Being the Indictment, Trial and Condemnation of Arkadi Berdichevsky in Vorkuta in 1938 and thereafter his rehabilitation hearing in 1954 --Documents from Russia in 2004
EMBASSY OF THE
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Dear Vladislav Georgievich,
We forward herewith to you the response of the Department of Registry and Archival Collections of FSB of Russia.
[Signature] P. Ambarov
Federal Security Service
Department of Registry and Archival Collections
TO: W.G. Krasnow
Dear Vladislav Georgievich!
In response to your request, we are enclosing herewith a copy of
documents from the archived Investigation File #KP-6319. Those documents pertain to the
case of Arkady Yakovlevich Berdichevsky, born in 1888 in the city of
Attached are copies of these documents on 17 pages sent exclusively to this address.
Deputy Chief of the Department,
[Translator W.G. Krasnow: The two pages of Personal File No. 61568
are not translated as they contain no new information, except stating that
Berdichevskys height is 168 cm and he has normal body built. The rest of the
selection is translated page by page]
Translation of Page 55 (as marked in handwriting)
To indict Berdichevsky, A. Ya. [for his role] according to the articles 58/10,11, and 14 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, and, in order to prevent him from obstructing the investigation and, as a punishment for his contempt of court, place him in an Isolation Cell of 1st Category
Operation Agent: Zaudalov [Signature]
The Accused: A. Berdichevsky [Signature]
Copies to be sent to: a and b
Operation Chief of the 3rd Department: Zaudalov
Deputy Operation Chief: Dmitriev [Signature]
3rd Department Agent: Dunaev [Signature]
DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE 3RD DEPARTMENT OF NKVDS GULAG
For the Investigative Case No of the 3rd Department of NKVDs UKHTPECHLAG, subject to the discretionary decision by the Troika of NKVDs Archangelsk Regional Branch Office
According to the Investigative Dossier, the following individuals are ACCUSED:
The above-named individuals are accused of the crimes, which are spelled out in the article 58, paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR.
The 3rd Department of NKVD, attached to the UKHTPECHLAG, received information that a group of prisoners, sentenced for their counter-revolutionary Trotskyite activities, has been organizing, from the moment of their arrival in the camps, long-term hunger strikes to demonstrate a protest against the policy set by the VKP(b) and the Soviet Government.
Later, the said group, under the leadership of KOMOGOROV, BERDICHEVSKY, and IGONIN, having infiltrated itself in one of the labor camps working teams, consolidated itself as a counter-revolutionary Trotskyite formation. This group set before itself far-reaching goals, such as the broad propaganda of Counter-Revolutionary Trotskyite ideology, stirring up discontent among prisoners sentenced for petty crimes, organizing massive refusal to work, obstructing production quotas and schedules, as well as recruiting and training cadres which could be used in case of an armed conflict between the USSR and the Fascist countries.
To achieve these goals, the members of this group gathered crowds of prisoner and then conducted among them a counter-revolutionary propaganda aimed at discrediting the leader, exaggerating Trotskys merits, spreading the slanderous fabrications about Lenins testament according to which Trotsky was to be a successor in Party leadership.
Moreover, they tried to convince the
prisoners that in a future war with the fascist countries the
As far as their goal of undermining the camps productivity, this counter-revolutionary group systematically worked to create delays, slowdowns and the atmosphere of discontent thereby aiming at provoking massive discontent among the prisoners.
Although the accused BERDICHEVSKY, KOMOGOROV, NEKHLIN, IGONIN and others did not acknowledge their quilt, the testimony of the witnesses, as well as other information collected to buttress this case, completely exposed them.
THEREFORE IT WAS DECIDED
The Investigative Dossier No . charging BERDICHEVSKY, KOMOGOROV, NEKHLIN, IGONIN and others numbering 17 people all together, with the crimes according to the articles 58, paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Criminal Code, be moved to consideration by the Troika attached to the Archangelsk Oblast NKVD Office.
Acting Chief of the 6th Sector of the 3rd Department of NKVD at UKHTPECHLAG
Reference: For the three people in this case: (1) KOMOGOROV, Nikolai Vasilievich; (2)NEKHLIN, Shevel Solomonovich; and (3)MAKSIMOV-SHAKHTEROV, Iosif Lazorevich see the Investigative Dossier No.1611 which is also to be sent for consideration by the Troika in Archangelsk.
Acting Chief of the 6th Sector of the 3rd Department at NKVDs UKHTPECHLAG
Acting Chief of the 3rd Department of UKHTPECHLAG
(An Excerpt based on the Investigative Dossier No.90)
1. BERDICHEVSKY, Arkady Yakovlevich, born in 1888 in the city of Odessa, a Jew, son of a merchant, former BUND member, sentenced by the Special Conference of the NKVD of the USSR to five years in the camps for his counter-revolutionary Trotskyite activities.
A leader [rukovoditel] and organizer of a counter-revolutionary group which conducted, among the prisoners, a counter-revolutionary agitation and propaganda aimed at discrediting the policy of the VKP(b) and Soviet Government. This group spread slanderous fabrications against the leader [vozhd], preached defeatism, and worked to create massive refusals to work and to undermine production.
Of the Session of Troika Attached to the NKVD Main Office for the Archangelsk Oblast
Investigative Case No.90 of the 3rd Department of NKVD at Ukhtpechlag concerning charges against BERDICHEVSKY, Arkady Yakovlevich, born in 18888, previously condemned to five years of deprivation of freedom for his counter-revolutionary Trotskyite activities,
Who is now ACCUSED in that, while serving his punishment in Ukhtinsko Pechorsky Corrective Labor Camp, he organized a group and systematically conducted counter-revolutionary Trotskyite agitation.
It was DECIDED that
BERDICHEVSKY, Arkady Yakovlevich to be EXECUTED by a firing squad.
His File is be sent to the Archives.
The correctness [of the above excerpt] is AFFIRMED: by Chief of the 8th Department of the Main NKVD Office for the Archangelsk Oblast
Sr. Lieutenant of State Security /RUDNEV/ [Signature and Seal]
AN EXCERPT FROM AN ACT
The decision of the Troika of the NKVD for Archangelsk Oblast,
Senior Inspector of [??] Department of NKVD at Ukhtpechlag
Rehabilitation Decision in 1955
TO THE SUPREME COURT OF KOMI AUTONOMOUS
RE: The Case of Vasiliev, M.P. and Others
On January 11, 1938, based on the article 58-10 and 58-11 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, the following individuals were sentenced by the decision of Troika of the Main Office of NKVD for the Archangelsk Oblast to capital punishment [the Russian initials, V.M.N., mean the highest degree of punishment]:
The above-named individuals were found guilty in that, while serving their terms in Ukhtizhemlag, they formed an anti-Soviet group and conducted anti-Soviet agitation among the prisoners. Some of them actively participated in massive hunger strikes.
The decision of Troika in respect to all of
the above-named was carried out on
The decision of Troika in respect to all of the above-named must be annulled for the following reasons:
As can be seen in the documents contained
in their Case Dossier, none of the accused left any testimony. The Dossier contains some
Acts stating that the accused refused to give any information. However, the veracity of
these acts is in question because all these acts were written on the same date /
The Dossier also shows that all of the accused worked in the same work team whose team leader, KOMOGOROV, was sentenced, based on a different case.
The Dossier contains no document supporting the charge that the accused were members of an anti-Soviet group. The fact that they worked in the same team is insufficient evidence for such an accusation.
The Dossier contains no documents to support the claim that participation of some of the accused in a massive hunger strike should be treated as a criminal offense.
An Addendum to the Dossier contains statements of some prisoners, none of whom belongs to this group, explaining their motivation to take part in the above-named hunger strike. These statements do not show that the strikers presented any political demands /l.d.10-12/.
As part of the investigation of this case, 8 prisoners were interrogated as witnesses. Their testimony cannot be treated as objective evidence to support the charges against the accused for the following reasons:
Witnesses LYZIK /l.d.41/, POPANDOPULO /l.d.45/, and RUPP /l.d.51/ testified to the fact that the teams performance was poor. However, their testimony contains nothing to support the charges against the accused.
SOBAKIN /l.d.43/, GUSHCHA /l.d.47/, KRUGLIK /l.d.39/, and DOLGIKH /l.d.49/ stated that the accused conducted anti-Soviet agitation. However, none of these witnesses singled out any of the accused, nor gave any context or details supporting the charge.
YUNIN /l.d.32/ testified that KOMOGOROV had made anti-Soviet utterances. However, KOMOGOROV was sentenced in a different case, and so there are no specific facts to support the charges in respect to the people condemned in this particular case.
Based on the above and in conformity to the
The decision of the Troika of the Main Office of NKVD for
Archangelsk Oblast of
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF
STATE COUNCILLOR OF JURISPRUDENCE, 3RD CLASS
This case was initiated in respect to Mr. M.P. Vasiliev at
the request of the Office of the Attorney General [Prokuratura] of the
This document, PROTEST, is not dated
THE DECISION No. 44y57c
The Presidium of the Supreme Court of Komi Autonomous Republic
Chairman: Nechaev, N. Ya.
Presidium Members: Zyuzev, G.I; Ms. Kolegova, E.G., Mr. Levich, K.I. and Mr.. Shagleev, A.E.
Attorney General of
Presented By: Nechaev, N. Ya.
The Presidium considered the Protest of the
Attorney General of Komi Republic in respect to the Decision of the Troika of the Main
NKVD Office for the Archangelsk Oblast of
Were condemned to death through a firing squad.
The Troika decision was carried out on
The Protest is presented to request the annulment of the Troika decision and the closure of the case.
Having heard the presentation by the member of the Presidium, Comrade Nechaev, N.Ya. and the concluding rematks by the Attorney General of Komi Republic, Comrade Loshkarev, P.G, who supported the Protest, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Komi Autonomous Republic
That even though the above-named individuals, while serving their terms in Ukhtizhemlag, were found guilty of forming an anti-Soviet group and conducting anti-Soviet agitation among the prisoners, and that some of them actively participated in massive hunger strikes,
The Protest of the Attorney General of Komi Republic is well-founded and must be accepted.
In this Case, the accused were neither charged nor offered a chance to testify. Nor were they introduced to the evidence held against them.
This Dossier contains no evidence of the charge that the accused formed a group and conducted anti-Soviet agitation among the prisoners. Moreover, the alleged participation in a hunger strike does not constitute a criminal offense.
The witnesses who were interrogated in the course of investigation offered no specific proof that the accused were involved in anti-Soviet agitation.
Witnesses Lyzik, Popandopulo, and Rupp did not go beyond stating that in the team where the accused had worked work efforts were poorly organized. Witnesses Sobakin, Gushcha, Kruglik, and Doldikh offered no specific examples of anti-Soviet agitation from the accused.
Consequently, the accused were found guilty without an established corpus delicti, that is without a foundation in fact.
In conformity with the Decree of
That the decision of NKVDs Troika for Archangelsk
Five copies produced
[Seal of the Presidium]