Moscow: Znanie, 1953. Item #1596
48 pp. 22,5x14 cm. In original printed wrappers. Mint, light creases of lower inner corner of copy.
Banned edition of two lectures withdrawn from public use.
It is a small book of great hate and suspicion released in August 1953, after Stalin’s death but still under the cult of his personality. At that time, a successor of Stalin, Georgy Malenkov (1901-1988) actually ruled the Soviet state. The book cited his speech alongside Stalin’s discourse. Joined Stalin in the 1920s, Malenkov sprouted roots in the Communist party and became heavily involved in Stalin’s purges during WWII. He is also responsible for the execution of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. In 1957, he joined the Anti-Party Group that resisted destalinization.
In the book, Lavrenti Beria is titled “the worst enemy of the Communist Party and Soviet people, an agent of international imperialism”. On June 26, 1953, Beria was accused of espionage and conspiracy to seize power. He was murdered on December 23, 1953. To hunt down and expose any other imperialists was determined the most important duty of the Soviet people. And first of all they had to struggle against American imperialism and its spies.
“Armed with a mighty weapon of political vigilance, the Communist party exposed and the Soviet state punished enemies of the people [in previous decades]. During the Second World War, the anti-Soviet activity of American intelligence was especially intensified. Espionage and subversive activities of imperialist intelligence services against our country and countries of the people’s democracy [the Socialist Bloc] became even more active after the war was over”. The authors wrote that the number of employees of the Central Intelligence Agency was incredibly high and there was a section for sabotage in the Socialist Bloc. According to them, tourists, capitalists, scholars, congressmen and others were forced to spy against the USSR – in particular, Eskimos and Aleuts were involved. Thus, Polish politician Stanisław Mikołajczyk was considered a supporter of American imperialism. He revived the Polish People’s Party «Piast» (PSL) and opposed Communist rule in post-war Poland. He emigrated to the USA in 1947. Bulgarian anti-Soviet politician Nikola Petkov didn’t manage to escape execution by Communist authorities. In the book he is also counted as an imperialist agent. In every country of the Socialist Bloc, some politician figures were denounced as spies and adherents of the enemies.
The book touches on the case of four members of an emigre group “the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists”, A. Makov, A. Lakhno, S. Gorbunov and D. Remiga who were parachuted from an American plane in Southern Russia in April 1953. They were soon captured by KGB officers and were shot as foreign intelligence agents. This case was also mentioned in several similar editions “Be Watchfull!” issued under different authorship in the 1950s. The topic of political vigilance was taken to a new level after the Cold War had started. An abundance of lectures, speeches and essays were published and widespread all over the USSR. Printrun of this edition was 200 thousand copies.
The book was published by the All-Union Society for the Propagation of Political and Scientific Knowledge, No.46/47 of a Series 1.
Copies are located in LoC, Stanford and Cornell Universities, NYPL.
Price: $450.00Status: On Hold