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Stalin and antisemitism

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Stalin and antisemitism

Though communist leaders including Joseph Stalin publicly denounced antisemitism, instances of antisemitism on Stalin's part have been witnessed by contemporaries and documented by historical sources.[1]


  • Early years 1
  • 1917 to 1930 2
  • 1930s 3
    • Stalin's 1931 condemnation of antisemitism 3.1
    • Establishment of Jewish Autonomous Oblast 3.2
    • Great Purge 3.3
    • Nazi-Soviet rapprochement and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact 3.4
  • After World War II 4
    • The Doctors' Plot 4.1
  • Associates and family 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Early years

Born in Orthodox seminary in Tiflis (Tbilisi) before becoming a professional revolutionary and a Marxist around the start of the 20th century, Stalin appears unlikely to have been stirred by antisemitism in his early years and met only a limited number of revolutionaries of Jewish origin during his first years of political activity.[2] Although active in the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, he did not attend a party congress until 1905.

Although Jews were active among both the Social Democratic Bolshevik and the Menshevik factions, Jews were more prominent among the Mensheviks. Stalin took note of the ethnic proportions represented on each side, as seen from a 1907 report on the Congress published in the Bakinsky rabochy (Baku Workman), which quoted a coarse joke about "a small pogrom" (погромчик) Stalin attributed to then-Bolshevik Grigory Aleksinsky:

Not less interesting is the composition of the congress from the standpoint of nationalities. Statistics showed that the majority of the Menshevik faction consists of Jews—and this of course without counting the Bundists—after which came Georgians and then Russians. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of the Bolshevik faction consists of Russians, after which come Jews—not counting of course the [2]

The quote further continues:[3]

Lehin is outraged that God sent him such comrades as the Mensheviks. What kind of people are they, really? Martov, Dan, Axelrod — circimcised Jews... Do Georgian workers really not know that the Jewish people are cowardly and no good for fighting?

1917 to 1930

Although the Bolsheviks regarded all religious activity as counter-scientific superstition and a remnant of the old pre-communist order, the new political order established by Lenin's Soviet after the Russian Revolution ran counter to the centuries of antisemitism under the Romanovs.

The Council of People's Commissars adopted a 1918 decree condemning all antisemitism and calling on the workers and peasants to combat it.[4] Lenin continued to speak out against antisemitism.[5] Information campaigns against antisemitism were conducted in the Red Army and in the workplaces, and a provision forbidding the incitement of propaganda against any ethnicity became part of Soviet law.[4] State-sponsored institutions of secular Yiddish culture, such as the Moscow State Jewish Theater, were established in Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union during this time, as were institutions for other minorities.

As People's Commissar for Nationalities, Stalin was the cabinet member responsible for minority affairs. In 1922, Stalin was elected the first-ever General Secretary of the party—a post not yet regarded as the highest in the Soviet government. Lenin began to criticize Stalin shortly thereafter.

In his December 1922 letters, the ailing Lenin (whose health left him incapacitated in 1923–1924) criticized Stalin and

  • Stalin's Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (introduction) by Joshua Rubenstein
  • 50th anniversary of the Night of the Murdered Poets National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) 12 August 2002, Letter from President Bush, links
  • Seven-fold Betrayal: The Murder of Soviet Yiddish by Joseph Sherman
  • Unknown History, Unheroic Martyrs by Jonathan Tobin
  • (Russian) Не умри Сталин в 1953 году... (If Stalin Had Not Died in 1953) by Yoav Karni (BBC in Russian language)
  • Russian political parties and antisemitism
  • Mircea Rusnac,,,agenti-imperialisti%22-evrei-si-social-democrati

External links

  • Arkady Vaksberg (1994). Stalin Against The Jews, tr. Antonina Bouis. ISBN 0-679-42207-2
  • Louis Rapoport (1990). Stalin's War Against the Jews. ISBN 0-02-925821-9
  • Emil Draitser (2008). Shush! Growing up Jewish under Stalin. ISBN 978-0-520-25446-6

Further reading

  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b Pinkus, Benjamin (1990). The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 143–144. ISBN 978-0-521-38926-6.
  3. ^ David North, In Defence of Leon Trotsky (2010) ISBN 978-1-893638-05-1, p 147, citing from Hiroaki Kuromiay, Stalin, 2005, p. 12
  4. ^ a b Pinkus, Benjamin (1990). The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-521-38926-6.
  5. ^ Lenin, V. I. (1919). "Anti-Jewish Pogroms". Lenin's Collected Works, 4th English Edition. Trans. George Hanna. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 252–253 Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  6. ^ Lenin, V. I. "The Question of Nationalities or "Autonomisation". In Lenin Collected Works, Volume 36. Moscow: Progress Publishers. pp. 593–611. Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  7. ^ Lenin, V. I. "'Last Testament' Letters to the Congress". In Lenin Collected Works, Volume 36. Moscow: Progress Publishers. pp. 593–611. Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  8. ^ Kun, Miklós, Stalin: An Unknown Portrait, Central European University Press, 2003, ISBN 963-9241-19-9, p. 287.
  9. ^ Pinkus, Benjamin (1990). The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-521-38926-6.
  10. ^ Joseph Stalin. "Reply to an Inquiry of the Jewish News Agency in the United States". Works, Vol. 13, July 1930 – January 1934. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954. p. 30.
  11. ^ Figes, Orlando (2007). The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia. New York: Metropolitan. pp. 227–315 ISBN 0-312-42803-0.
  12. ^ Baitalsky, Mikhail "Russkii evrei vchera i segodnia", unpublished manuscript. Quoted in Roy Medvedev (1989). Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism. Trans. George Shriver. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 563. ISBN 978-0-231-06350-0.
  13. ^ Igolkin, Alexander (2002). "Умение ставить вопросы". "Наш современник" N5. Retrieved 4 February 2011. (Russian)
  14. ^ Priestland, David (2009). The Red Flag: A History of Communism. New York: Grove Press. p. 282. ISBN 978-0-8021-1924-7.
  15. ^ Veidlinger, Jeffrey (2000). The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0-253-33784-9.
  16. ^ Medvedev, Roy. (1989). Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism. Trans. George Shriver. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 562. ISBN 978-0-231-06350-0.
  17. ^ a b c Edvard Radzinsky. Stalin (in Russian). Moscow, Vagrius, 1997. ISBN 5-264-00574-5; available online. Translated version: "Stalin", 1996, ISBN 0-385-47397-4 (hardcover), 1997, ISBN 0-385-47954-9 (paperback) Ch. 24
  18. ^ Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev Twilight, Moscow, 2003, ISBN 5-85646-097-9, page 208 (Russian: Яковлев А. Сумерки. Москва: Материк 2003 г.
  19. ^ a b Herf, Jeffrey (2006), The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust, Harvard University Press, p. 56,  
  20. ^ a b Gennady Коstyrchenko "Stalin's secret policy: Power and Antisemitism"("Тайная политика Сталина. Власть и антисемитизм" Москва, "Международные отношения", 2003)
  21. ^ Resis, Albert (2000), "The Fall of Litvinov: Harbinger of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact", Europe-Asia Studies 52 (1): 35,  
  22. ^ Moss, Walter, A History of Russia: Since 1855, Anthem Press, 2005, ISBN 1-84331-034-1, p. 283.
  23. ^ Etinger, Iakov (1995). "The Doctors' Plot: Stalin's Solution to the Jewish Question". In Yaacov Ro'i, Jews and Jewish Life in Russia and the Soviet Union. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 0-7146-4619-9, pp. 103–6.
  24. ^ Rappaport, Helen, Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion, ABC-CLIO, 1999 ISBN 1-57607-084-0, p. 297.
  25. ^ a b Weinberg, Robert (1998). Stalin's Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan and the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 72–75. ISBN 978-0-520-20990-9.
  26. ^ Norman Berdichevsky (20 September 2010). "Israel's Allies in 1948; The USSR, Czechoslovakia, American Mainline Churches and the Left". 
  27. ^ Robert Conquest. Reflections on a Ravaged Century, Norton, (2000) ISBN 0-393-04818-7, page 101
  28. ^  
  29. ^ Figes, Orlando (2008). The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia. New York: Picador USA. p. 493. ISBN 978-0-312-42803-7.
  30. ^ Lindemann, Albert S. & Richard S. Levy (2010). Antisemitism: A History. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-19-923503-2.
  31. ^ Veidlinger, Jeffrey (2000). The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-253-33784-9
  32. ^ a b Pinkus, Benjamin (1990). The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-521-38926-6.
  33. ^ Pinkus, Benjamin (1990). The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-521-38926-6.
  34. ^ Gamaleya, Nikolay. Letter to J. V. Stalin, Archive of the President of the Russian Federation. Quoted in Vaksberg, Arkady (2003). Iz ada v ray i obratno: yevreyskiy vopros po Leninu, Stalinu i Solzhenitsynu. Moscow: Olimp. pp. 344–346. ISBN 978-5-7390-1235-7. (Russian)
  35. ^ Vaksberg, Arkady (2003). Iz ada v ray i obratno: yevreyskiy vopros po Leninu, Stalinu i Solzhenitsynu. Moscow: Olimp. pp. 344–346. ISBN 978-5-7390-1235-7. (Russian)
  36. ^ Lindemann, Albert S. & Richard S. Levy (2010). Antisemitism: A History. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 187–188. ISBN 978-0-19-923503-2.
  37. ^ Medvedev, Zhores A. & Roy A. Medvedev (2006). The Unknown Stalin. London: I. B. Tauris. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-85043-980-6.
  38. ^ Fast, Howard (1994). Being Red: A Memoir. Armon, New York: M. E. Sharpe. pp. 217–218. ISBN 978-1-56324-499-5.
  39. ^ Ro'i, Yaacov (1980). Soviet Decision Making in Practice: The USSR and Israel, 1947–1954. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-87855-267-2.
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Benedikt Sarnov,Our Soviet Newspeak: A Short Encyclopedia of Real Socialism., Moscow: 2002, ISBN 5-85646-059-6 (Наш советский новояз. Маленькая энциклопедия реального социализма.), "Persons of Jewish ethnicity", pages 287–293.
  43. ^ a b Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Random House Inc. 2003. 
  44. ^ Roberts, Geoffrey (2006). Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-300-11204-7.
  45. ^ "То, что Каплер – еврей, раздражало его, кажется, больше всего."
  46. ^ N. Tolstoy, ibib., p. 24.
  47. ^ Sebag-Montefiore, Simon (2005). Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. New York: Random House. p. 267. ISBN 978-1-4000-7678-9.
  48. ^ Khrushchev, Nikita & Sergei Khrushchev (Ed.) (2006). Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, Volume 2. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-271-02861-3
  49. ^ Khrushchev, Nikita & Sergei Khrushchev (Ed.) (2006). Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, Volume 2. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-271-02861-3
  50. ^ Parrish, Michael. The Lesser Terror: Soviet State Security, 1939–1953. Westport Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-275-95113-9.
  51. ^ Lindemann, Albert (2000). Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 454. ISBN 978-0-521-79538-8.


See also

On the other hand, in Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews, historian Albert S. Lindemann observes that

, historian Michael Parrish posits that The Lesser Terror: Soviet State Security, 1939–1953Analyzing various explanations for Stalin's perceived antisemitism in his book

He further professed that Stalin frequently made antisemitic comments after World War II.[49]

wrote in his memoirs that Nikita Khrushchev

Stalin's son Yakov also married a Jewish woman, Yulia Meltzer, and though Stalin disapproved at first, he began to grow fond of her. Stalin's biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore writes that Lavrenty Beria's son noted that his father could list Stalin's affairs with Jewish women.[47]

When Stalin's young daughter Svetlana fell in love with prominent Soviet filmmaker Alexei Kapler, a Jewish man twenty-three years her elder, Stalin was strongly irritated by the relationship. According to Svetlana, "He (Stalin) was irritated more than anything else by the fact that Kapler was Jewish".[45][46] Kapler was convicted to ten years of hard labor in Gulag on the charges of being an "English spy." Stalin's daughter later fell in love with Grigori Morozov, another Jew, and married him. Stalin agreed to their marriage after much pleading on Svetlana's part, but refused to attend the wedding.

Some of Stalin's associates were Jews or had Jewish spouses, including Lazar Kaganovich.[43] Many of them were purged, including Nikolai Yezhov's wife and Polina Zhemchuzhina, who was Vyacheslav Molotov's wife, and also Bronislava Poskrebysheva.[43] Historian Geoffrey Roberts points out that Stalin "continued to fête Jewish writers and artists even at the height of the anti-Zionist campaign of the early 1950s."[44]

Joseph Stalin with Lazar Kaganovich.

Associates and family

During this time Soviet Jews were dubbed as persons of Jewish ethnicity. A dean of Marxism-Leninism department at one of Soviet Universities explained the policy to his students:[42]

Similar purges against Jews were organised in Eastern Bloc countries (see Prague Trials).

However, the letter, initially planned to be published in February 1953, remained unpublished. Instead of the letter, a vehement feuilleton "The Simple-minded and the Swindlers" was published in Pravda, featuring numerous characters with Jewish names, all of them swindlers, villains, saboteurs, whom the naïve Russian people trust, having lost vigilance. What followed was a new wave of antisemitic hysteria, and a plan by Stalin to send all of the Jews to Siberia,[40][41] similar to other ethnic groups. Only Stalin's death the same year relieved the fear.[17]

As Western press accused the Soviet Union of antisemitism, the Central Committee of Communist Party decided to organise a propagandistic trick, a collective letter by the Jewish public, condemning with fervour "the murderers in white overalls" and the agents of imperialism and Zionism, and to assure there was no antisemitism in the USSR. The letter was signed by well-known scientists and culture figures, who had been forced to do so by the NKVD.[17]

[39] On 13 January 1953, the Soviet Union's

The Doctors' Plot

The outside world was not ignorant of these developments, and even the leading members of the Communist Party USA complained about the situation. In the memoir Being Red, the American writer and prominent Communist Howard Fast recalls a meeting with Soviet writer and World Peace Congress delegate Alexander Fadeyev during this time. Fadeyev insisted that "There is no anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union", despite the evidence "that at least eight leading Jewish figures in the Red Army and in government had been arrested on what appeared to be trumped-up charges. Yiddish-language newspapers had been suppressed. Schools that taught Hebrew had been closed. . . ."[38]

A notable campaign to quietly remove Jews from positions of authority within the state security services was carried out in 1952–1953. The Russian historians Zhores and Roy Medvedev wrote that according to [MVD] General Sudoplatov, "simultaneously all Jews were removed from the leadership of the security services, even those in very senior positions. In February the anti-Jewish expulsions were extended to regional branches of the MGB. A secret directive was distributed to all regional directorates of the MGB on 22 February, ordering that all Jewish employees of the MGB be dismissed immediately, regardless of rank, age or service record. . . .[37]".

In a 1 December 1952 Politburo session, Stalin announced: "Every Jewish nationalist is the agent of the American intelligence service. Jewish nationalists think that their nation was saved by the USA. . . They think they are indebted to the Americans. Among doctors, there are many Jewish nationalists."[36]

During the night of 12–13 August 1952, remembered as the "Night of the Murdered Poets" (Ночь казнённых поэтов), thirteen of the most prominent Yiddish writers of the Soviet Union were executed on the orders of Stalin. Among the victims were Peretz Markish, David Bergelson and Itzik Fefer.

[35] The ninety-year-old scientist wrote Stalin a second letter in mid-February, again mentioning the growing antisemitism. In March, Gamaleya died, still having received no answer.[34] In early February 1949, the

In Birobidzhan, the various Jewish cultural institutions that had been established under Stalin's earlier policy of support for "proletarian Jewish culture" in the 1930s were closed down between late 1948 and early 1949. These included the Kaganovich Yiddish Theater, the Yiddish publishing house, the Yiddish newspaper Birobidzhan, the library of Yiddish and Hebrew books, and the local Jewish schools.[33] The same happened to Yiddish theaters all over the Soviet Union, beginning with the Odessa Yiddish Theater and including the Moscow State Jewish Theater.

[32] In November 1948, Soviet authorities launched a campaign to liquidate what was left of Jewish culture. The leading members of the

[31] was still publishing on schedule, and, most important, the Soviet Union recognized the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. To most Moscow Jews, the state of Soviet Jewry had never been better.Eynikayt' signaled. Indeed, official attitudes toward Jewish culture were ambivalent during this period. On the surface, Jewish culture seemed to be supported by the state: public efforts had been made to sustain the Yiddish theater after Mikhoels's death, rootless cosmopolitans and the threat to Soviet Jews that the brewing campaign against 'Zhdanovshchina". Jeffrey Veidlinger writes that "By October 1948, it was obvious that Mikhoels was by no means the sole advocate of Zionism among Soviet Jews. The revival of Jewish cultural expression during the war had fostered a general sense of boldness among the Jewish masses. Many Jews remained oblivious to the growing [30]Historians Albert S. Lindemann and Richard S. Levy observe that "When, in October 1948, during the high holy days, thousands of Jews rallied around Moscow's central synagogue to honor Golda Meir, the first Israeli ambassador, the authorities became especially alarmed at the signs of Jewish disaffection.

suggests that Orlando Figes" in light of a pro-Western Israel in the Middle East. fifth columnDespite Stalin's willingness to support Israel early on, various historians suppose that antisemitism in the late 1940s and early 1950s was motivated by Stalin's possible perception of Jews as a potential "

Nonetheless, Stalin began a new purge with repressing his wartime allies, the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. In January 1948, Solomon Mikhoels was assassinated on Stalin's personal orders in Minsk. His murder was disguised as a hit-and-run car accident. Mikhoels was taken to MGB dacha and killed, along with his non-Jewish colleague Golubov-Potapov, under supervision of Stalin's Deputy Minister of State Security Sergei Ogoltsov. Their bodies were then dumped on a road-side in Minsk[27][28]

In the meantime, Stalin also warmed to the idea of Israel as a Jewish state. In 1947, the Soviet Union joined the United States in supporting the partition of British Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, and supported Israel in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War with weaponry supplied via Czechoslovakia.[26]

The Jewish Autonomous Oblast experienced a revival as the Soviet government sponsored the migration of as many as ten thousand Eastern European Jews to Birobidzhan in 1946–1948.[25] In early 1946, the Council of Ministers of the USSR announced a plan to build new infrastructure, and Mikhail Kalinin, a champion of the Birobidzhan project since the late 1920s, stated that he still considered the region as a "Jewish national state" that could be revived through "creative toil."[25]

The experience of the Holocaust, which wiped out some six million Jews in Europe under Nazi occupation, and left millions more homeless and displaced, contributed to growing concern about the situation of the Jewish people worldwide. However, the trauma breathed new life into the traditional idea of a common Jewish peoplehood and became a catalyst for the revival of the Zionist idea of creating a Jewish state in the Middle East.

After World War II

In the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s far fewer Jews were appointed to positions of power in the state apparatus than previously, with a sharp drop in Jewish representation in senior positions evident from around the time of the beginning of the late 1930s rapprochement with Nazi Germany. The percentage of Jews in positions of power dropped to 6% in 1938, and to 5% in 1940.[20]

According to some historians, antisemitic trends in the Kremlin's policies could be fueled by the exile of Leon Trotsky.[23][24]

During his meeting with Nazi Germany's foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, Stalin promised him to get rid of the "Jewish domination", especially among the intelligentsia.[18] After dismissing Maxim Litvinov as Foreign Minister in 1939,[19] Stalin immediately directed incoming Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov to "purge the ministry of Jews", to appease Hitler and to signal Nazi Germany that the USSR was ready for non-aggression talks.[19][20][21][22]

Nazi-Soviet rapprochement and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Stalin's harshest period of mass repression, the so-called Great Purge (or Great Terror), was launched in 1936–1937 and involved the execution of over a half-million Soviet citizens accused of treason, terrorism, and other anti-Soviet crimes. The campaign of purges prominently targeted Stalin's former opponents and other Old Bolsheviks, and included a large-scale purge of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, repression of the kulak peasants, Red Army leaders, and ordinary citizens accused of conspiring against the Stalinist government.[11] Although many of Great Purge victims were ethnic or religious Jews, they were not specifically targeted as an ethnic group during this campaign according to Mikhail Baitalsky,[12] Gennady Kostyrchenko,[13] David Priestland,[14] Jeffrey Veidlinger,[15] Roy Medvedev[16] and Edvard Radzinsky.[17]

Great Purge

To offset the growing Jewish national and religious aspirations of Zionism and to successfully categorize Soviet Jews under Stalin's nationality policy an alternative to the Land of Israel was established with the help of Komzet and OZET in 1928. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast with the center in Birobidzhan in the Russian Far East was to become a "Soviet Zion". Yiddish, rather than "reactionary" Hebrew, would be the national language, and proletarian socialist literature and arts would replace Judaism as the quintessence of culture. Despite a massive domestic and international state propaganda campaign, the Jewish population there never reached 30% (as of 2003 it was only about 1.2%). The experiment ground to a halt in the mid-1930s, during Stalin's first campaign of purges, as local leaders were not spared during the purges.

Establishment of Jewish Autonomous Oblast

On 12 January 1931, Stalin gave the following answer to an inquiry on the subject of the Soviet attitude toward antisemitism from the Jewish News Agency in the United States:

Stalin's 1931 condemnation of antisemitism


Nevertheless, following Lenin's death in early 1924, another large scale campaign against antisemitism was again conducted in 1927–1930, under Stalin's leadership.[9]

When Boris Bazhanov, Stalin's personal secretary who had defected to France in 1928, produced a memoir critical of Stalin in 1930, he alleged that Stalin made crude antisemitic outbursts even before Lenin's death.[8]

After the incapacitated Lenin's death on 21 January 1924, the party officially maintained the principle of collective leadership, but Stalin soon outmaneuvered his rivals in the Central Committee's Politburo. At first collaborating with Jewish and half Jewish Politburo members Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev against Jewish arch-rival Leon Trotsky, Stalin succeeded in marginalizing Trotsky. By 1929, Stalin had also effectively marginalized Zinoviev and Kamenev as well, compelling both to submit to his authority. The intransigent Trotsky was forced into exile.

[7] in—which recommended that the party remove Stalin from his post as General Secretary)—the 1922 letters and the recommendation were both withheld from public circulation by Stalin and his supporters in the party: these materials were not published in the Soviet Union until Lenin's Testament Eventually made public as part of [6]

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