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Ned Kelly
15-02-2005, 13:09
i read 'the court of the red tsar' recently, a terrific book, and aside from detailing his horrors, beria is portrayed as a highly intelligent individual.

towards the end, as stalin begins to fade, he comes out and says the soviet union needs private property and a functioning economy and talks up freeing east germany, which triggered the protests there in 1953 (scaring off the other magnates).

i was always under the impression he had wanted to release all the criminals in the country after stalin's death as an excuse for a new crackdown - but this book seems to suggest the exact opposite.

anyone have anything more definitive on this?

koba65
15-02-2005, 13:29
That's the first I've heard of it, but not entirely impossible or implausible. If you know Russian, the book store "Moskva" on Tverskaya has tons of books on Beria. I'll buy you a pint or two if you can read all of "Lavrenti Beriya - Moj Otets" without throwing up.

tgma
15-02-2005, 15:36
In Ann Applebaum's "Gulag" there is also information about Beria trying to release everyone from the Gulag, immediately after Stalin's death, and seemingly starting an immediate, Krushchev-style thaw. I'm not an expert on this, but it seems like the Politburo suddenly realised that they had been willing participants in creating a nightmare, and that they needed to do something to redeem themselves. Then they realised that if they did this, then they needed to find a scapegoat, so they chose Beria, who then conveniently committed suicide.

koba65
15-02-2005, 15:45
Originally posted by tgma
In Ann Applebaum's "Gulag" there is also information about Beria trying to release everyone from the Gulag, immediately after Stalin's death, and seemingly starting an immediate, Krushchev-style thaw. I'm not an expert on this, but it seems like the Politburo suddenly realised that they had been willing participants in creating a nightmare, and that they needed to do something to redeem themselves. Then they realised that if they did this, then they needed to find a scapegoat, so they chose Beria, who then conveniently committed suicide.

Suicide? Interesting - thought he was executed?

Benedikt
15-02-2005, 15:55
.. i do apologise, i got the facts right now after consulting with a senior russian employee who still remembers the times past.
chrushchev and malenko agitated in the politpuro and they ordered marshal shukov ( THE GUY on the HORSE ON RED SQUARE) to arrest beria and subsequently beria was shot. this was in 1953
i do once more apologise for the wrong facts.

Sadie
15-02-2005, 16:04
i don't think we had any presidents in 1953 when he was executed :)
Andropov was yet a partizan in the Karelian forests at that time I assume ;) :)

koba65
15-02-2005, 16:06
Nobody was in complete control then, but Khrushev surely had the upperhand.


Here's a good link to Beria info:

http://www.diacritica.com/degenerate/9/beria12.html

Ned Kelly
15-02-2005, 16:08
beria was shot. benedikt, your head seems to be lodged in your nether region!

Halyavshik
15-02-2005, 16:24
Originally posted by Benedikt
..beria was shot (andropov was president at that time)

Hmm. That must've been around the time Reagan was General Secretary of the US.

Sadie
15-02-2005, 16:32
he was shot two times in fact, second time - just to make sure he never comes back to life :)

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 16:38
Originally posted by Sadie
he was shot two times in fact, second time - just to make sure he never comes back to life :)

Who authorised that kind of unnecessary expenditure back in 1953? Was it not contrary to various five year plans etc? Was the person who authorised the second shot also executed or at the very least imprisoned?

Halyavshik
15-02-2005, 16:47
Originally posted by 85StoneWhiteFurball
Who authorised that kind of unnecessary expenditure back in 1953? Was it not contrary to various five year plans etc? Was the person who authorised the second shot also executed or at the very least imprisoned?

No he was sentenced to a life time of reading your silly, senseless, drivel-like sh*te desperately struggling to pass as funny.

trebor
15-02-2005, 17:20
Beira was shot in the Lubyanka on the orders of Khrushev and Molotov. Now the two biggest players after the death of Stalin. The other members of the politburo conspired against him after he had announced he would assume power.
His wife warned him to be careful as he left their apartment " don't worry he told her, the others have agreed"
He begged to be allowed to live and a towel was placed into his mouth to stop his pleadings. His eyes were bulging.

From the book "Stalin" sorry forgot the author!:)

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 17:24
Originally posted by trebor
.

From the book "Stalin" sorry forgot the author!:)

Simon Sebag Montefiore? If anyone wants to borrow it, pls PM me.

trebor
15-02-2005, 17:27
Originally posted by 85StoneWhiteFurball
Simon Sebag Montefiore? If anyone wants to borrow it, pls PM me.
Yer, that's him. How could i forget a name like that? :)

Excellent book, i couldn't put it down.

Ned Kelly
15-02-2005, 17:43
Originally posted by trebor
Yer, that's him. How could i forget a name like that? :)

Excellent book, i couldn't put it down.

oh god, trebor professed respect for a frenchman...

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 17:46
LOL - Simon Sebag Montefiore is British, and Montefiore is an old British Jewish family, originally from Italy.

Ned Kelly
15-02-2005, 17:51
classic, the book is called "inside the court of the red tsar", which is, er, the book i started out the thread talking about.

listen you pissants - get out of my thread! only me and koba and maybe spara if he's on good behaviour are allowed in! ;)

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 17:55
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
classic, the book is called "inside the court of the red tsar", which is, er, the book i started out the thread talking about.

listen you pissants - get out of my thread! only me and koba and maybe spara if he's on good behaviour are allowed in! ;)

:getlost:

Stalin: In the Court of the Red Tsar. Book is right in front of me now - Amazon is as confusing as can be and I misread the listing :(.

Sadie
15-02-2005, 17:58
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
listen you pissants - get out of my thread! only me and koba and maybe spara if he's on good behaviour are allowed in! ;)
che?:suspect: :p

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 18:00
Originally posted by Sadie
che?:suspect: :p

He does not like it when he is presented with the correct information by certain superior intellects. :p

Ned Kelly
15-02-2005, 18:00
Originally posted by Sadie
che?:suspect: :p

you're exempt: you're on ned's team.

Ned Kelly
15-02-2005, 18:01
Originally posted by 85StoneWhiteFurball
superiour

indeed!

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 18:03
Originally posted by 85StoneWhiteFurball
superiour
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



indeed!

HUH? I can spell "superior".

peyote
15-02-2005, 18:05
Originally posted by Sadie
che?:suspect: :p guevara?

Sadie
15-02-2005, 18:09
peyote, stop swearing! :rolleyes: :shame: :p

peyote
15-02-2005, 18:10
LOL!

Random
15-02-2005, 18:10
What book are we colouring in here ??

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 18:11
Swearing? Che Guevara estaba cabron, y yo hablo espanol de la mierda.

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 18:12
Originally posted by Random
What book are we colouring in here ??

Fanny Hill.

trebor
15-02-2005, 18:13
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
[B]............classic, the book is called "inside the court of the red tsar", which is, er, the book i started out the thread talking about.B]

Listen Ned, you pissant, the book is actualy called:

"Stalin: The court of the red tsar"
and the author is English. Just because the geezer's got a French sounding name doesn't mean he's a Frog and got garlic breath does it?

Do some homework before you post!:)

85StoneWhiteFurball
15-02-2005, 18:20
Yes - Trebor is correct - I edited my earlier post as the book is now right in front of me - whatever listing I checked was confusing. In any case, anyone who has not read it and would like to borrow it is welcome to PM me.

koba65
15-02-2005, 20:06
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
classic, the book is called "inside the court of the red tsar", which is, er, the book i started out the thread talking about.

listen you pissants - get out of my thread! only me and koba and maybe spara if he's on good behaviour are allowed in! ;)


Careful! You know what they say about the company you keep....

P&M
15-02-2005, 21:41
A distant relative (on the in-laws side) tried to tell me that he was a very junior participant in the great mans demise - according to his story (and 0.5l of vodka), Beria was to have been 'detained' for detailed 'discussions' with his colleagues. Picked up at gun point, he reportedly 'shat himself' in the car and then tried to jump out on route and was genuinely 'shot whilst attempting to escape'. History does not relate what happened to his guards - my wife's uncle's ex-wife's brother was the poor sod detailed to clean up the car!

No, he did not keep any souvenirs.

Sparafucile
15-02-2005, 22:07
>> maybe spara if he's on good behaviour <<

Montefiore's book is excellent, I can thoroughly recommend it. I even have a spare copy (I was given duplicate for Xmas) which I can lend (since it is hard to get in Moscow otherwise).

I was so impressed with the Stalin book that I'm currently reading his biography of Potemkin - a book which debunks almost everything you thought you knew about him.

By the way, another excellent book on Stalin is the biography by Robert Service (publ Macmillan).

The success of Montefiore's book is that he gives some indication of the terrifying power one man had over hundreds of millions of people. As a marvellous counterbalance to that, I seriously recommend Solomon Volkov's book "Shostakovich & Stalin" (it's available in English). Although Stalin was capable of murdering by the anonymous thousand, this book shows how he calculatedly ruined the life and career of individuals in a focussed and premeditated way.

Sadie
16-02-2005, 05:45
Originally posted by P&M
A distant relative (on the in-laws side) tried to tell me that he was a very junior participant in the great mans demise - according to his story (and 0.5l of vodka), Beria was to have been 'detained' for detailed 'discussions' with his colleagues. Picked up at gun point, he reportedly 'shat himself' in the car and then tried to jump out on route and was genuinely 'shot whilst attempting to escape'. History does not relate what happened to his guards - my wife's uncle's ex-wife's brother was the poor sod detailed to clean up the car!

No, he did not keep any souvenirs.
... in his later days he fully devoted himself to writing books and became famous as the author of the Lord of the Rings..;)

koba65
16-02-2005, 06:33
Originally posted by P&M
A distant relative (on the in-laws side) tried to tell me that he was a very junior participant in the great mans demise - according to his story (and 0.5l of vodka), Beria was to have been 'detained' for detailed 'discussions' with his colleagues. Picked up at gun point, he reportedly 'shat himself' in the car and then tried to jump out on route and was genuinely 'shot whilst attempting to escape'. History does not relate what happened to his guards - my wife's uncle's ex-wife's brother was the poor sod detailed to clean up the car!

No, he did not keep any souvenirs.

The only problem with that rumor is Beria actually wrote some letters while in prison awaiting trial- they were found in the archives.

Ned Kelly
16-02-2005, 07:22
Originally posted by Sparafucile
>> maybe spara if he's on good behaviour <<

Montefiore's book is excellent, I can thoroughly recommend it. I even have a spare copy (I was given duplicate for Xmas) which I can lend (since it is hard to get in Moscow otherwise).

I was so impressed with the Stalin book that I'm currently reading his biography of Potemkin - a book which debunks almost everything you thought you knew about him.

By the way, another excellent book on Stalin is the biography by Robert Service (publ Macmillan).

The success of Montefiore's book is that he gives some indication of the terrifying power one man had over hundreds of millions of people. As a marvellous counterbalance to that, I seriously recommend Solomon Volkov's book "Shostakovich & Stalin" (it's available in English). Although Stalin was capable of murdering by the anonymous thousand, this book shows how he calculatedly ruined the life and career of individuals in a focussed and premeditated way.

so the long and the short of it is that polar and trebor are dingos and montefiore's book is superb (koba and spara agree, so it must be good!)

koba65
16-02-2005, 09:08
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
so the long and the short of it is that polar and trebor are dingos and montefiore's book is superb (koba and spara agree, so it must be good!)

Oh crap, and I like the Service book too. What's the world coming to?

If you want to read an interesting book about Stalin - you could try Volkogonov's "Stalin" - it's available in English. His book is significant because of the timeframe in which it was written and because the author was the first Russian to publish in Russia a book about the "Vozhd" that was less than complimentary.

Shatneresque
16-02-2005, 09:45
Originally posted by tgma
it seems like the Politburo suddenly realised that they had been willing participants in creating a nightmare, and that they needed to do something to redeem themselves. Then they realised that if they did this, then they needed to find a scapegoat, so they chose Beria.

More like they were interested in saving their own skins. The situation was something akin to the last days of the Third Reich, when Hitler (the only force that had held the Nazi Party together) was obviously losing control and Goering, Himmler, et al., went their separate ways while trying to liquidate one another in the process.

Without Stalin to keep watch over the antics of the Politburo, Beria was a major threat to Khrushchev, Malenkov, and the rest of the Class of '38, and had to be dealt with. Zhukov would later be put out to pasture to end any possibility of a military coup.

Having said this, I think it is true that they already realized the Stalinist system had outlived whatever usefulness it may have once had, and that reform was needed in general. In carrying out the reforms of the 50s and early 60s, though, the emphasis was always on the supreme role of the Party and on collective decision making, even after Khrushchev (and then Brezhnev) emerged as primus inter pares.

The reforms of the Thaw period and the politics of de-Stalinization remain inadequately studied. They'd make a great topic for a Ph.D dissertation....

Ned Kelly
16-02-2005, 12:40
well, from montefiore's book, beria intended to serve as the power behind the throne (returning to head the secret police) with a russian figurehead leader (he agreed wouldn't be possible to have successive non-russians formally leading the soviet union).

he was also streaks ahead of the others intellectually and in terms of ambition and this scared the heck out of them (it was zhukov who came in and arrested him).

however, i think the 60s sci-fi character (thanks hal, that post made me laugh a load) is right, whoever assumed the upper hand would have scapegoated the others for stalin's crimes. beria most certainly would have done it - and they were all up to their armpits in blood.

Brezhnev L.I.
16-02-2005, 12:56
Why it is always the most evil men that are remembered? Does he deserve this discussion? The world forgetting about him would be the best thing he deserves.

Ned Kelly
16-02-2005, 13:03
so start a thread about jimmy carter.

koba65
16-02-2005, 13:05
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
well, from montefiore's book, beria intended to serve as the power behind the throne (returning to head the secret police) with a russian figurehead leader (he agreed wouldn't be possible to have successive non-russians formally leading the soviet union).

he was also streaks ahead of the others intellectually and in terms of ambition and this scared the heck out of them (it was zhukov who came in and arrested him).

however, i think the 60s sci-fi character (thanks hal, that post made me laugh a load) is right, whoever assumed the upper hand would have scapegoated the others for stalin's crimes. beria most certainly would have done it - and they were all up to their armpits in blood.

There are some who say that Zhukov was the trigger man in the execution.

Shatneresque
16-02-2005, 13:25
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
well, from montefiore's book, beria intended to serve as the power behind the throne (returning to head the secret police) with a russian figurehead leader (he agreed wouldn't be possible to have successive non-russians formally leading the soviet union).

he was also streaks ahead of the others intellectually and in terms of ambition and this scared the heck out of them (it was zhukov who came in and arrested him).

however, i think the 60s sci-fi character (thanks hal, that post made me laugh a load) is right, whoever assumed the upper hand would have scapegoated the others for stalin's crimes. beria most certainly would have done it - and they were all up to their armpits in blood.

Haven't read Montefiore's book yet, but I can believe it was Beria's intent to rule the Soviet Union from behind the throne. Unfortunately, as Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov pointed out in Stalin and the Soviet Communist Party: A Study in the Technology of Power, the people he sought to manipulate were no longer the inexperienced party hacks they had been fifteen years earlier. Under Stalin's tutelage, they had learned everything they needed to know about amassing and exercising power.

The nearest historical parallel I can think of is Sejanus's reign of terror in Rome under Tiberius, and his subsequent downfall at the hands of Gaius Caligula.

Ned Kelly
16-02-2005, 13:38
i guess beria's fallback was returning as head of the secret police: that's why the position was a revolving door in stalin's time. it was a serious alternative source of power.

Shatneresque
16-02-2005, 13:52
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
i guess beria's fallback was returning as head of the secret police: that's why the position was a revolving door in stalin's time. it was a serious alternative source of power.

I need to learn more about the period, but I think it's clear the post became a revolving door precisely because whoever headed the NKVD/OGU/OGPU/MVD inevitably amassed so much power that Stalin would perceive him as a threat, whether or not he actually was.

It's been pretty well established that Stalin was planning another major purge of the top leadership when he died; according to Avtorkhanov, they had more than a passive role in orchestrating his demise.

(Tekhnika vlasti was originally printed in Russian in West Germany, where the author lived and worked. I don't know if an English translation is available; I read it in the original when I was in college.)

Ned Kelly
16-02-2005, 14:07
yes, stalin's death almost certainly saved molotov's life - and probably the others.

Benedikt
16-02-2005, 16:37
ghandi is being remembered, so is mother theresa,ex- president mandela and quite a few GOOD people

Ned Kelly
16-02-2005, 16:46
Originally posted by Benedikt
so is mother theresa

you need to read christopher hitchens, you mightn't be so sure.

85StoneWhiteFurball
16-02-2005, 16:52
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
you need to read christopher hitchens, you mightn't be so sure.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/hitchens_16_4.html

http://slate.msn.com/id/2090083/

Quite an eye opener, but there is no way to know the truth at this point - she has been canonized by the media, albeit only beatified by the Pope :). Also pls note Hitchens' strong anti-religious bias.

Shatneresque
16-02-2005, 17:01
I know a gentleman here in Moscow who actually worked with Mother Theresa in India. He has nothing but the highest praise for her.

trebor
16-02-2005, 18:17
Originally posted by Shatneresque
...............but I think it's clear the post became a revolving door precisely because whoever headed the NKVD/OGU/OGPU/MVD inevitably amassed so much power that Stalin would perceive him as a threat, whether or not he actually was.

Also, and perhaps more importantly they were the only ones who knew the truth as to why so many were eliminated. It was just Stalin's wish.

Ned Kelly
17-02-2005, 12:37
not sure about stalin's wish but i wish you'd say something intelligible!

trebor
17-02-2005, 20:53
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
not sure about stalin's wish .............

So lots of prominent Russians and members of the politburo (not to mention the masses, but who gives a f*ck about them anyway)died because it was the tooth fairie's wish then ? :rolleyes:

Ned did you read the book? or just look at the pretty pictures?:D