressure being exerted by the Moscow Government.
An attempt is being made by the Russians in Berlin to build up a quasi-Communist party in their
zone of Occupied Germany by showing special favors to groups of left-wing German leaders. At
the end of the fighting last June, the American and British Armies withdrew westwards, in
accordance with an earlier agreement, to a depth at some points of 150 miles upon a front of
nearly four hundred miles, in order to allow our Russian allies to occupy this vast expanse of
territory which the Western Democracies had conquered.
If now the Soviet Government tries, by separate action, to build up a pro-Communist Germany in
their areas, this will cause new serious difficulties in the British and American zones, and will
give the defeated Germans the power of putting themselves up to auction between the Soviets
and the Western Democracies. Whatever conclusions may be drawn from these facts – and facts
they are – this is certainly not the Liberated Europe we fought to build up. Nor is it one which
contains the essentials of permanent peace.
The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be
permanently outcast. It is from the quarrels of the strong parent races in Europe that the world
wars we have witnessed, or which occurred in former times, have sprung. Twice in our own
lifetime we have seen the United States, against their wishes and their traditions, against
arguments, the force of which it is impossible not to comprehend, drawn by irresistible forces,
into these wars in time to secure the victory of the good cause, but only after frightful slaughter
and devastation had occurred. Twice the United States has had to send several millions of its
young men across the Atlantic to find the war; but now war can find any nation, wherever it may
dwell between dusk and dawn. Surely we should work with conscious purpose for a grand
pacification of Europe, within the structure of the United Nations and in accordance with its
Charter. That I feel is an open cause of policy of very great importance.
In front of the iron curtain which lies across Europe are other causes for anxiety. In Italy the
Communist Party is seriously hampered by having to support the Communist-trained Marshal
Tito’s claims to former Italian territory at the head of the Adriatic. Nevertheless the future of
Italy hangs in the balance. Again one cannot imagine a regenerated Europe without a strong
France. All my public life I have worked for a strong France and I never lost faith in her destiny,
even in the darkest hours. I will not lose faith now. However, in a great number of countries, far
from the Russian frontiers and throughout the world, Communist fifth columns are established
and work in complete unity and absolute obedience to the directions they receive from the
Communist center. Except in the British Commonwealth and in the United States where
Communism is in its infancy, the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing
challenge and peril to Christian civilization. These are somber facts for anyone to have to recite
on the morrow of a victory gained by so much splendid comradeship in arms and in the cause of
freedom and democracy; but we should be most unwise not to face them squarely while time
The outlook is also anxious in the Far East and especially in Manchuria. The Agreement which
was made at Yalta, to which I was a party, was extremely favorable to Soviet Russia, but it was
made at a time when no one could say that the German war might not extend all through the
summer and autumn of 1945 and when the Japanese war was expected to last for a further 18
months from the end of the German war. In this country you are all so well-informed about the
Far East, and such devoted friends of China, that I do not need to expatiate on the situation there.
I have felt bound to portray the shadow which, alike in the west and in the east, falls upon the
world. I was a high minister at the time of the Versailles Treaty and a close friend of Mr. LloydGeorge, who was the head of the British delegation at Versailles. I did not myself agree with
many things that were done, but I have a very strong impression in my mind of that situation, and
I find it painful to contrast it with that which prevails now. In those days there were high hopes
and unbounded confidence that the wars were over, and that the League of Nations would
become all-powerful. I do not see or feel that same confidence or even the same hopes in the
haggard world at the present time.
On the other hand I repulse the idea that a new war is inevitable; still more that it is imminent. It
is because I am sure that our fortunes are still in our own hands and that we hold the power to
save the future, that I feel the duty to speak out now that I have the occasion and the opportunity
to do so. I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and
the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here to-day
while time remains, is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of
freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries. Our difficulties and dangers will
not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see
what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a
settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers
will become.
From what I have seen of our Russian friends and Allies during the war, I am convinced that
there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less
respect than for weakness, especially military weakness. For that reason the old doctrine of a
balance of power is unsound. We cannot afford, if we can help it, to work on narrow margins,
offering temptations to a trial of strength. If the Western Democracies stand together in strict
adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, their influence for furthering those
principles will be immense and no one is likely to molest them. If however they become divided
or falter in their duty and if these all-important years are allowed to slip away then indeed
catastrophe may overwhelm us all.
Last time I saw it all coming and cried aloud to my own fellow-countrymen and to the world,
but no one paid any attention. Up till the year 1933 or even 1935, Germany might have been
saved from the awful fate which has overtaken her and we might all have been spared the
miseries Hitler let loose upon mankind. There never was a war in all history easier to prevent by
timely action than the one which has just desolated such great areas of the globe. It could have
been prevented in my belief without the firing of a single shot, and Germany might be powerful,
prosperous and honored to-day; but no one would listen and one by one we were all sucked into
the awful whirlpool. We surely must not let that happen again. This can only be achieved by
reaching now, in 1946, a good understanding on all points with Russia under the general
authority of the United Nations Organization and by the maintenance of that good understanding
through many peaceful years, by the world instrument, supported by the whole strength of the
English-speaking world and all its connections. There is the solution which I respectfully offer to
you in this Address to which I have given the title “The Sinews of Peace.”
Let no man underrate the abiding power of the British Empire and Common-wealth. Because
you see the 46 millions in our island harassed about their food supply, of which they only grow
one half, even in war-time, or because we have difficulty in restarting our industries and export
trade after six years of passionate war effort, do not suppose that we shall not come through these
dark years of privation as we have come through the glorious years of agony, or that half a
century from now, you will not see 70 or 80 millions of Britons spread about the world and
united in defense of our traditions, our way of life, and of the world causes which you and we
espouse. If the population of the English-speaking Commonwealths be added to that of the
United States with all that such co-operation implies in the air, on the sea, all over the globe and
in science and in industry, and in moral force, there will be no quivering, precarious balance of
power to offer its temptation to ambition or adventure. On the contrary, there will be an
overwhelming assurance of security. If we adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations
and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one’s land or treasure, seeking to lay
no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men; if all British moral and material forces and
convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the high-roads of the future will be
clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time, but for a century to come.
SOURCE: Robert Rhodes James, Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963,
(Chelsea House Publishers: New York and London), vol. VII, 1943-1949, pp.7285-7293.
voice-it took me back to y�ars bef re. Martin was not ma
small talk on an autumn mormng. This was not a friendly war
ning ‘
but an order from a commander of the partisans.
“What about you, Martin?” I asked. “Are you looking out
yourself? Or are you mixed up in something again? Be carefu !
This isn’t Nazi Germany. It won’t be over in six years. This tim�
you don’t stand a chance.”
Heda Kovaly, Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague,
1941-1968 (excerpt).
Kovaly was a Holocaust survivor who then went on to
survive persecution in Stalinist Czechoslovakia.
Kovaly’s husband Rudolph was a high-ranking
government official (Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade).
Both Kovaly and her husband were Communist party
members, and her husband (a Holocaust survivor, too)
believed strongly in socialism and the work of
Czechoslovakia’s Communist government.
This chapter takes place after the Communist takeover
of February 1948, but before Rudolph’s arrest in
early-1952. After his arrest, Rudolph was tried in the socalled “Slansky Trial” (see lecture and textbook), found
guilty, and executed.
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