Stalin’s 1937 Counter-Revolution Against Trotskyism

Glorious 1937! In that year Stalin finally came to understand that it was Zionism, not Communism, that was being built in the USSR and he destroyed it. After 1937, Suvorov and Kutuzov, Nakhimov and Ushakov, Bogdan Khmelnitsky and the “Knight in Tiger Skin” became the national symbols. And the Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians – all those whom the Zionists had destroyed and left to rot in prisons, labeled “nationalists” or “anti-Semites – returned. General Viktor Filatov[1]

In his book Myths and the Truth about 1937: Stalin’s Counter-Revolution (YAZA-PRESS, Moscow, 2010, 288 pp.), Andrei Burovsky assumes the role of devil’s advocate or apologist for the crimes committed by Josef Stalin during the time of  “The Great Purge.”

This is a highly revisionist point of view, so a bit of biographical information is in order. Burovsky was born in Taganrog in SW Russia in July 1955. He majored in history at the Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical Institute, defended his Candidate’s Dissertation (The Historical and Cultural Stages of the Development of the Paleolithic Yenisei River) at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Archaeology in 1987, and defended his Doctoral Dissertation (Problematics in Anthropo-Ecology in 1996. He was made a professor in 1998 and since that time has had a position at Krasnoyarsk University.

Burovsky is a prolific author (see, e.g., here). Aside from Burovsky’s 12 books on Jewish topics (I previously reviewed his Empire of the Intellect for TOO), he has written on a variety of subjects, including  Noogenesis and the Formation of the Noosphere School, 1996; Anthropo-Ecosophia, 2009; Petersburg as a Geographic Phenomenon, 2003; Arian Ancestors, 2005;The Great Civil [sic] War, 1939-45, 2010; Russian Atlantis, 2007; The Novgorod Alternative: The True Capital of RusPeter the First: The Accursed Emperor, etc.

Burovsky’s view is that the events of 1937 did not represent the usual case in which the devil under indictment is accused of crimes against innocent victims, but rather a case in which the devil is alleged to have committed crimes against another devil of even greater evil; it was the war between Stalin and Trotsky. True, Stalin had succeeded in exiling his nemesis in 1929, but the spirit of Trotskyism, according to Burovsky, had permeated the entire communist establishment and the Red dictator was determined to eradicate it.

The author refers to the war between the two devils as Stalin’s counter-revolution because, until Stalin undertook the great purge, the revolution and the Communist state had been overwhelmingly a Jewish enterprise with Lenin and Trotsky the leading lights. The goal of the Trotskyites, as demonstrated by the Comintern [Communist International], was to establish a permanent worldwide revolution “to fight by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet Republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state.”

By this definition, it was quite obvious that Trotsky and his cohorts were embarking upon a reckless and bloody adventure to establish a utopia based on nothing except their own fanciful dreams. To accomplish this, agents in every important country, usually citizens of those countries, either volunteered or were recruited to undermine the bourgeois government under which they currently lived and agitate for world revolution.

According to Burovsky, because Trotsky and a plethora of fellow Jews already held sway in the Soviet Union, many of their coreligionists in the free world both openly (when possible) and secretly (if not possible) admired the accomplishment of their fellow Jews and lent their services in the establishment of the proletarian utopia. Trotsky was idolized by a very large number of Jews on the left—an entirely mainstream movement among Jews at the time. This is an example of the Jewish guru phenomenon so characteristic of Jewish intellectual and political movements.

For Burovsky and many outsiders, the internal political wars within the Soviet Union seemed more like the falling out of a gang of thieves who had stolen the Russian Empire and who were now fighting over the spoils. And thieves they were. Having first hijacked the country and then looted the Russian banks and citizens of their wealth, Lenin, Trotsky, Radek, Kollontai, Dzerzhinsky, and a host of other non-Russians accumulated fortunes. Only Stalin refrained. Like Hitler, his future nemesis, Stalin lived quite modestly. The new Communist elite, on the other hand, lived exceedingly well, frequenting the elegant shops and government offices along Arbat Street, the Fifth Avenue of Moscow, where very few native Russians could afford to visit. These beneficiaries of the Communist Revolution are sometimes referred to as the “children of the Arbat.”

The theme of wealthy elite Jews under Soviet communism also occurs in Yuri Slezkine’s The Jewish Century: “Slezkine describes the life of the largely Jewish elite in Moscow and Leningrad, where they attended the theater, sent their children to the best schools, had peasant women for nannies, spent weekends at pleasant dachas, and vacationed at the Black Sea” (see here, p. 88).

Stalin, aside from his determination to eliminate any possible threat to his sole leadership, also feared that the Trotskyite approach would endanger Communism by alerting the capitalist countries to the threat it represented. Instead, he thought it would be much more prudent to first establish communism in Russia, protect and nurture it, and during this incubation period build the most powerful armed forces in the world ready to pounce on and take the countries of Europe at the most opportune time, namely, when the capitalist states were exhausted from the inevitable next world war. He therefore sought to remove all Trotskyite-infected and other potentially dangerous elements from the Soviet State in a major purge before that war occurred. This, according to Professor Burovsky, was the main reason for Stalin’s Purge of 1937.

For Professor Burovsky the unending bitter political squabbles following the revolution were evidence that the Civil War waged between the White and Red Russians (1918–1922), between the former rulers and the usurpers, was simply followed by an internal civil war between communist internationalist intellectuals who viewed the whole world as their oyster (Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and the rest) and the more conservative, nationalistic Stalinists who favored stability. (For example, at a Party Conference in 1918, Zinoviev proclaimed: “We have to get 90 out of 100 million of the population of the Soviet Republic to follow us. Those left over have nothing for us. They will have to liquidated.”)

To be sure, Jews were prominent in both factions, but Stalin insisted their loyalty be directed exclusively to his concept of a “socialist” Soviet Union while their own interests and unrealistic goals be set aside. When, in his eyes, they did not comply, he had them killed.

Burovsky describes how the crimes committed by the usurpers of power in Russia far exceeded anything known to date, including even the French Revolution. During the usurpation of power in the revolution, no fewer than two million met their death. In the continuing period of the internal civil war, Burovsky estimates, 9–13 million eventually lost their lives. Yet, the crimes of the Lenin-Trotsky faction were either glossed over or simply not mentioned in the press or on the radio, while the Western media concentrated on and exaggerated those committed by Stalin during the “Great Purge.” Whereas the French Revolution had pitted Frenchmen against Frenchmen, and the American Revolution, Englishmen against Englishmen, the so-called Russian Revolution was entirely different. This was a case of minorities, mostly Jews, in the Empire usurping power from the majority Russians and destroying previously existing Russian elites.

According to Burovsky, the Leninists and Trotskyites made no secret of their intent to create a new world on the ashes of the old. In their anthem, The Song of the Destroyers, they sing:

We shall burn everything, we shall destroy everything,
We shall wipe everything from the face of the Earth,
We shall extinguish the old Sun,
We shall ignite a new Sun. (p. 155)

Lenin and Trotsky, Burovsky maintains, invented and practiced genocide freely in what they termed the “zoological milieu”, i.e., the Russian people, ruthlessly murdering entire layers of Russian society. As soon as members of the former ruling class (high government officials, generals, intellectuals, clergy, etc.) were eliminated, their positions were filled with Jewish revolutionaries. The children of the former upper classes were forbidden to attend the best schools and universities; only the children of the revolutionaries were granted access. According to Jewish World, 1939, Jews, representing 1.8% of the total population, constituted 20% of the students in higher institutes of learning in the USSR in 1939.[4] (p. 230)

The destruction of Christian civilization was high on Lenin and Trotsky’s hit list. All displays of Christian belief were outlawed. Churches were first looted of their art treasures and then converted into warehouses, theaters, recreation centers, and worse. Priests, nuns, and all other officers of the Church were either murdered or sent to the GULAG. Celebrations of Christmas, Easter, and Holy Days were forbidden. The icon corner in most Russian homes was banned. Because Jews were prominent among the new rulers and enforcers, all acts of anti-Semitism were made punishable by death. In a speech Trotsky announced the unveiling of the first statue in the world of Judas Iscariot, a man, the Communist leader said, who understood that Christianity was a phony religion and had the courage to break the bonds that bound him to it. Similar statues appeared in other cities. The people, however, could not protest because of the laws against anti-Semitism.

Burovsky proceeds to describe how the revolutionaries tried to gradually replace the civilization achieved under the Orthodox Church and the Czars with something entirely alien to the native people. Under the Czars Russia gave the world Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and other giants of literature. By way of contrast, the Communist regime produced a bevy of poets and short story writers. Burovsky singles out Osip Mandelshtam, Yevgenia Ginzburg, and Isaak Babel, who lent their services to the new regime. Mandelshtam, who was a friend of Bukharin, had worked in the ministry of education of the new regime. Babel had actually served in the Jewish-dominated Cheka for many years and wrote almost autobiographically about his experiences in his stories. He was also the mentor of Ilya Ehrenburg, World War II’s most notorious propagandist. Both enjoyed life and indulged in the pleasures of the Arbat. Both were executed in Stalin’s 1937 counter-revolution. Burovsky and the mass of Russian people would maintain that they got what they deserved.

Under the Czars and the Orthodox Church Russia gave the world the paintings of Repin, Rublov, and other such immortals. The Communist regime, on the other hand, introduced abstract “art” produced by such worthies as Kandinsky, Malevich, Altman, Chagall, Shterenburg, and other such. Again, Stalin, like Hitler, preferred socialist realism in art. Whatever the objective merits of the works produced by the artists and literary figures in the early Soviet Union, they reflected the Jewish, not the Russian spirit.

Proceeding then to Stalin’s purge of the Red Army leadership and the NKVD, Burovsky finds much to be applauded. Although Generals Zhukov and Rokossovsky believed that Stalin’s purge had broken the spine of the Red Army and was responsible for the losses in the first years of World War II, Burovsky leans more to the views expressed by Viktor Suvorov in his book The Purge,[5] namely that the purge or cleansing actually improved the Red Army by removing toxic and incompetent elements. Moreover, Trotsky, as first head of the Army and Navy, had appointed many of the top military leaders. Obviously, Stalin considered them tainted and their loyalty to him questionable.[6]

Stalin purged the organs of State security (Cheka, NKVD), notoriously Jewish strongholds, with a particularly heavy and rough brush. According to Burovsky, about 20,000 members of these organs were purged, including almost all the leaders of the Dzerzhinski era: A. Kh. Artuzov, G. I. Boky, M. Ya. Latsis, M. S. Kedrov, V. N. Mantsev, G. S. Moroz, I. P. Pavlunovsky, Ya. Kh. Peters, M. A. Trilisser, I. S. Unshlikht, and V. V. Fomin. Of this Burovsky comments: “It would be difficult to imagine a more repulsive, criminal, and dangerous group of people.” (Diky, p. 240) Nikolai Yezhov, known to insiders as the “bloody dwarf” because he was only five feet tall, was commissar general of state security in charge of both the NKVD and the GRU. He was arrested in January 1939 and shot in April 1940.

As for the crimes attributed to and indeed committed by Stalin, author Burovsky contends that had any of his political adversaries achieved total power, the crime levels would have even been higher. After all, it was Lenin and Trotsky, not Stalin, who laid the cruel and bloody foundations of Communist rule in Russia. The secret police organization, the Cheka, the predecessor and model for the later NKVD and sister agencies, were established in December 1917, as was the GULAG. Literally, armies of secret police ensured that the GULAG would not want for slave labor. In 1919, at the onset of the Civil War (1917–1922) Trotsky was made Peoples Commissar of Army and Navy, head of the Red Army. For a decade in that and other high posts Trotsky was in a prime position to fill the armed forces and government with his own people, mostly Jews, often despite Stalin’s disapproval. During the same period Stalin by virtue of his position as Party Secretary, a less prominent but equally important position, had also been putting his own people in critical posts. In 1929, after Lenin’s death, Stalin finally succeeded in exiling Trotsky, but the shadow of his competitor for leadership lingered on in the persons and policies of the government. Thus, the Communist Party and state in the late 1930s still remained, as most objective observers noted, essentially Jewish.

For example, in 1937 almost without exception the plenipotentiaries (ambassadors) of the Soviet Union to the rest of the world were Jews: Maisky in England, Surits in France, Yurenev in Germany, Shtein in Italy, and Rubinin in Belgium. The Soviet Delegates to the League of Nations were with one exception Jews: Finkelshtein-Litvinov, Rozenberg, Shtein, Markus, Brenner, Girshfeld, Galfand, and Svanidze who was Georgian. Litvinov was also head of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. (Diky, p. 222)

At the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the Soviet Ambassador was Marcel Rozenberg; the military attaché was Lvovich (pseudonym Loti). The Red Army officers commanding the international brigades were: Division Commander Lazar Shtein (Emil Kleber); other Jewish commanders were Grigori Shtein (Grigorovich), Corps CommanderYakov Smushkevich (Duglas), Red Army General Batkin (Fritz), and others. Abram Slutsky (Chernigovsky), head of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service, NKVD, also came and joined with resident NKVD agent General Aleksandr Orlov who supervised a private jail in Alkalade. (Diky, p. 223)

There were three million Jews living in the Soviet Union in 1939. By early 1941, following the division of Poland and pursuant to population-transfer provisions of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, there were 5.4 million Jews inside the USSR. Operation Barbarossa, the German attack on Russia occurred on 22 June 1941 when half the Jews in Poland were under the protection of the Red Army.

Burovsky notes that the end goal of both devils, Stalin and Trotsky, was the same — world communism, but the means chosen by Trotsky to achieve it would have caused worldwide mayhem and countless millions more deaths. It was not long after the purge that Stalin succeeded in having Trotsky himself murdered in 1940 in Mexico by which time war had already broken out in Europe. In the same year of 1940 the Anti-Comintern Pact was signed by a dozen nations with the statement,

recognizing that the aim of the Communist International, known as the Comintern [Trotsky’s organization] is to disintegrate and subdue existing states by all means at its command; convinced that the toleration of interference by the Communist International in the internal affairs of the nations not only endangers their internal peace and social well-being, but is also a menace to the peace of the world desirous of co-operating in the defense against Communist subversive activities.

Countries signing the Pact were: Germany, Japan, China (Nanjing), Italy, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, and Turkey.

The United States, Great Britain, and France abstained from and even objected to the Pact, believing (or saying they believed) Germany to be the greatest threat. The line between the Axis powers and the Western Allies in World War II was thereby drawn. It would take the West fifty years to correct this mistake.

Soon after World War II and the founding of the state of Israel, Stalin, following a policy of Russification and rejuvenation of the victorious Communist State, attempted once again to reduce the number and power of Jews in the Soviet Union. To this end, he planned another purge, one that would necessarily involve many of his old Jewish comrades. Before he could implement his plan, he was dead. Officially the Soviet leader was reported to have died a natural death, but many speculate that he was killed by the people he had planned to kill.[8]

The devil’s advocate, author Burovsky, rests his case in the defense of Stalin with the words:

Of course Stalin’s regime was awful! But in politics it is very often necessary to choose, not between the good and the better, but between the bad and the worse. The alternatives to Stalin would have been even worse nightmares.…The entire history of the USSR may be seen as an attempt to establish a utopia, and the civil war as the rejection of the utopia by the people.… Like Mandelshtam and Ginzburg, the “children of the Arbat” had not the slightest reason to repent; nor the slightest interest in whom they destroyed…. It is a pity that Stalin did not have another 10 years of life in which to say, like Napoleon, “ the revolution is over”, but we can be especially grateful that Stalin killed the revolutionary bastards, the foul-smelling fungi that accumulated on Arbat Street and that he prevented the fungus from spreading to the rest of  Russia and the world. That which has gone down in history as “1937” was in fact the most brilliant and glorious event in the Stalin era. Farewell Comrade Stalin! Thank you! (Burovsky, pp. 280,  284–285)

The verdict for Stalin, according to Professor Burovsky, must be “not guilty” because of mitigating circumstances. The events and crimes so described and attributed to Stalin must be seen as simply ugly episodes of ongoing criminal violence perpetrated by one gangster against another.


[1] “Glorious 1937!”, Zavtra, 9 September 1997. The Russian national heroes are: General Aleksandr Suvorov, General Mikhail Kutuzov, Admiral Pavel Nakhimov, and Admiral Fyodor Ushakov. The Knight in the Tiger’s skin is Prince Tariel of India, from the famous Georgian poem Vephkhviskhaosani.

[4] Andrei Diky. 200 Years Together: Jews in Russia and the USSR. Algoritm Publishing, Moscow, 2010, 320 p.

[5] Suvorov uses the Russian word ischishchenie instead of the usual chistka for “purge.” The former has more the meaning of “cleansing” or the removal of toxic, dangerous elements; the later has more the meaning of total housecleaning. Robert Conquest preferred to use the expression The Great Terror rather than The Great Purge. Like so many of his contemporaries at Oxford, Conquest himself joined the Communist Party in “glorious 1937.”

[6] Dan Michaels. Stalin’s 1937 Purge of the Red Army. The Barnes Review, No. 3, 2000, pp. 49-55.

[8] Dan Michaels [aka as Robert Logan]. Was Stalin Assassinated? The Barnes Review, No. 4, 2003, pp. 35-40.

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