Courtesy Reuters

From Lenin to Stalin

WE LIVE in a time of planning -- even of planned history. History planned means history annulled. Moscow now dictates that the revolution of October 1917 had quite different authors and heroes from those whose pictures hung on the wall of every Soviet office as lately as 1924 and 1925. In those days the counterpart of Lenin's picture was always Trotsky's. The satellites then in the revolutionary planetarium were Zinoviev, Kamenev, Radek, Bukharin and perhaps Kalinin. Stalin was practically unknown till 1923-24. Today the same nails which used to support Trotsky's portrait now support Stalin's. Very often now you see him pictured together with Lenin -- Stalin smiling, kindly and faithful. This picture is possible only because it is a reproduction of an oil painting ad usum delphini, not an actual photograph.

It would not be so disturbing if history merely had been rewritten for those twenty years since October 1917 (and of course especially for the period since Lenin died, deeply embittered against Stalin, on January 21, 1924). But much more has been done than historical rewriting. History has been corrected not simply by trampling on the reputation of those who once basked in the full if sinister glory of the Bolshevik revolution, but by exiling them as the Tsar exiled them before, and ultimately by killing them. The third of the great trials of the men who ten years ago formed the beginning of a "Rightist" or a "Leftist" opposition was being held as this was written. Whether it will be the last nobody knows. But certainly it will be the last mass trial of those who stood proudly in the first rank during the "heroic days," the days of the Revolution and of Lenin -- the last for a simple and sufficient reason: no more of those men will be left.

The following tables give an idea of the transformation that has overtaken the ruling clique of the Soviet state since Lenin's death. While he was still in power, the "Sovnarkom" -- i.e.

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