Staunton, June 26 – When one reads the Russian press especially in the Putin era, he or she is constantly reminded of the old anecdote about a Jew in a shtetl who subscribed to an anti-Semitic newspaper. When his friend asked him why he read such drivel, the man responded “because I like to learn just how powerful we really are.”
That thought struck the author of these lines today when he read a blog post by Sigizmund Mironin, a Moscow writer who has published books and articles about the death of Stalin and much else. In his post, Mironin said that 65 years ago today, Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria was shamefully murdered by CIA agents” (publizist.ru/blogs/108391/25635/65).
But the preposterousness of this idea pales into insignificance compared to the Russian blogger’s celebration of Beria, Stalin’s notorious secret police chief. Indeed, his words are the latest of a much broader public campaign by some in Russia to restore the reputation of Beria and elevate him to a status almost equal to Stalin’s.
According to Mironin, Marshal Bulganin was “complicitous in this attack on “the greatest worker of the Soviet state wo perhaps even exceeded in his abilities the Great Stalin.” Not only did Bulganin and the other leaders at the time conspire with the CIA, he continues, they then sought to do everything in their power to blacken Beria’s reputation.
Various researchers have concluded that Beria was killed on June 26 and not at the end of December as official Soviet history has it and as the more than 40 volumes of testimony he gave while under arrest. He was shot, Mironin says, after leaving the Kremlin where he had been signing documents about the Soviet nuclear power and rocket programs.
Beria’s contributions to the Soviet Union were immeasurable, the blogger says. He made Georgia a leader in the Soviet economy. He carried out collectivization there in a voluntary fashion. “He stopped the repressions of 1937 and conducted an unpublicized amnesty” at that time.
Moreover, Mironin continues, Beria “prepared NKVD forces to such an extent that they were the only ones that responded in a worthy fashion to Hitler’s attack of June 22, 1941; and during the war, he supervised the production of weaponry and the development of the key oil industry. Even more, he created Russia’s atomic bomb whose secrets Bulganin gave to the CIA.
“After the death of Stalin,” Beria “insisted on an amnesty for more than 1.5 million prisoners.” He ended the Doctor’s Plot and “stopped the anti-Semitic hysteria in the USSR.” And he rehabilitated many who had been unjustly convicted as the result of efforts by others in the Soviet leadership.
To obscure all that, those in that leadership who had conspired with the CIA and who wanted to cover their tracks came up with the false story that Beria kidnapped and sexually exploited young women. That is simply nonsense. Had he wanted any women, they would have stood two or three-deep along the road his car travelled and have tried to get his attention.
But the most important aspect of this case is this, Mironin insists. “If there had not been this shameful murder, then there would not have been any Perestoika and the USSR would have continued to proudly carry the banner of freedom and equality throughout the world. One must not condemn Beria but rather put up monuments to him in every city and every village.”
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