1953 found America militarily involved in South Korea fighting against the communist North Korea government and Chinese communists.
The CIA was shipping military hardware to the French who were entrenched in a fight in Viet Nam and Laos. The CIA had helped topple the government of Iran and replaced it with Pahlevi Shah of Iran, who also was a homicidal butcher. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States. Ike as he was called had been the Supreme Allied Commander during world war two.
America had a new fear on their hands the atomic bomb. If we had achieved in creating a nuclear weapon, others could too. Hitler was only about two years away from the bomb just before he stopped all work on it earlier in the war. Russia had the bomb.
We also had a new enemy the Soviet Union. The original dispute came as a result of the US snubbing the communist government just after the revolution and the US having troops on native Russian soil during the revolution. Now, that dispute became hatred for each other on both sides.
America intervened in a number of countries and through assistance and economic rewards actively worked to contain communism. The plan was to surround Russia with US friendly countries.
The Marshall Plan pumped $12 billion into Western Europe to rebuild the country and to create trading partners as an expansion of capitolism.
Stalin retaliated and blocked off east Germany, and more importantly, west Berlin. The US was now forced to air lift suppiles over hostile skies to keep the people of west Berlin fed.
The History guide says of Stalin, An entirely unscrupulous man, Stalin consistently manipulated Communist imperialism for the greater glory of Soviet Russia and the strengthening of his own person as autocrat. He died, under somewhat mysterious circumstances, on March 5, 1953 .
Through the purges, the early mishandling of the war, the repressed society and the fear of Stalin s secret police, the famines, and the ethnic cleansing had created enemies for Stalin, even within his own ranks. The lives of those in Stalin's own inner circle were measure one hour at time and one never knew when Stalin would turn on them. Stalin had taken the writings of Marx which were very liberal, and turned them into his own brand of communism which was to the radical right he had alienated those who brought the revolution.
Stalin s outright rape of the Ukraine did not go over very well with the Ukrainians. Hatred for Stalin raged in every Ukrainian s heart.
Stalin was preparing the launch another purge in his aggressions against the Russian people, but this time, he created the doctors plot as a prelude to his new pogrom of internal genocide.
In his book THE 'DOCTORS' CASE , AND, THE DEATH OF STALIN by Bill Bland of the UK writes and quoting from (Y. Rapoport: 'The Doctors' Plot: Stalin's Last Crime': London; 1991; p. 77).
" . . . Lvdia Timashuk a rank-and-file doctor at the Kremlin Hospital . . . . discovered intentional distortions in medical conclusions made by major medical experts who served as consultants in the hospital. She exposed their criminal designs and thus opened the eyes of security bodies to the existence of the infamous conspiracy".
Bland goes on "One day Stalin called us to the Kremlin and read us a letter from a woman doctor named Timashuk. She claimed that Zhdanov died because the doctors on the case purportedly administered improper treatment to him, treatment intended to lead to his death". (N. S. Khrushchev: 'Khrushchev Remembers'; London; 1971; p. 283). The arrests started and the trials began.
Nine doctors, to include Stalin s own personal physician were implicated
Professor M. S. Vovsi, therapeutist
Professor V.I. Vinogradov, therapeutist and Stalin s personal physician
Professor M.B. Kogan, therapeutist
Professor B.B. Kogan, therapeutist
Professor P. I. Yegorov, therapeutist
Professor A.I.Feldman, otolaryngologist
Professor Ya.G.Etinger, therapeutist
Professor Grinshtein, neuropathologist
G.I. Maiorov, therapeutist
Stalin now had even more enemies. The medical profession. The doctors were charged with having murdered Andrey Zhadnov and Alelsandr Scherbakov, and with attempting to murder Marshals Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Leonid Covorov, and Ivan Konev, together with General Sergey Shtemenko and Admiral Cordey Iavchenko.
Stalin increased 10 fold the numbers of those who would have preferred to see the dictator dead when he unleashed the Georgia Plot. Stalin s first victim was Vilian Zodelava and he was removed as leader of the Georgian Young Communist League.
Next, prominent Georgian communists were accused of embezzling state funds, stealing automobiles and plundering state property. (D. M. Lang: 'A Modern History of Georgia'; London; 1962; p. 261).
Stalin dispatched Beria to oversee the purges and to clean up "At that time (spring 1952 - Ed.) it became known that Mr. Beria himself had gone to Georgia to clean up a situation compounded of widespread graft and other types of corruption. Later it became known that Premier Stalin himself had had to intervene to order the purge in the Georgian Communist Party". ('New York Times', 3 January 1953; p. 3).
Stalin turned on those who had supported him and were appointed to their positions via his own request.
The next victim of Stalin s madness was Lieutenant-General Nikolay Vlasik. Vlasik had been Stalin s friend and his personal secretary for 25 years. He has apply been noted as being Stalin's closest confidant up till 1952, and Stalin's chief of personal security.
Stalin claimed to have uncovered a leak of information to outsiders and Vlasik was the chief suspect.
Even Khrushchev was implicated by Stalin himself. Khrushchev was able to convince Stalin that he was not responsible for any leak and Vlasik was picked up near the Kremlin gates and put into the Lubyanka - two weeks later he died inside the dreaded prison of an undisclosed 'illness'. The undisclosed illness was probably lead poisoning from to a bullet to the back on the head.
The charges of disloyalty leveled at Vlasik were completely false.
Stalin also wanted war with the United States Russia was bankrupt, it did not have the logistics to physically attack the US. Russia did have long ranger bombers and nuclear weapons.
Stalin had created a plan to expel all Jews from Russia and provoke a reaction from the United States. He wanted to goad the US into a nuclear war.
The thought of another world war was frightening enough let alone one fought with atomic bombs. There were those who probably wanted to prevent this at all costs. More reasons to get Stalin out of the picture once and for all.
There were also soviet moderates who wanted a return to the ideology of Marx. Stalin had gone too far, too brutally, and too far away from the intention of the revolution. Stalin had to go.
Stalin's personal bodyguards, Okhrana No. 1, had been reduced to only a small group of military members. The new group had no experience or training as security forces or as body guards and this must have fanned Stalin s psychosis even more and driving him deeper into his paranoid delusions.
Major General Petr Kosynkin, the deputy Commander of the Kremlin Guard, died of a heart attack according to the Kremlin, but Kosynkin had been in the best of health only just before according to his physical. Stalin s trusted commander and shield was dead.
Stalin was virtually alone and unprotected.
At the end of World War Two, General Patton told Eisenhower, who was the Supreme Allied Commander; America should now turn on Russia because Patton had a gut level feeling that America was going to have trouble with Stalin. Eisenhower fired Patton for the remark. Eisenhower was now the president of the US, and one wonders if he wasn t regretting not heading Patton s warning.
One can see the case building to warrant suspicions of an assassination theory behind Stalin s death there were those who had the cause and means to do so. Stalin s insanity had made him a complete liability to Russia. Stalin s assassination of Trotskey was seen by moderates as the final blow to the original goals of the revolution. Under Stalin, Russia had become a nation imploding in upon itself through mass executions, deportations, and terror. Even associating with Stalin, one took their life into their own hands. Stalin had taken Russia and the revolution turned it upside down until Russia became one large concentration camp.
On the night 28 February 1953, Stalin and his closest associates had been drinking and watching a movie at the Kremlin. When their evening broke up, Stalin returned to his dacha and he told his body guards he wanted to be left alone, and they went off to their quarters to sleep very unlike Stalin.
Testimony by Pyotr Lozgachev, one of Stalin s bodyguards, states that the guards had started getting very concerned because Stalin had not come out of his room the next morning. At 18.30 a light came on in Stalin's rooms so the guards relaxed a bit, but by 22:00 they became very nervous and went into Stalin s room.
Lozgachev was the first person to enter the room and there was a very crippled Stalin.
By Lozgachev s account "I hurried up to him and said 'Comrade Stalin, what's wrong?' He'd, you know, wet himself while he was lying there. He made some incoherent noise, like "Dz dz". His pocketwatch and copy of Pravda were lying on the floor. The watch showed 6.30. That's when it must have happened to him."
Edvard Radzinski maintains that the delay of Stalin s body guards, during 1 March, to check on the soviet dictator was by design. Mr. Radzinsk believes that Stalin was injected with poison by Khrustalev, under the orders of his master, KGB chief Lavrenty Beria.
This scenario is highly unlikely and I would disagree with it. Beria would have never trusted something of this magnitude to be handled by a common soldier. Stalin s bodyguard s tenuous grip on life was directly relevant to Stalin being alive. They would have blown the plot wide open.
Stalin s guards were supposed to have called Stalin s inner circle Beria and Khrushchev, immediately upon seeing an incapacitated Stalin. However another theory claims that only Beria was summoned and he took charge of the entire situation. Beria was supposed to have delayed in calling the Kremlin doctors until the next morning in hopes that the stroke would have reached fatal level.
H. Salisbury: 'Stalin's Russia and After'; London; 1952, states in his book "And what of Stalin himself? In the pink of condition. In the best of spirits. That was the word of three foreigners who saw him in February - Bravo, the Argentine Amassador; Menon, the Indian, and Dr. Kitchlu, an Indian active in the peace movement".
Khrushchev s narrative says that the doctors arrived at about 0500, 2 March.
J. Lewis & P. Whitehead: 'Stalin: A Time for Judgement'; London; 1990 asserts "There is a mystery about what had happened to Stalin, His guards had become alarmed when he had not asked for his evening snack at 11 p.m. . . . The security men picked him up and put him on a sofa, but doctors were not summoned until the morning. Stalin lay helpless and untreated for the better part of a day, making recuperative treatment much harder. .
Why did the Party leaders prolong the delay? Some historians see evidence of premeditated murder. Abdurakhman Avtorhanov sees the cause in Stalin's visible preparation of a purge to rival those of the thirties".
D. Volkogonov wrote "Physicians were finally brought in to the comatose leader after a twelve- or fourteen hour interval".
H. Salisbury: adds more to the conspiracy theory "What a strange quirk of fate, I thought, that Stalin should lie dying just a few weeks after the Kremlin's own doctors had been accused of plotting precisely such a death. A very strange and curious quirk of fate.
But was it just a quirk? . . . Was it possible that these powerful and able Soviet leaders, together with their colleagues in the Army, had stood idly by and taken no steps to halt the creeping terror that was certain to destroy almost all of them. . . .
While murder cannot be proved, there was no question that motive for murder existed. . . . For . . . if Stalin were dying a natural death. it was the luckiest thing that had ever happened to the men who stood closest to him".
Stalin s autopsy report validates that he had suffered a stroke, lingered for several days, and finally succumbed after the part of the brain that controls involuntary actions (such as breathing, heart function, etc.) became so damaged it shut down. There is no question about that. No poison was found in his system and we can rule unnatural causes.
A stroke does have symptoms that may suddenly appear this would explain why Stalin was seen in excellent health only a month before. One of the lesser symptoms of an impending stroke is sudden nausea, fever and vomiting. Stalin could have been experiencing these symptoms when he told his body guards to leave him alone thinking he had contracted the flu.
The question is the delay in seeking medical treatment which is evident. The delay in seeking treatment was by design. To save Russia from complete and utter destruction, either through Stalin s pending purge which would have surpassed the purges of the 1930 s, or a nuclear war initiated by Stalin, he had to be stopped by those who loved Russia.
A conversation between Nikolay Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, that Khrushchev wrote about in his memoirs is supposed to have been:
Khrushchev 'Stalin's not going to pull through. . . . You know what posts Beria will take for himself?'
Bulganin 'Which one?'
Khrushchev 'He will try and make himself Minister of State Security. No matter what happens, we can't let him do this. If he becomes Minister of State Security it will be the beginning of the end for us'.
Khrushchev Bulganin said he agreed with me".
Beria had every thing to gain by Stalin s death the post would have given Beria absolute power to start the killings all over again, and Beria loved nothing better than killing.
Marshall Zhukov arrested Beria, and Beria was brought into detention.
Finally on July of 1953, the official announcement came . that Mr. Lavrenty Beria, First Vice-Chairman and Minister of Internal Affairs, had been expelled from the Communist Party and removed from his Ministerial posts as an 'enemy of the people"'.
Beria made sure that when he fell, others fell too, Beria betrayed:
Vladimir Dekanozov, recently Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs
Sergey Goglidze, former Georgian People's Commissar of Internal Affairs, and recently an official of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs
Bogdan Kobulov, former Georgian Deputy Commissar of Internal Affairs
Vsevolod Merkulov, former USSR Minister of State Security, recently USSR Minister of State Control
Pavel Meshik, formerly an official of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, recently Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs
Lev Vlodzimirsky, former Head of the Section of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for Investigating Specially Important Cases.
Marshal Ivan Konev was appointed as the judge for the trial of the enemies of the state and Roman Rudenko was appointed as prosecution.
All the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to death by shooting, the sentence being carried out on 23 December 1953.
The old guard of Stalin was gone and Khrushchev was now in control of the government.
Khrushchev s career was terminated just after the Cuban missile crisis. The US had long range Jupiter Missiles in Turkey capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Cuba was seething at the snub by the US government and had turned to the Soviet Union for assistance, and with that assistance came the delivery of long range ballistic missiles.
Russia and the United States had missiles pointed directly at each others soft under bellies. President Kennedy launched a navel blockade around Cuba and was prepared to take hostile action should anymore Soviet ships try to enter Cuban waters.
American submarines and war ships were fully armed and patrolling the waters around Cube with a single directive shoot to kill upon Kennedy s order.
The Soviet Union and the United States were within inches of nuclear war. Tensions became unbearable and the air of the world hung heavy with people on both sides of the ocean trembling with raw fear.
The US military was brought to the highest state of alert and were fully prepared to take out Cuba and Soviet Russia.
Through quiet diplomatic channels, the US agreed to obsolete the Jupiter missiles and not replace them if the Soviet Union withdrew their missiles from Cuba. The negotiations were held at the highest level of government and the onus was now on the Soviet Union to accept the compromise or face doomsday.
Khrushchev agreed to the terms and the Russian ships turned back towards Russia.
The Russian people never knew about all the factors involved and they saw Khrushchev as a weakling. The Soviet Military was furious that Khrushchev had not seized the initiative. All of which is very much not the case it was Khrushchev who actually deescalated the crisis when he accepted the deal.
The American people were told that President Kennedy had backed the Soviet Union down. We were never told the truth.
We were both lied to.
America was ready for war, make no mistake about it; the Soviet Union we grew to know under Stalin had made us very nervous about anything that said Russia. We were fully prepared to raze the Soviet Union with a fireball of incineration because of Stalin s threats and his own actions as a despotic dictator who defied all logic and reasoning. Stalin was unpredictable and that makes people very nervous. We only knew that Stalin was a mad man who out did Hitler in terms of a homicidal totalitarian leadership the man who would be king.
Khrushchev cannot be judged too harshly. Inspite of his antics, taking his shoe off at the UN and pounding on his desk, to the rather abrupt comments him and Nixon exchanged, Nikita Khrushchev saved Russia and America from a smoldering demise on a scale mankind has never, and hopefully, will never see.
Khrushchev did more for Russia in those 10 days of the crisis than anyone can ever imagine.
Through Khrushchev, cooler heads now worked through the reins of government the hot line between Russia and the United States is in part a contribution of Khrushchev.
At the Twentieth Party Congress in February 1956, just after the successful test of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, Khrushchev formally broke with Stalin's revolutionary tenet that a new world war was inevitable. "Either peaceful coexistence or the most destructive war in history," he declared, "there is no third way."
If Khrushchev was involved in the delay of medical treatment that caused the death of Stalin, his actions turned out to be the best for Russia and the United States. To that end, Khrushchev, should be thanked because neither of us would be alive today.