Author Archives: yalensis

Tukhachevsky Trial Part X: The Swan Song

Dear Readers: I have never been in that position myself, thank goodness, but people say, when a person is facing imminent violent death, there is often an overpowering need to have a final say; to justify their life; maybe impart … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part IX: The Manifesto

Vasily Ulrikh was born in Riga, Latvia, then a part of the Russian Empire. His father was a Latvian revolutionary of German descent, and his mother was a Russian noblewoman. […] In 1910, young Ulrikh returned to his native Riga … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part VIII: Ulrikh Lays An Egg

Dear Readers: Still working through Tukhachevsky’s testimony, and we still have 20 pages to go, oof! Well, once I’m done with poor old Tukh (just a few more posts, probably), I’ll leave this topic and move on. At least for … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part VII: Office Politics With Guns

Tukhachevsky,  and along with him the cream of the military cadres, perished in the struggle against the police dictatorship hovering over Red Army officers. […] The current generation of commissars means the control of the Bonapartist  clique over the military and civilian … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part VI: The Center

Dear Readers: Okay, okay, I will stop with these Yezhov quotes. I was just trying to make the point that Comrade Yezhov was not the most reliable of sources when he and his team built the frame around General Tukhachevsky. … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part V: Three-Ring Circus

Yezhov (excerpt from his final words before being executed, in 1939) For a long time I have thought about what it will feel like to go to trial, how I should behave at the trial, and I have come to … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part IV: The Elephant In The Room

Yezhov (while being interrogated by the NKVD in 1939): I purged 14,000 chekists. But my guilt lies in the fact that I did not purge enough of them. My practice was as follows: I would assign the task of interrogating … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part III: Yakir

Yezhov (while being interrogated by a Chekist named Rodos, on July 24, 1939): “I seem to remember a few conversations with Frinovskii about poisons. But I do not remember that I gave him any directives about their preparation and use.” … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part II: The First Defendant Takes The Stage

Dear Readers: First, as a quick housekeeping note, as I work my way through this photocopy of the typed transcript: Whenever I reference a page number, it is not the number on the transcript itself, which is 2 pages off; … Continue reading

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Tukhachevsky Trial Part I: Intro

Dear Readers: To my previous post, the movie review of “Death of Stalin”, commenter Seward posted a very interesting remark, of which the final paragraph is most relevant to my current post: Seward Re Stalin: In an 11-day group tour … Continue reading

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