The Accused

The Accused

The Accused

The Accused

Excerpt

This book is in several respects unique in the voluminous literature on contemporary Russia. Its author, a scientist of Austrian origin, and a member of the Communist Party, was arrested during the Great Purge of 1937. He was charged with having recruited a gang of Nazi terrorists to assassinate Stalin and Voroshilov during a hunting trip in the Caucasus, and to blow up the main industrial plants of the Ukrainian capital in the event of war. He confessed to all these remarkable crimes, and lived to tell the tale.

It is a tale which brings closer to the reader than any published before the inner mechanism of the most extraordinary terror regime in human history. It describes from firsthand experience how, in the so-called "political isolators" or "inner prisons" of Soviet Russia, men are prepared by special methods to confess in public to imaginary crimes. The part allocated to the author was that of an accomplice of Nikolas Bukharin, former member of the Politburo, former President of the Communist International. He was to testify that, as a member of the "Bukharinite Block," he had been instructed to kill Stalin, blow up the Kharkov plants, and so forth. He proved unfit for the part, and the producers dropped him quietly out of the cast.

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