A Show Trial Under Lenin: The Trial of the Socialist Revolutionaries, Moscow 1922

Series: Studies in Social History (v. 7)

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Soviet Russia will conquer all the millions of problems that stand in its way, on one condition: as long as the cause of the political education of the broad masses of the people continually advances. We have nothing to be afraid of, if our people fully learns to distinguish who are its friends and who are its enemies. The trial of the Socialist Revolutionaries must and shall be a great step forward in the cause of the political instruction of the very broadest masses in town and country. (Grigorii Zinov'ev, Pravda and Krasnaia gazeta, 20 June 1922) For my part, I considered this trial to be unnecessary: the Socialist Revolu- tionaries had been beaten and represented no visible danger at all. (Charles Rappoport, Ma vie, Paris 1926-1927, Vol. 2, p. 80) The Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in October 1917 by staging a coup d'etat, and then established a dictatorship. The new rulers sup- pressed all armed resistance in a bloody civil war, after which they made every effort to uproot and exterminate even peaceful political opposition of all kinds. Even now it is impossible in the Soviet Union to subject these developments to critical historical study. The political opponents of the Soviet regime of the time are still regarded by official Soviet his- toriography as counter-revolutionaries and the measures taken against them are seen as completely justified.