NKVD: Excerpt from Sergei Semanov, The Russian Club

Editor’s note: The horrific events of the first decades of the Soviet Union are an object lesson in the likely consequences of an ethnic majority being ruled by ethnic outsiders, especially ethnic outsiders with historical grudges. As discussed repeatedly on TOO, the West is entering a very dangerous period because its elites have shown repeatedly that they are hostile to its traditional people and culture and that a major aspect of the strategy of these elites is to import millions of ethnic outsiders, lessening the power of European-derived majorities, encouraging non-assimilation, and thus setting the stage for a very grim future for the traditional peoples of the West.

Nationalities of NKVD Purge Officials Identified

By Sergei Semanov

Translated and edited by Dan Michaels from Sergei Semanov, The Russian Club: Why the Jews Will Not Win. Algoritm Publisher, Moscow, 2012, pp. 169-179.

Following is the official list of the most notorious NKVD officials operating during the Stalinist purges (1934-1938) under Yagoda and Yezhov. By the time Beria took charge of the NKVD in 1940 hardly a single individual from the original list remained alive. On Stalin’s order, most of the purgers were – in time – themselves purged, thereby leaving no witnesses to incriminate the top political leaders.

In November 1935 NKVD agents were assigned military ranks, like those in the Red Army. Yagoda, the head of the NKVD, was the only official to receive the highest SS (State Security) rank of marshal-general, the others received “general” ranks, i.e., SS Commissar of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ranks. The following individuals initiated and conducted the Great Purge from 1936 to 1938, but by 1941 only two of the original purgers still remained alive and Stalin was at liberty to replace the NKVD leadership with Beria’s Georgian mafia.

1. Ya. S. Agranov, 1st Rank SS Commissar
2. G. Ye. Prokofyev, 1st Rank SS Commissar
3. L. M. Zakovsky, 1st Rank SS Commissar
4. S. F. Redens, 1st Rank SS Commissar
5. V. A. Balitsky, 1st Rank SS Commissar
6. T. D. Deribas, 1st Rank SS Commissar
7. K. V. Pauker, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
8. M. I. Gay,2nd Rank SS Commissar
9.   L. G. Mironov, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
10. G. A. Molchanov, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
11. A. M. Shanin, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
12. A. A. Slutsky, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
13. L. N. Belsky, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
14. P. G. Rud, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
15. L. B. Zalin, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
16. R. A. Pillyar, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
17. I. M. Leplevsky, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
18. S. A. Goglidze, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
19. Z. B. Katsnelson, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
20. K. M. Karlson, 2nd Rank SS Commissar
21. G. I. Boky, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
22. M. D. Berman, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
23. V. A. Karutsky, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
24. N. G. Nikolayev, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
25. I. Ya. Dagin, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
26. Ya. A. Deych, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
27. B. A. Bak, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
28. I. F. Reshetov, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
29. M. S. Pogrebinsky, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
30. Yu. Sumbatov-Topuridze, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
31. G. S. Lyushkov, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
32. S. S. Mazo, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
33. I. P. Zirnis, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
34. V. A. Styrne, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
35. S. V. Puzitsky, 3rd Rank SS Commissar
36. M. P. Frinovsky (with Army Rank), Komkor (Corps Commander)

Seventy years ago, Semanov continues, these individuals were officially authorized by the Soviet government to torture and execute individuals whom the Bolsheviks considered enemies of the people. All but two of the original purgers met death themselves in the course of performing their duties, only to die a few years later in subsequent purges. Although we now perceive many of the events of the past century somewhat differently than earlier and at times altogether differently, our evaluation of the above-listed individuals as the unseen villains and tormenters of our people remains unchanged. They are not forgiven nor can they ever be.

Seventy years ago the people only knew one name from the above list well, that of the bloody head of the NKVD (Peoples Commissariat of Internal Affairs), Yagoda. Born Enokh Gershevich Leguda, he later changed his name to Genrikh Grigoryevich Yagoda The NKVD, which Yagoda headed from 1934 to 1936, imprisoned in gulags and executed millions of Russians. Many were hanged in the same basement cells that had earlier served as their torture chambers. Only recently have objective historians begun to unravel this secret and terrifying crime so that the descendants of the victims can finally identify some of the murderers by name.

The nationalities of both the victims and the perpetrators of the crimes committed during and after the October Revolution of 1917 have often been speculated on and even guessed correctly. Now they are known with certainty. Ever since the First Marxist International the revolutionaries and internationalists have deliberately concealed their own nationality. To ask or speak about it in those times and circumstances was taken as a sign of reactionary thought and dangerous questioning. The descendents of the victims and the world, Semanov insists, deserve to know of the hellish tortures perpetrated by the Bolsheviks during the Civil War and the 1920s during which time the native Slavic peasantry, under mostly non-Russian supervision, was being massacred and the White Sea Canal was being painted in their blood.

In 1917 the nationality and the true names of Dzerzhinsky’s Cheka (Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage) associates were even considered to be State secrets. Anyone who revealed them would be severely punished. Unauthorized snoopers, probably associated with the Russian Club, revealed that the father of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Lubyanka facility himself, was a Jew who had converted to Catholicism; his mother was a member of the Polish gentry who typically hated Russia and the Russian people. The wife of revolutionary Felix is now also believed to have been Jewish from a wealthy Warsaw family.

Before addressing the main theme of his study, Semanov first takes note of a secondary, but indicative subject, namely, the age and (lack of) education of Stalin’s handpicked NKVD leaders. All of the above-listed generals in State Security were very young. “Marshal-General” Yagoda, who was the senior in age, was himself only forty-four years old. Half of his deputies were about thirty-years old. Almost all of them had begun service in organs of the VChK (All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage) during the Civil War or the early 1930s. None of them had any significant education or normal family life experiences. Not one of the 37 functionally illiterate “generals” had even the slightest familiarity with jurisprudence. Nonetheless, these primitive, unwashed bipeds were empowered by their equally uncouth leaders to make life and death decisions on the fate of millions of souls.

As for the nationalities of these people, even a cursory glance at the list reveals the predominance of non-Russian names; they are not even Slavic names. With the exception of Yagoda himself, mentioned earlier, the first name in the list is Yakov Saulovich Agranov (Yankel Shmayevich), the son of a village Jew from the Gomel District. Agranov completed four years of schooling, became a Socialist Revolutionary in 1912, then a Bolshevik, and in February 1918 a Chekist.

Georgi Yevgenyevich Prokofyev was Russian, the son of a minor official who enrolled in the Law Faculty of Kiev University but soon dropped out. He became an anarchist in 1916, then a Bolshevik before joining the Cheka in 1920. As one of Yagoda’s closest associates, he was especially involved in the mass exile of the native Russian intelligentsia.

Leonid Mikhailovich Zakovsky (Genrikh Ernestovich Shtubis), a Latvian, grew up in a family of lumberjacks, and completed two years of schooling in the Libav Public School. He became a member of the RSDRP (Russian Social Democratic Workers Party) in 1913, was a deserter in World War I, and then joined the Cheka as soon as it was founded in late 1917. He distinguished himself by his bestial cruelty, using the whip freely, and during the Yezhov purges cruelly beat evidence out of his former associates.

Stanislav Frantsevich Redens, Polish, was born in Minsk to a poor family. He completed grade school and became a worker and Bolshevik in 1914. By 1918 he had become an investigator in the Cheka, and later Dzerzhinsky’s secretary. He became Stalin’s brother-in-law when he married the sister of Nadezhda Alliluyeva. In 1920 he was the head of the Cheka in Odessa and later the head of the Kharkov Cheka. In December 1920 he was transferred to the Crimea where he was one of the organizers of the mass penal colonies for former officers of Wrangel’s Army taken prisoner during the Civil War. Even Redens’ family relationship to Stalin could not save him from a bullet in the back of the neck late in 1940.

Vsevolod Apollonovich Balitsky and Terenti Dmitriyevich Deribas were Polish. They exercised their authority only within the borders of the Ukraine, although near the end of their careers they were sent to the Far East where they concluded their work.

The Austrian Jew Pauker, a hairdresser by trade, was a colorful personality. Because his real name has never been determined he called himself Karl Viktorovich. After being mobilized into the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I, he surrendered to the Russians at the first opportunity. Finding himself in Turkestan, he joined the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution, and in 1918 worked with the Cheka in Samarkand as the “red Magyar.” In 1920 the clever hairdresser transferred over to the VChK’s Central Administration and by 1923 had become head of the operations section of the USSR OGPU (United State Political Administration of the Council of Peoples Commissars). He was responsible for the security of the Kremlin, members of the Politburo, and of Stalin personally. He personally arrested Zinovyev and Kamenev and gleefully related how they were dragged to the firing squad. He himself was dragged to his own execution early in 1937.

Mark Isayevich (Isaakovich) Gay (Shpoklyand) was a Jew from Vinnitsa who had, like Prokofyev, been on the Kiev University Law Faculty for a short time. Yagoda appointed him head to the Special OGPU Department that – through a succession of phony trials – purged the Red Army of leftovers from the old Tsarist Army. When Yagoda fell, Gay was doomed. In November 1936 Yezhov sent Gay to East Siberia where he was arrested and executed.

Further down the list are Mironov and Molchanov, two of Yagoda’s most trusted men. Mironov’s real name was Kagan, son of a bank employee in Kiev. Before the revolution he had joined the Bund but soon went over to the Bolsheviks and was accepted in the State Political Administration’s Cheka. Georgi Andreyevich Molchanov was a Russian, the son of a Kharkov official. He too had begun to study in a trade school but was captivated by the “romance of the revolution” and in 1917 at the age of 20 joined the Bolshevik Party. In 1931 Molchanov was head of the Secret Political Department in Lubyanka, while Mironov was head of the Economics Department of the same facility. Both were considered key posts in State Security. Molchanov and Mironov were barely 30-years of age and uneducated. The head of the Transportation Department at the same time was Shanin, a Russian peasant from the Moscow suburbs who came with other protégés of Yagoda. Despite Mironov’s and Molchanov’s success in breaking Zinovyev and others, and obtaining public confessions from them, both eventually met their end in the same torture chambers as their victims.

The list then shows the names of six more high NKVD officials of Jewish origin: Abram Aronovich Slutsky, Lev (Abram) Nikolayevich (Mikhailovich) Belsky (Levin), Pyotr Gavrilovich Rud (son of a local tradesman), Lev (Zelman) Borisovich (Markovich) Zalin (Levin), Grigory (Izrail) Moiseyevich Leplevsky, Zinovi Borisovich Katsnelson.

Among the above-listed monotonous herd of nobodies, the completely unexpected name of an exotic N KVD general, Pillyar von Pillhau Roman (Romuald) Aleksandrovich appears. As a nephew of Dzerzhinsky, he sported the title of Baron. Considering the checkered background of Feliks, Pillyar’s own nationality was even more nebulous. At age 20, even before the revolution he became a Bolshevik. He then proceeded on to the Cheka where he was able to exterminate all the other barons and sons of the gentry, until such time as he himself would share their fate.

The 18 individuals in the second half of the list included: three Latvians: Karl Karlson, Vladimir Styrne, and Yan Zirnis. Not being Russian, they were perhaps even more indifferent to the fate of the native Russians. They willingly and diligently participated in the Cheka butcheries until all but two of them shared the same fate.

There are five Russians on the second half of the list: Gleb Boky, Nikolai Nikolayev-Zhurid (actually a Ukrainian born in Konotop), Ilya Reshetov, Mikhail Frinovsky, and one other. Sergei Vasilyevich Puzitsky stemmed from a Russian landholder’s family. Puzitsky graduated from Gymnasium, joined the Revolution and the Cheka, and became a leading figure in the Foreign Department. He traveled abroad on dangerous assignments, participated in the kidnapping of drugged White Guard General and Hero A. P. Kutepov in Paris. Regrettably, the general died from an overdose of the sleeping drug before reaching Moscow. Near the end of his short career Puzitsky was made assistant head of the gulag in Dmitrov involved in the convicts’ construction of the Moscow-Volga Canal. In 1938 he was executed.

There are eight additional Jews in this second section of the generals’ list: Boris Davydovich Berman, Vasili Abramovich Karlutsky, Izrail Yakovlevich Dagin, Yakov Abramovich Deych, Boris Arkadyevich Bak, Matvei Samoylovich Pogrebinsky, Genrikh Samoylovich Lyushkov, and Solomon Samoylovich Mazo.

Only two of the original 37 NKVD original purge officials – Sergei Goglidze and Yuvelyan Sumbatov-Topuridze – survived until 1940. Both were Georgians and protégés of Lavrenti Beria. Goglidze was shot on 23 December 1953, i.e., on the same day his mentor Beria was executed. Sumbatov was arrested at the same time but lost his sanity during his interrogation and was committed to a psychiatric hospital where he died in August 1960.

To sum up the ethnic origins of the original 37 NKVD generals of 1935, the enforcers of Communism, we find that 19 were Jews, 10 were Russians, 4 Latvians, 2 Poles, and 2 Georgians. In percentages, Jews represented 51% of the total complement, while Russians made up 27%. At the same time, during this period in Soviet history, Jews constituted less than 2% of the total population of the USSR while Russians, including Ukrainians and White Russians, made up more than 80% of the population.

Several family clans gained even more prominence as prosecutor-persecutors. Matvei Davydovich Berman, for instance, was since 1932 head of the Labor Camp Administration – a founding father of the Gulag. His brother Boris Davydovich occupied important positions in the Lubyanka Foreign Department. Boris Arkadyevich Bak headed the Moscow District of the OGPU while his brother Solomon Arkadyevich presided over the Lubyanka Facility. Moreover, Matvei Berman was married to the sister (Mariya) of the Bak brothers. She too worked for the OGPU.

In September 1936 the Peoples Commissariat of Internal Affairs announced that Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov, an ethnic Russian, would replace Yagoda as Marshal-General and, presumably, would immediately purge Yagoda’s people from the higher echelons. Almost immediately Yezhov made his first four appointments: Mikhail Iosifovich Litvin, Isaak Ilich Shapiro, Vladimir Yefimovich Tsesarsky, and Semen Borisovich Zhukovsky. All four were Jews, including the one with the same name as the famous Russian poet Zhukovsky. Yagoda’s deputy, Georgi Prokofyev was replaced by Matvei Berman. Finally, Yakov Deych relieved the Russian Pavel Bulatov of his position as Secretary of the Peoples Commissar. In orthodox communism, the adage, “The more things change, the more they remain the same,” remains true.

It was later learned that Yezhov had divorced his first wife, a Russian, and had married Lyudmila Solomonovna Khanyutin of Odessa – a long-term friend of Isaak Babel and the enigmatic writer Mikhail Sholokhov. Nothing much changed in NKVD activities until the new Peoples Commissar of Internal Affairs Lavrenti Beria removed Yezhov from office in 1938 and appointed his own Georgian mafia to the key positions. Vladimir Georgiyevich Dekanosov was appointed head of the Foreign Department, Mikhail Maksimovich Gvishiani – Special Department, and then Pyotr Afanasyevich Shariya. All three were Georgians. Bogdan Zakharovich Kobulov became head of the Secret Political Department and his brother Amiyak Zakharovich, both from Tiflis, was made heads of the NKVD Directorate in the Ukraine. Another protégé of Beria, Vsevolod Nikolayevich Merkulov, headed the Secret Political Department. Merkulov was Russian, the son of an officer in the Tsarist Army, but he too was born and grew up a “Caucasian” in Tiflis. Thus, of the six new directors of the NKVD, three were Georgians, two were a pair of Armenian brothers, and only one was Russian, although born and raised in the Caucasus. Nationality politics still prevailed in the State punitive agencies, although the number of Jews receded somewhat in favor of native Caucasians. Beria would remain in power until 1953 until such time as his fellow Georgian, Josef Stalin, also met his death.

Under the revolutionary regimes of Lenin and the early Stalin the former majority population of Eastern Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, White Russians) in their own country were dispossessed and put under the jurisdiction of the prerevolutionary minority peoples  (Jews, Georgians, Latvians, Poles, and Armenians). The October Revolution differed substantially from earlier Western revolutions as, for example, when Frenchmen were pitted against Frenchmen in the French Revolution or when Englishmen fought against fellow Englishmen in the American Revolution for the purpose of improving conditions for the less fortunate. In Russia in 1917, international misfits provided much of the leadership for that revolution as part of a world conspiracy to bring down all other governments that did not accept the dictatorial teaching of Karl Marx and his disciples.