Sixty-one true Nikita Khrushchev

One of the most unusual new products recently in the genre of non / fiction — published in Russian translation of the book by American historian, professor Monklerskogo State University Grover Ferrat "vile anti-Stalinist," in which "the bones" understands famous report NS Khrushchev at the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party. In a short period of time to get acquainted with the book thousands of readers, it fell into the category of best-selling in some stores, was swore at and caressed in a review of the first readers, critics, and even in our market time has already become a rarity …

That’s why we found it interesting to go to the very Professor Ferri, to get better acquainted with the author himself, to know his opinion, what is called "first-hand".
— Professor, tell me how and why you, a Princeton graduate whose thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was devoted to the French Middle Ages, interest in Soviet history, the era of Stalin?

— My main specialization — medievalism. Some special certificate "certifying" the right to study the history of Stalin’s Soviet Union, I do not. But thanks to the Middle Ages succeeded in obtaining the skills of historical research, for example, read and study the primary sources of non-English speaking, never rely on "conventional" views and opinions do not trust the "recognized authority", unless convinced of something myself.

As a graduate student, I am in 1965 — 1969 he took part in protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam. Then one day someone said to me: Vietnamese Communists can not simply be "good guys", they are all "Stalinists" and "Stalin killed millions of innocent people."

Note remembered. Perhaps that is why in the early 1970s, I jumped at the first edition of the "Great Terror" R.Konkvesta. And was shocked to read!

I must say that even at that time I was reading in Russian as the language began to study in school. And thoroughly worked konkvestovskoe work. Until now, no, probably not with the book was doing venerable Sovietologist anything like this. That’s when it became clear that the historical evidence in the "Great Terror" were used by the author was a fraudulent manner. His conclusions simply do not match what Conquest cites as evidence in the references of the book. Well, in general, all his sources were selected according to their degree of hostility to Stalin, regardless of the reliability of each.

In general, the end idea own research on so-called "terror". At work it took quite a long time. The first article "The old stories about Marshal Tukhachevsky in a new light," was published only in 1988 … By the time it coincided with the birth of a new historical school, and I devoted myself to the study of the works of scholars and researchers like John Arch Getty, Robert Thurston, Robert Manning Sheila Fitzpatrick, Jerry Howe, Lewis Zigelbaum, Lynne Viola …

— I think these names say little Russian reader. It is hard to imagine that after the Conquest representatives of some of the new western "school" can bring something different to the understanding of the history of the Soviet Union …
— On the contrary. School, of which I speak, emerged as the antithesis of the Conquest and conceptions of the totalitarian Soviet Studies the "Cold War." Having studied all the available evidence and, more importantly, trying to maintain objectivity, the researchers showed the failure of the new school Trotskyist, Khrushchev and Gorbachev-Yeltsin interpretations of the Soviet past. Latest managed to compromise himself as a political bias, that their works should be considered to be more specimens of propaganda, rather than work on stories.

In the scientific world has become a real sensation of the book "The origins of the great purges" of one of the founders of the new school, JA Getty, in which the scientist managed to disprove many myths stilted, and among other things — ideas about repression of the 1930s as an action, a pre-planned by Stalin. All the "misfortune" of the scientist was the fact that in the U.S. His work has been published in the years of "perestroika", when, under the guise of "openness" in the USSR massive numbers coming out literature alone his opponents. Where did the Russian readers learn about the pioneering work of the Getty, unless one of his books on the history of Russia in Russia itself has not yet been published?

This is the case with most of these historians me. But fortunately, there are also examples of a different kind: a few months ago in one of Ukrainian online magazines published by the excellent work of Professor at the University of M.Taugera Z.Virdzhinii that leaves no stone unturned in the Nazi myth instigated by the authorities as "famine" 1932 — 1933.

— Well, Khrushchev’s speech at the Twentieth Congress of how and why you became interested in it?

— "Closed" or as they say in the West, "secret" Khrushchev’s speech — without exaggeration one of the most influential speeches of the twentieth century. Who and how would not rate the report with a "plus" or "minus", he radically changed the course of history of the USSR and Russia. Significantly, it is this speech has become one of the pillars of the political concept of "anti-Stalinism", a fundamental source for what can be called "a paradigm of the XX Congress."

In short, to pass such an important document can not be any of those who are interested in the past of the Soviet Union.

— That’s right: the topic is something quite hackneyed. How do you explain the interest in "anti-Stalinist treachery?"

— It is difficult to judge, so let the readers themselves will appreciate … I would say that surprised me as a researcher.

When the work was conceived, I wanted a few: to compare the "revelatory" abstract "closed" report with historical evidence, which have become known for the declassification of documents from the former Soviet archives. Such a study could be done and the Russian historian, and, say, Chinese: for the last 10 — 15 years at the disposal of scientists found many new sources which can provide an objective assessment of this or that theses of Khrushchev‘s speech. And then it began to emerge quite interesting picture: it turns out, among all the "incriminating" statements of the report, verifiable, there was not a single truthful. Not one!

Some of the falsehoods were certainly known before. For example, during a closed session of the some of the delegates noted that a number of Khrushchev’s "revelations" (sort of absurd the claim that military operations Stalin "planned on the globe"), to put it mildly, far from the truth. But for this kind of "debunking" was entirely the whole report … There were things to marvel at.

— Are not you exaggerating? The fact that the report sploshnyakom all true, it is very difficult to believe. You simply defending Stalin and to this end, despised Khrushchev and his landmark report.

— I want to disappoint you: I am not "defending" or Stalin or anyone else. As a researcher and scientist, I deal with facts and evidence. If the subject of research would be Khrushchev‘s speech, say, outer space, or corn on the Program Committee, should examine the sources relevant to the subject area. But it so happened that my research was a report exposing the crimes of Stalin and Beria

I was able to identify 61 "incriminating" statement. Each of them studied in the light of historical evidence, and, as became clear in the end, in the "closed" report Khrushchev said about Stalin and Beria’s nothing that would prove to be true. "Protection of Stalin," is not to blame: the burden of proof is on the accused party. And all the "incriminating" statements "closed" the report as evidence of insolvency.

Now, about "faith." No serious scholar has no right to accept or not to accept something as the truth because of their beliefs or preferences. Like it or not, but in light of the "anti-Stalinist treachery" of scientific and historical evidence to consider the history of the Soviet Union through a distorting mirror "secret report" more impossible.

— By the way, "vile anti-Stalinist" — not very appropriate name for research work, is not it?

— The book was published and registered with bibliographic references, links and documents in the application — in other words, compliance with the requirements for solid academic publications. Yes, even in large quantities. Do I need to author wanting more?

Of course, it was working on the manuscript, working title was different. It was the original author and title, which reflected the essence of the PROGRESS study, but because of the length, I believe, or for some other reason it does not fit. The publisher offered a different name. That’s okay too. After all, in the end, it organizes the efforts of editors, publishers, artists, proofreaders, and are entitled to the commercial success.

— And yet the ends does not add up: on the one hand, Khrushchev’s speech, as you write, is woven out of lies, and the other — in the top leadership of the USSR there was no one who would prove the falsity of the revelations.
— More than that, by their silence, every one of Khrushchev expressed their full support. And it is here that we encounter one of the most intriguing questions.

Contrary to popular belief, the main target of the ‘closed’ report was not Stalin, and policies and a certain tendency, which were associated with the name of the latter. The Russian historian Yuri Zhukov points directly: the purpose of Khrushchev was to put an end to the democratic reforms initiated but did not complete during Stalin’s lifetime.

Today (and, I must say, not without the influence of Khrushchev’s report) "Stalin" and "democracy" in the minds of many is the word-antipodes — concepts that represent two incompatible extremes, the polar properties of the phenomenon. But this view is mistaken. Stalin shared Lenin’s views on representative democracy and sought to instill in her the principles of the political system of the USSR. It was Stalin who was the head of the struggle for the democratization of Soviet society, the struggle, which was at the heart of the political processes in the USSR in 1930 — 1950’s. Their essence was to ensure that the role of the Communist Party in government would be narrowed down to "normal" (as in other countries) limits, and the nomination of state-managers took place not on party lists, based on democratic procedures.

Not only Khrushchev, but, apparently, and other Soviet leaders did not agree with the course of such reforms. In any case, Malenkov, Molotov and Kaganovich — the largest of political figures associated with Stalin — reluctantly, but was hidden subtext "closed" report, agreed with him. Come to power, to make an explosive "secret report" and stake out their ideas Khrushchev could just because won over the Soviet party elite.

Taking this opportunity, I can not express my gratitude to Yuri Zhukov (Russia) and John A.Getti (USA) — historians whose works have inspired me to work on the "secret report" and they had to re-open more deeply hidden in Khrushchev’s time, the fact of Stalin’s commitment to the principles of democracy.

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