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Saturday, July 11, 1998

Khruschev Remembers

Translated and Edited by
Strobe Talbot

Publisher's Note

{p. v} THIS book is made up of material emanating from various sources at various times in various circumstances. The publisher is convinced beyond any doubt, and has taken pains to confirm, that this is the authentic record of Nikita Khrushchev's words. Whether the author intended or expected his words to find their way into print, either in his own country or in the west, is a matter of speculation....

{nobs Ed.: paperback edition by Frederick Preager Press}


5. Prelude to War

{p. 148} The annexation of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia occurred somewhat later...We asked for assurance that the Baltic republics wouldn't attack us. It goes without saying that there was soon as change of government in each of these countries....

The annexation of the Baltic states furthered our progressive aims with regard to the peoples of that area....The working class and laboring peasants of the Baltic states knew that the liquidation of the exploiting classes which we had accomplished in Russia would spread to all the peoples who were to join the Soviet Union.

For a while the Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians were faced with a problem. Their leaders had fled with the bourgeoisie. Some leaders who didn't have time to flee were given posts in the new gov-
{p.149} ernments, but mostly we had to find new people.24....progressive forces began to promote friendship with the Soviet Union...

...The way we looked at it, if a full-scale war broke out and if England, France, or Germany tried to launch and invasion against us, they might had tried to use the territory of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia as a staging area...

24. Many did flee. Others were not so lucky. It has been estimated that between the Soviet annexation and the German invasion, over 170,000 individuals were arrested, put into cattle trucks, and deported to Siberia. The list of categories to be deported, which included in principle almost everyone who was not a manual worker or a peasant or a professing Communist, was drawn up, seven months before occupation, by I. A. Serov of the NKVD and embodied in the notorious Order No. 001223 of October 11, 1939, signed by Serov—who, almost immediately afterward joined Khrushchev in the Ukraine and put into effect the same procedure of arrests and deportation, but on a much enlarged scale.

8. Stalin's Last Years

Fear and Intrigue in the Inner Circle

{p. 313} ...I watched with great interest as this "friendship" between the two rogues developed. I could see Beria neither liked nor respected Malenkov but was simply using his for his own political ends. Beria once said to me something like:

"Listen, about this spineless fellow Malenkov. He's nothing but a billy goat. He'll bolt if you don't hold him on a leash. But he's a Russian billy and very proper. He may come in handy." This business about "coming in handy" was the key to Beria's friendship with Malenkov.31

31. Throughout Thai narrative Khrushchev so successfully writes off Malenkov as a characterless intriguer that it requires an effort to remember that this same "billy goat" came within a hairsbreadth of deposing Khrushchev in 1957. He was certainly an intriguer; he was also extremely able, ruthless, and tough. In addition, he was well educated and cultivated, perhaps inclined to look down on Khrushchev. (See appendix 3.)


15. Restoring order in Hungary

{p. 415} Khrushchev's highly defensive account of the Hungarian uprising of 1956 diverges widely from generally accepted facts that it would require a small book to counter his version point by point and set out the true sequence of events. But a few major points should be made...Nagy was held back at party headquarters by the rump of the Stalinists, who appealed to the Soviet Army. The result was that the greater part of the Hungarian army turned against the Russians...

16. Nassar, Suez and the Aswan Dam

{p. 430} ...The most interesting point that emerges is Soviet ignorance of the real state of affairs in Egypt before the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956—and later, Iraq.

I won't deny that it created certain difficulties for us when the Anti-Soviet elements stirred up a critical situation in Poland and Hungary. While we were dealing with those problems, second-echelon English and French diplomats in London and Paris met with our embassy people over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and said, "You seem to have some trouble on your hands in Poland and Hungary. We understand how it is sometimes. We're having some troubles of our own in Egypt. Let's have a tacit understanding between us that you'll liquidate your difficulties by whatever means you see fit, and you won't interfere while we do the same." In other words, the imperialists tried to take advantage of the troubles we were having in Poland and Hungary so that they could send their troops in Egypt to reestablish colonial rule.


{p. 546} Georgi M. Malenkov Far from being what Khrushchev makes him out to be—Stalin's half-wit clerk and Beria's obsequious "billy goat"—"Yegor" Malenkov was a man of formidable intellignece, ability, toughness, and ambition. He was much more sophisticated in background than Khrushchev, whom he probably considered a loud-mouthed, ham-handed bumpkin. With the death in 1948 of Andrei Zhdanov (whom Khrushchev damns here by ignoring altogether), Malenkov became the second most powerful figure in the Soviet leadership. He was widely regarded as Stalin's heir apparent, an impression which seemed to be confirmed when Stalin designated him to deliver the General Report on his behalf at the Nineteenth Party Congress in 1952.

{p. 547} For a short time afer Stalin's death, Malenkov was both Party First Secretary and Prime Minister. During the interregnum, while Khrushchev was consolidating his forces, Malenkov lad the way in reshaping Soviet foreign and domestic policy to fit thge realities of the post-war world. It as Malenkov who first suggested that the Leninist dogma about inevitability of all-out war between Communism and capitalism might be obsolete in the age of thermonuclear weapons—a suggestion which Khrushchev initially attacked as revisionist heresy but later canonized as his own "peaceful coexistence" doctrine. It was Malenkov who first called for a higher standard of living for the people and a higher priority on the production of consumer goods...And it was under Malenkov that the Doctor's Plot was repudiated as a fabrication...