Secret leak

Author Leonid Mlechin
Secret report leak, Khrushchev, report, Moscow, party, congress, meetings, Stalin, After, West, Reuters, cult, personality, secret, journalist, only, Graevsky, Victor, agencies, general

Photo: Ustinov Alexander / Union of Photo Artists of Russia
After the Twentieth Congress, Khrushchev’s report on the personality cult of Stalin was published only abroad. In our country, it was read in closed meetings.
There are legends about how the secret report came to the West. Historians have no doubt: this is the work of foreign intelligence services. That's just whose?
The head of the Federal Intelligence Service (FRG), former General Reinhard Gehlen, who was engaged in espionage against the Soviet Union in the years of service in the Wehrmacht, smugly assured that it was his people who had taken the secret report from Moscow.
But there is another version: the famous Isser Harel, the head of the Israeli political intelligence "Mossad", obtained a copy of the report. He seemed to have a secretly disguised agent in Moscow who was kept in case of emergency. “As an agent for the Mossad,” historians write admiringly, “I managed to accomplish this task, beating my colleagues from other intelligence agencies, is still a mystery. And strictly stored.After the Khrushchev report was authenticated, the director of the Mossad flew to Washington. He requested a considerable price for the document: a formal agreement to exchange information with American intelligence. CIA Director Alain Dulles agreed without objection. And from that day on, all CIA agents in the Middle East began working for the Mossad. ”
In reality, the West German and Israeli intelligence agencies in Moscow had neither agents nor access to secret documents. The full text of the secret report went to the West through socialist Poland.
The Adventures of Secret Records
After the Twentieth Congress in the Central Committee of the CPSU, they made a list of the leaders of fraternal communist parties in Moscow and familiarized everyone with the report of Khrushchev. Upon learning of his secret speech, the leaders of other Communist Parties also asked to be notified and, through the Soviet embassies, received copies of the report.
Former employee of the Polish Press Agency Viktor Grajewski is sure that he gave the Khrushchev report to the West. His girlfriend in Warsaw worked in the office of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party, Edward Ochab. On her desk he saw the text of the report.Asked to read. Turning the last page, he was shocked by what he had read. He took the report to an Israeli diplomat at the Israeli embassy in Warsaw. Viktor Graevsky believed that the world should recognize what Khrushchev said: his words completely change the perception of what is happening in the Soviet Union.
Secret report leak, Khrushchev, report, Moscow, party, congress, meetings, Stalin, After, West, Reuters, cult, personality, secret, journalist, only, Graevsky, Victor, agencies, general

Victor Graevsky
The embassy official, whom Graevsky turned to, was a representative of not intelligence, but the security services of Shin-Bet. He took a copy of the report and sent it to his superiors. But Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion really ordered to share the text with the Americans: Washington should realize what changes are taking place in Moscow ...
This is how the report of Khrushchev fell into the hands of the CIA director Alain Dulles. He also got the laurels of the super-intelligence officer who obtained such an important document. Few people knew that his merit is small.
The text was translated into English. Allen Dulles' brother, United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, got acquainted with him. He decided to publicize the secret report of Khrushchev. June 4, 1956 that was published. An absurd situation has arisen: the United States made public the speech of the leader of the Soviet Union, and he in every possible way disowned him.
On November 13, 1956, the Deputy Chairman of the KGB, General Peter Ivashutin, reported to the Central Committee:
“The anti-Soviet émigré organization in Germany, the so-called Union of the Struggle for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, published and distributed to the displaced Soviet citizens a brochure called Khrushchev's speech at a closed meeting of the 20th CPSU Congress.” The brochure is a translation from English into Russian of a document published by the US Department of State. When comparing the report of Comrade Khrushchev NS with this pamphlet it is established that their texts are identical. ”
In other words, there was no doubt about the accuracy of the text. But the Soviet leaders pretended it was a fake.
Secret report leak, Khrushchev, report, Moscow, party, congress, meetings, Stalin, After, West, Reuters, cult, personality, secret, journalist, only, Graevsky, Victor, agencies, general

“Officially, we didn’t confirm the existence of the report,” Nikita Sergeevich recalled. “I remember how journalists asked me then what, they say, can you say about this?” I told them that I don’t know such a document and let the United States intelligence answer this question, Mr. Alain Dulles. ”
In fact, the situation was even more anecdotal: foreign diplomats working in Moscow got acquainted with the contents of the secret Khrushchev report earlier than CIA Director Alain Dulles!
Sexot Kostya as a source
The first to report on Khrushchev were the reporters of communist newspapers in Moscow. Share the news with diplomats. But other foreign correspondents also received accurate information, and without putting any effort into this: people who were obviously connected with the Soviet state security — the domestic workers and drivers — told them about the Khrushchev report on their own initiative.
A Reuters news agency correspondent, for example, was narrated by a person who called himself Kostya Orlov. A British journalist had no doubt that the alleged Kostya was a KGB agent. Who else in those days could freely meet with a foreign journalist and freely talk about dangerous political topics?
The first to report about the report was the New York Times. The article was written by the well-known journalist Harrison Salisbury, who worked in Moscow in Stalin times and understood Soviet life. True, he only reported on the very fact of the anti-Stalin speech of Khrushchev. And the next day, Reuters distributed a fairly accurate retelling of the report of the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. To divert their eyes to Reuters, they referred to certain West German Communists.In London, they did not understand that precaution was superfluous. Information leakage was conscious.
The Soviet leadership wanted the West to have an idea of ​​what was discussed at the closed session of the 20th Congress. Even during the Cold War, a certain partnership was necessary. Especially since Moscow set a course for improving relations with the outside world.
State security officers were playing a game with a Reuters correspondent with a long-range view. After the publication of the secret report to him often people who he considered agents of the KGB. You have to understand, they wanted to work with him on a permanent basis. To turn the correspondent of Reuters into a channel of influence, to broadcast through it the information with which Moscow wanted to acquaint the West. In this case, the journalist would become the most knowledgeable person in the Kremlin secrets.
The British journalist did not tempt a tempting offer. A few months later he asked his London superiors away from sin to take him home.
Deputy Chairman
Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, the Khrushchev report remained secret.The text was not published in the open press, although millions of people acquainted it with its content. A week after the congress, on March 5, 1956, the decision of the presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU was adopted:
"one. To propose the regional committees, regional committees and the Central Committee of the Communist Parties of the Union Republics to acquaint them with the report of Comrade. Khrushchev N.S. “On the cult of personality and its consequences” at the XX Congress of the CPSU of all communists and Komsomol members, as well as non-partisan activists of workers, employees and collective farmers.
2. Report Comrade. Send out Khrushchev to party organizations with a “not for print” stamp, removing the stamp “strictly secret” from the brochure. ”
The report was printed in tens of thousands of copies. He was read out in party organizations and at meetings of labor collectives throughout the country. But the text itself was protected as a state secret.
Secret report leak, Khrushchev, report, Moscow, party, congress, meetings, Stalin, After, West, Reuters, cult, personality, secret, journalist, only, Graevsky, Victor, agencies, general

On March 31, 1956, the head of the KGB, General Ivan Serov, informed the Central Committee:
“According to the KGB Administration of the Penza Region, on March 23 of this year, in the Pachelmsky District Committee of the CPSU, copy No. 34322 of Comrade Khrushchev NS’s report was lost. “On the cult of personality and its consequences”. ” The measures taken to search for positive results have not yet yielded. ”
Investigation at the direction of Moscow was carried out by an employee of the Penza regional party committee and two state security officers.It turned out that the deputy chairman of the district executive committee Frolov went to inform the communists of the Sheinsky village council and there he lost his copy. How this happened, he could not remember. Apparently, the district chief was met, as expected, he relaxed and left a precious little book somewhere. Frolov was expelled from the party and removed from work.
Unpleasant questions
At the same time, documents about falsified trials, torture of prisoners, and unjust sentences went to the leaders of the country from the prosecutor's office. The rehabilitation of innocent prisoners began. Not only individuals, but entire nations.
Many Stalinist decrees were repealed. But what to do with Stalin - did not know. There was an endless dispute: on the one hand, he committed serious crimes, on the other - under his leadership they built socialism, won the war ... To call the late leader a criminal did not turn the language. How to be a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee, who for decades worked with him hand in hand? They, too, should be responsible for the massacres.
Secret report leak, Khrushchev, report, Moscow, party, congress, meetings, Stalin, After, West, Reuters, cult, personality, secret, journalist, only, Graevsky, Victor, agencies, general

After the Twentieth Congress, the secretary of the Central Committee on ideology Shepilov spoke at a party meeting of the Academy of Social Sciences. Ruthlessly criticized Stalin.But the meeting did not like that Dmitry Trofimovich bypassed the question of the responsibility of other members of the party leadership, who kept their posts. This was frankly stated by the teachers of the Academy. The future academic Bonifatii Kedrov, the son of an active participant in the October revolution, was especially sharply speaking. Kedrov demanded that Stalin’s comrades who brought along so many innocent people be brought to justice. The hall reacted very vividly to these speeches. Shepilov hardly managed to extinguish the passions raging in the academy.
A different audience raised the question of the personal responsibility of the KGB chairman, Ivan Serov, the former deputy of Beria, for creating the state security organs. Academician Boris Chertok recalled how a party and economic asset took place in the closed scientific research institute 88, where Soviet missiles were created. The report was commissioned by the Central Committee by General Serov. His speech - about the Stalinist crimes - had a depressing effect on the audience. When he finished, in the hall there was a breaking female voice:
- Ivan Aleksandrovich! Explain where you were? Who were you, what were you doing? Probably, they shouted the loudest: “Glory to Stalin!” What right do you have to talk about Beria’s misdeeds if you were his deputy?
This was said by an elderly worker at the sheet-stamping shop.
General Serov was silent for a long time. Then he got up and said:
- I'm largely to blame. But everything is to blame, everyone sitting here. Didn't you praise Stalin in all your meetings? And how many times each of you got up and applauded to tired when you mentioned the name of Stalin at your conferences and meetings? It’s difficult for all of us, we will not bill each other ...
Of all the regional committees on the Old Square were memoranda on the discussion of the secret report. The department of party organs of the Central Committee introduced them to the party leaders. The polarization of opinions was obvious.
Secret report leak, Khrushchev, report, Moscow, party, congress, meetings, Stalin, After, West, Reuters, cult, personality, secret, journalist, only, Graevsky, Victor, agencies, general

The intelligentsia was raging and demanded answers to many questions: tell the whole truth! Even some KGB officials at party meetings expressed their discontent with incomplete criticism of Stalinism.
And to someone the story of the Stalinist crimes seemed implausible. Viktor Stukalin was in 1956 the first secretary of the Bauman district Komsomol district committee. On the district assets began to read the letter of the Central Committee of the personality cult.
“Literally, from the very first words in the hall, a murmur began,” Stukalin recalled. “Some members of the Komsomol shouted:
- Stop slandering Stalin! We were brought up by the party, and for us Stalin is not just a leader. We know his services to the country and do not want you to slander a great man.
We decided to stop reading. We declared the asset meeting closed and went up to the first secretary of the district committee of the party, Nadezhda Andreeva. I informed her in detail about what had happened. She called the party's CIM and told her everything. Apparently, not only in our Komsomol organization there was such a reaction. The CIM Bureau decided not to read this letter on large youth assets. ”
People raised by Soviet propaganda simply did not want to hear anything. They did not believe what they were told. Confused and the atmosphere itself. The text of the Khrushchev report was read in closed meetings. Public discussions were forbidden, as if they were talking about something doubtful. The absurd mystery surrounding the report at the XXth Congress gave rise to many myths, and went to the detriment of the country and Khrushchev himself.

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