Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin

Selections by Peter Myers; my comments within quoted text are shown {thus}.

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Date September 8, 2001; update February 28, 2019. Minor corrections April 20, 2021.

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The Wolf of the Kremlin is based upon the author Stuart Kahan's interviews with his uncle Lazar Kaganovich in 1981, and with other family members.

Stuart Kahan is a Zionist (p. 5, p. 17, p. 307); on moving to America, the family changed its name from Kaganovich to Kahan (p. 190), a variant of Cohen (priest).

Another uncle of Stuart was commisar of aviation under Stalin; Lazar's sister Rosa was Stalin's third wife.

I have had a number of emails from people of Kaganovich ancestry, who have lost touch with other family members. I have put them in touch with each other. One, Miriam de Vore, reports that her family members told her that her mother's Aunt Rose (Rosa) was married to Stalin. Lazar was Rose's brother.

(1) Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin
(2) Relatives of Lazar Kaganovich call Stuart Kahan's book a fraud
(3) Reply to the Statement of the Kaganovich family
(4) Miriam deVore (nee Kanagovich) says "my aunt florence cohen told me that her aunt rose was married to stalin"
(5) New York Magazine, February 2, 1947, said Rosa is Stalin's third wife
(6) Comparison: US military had a policy of strafing refugees in Korean War

(1) Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin

(William Morrow and Company, New York,1987)

. 5 (Preface)} In my own family ... the leader of the clan ... exuded evil, an evil that put millions of people to death, an evil that turned against his own people. ... He is the prime example of the species known to my fellow landsmen as the "self-hating Jew".

{"turning against his own people" means co-operating with Stalin in his purge of the Jewish Bolsheviks, but Kahan shows less pity for the non-Jews they killed; Kahan seems to think it a greater sin for his uncle to kill Jews - "his own people" - than non-Jews}

{p. 5} Some of my own family will not like what they read here.

{p. 14} Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich, Stalin's closest confidant, the chairman of the Soviet Presidium, the man who set up the amalgamation of the state security forces that later became the infamous KGB, the man who personally supervised the purges that ran rampant through Russia in the thirties and forties, the man who

{p. 15} instituted more restrictions and quotas on the Jews than anyone else, the man who urged and orchestrated the deaths of 20 million people, the man who brought Khrushchev to power, the man who was in charge of building this fantastic subway system - which bore his name for over twenty years - the ultimate Jew-hater himself, and the only Jew in the hierarchy. ... {but Beria, head of the NKVD (Cheka, KGB), was also a Jew; see p. 256 below}

Why would a man do the things he has done against his own people, his own religion. {Why does Kahan think this more important, than what Kaganovich, and the Jewish Bolsheviks Stalin ousted, did to non-Jews?}

{p. 17} {Kahan describes his meeting with Kaganovich in Moscow in 1981}

Somebody is coming to the door. I take a deep breath, and then I hear it, a strong, aggressive voice.

O chom? - "What is it?"

It takes me a second or two to realize what is being said. I quickly answer with part of my prepared statement.

"Ya plemyannik, Amerikanets. - 'I am your nephew. American. Your nephew from America.' "

The voice again. "U menya nyet rodstvennikov - 'I have no relatives. ' "

I answer, "Nyet, nyet, nyet. Ya plemyannik. Ya plemyannik."

There is silence once more. I hold my breath. Open the door, please, I murmur to myself. Open, please.

The voice. "Vos zogt ir?" The language has changed. He is - he is speaking - damn, it is Yiddish. It has to be him. Who else would - ? Immediately, I respond.

{p. 18} Another deep breath. I hear clicking sounds. The locks are being turned. I count. One, two, three, four. That sly old bastard still knows how to protect himself. ...

The door is opening. I sense it. There is a slight change of light, a rush of air. I seem to have -stopped breathing altogether. Slowly, I open my eyes. I begin to focus. I see a massive face in front of me on a man of my height, a shock of gray hair on the sides of his head, a heavy gray mustache, dark brown eyes set wide apart. He is my little brother at ninety years of age. Larry, it is you sixty years from now. The man stares back at me.

"Uncle Lazar ..." I mutter.

He nods.

I am face to face with the Wolf himself.

The door opens wide, and the large figure steps to the side. He says nothing. The invitation has been extended. I walk straight ahead. It is a short walk to the living room. There is a small pullman kitchen to the left that I catch sight of out of the comer of my eye.

{p. 19} There is a small shelf on the near wall. It is jammed with many photographs in gold-leaf frames depicting different stages in Uncle Lazar's life, including photographs of his associates. Prominent is Stalin. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought that this was Stalin's apartment. One photograph, however, catches my eye. It is Uncle Levick and Morris standing outside Morris's tailor shop in Philadelphia. It must have been taken some fifty years ago. I start to touch it and then hear a no. I back off.

I reach into my coat pocket and pull out an envelope. I hand it to him without saying a word. By now he has come into the room and stands just a few feet from me. His presence is overbearing. The room is small, and he is no longer as big and as powerful, yet he seems to fill the room and to control it.

He takes the envelope and goes to the window, where there is better light. He wears no glasses. He studies the contents intently. I had taken the precaution of bringing photographs of the family to Russia, Many included me. They would be my identification. One, in fact, was similar to the photograph of Uncle Levick and Morris that was now on the shelf. [...]

{p. 20} "I am here because of these," I say, pointing to the photographs now resting on his lap. "I have heard so much all my life. I wanted to meet you and team more about my grandfather and my great grandfather. I am prood of my family. I want to meet them. I read the papers about you. I had to see you."

My mouth had totally parched.

"There is more," he says. It is not a question; it is a statement of fact.

"Yes, there is more," I answer. "I want to visit Kabany. I want to see the family birthplace - I want to know-" And then I stop and smile. "Uncle Lazar, I even want to know how Bubbah made that great chung," referring to a dish I remembered from my childhood.

Uncle Lazar threw back his head and smiled. It was as if a gate in his memory had been opened. The old bastard had been touched by something as simple as a harsh-tasting stew. But I could also sense that he wanted to talk.

{p. 78} In early May, Trotsky arrived in Petrograd. ... Within a few weeks, Trotsky and his group aligned solidly with the Bolsheviks.

The words of Trotsky cascaded from Petrograd throughout Russia. Now he had joined with the Bolsheviks against all others. To Lazar, it meant crossing the point of no return. Trotsky's words on that day in May became a beacon for Lazar.

... From May to October, an intense struggle went on inside the Soviet between moderate socialists and Bolsheviks. ... In July, a mass uprising in Petrograd brought everything into sharp focus. The insurrection was defeated. The Socialist Executive of the Soviet disarmed the workers with the help of the dreaded Cossacks. Bolsheviks were under heavy attack. Trotsky was arrested, and Lenin was accused of being a German spy. He went into hiding in Finland.

Bolsheviks all around Russia were now on the defensive. Everyone knew that Kerensky, the socialist prime minister of the provisional govemment, had conspired with his commander in chief, General Kornilov, to overthrow the Soviets. But at the last minute, Kerensky backed down. Kornilov did not.

"I, General Kornilov, son of a Cossack peasant, cannot betray Russia into the hands of the ancestral enemy, the German. It's time

{p. 79} to hang German supporters and spies with Lenin at their head ... "

Sailors from the Kronstadt Soviet, though, got orders from Trotsky: Defeat Kornilov first and then we will settle with Kerensky.

Kerensky quickly rearmed the Red Guards and begged the Bolsheviks to get Kornilov's soldiers to mutiny. He figured that Bolshevik propaganda would defeat Kornilov, who would find himself a general without an army. {but why did Kerensky support the Bolsheviks at this crucial point? Did his being Jewish make a difference?} The tactic was successful. The soldiers deserted Kornilov without a shot being fired. Another roadblock was removed.

By October, the Bolsheviks had obtained a majority of votes in the Petrograd Soviet. Trotsky was elected president. In Moscow and elsewhere throughout Russia Bolsheviks gained majorities in the soviets. The green light had now been given for a workers' revolution.

"Land, bread, and peace" became the slogan of Bolshevik agitation. Long lines of people waiting for food snaked around the streets. Thefts were commonplace. The daily ration of bread dropped to the point where it was almost nonexistent. It was obvious what was happening. Basic human needs were in jeopardy. Conditions were becoming catastrophic. From the tiny roads of Kabany to the major thoroughfares of Moscow, the situation was the same. Peasants, workers, students were restless and they were angry. And, they had united.

In the meantime, Lenin returned from Finland to Petrograd in disguise and appeared before a secret session of the Bolshevik Central Committee. The decision was made for an immediate revolutionary seizure of power. To Lenin, it was crystal clear: "Much time has been lost. The question is very urgent, and the decisive moment is near. The majority is now with us. The situation has become entirely ripe for the transfer of power . . . insurrection. We cannot wait any longer.

On October 25, the Military Revolution Committee of the Petrograd Soviet launched a successful insurrection. Lenin's influence was decisive, although the organizer was actually Trotsky. Lazar read every piece of paper floating down from the capital, including one by a man named Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili {Stalin}:

"The entire labor of practical organization of the insurrection was placed under the immediate direction of the president of the Petrograd Soviet, Comrade Trotsky. It can be stated with certainty, that the party owes the rapid coming over of the garrison into the camp of the Soviets

{p. 80} and the skillful work of the Military Revolution Committee above all and essentially to Comrade Trotsky."

Lazar read and reread the statement. It was important because of the fact that it did not, like other statements from leaders at the time, extoll only the virtues of Lenin. Here was a man who was recognizing another, the one who Lazar saw as the true leader of the revolution. Such a man showed courage and perception, and such a man, he thought, must be caught and cultivated.

The seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd had been characterized by many as a mere "stroke" on the part of the Bolshevik leadership, not a true revolution. Lazar had heard that the takeover of the machinery of government was bloodless and that there was an absence of mobs in the streets. The speed in which it progressed then was irrelevant. He knew that the revolution had been going on for what seemed like eons now so that the ultimate seizure of power became only a minor part of the surgery. The very fact that there were no crowds in the streets, no barricades or military army regiments, showed what extraordinary power stood behind the scenes. And to some extent Lazar felt a part of this. He had organized the Gomel Bolsheviks so well that the passing of power was also without bloodshed. No doubt the people in Petrograd would see what he had accomplished.

People all over Russia now saw a chance to escape from domination. Separate governments began to form around the country. Decrees and laws now flowed out of Petrograd in a torrent. Nothing like it had ever been seen before, not even under the czars. Every day brought something new. One day the stock market was abolished, another the right of inheritance was struck down. Banks were nationalized, other industrial enterprises were nationalized. Even the fishing fleet was nationalized. Private ownership of land was abolished. A law was passed that suppressed the conservative newspapers "temporarily." Gold was declared null and void, the old courts were replaced by new revolutionary tribunals in which any citizen could act as judge or lawyer. In fact, the old, strict marriage and divorce laws were revamped by new extraordinarily lenient codes of procedure. The ancient Russian calendar was discarded in favor of the Western calendar, and the Russian alphabet was modernized. Titles of aristocracy were swept aside, replaced by "citizen" or, more commonly, "comrade."

The edicts extended to religion as well. Although the Church was left intact, its lands were seized. Even prior religious teaching was forbidden in the schools. Of course, word came down that it was the

{p. 81} Jews who did this. After all, wasn't the revolution prepared and fashioned by Jews? Both of Karl Marx's grandfathers were rabbis, and Lenin's grandfather was also Jewish. And wasn't Yakov Sverdlov, the first chief of state, a Jew, as was Trotsky himself? But most people believed the Jews could be dealt with, as they always had been dealt with before.

That Trotsky, unquestionably the most outstanding man among the Bolsheviks, was a Jew did not seem an insuperable obstacle in a party in which the percentage of Jews, 52 percent, was rather high compared to the percentage of Jews (1.8 per cent) in the total population.

Lazar would have to keep a close eye on this. Would the people accept the revolution orchestrated by the Jews, or would they accept only one aspect and discard the other? Deep down, he already knew the answer; he had only to decide what he would do about it. For the time being he would ride along with the tide of change, trying desperate1y to stay on the crest.

{p. 134} Once more, he had returned to the heart of his birthplace, the Ukraine. The only other person he took with him was Khrushchev to handle most of the petty chores, like visiting the smaller villages ...

The politics of the new Soviet govemment at the time were extraordinarily complicated. Each of the areas comprising the new republic was made up of hard-core nationalities, and no one wanted to give up

{p. 135} any independence. Lazar thought that perhaps he could cultivate the Jews. They generally rallied behind the Bolsheviks. They had seen enough of the pogroms that had invaded their households under the czar, and anything seemed better. Moreover, in the Ukraine, Jewish youth represented more than half of the students then attending universities.

But as Lazar consolidated his position, he found that the Jewish revolutionaries, to whom Lenin owed so much, had to be beaten down. There was no choice. They would not yield to the party line. They were too intent with keeping their own identity.

"Goddamn them," he screamed at Khrushchev, his huge fist slamming against the door. "What do they think I will do? Bend over backward and kiss their ass? They won't learn Ukrainian, they won't use it, they insist on staying apart from what we are doing. They speak only Yiddish. They resist. Those pizdasosy - 'bastards' - resist. We try to do something better for them and they want the czar back. They fight us. What do they want, anyway, their own country? I wish there were such a place. I would send them there - all of them. Pizdasosy!"

Lazar now saw the road dividing before him: Stalin went one way, and the people among whom he was raised and, yes, of whom he was a part by blood went another.

Caution was not a hallmark of Lazar's work pattern. He moved quickly and efficiently in doing what he had to. He prepared the agenda of all meetings and formulated the matters for discussions. He even directed the discussions in such a way that all the committees at the meetings would unanimously vote on what had already been recommended up front.

The first order of business was to rid the local party apparatus of all those Lazar thought "undesirable." ... The modus operandi was to elevate those sympathetic to the cause and remove any dissidents.

{p. 137} For eighteen months following July 1926, Trotsky struggled against Stalinism. He was leading a new United Left Opposition, which had a membership of 8,000 Bolsheviks inside the party. It was no secret that on the outcome of this fight could rest the fate of the entire revolution. But unlike the revolution it was a struggle in which the general populace was not directly involved. Clandestine meetings of the Left Opposition were held in workers' homes outside Moscow ...

But the new front, led by Trotsky, Kamenev, and Zinoviev, was determined not to attack the principle of party unity but rather the party bureaucracy, which they blamed for many defects such as for the lag in industrial development, and for the deplorable conditions of factory workers.

At the Fourteenth Party Congress in 1926, everything surfaced for all to see. Although Trotsky remained silent, even aloof, Zinoviev and Kamenev split openly with Stalin, who had already formed a new coalition with Bukharin. The struggle for control was locked into the future of the Soviet State. Stalin proclaimed his theory of "socialism in one country" - putting the safety of the Soviet Union's own economic development first, above any international policy of revolution. Bukharin supported this vociferously. He kept telling the wealthier

{p. 138} peasants, the kulaks, "Enrich yourselves!" They were intent on letting Zinoviev and Kamenev take the blame for all of Russiia's internal and foreign failures.

Trotsky, however, was in an enviable position. He was being courted by all sides, but he did nothing about it. Instead, his actions only helped to seal the fate of those opposing Stalin. During the Central Committee and Politburo meetings, he sat back amd read French novels. He refused to become part of any discussion. It was his way of showing that he was thoroughly disgusted with what they were doing.

Stalin responded to this inactive challenge by dismissing a large number of opposition members from party and governmental positions. The opposition leaders now had no choice. They issued a declaration in which they actually admitted to violating party discipline and promised to discontinue their factional activity. They even repudiated many of their left-wing followers. It was clear to see that the power struggle was coming to an end.

Though these opposition leaders capitulated, Stalin never returned them to their former posts. On the contrary, in August 1927, he expelled Trotsky and Zinoviev from the Central Committee, and when in October Trotsky publicly revealed the existence of Lenin's testament, with its criticism of Stalin, both he and Zinoviev were expelled from the party along with some seventy-five of their constituents. (Both Kamenev and Zinoviev were executed in 1936, and Bukharin and Rykov in 1938.)

{the Trotskyists, who make much of Lenin's testament, hide the Jewish nature of the leadership before Stalin, and deny the Bolshevik Holocaust. Their sympathy is for the Jewish conspirators Stalin executed, but not for the non-Jewish victims of those very same people - Peter M.}

{p. 139} The leaders of the Left Opposition were all expelled from the Central Committee and even from the Communist party. Many were arrested. Stalin had issued the edict: "It is no accident that the opposition is led by Jews. This is a struggle between Russian socialism and aliens."

Lazar's ears perked up. He knew that Stalin had no love for the Jews, but that was in private. Now it had been made public. He watched quietly as the decimation of the opposition reached completion. Trotsky and his family were to be exiled to Alma Ata in Central Asia. Later, they would be deported from the country, inaugurating a journey that was to end with his murder in Mexico City in 1940.

Lazar realized that he would have to do something dramatic in order to survive. As a Jew in Russia, he was already in a precarious position, and as a Jew in the hierarchy of the party, his position was even more tenuous. With Trotsky gone, Lazar had emerged as the most important Jew in the government. It was not a position to be envied.

In 1928, he returned to Moscow at Stalin's call.

{p. 155} Although the Cheka was established as an investigative agency on December 20, 1917, it quickly transformed itself into a political police force that was committed to the extermination of all opponents to the ideological makeup of the Soviet state. In fact, statements made by its founding director, Felix Dzerzhinsky, echoed this commitment: "The Cheka is not a court. The Cheka is obligated to defend the revolution and conquer the enemy even if its sword does by chance sometimes fall upon the heads of the innocent."

And it did, becoming the major "control" force in Russia. It was exactly what Lenin wanted. In 1922, he tried to soften its image somewhat by changing the name to the General Political Administration, the GPU, although its function remained the same. Two years later, it was renamed the OGPU so as to include the entire USSR.

In 1926, Dzerzhinsky died, and the OGPU supported Stalin. Whatever had been started with the Cheka back in 1917 was continued threefold by Stalin ten years later. Consistent with the idea that whatever serves to advance Communism was moral by definition, the OGPU murdered and kidnapped anyone they pleased, including foreigners - and even in foreign territory. In fact, in 1926, OGPU agents gunned down the Ukrainian leader Simon Petlyura in Paris, they abducted the

{p. 156} Estonian minister Ado Birk right in the center of Moscow, and in 1930 kidnapped the White Russian leader Alexander Kutepov in Paris. ...

Lazar was given an office on the fourth floor of the building at 2

{p. 157} Dzerzhinsky Square. This was OGPU headquarters, also known as the Center. ...

Khrushchev was doing his part in making life easier for Lazar. ...

{p. 158} Lazar knew that as foolish as he looked, his protege was no fool. He even became a "Shabbos Goy" in the Ukraine, meaning that he lit the Sabbath lights and started the stoves for the Jewish high politicos on Saturday {when Jewish law forbad work}. Nikita left no stone unturned.

{p. 162} By 1930 the rest of the world - especially the capitalist countries - had sunk into a depression. But the Soviet Union was already in its second year of the first Five-Year Plan, a plan that was uppermost in the government's mind. Their call was to "Fulfill and Overfulfill!" Workers were to be rewarded according to their productivity in the frantic race to set records. The intention was to triple the production of coal, iron, steel, and oil, to double the production of consumer goods, to raise the production of electricity by 600 percent, and to

{p. 163} increase overall output in the entire economy two and one third times. Through such measures, it was believed that the workers' sense of patriotism would be tapped. It had to be, for hardly any foreign government was now prepared to provide capital, nor could they at this time.

Stalin's industrial goals were to move forward rapidly, no matter what the cost. The system Stalin saw would be based on a number of theories: that the operation of industry under Socialism would be determined by production forces, and that there would be no conflict between personal achievements and discipline. The bottom line amounted virtually to martial law under which workers were obedient - even passive - behaving simply like robots.

Along with this, Stalin now developed the collectivization program.

In order to increase agricultural exports to pay for the import of capital equipment that was needed for industrialization, Stalin reasoned that it was absolutely essential to amalgamate the 25 million peasant households in the country into larger and more economically viable arrangements. Land was then ruthlessly confiscated, and small landowners were forced into a kolkhoz, a collective farm. By February 1930, one half of the farms had been collectivized. Prices paid for the agricultural products of the kolkhozy were set by the state, which also decreed what crops were to be grown. The idea behind collectivization was to modernize agriculture, to secure a steady food supply, to get capital for industrial improvement, and to free labor for work in heavy industry.

Along with this was an edict to "smash the kulaks," those wealthier landowners who were charging excessively high prices for their surplus crops. "They must be eliminated as a class."

But the kulaks would not sit idly by and watch what they considered rightfully theirs being taken away at the whim of the government. They retaliated by killing their cattle, burning their crops, and destroying their homes; in effect, doing anything rather than allow their property to be appropriated by the state.

It was here that Lazar began to feel increasingly stronger. Stalin would send him all over the country as a troubleshooter ... he was now invested with full power. Accordingly, he used force whenever he could, especially against the Cossacks, who were among these wealthy land

{p. 164} owners and whom he had not forgotten from his days in Kabany. lt gave him immense pleasure to have sixteen major Cossack villages removed to Siberia. If there was a revenge motive, Lazar had it.

He signed orders with reckless abandon. There was almost a perverse joy in being able to dictate to the Cossacks. He recalled too vividly what he and his family had experienced at the hands of these people His mind flashed back to horses, boots, swords, blood, arrogance, death. Now they would all pay - men, women, children. It didn't matter who. They became one and the same. That was the key to Lazar's being. He would never forgive and he would never forget. ...

He now saw himself being quoted more and more in Pravda, and then in a Polish paper and even in an article from Paris, and finally his name appeared in the prestigious New York Times. ...

He looked again at The New York Times of January 2, 1931, and he was pleased with what he read. He was referred to as "a new and energetic member of the Communist Party Politburo."

{p. 165} But behind the rhetoric ... Problems were mounting. Agriculture had become disorganized. Crops had slumped to the point where Soviet citizens were now under food rationing. Herds declined even more than field crops, and within one year, the country had lost over one half of its horses and cattle, two thirds of its pigs and seven tenths of its sheep and goats. It was obvious now that collectivization could prove to be the spark for a rapid turnover in the Moscow party leadership. Lazar could only watch and wait and hope. He also had no choice but to support the government's program. An about-face now would be tantamount to an admission of error, a mistake in judgment, something unacceptable to Stalin.

No, Lazar had to take a hard-nosed, determined position to show Stalin whose side he was on and to indicate continuing confidence that the program would be effective.

{p. 166} The Ukraine, in particular, was suffering from the worst famine in its history, a result of a combination crop failure and the collectivization program itself. In addition, high taxes had to be paid just after the harvest. More than 2 million Ukranians died of starvation. The situation was critical, and Stalin immediately recognized the need for a stronger individual. ... Molotov was replaced by Lazar.

His tactics were becoming well known. They involved a combination of expulsion and violence, and not necessarily in that order His unique way of dealing with reluctant workers was legendary. He sat behind a desk with one pistol beside his right hand, another beside his left - and people knew he would not hesitate to use them.

This reputation for dealing successfully with factions such as the Cossacks was widespread, and Stalin had no problem in simply sending Lazar out to the countryside to put down whatever rebellions were fermenting. Workers and peasants alike feared him. The village of Ivanovo-Voznesensk was a firsthand witness to his methodology. People there

{p. 167} went on strike over the shortage of food. Lazar handled the situation in a ruthless yet effective manner. First, he took the party membership cards away from the province committee chairpersons with the warning that if things didn't get better within three days, such as meeting a grain procurement quota, they would be expelled from the party, relieved of their jobs, and imprisoned.

The next step would be far worse.

Lazar would make sure that the most vociferous strikers of the general public would share a cell with the ex-party member who was deemed instrumental in causing the food shortage. Lazar's face was a study in glee as he imprisoned the father of a starving child along with the person accused of causing such starvation. The punishment was self-apparent.

The more successful Lazar became, the more Stalin turned to him. After the principal grain-growing regions had been socialized with the anti-Kulak attack, the time came for the remaining vast areas of the Soviet Union, including the Moscow province.

{p. 176} From this time on, Lazar went about organizing everything he could. He practically reconstructed Moscow itself, but cared little about trying to preserve valuable monuments: The great church of Christ the Savior was demolished for a new Palace of Soviets, the Holy Week monastery was turned into a theater for use by party members, and the Iversk Gates and clocktower at Red Square were torn down notwithstanding protests from leading architects.

He even took over the transportation area. People began to take note that for the first time the percentage of car loadings daily had been

{p. 177} increased. Under his leadership, Soviet railways loaded more than 90,000 cars every twenty-four hours. A year before, the railways loaded only 50,000 in one day. He knew how to accomplish what he wanted: fear. Lazar issued orders that in the event of any accidents, railway officials would be "personally responsible." They knew what those words meant: Lubyanka, and worse.

The papers were full of Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich. He was delighted when the staid New York Times once again spoke of him in long articles:

The reputation of Lazar M. Kaganovich, for conceiving largescale projects and accomplishing [sic] in Russia, almost overshadows that of Joseph Stalin himself . Mr. Kaganovich is credited with having originated the idea of machine-tractor stations, dominated by Commissar agents, for guiding the collectivized peasants, stimulating the agricultural output, and, in brief, consolidating the "agricultural revolution" effect by collectivization. ...

{p. 179} While the world was trying to find its way out of the depression, and the Soviet Union concentrating on industrialization and its own survival, Lazar drew plans for a massive subway network that would be second to none in the world ... the best and most beautiful subway in the world ... evidence that the first Communist state had already caught up with and surpassed the capitalists. ...

Stalin assigned the project to him ... He employed shrewdness and unlimited ruthlessness ... He ignored the precautionary measures urgently recommended by experts ... It resulted in countless deaths.

{p. 181} In May 1935, though, the new subway opened. ... It was a master achievement. ... Lazar's chest swelled, especially when Stalin decreed that the system would bear his name ...

{Antony C. Sutton details the foreign involvement: "Construction was begun ... with ... advisers from the London, New York, Paris, and Berlin subway systems ... John Morgan, an American, acted as consultant ... A German engineer, M. Schmidt, who had been with the Berlin subway, worked on the plans ... Skilled workers were drawn from all over Europe. Skilled underground laborers came from Vienna. Underground workers and technicians were hired in Great Britain, Germany, France, and the United States. In addition, all known tunneling methods were tried before the British shield method was chosen" (Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development 1930 to 1945, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford Ca., 1971, pp. 203-5). Some of Sutton's books are online at; also and}

{p. 244} One of the most sensitive areas in the country was, as always, the Ukraine. For the past few years, Khrushchev had been put in charge, but Stalin was beginning to feel more and more uneasy about the short, bald man.

"I don't trust him," he said to Lazar. ...

"Then I will relieve him," he answered quickly. "...

"He'll be the real boss of the country," said The New York Times,

{p. 245} a source that Lazar looked upon as the barometer of his success. He also liked the term "the Iron Commissar," which was coined during his days as commissar of building and materials.

{p. 248} Russia in 1948 was seething in activity. ... Agents from State Security were sent in droves to America to enlist scientists, teachers, and others in relinquishing every secret the United States had. Plans for all sorts of weaponry and technology flooded back to Moscow, atomic secrets being of the highest priority. This was the only way to do it. The West had captured most of the best Germans involved in Hitler's rocketry section. What the Soviet Union had obtained were not the real top-level scientists. Therefore, it had to make up the difference. The Kremlin knew they could always count on capitalist greed. Lazar laughed at the good fortune being acquired by Russia.

"Is everyone in America selling us material?"...

The USSR was now a charter member of the United Nations, and Stalin saw to it that his country would be treated as a world power, even if it meant temporarily voting against its own interests. One was the state of Israel.

To many Jews throughout the world, a Jewish nation in Palestine seemed the best escape from the religious persecution they faced in other lands. ...

{p. 249} In August 1947, the United Nations announced a partition plan. The Jews accepted it. The Arabs did not. ...

Hitler had tried to rid the world of these people, and Stalin, too, was trying to do something as well, except that he wanted the Jews to stay within the Soviet Union. "Their minds must be tapped, and nothing more. It is essential, absolutely essential, to keep these people under strict control."

{p. 250} Israel came into existence on May 14, 1948, and the United States gave it de facto recognition the same day. Stalin saw the pattern clearly. Three days later the Soviet Union became the first major power to grant Israel de jure status.

Stalin was also a realist. As long as he went that route, he decided to go the extra step and invited Golda Meir, Israel's new ambassador to Moscow for talks. It seemed like the only sensible approach. Perhaps more could be accomplished by allying the Soviet Union with Israel initially and then picking her apart later. Lazar and Molotov both saw no advantage to the visit. Stalin was stubborn. Meir's arrival in the Soviet capital brought with it a welcome far beyond anything contemplated. Soviet Jews poured out into the streets of Moscow. They surrounded her hotel day and night. Her very appearance brought thunderous roars of approbation.

Stalin was in shock. It was the most lavish reception ever given a representative of a foreign government, especially by a minority of the population, and it completely overshadowed anything he had experienced from the majority of the populace.

Stalin called an emergency meeting of his closest advisers, even dragging one away from a meeting with Meir herself. He could not contain himself.

"This is what we get for trying to be legal in the world's eyes," Stalin screamed at the Politburo, his face now bright red instead of its customary yellow. "This is our thanks. The Jews? The Jews have still not been able to adapt themselves or become acclimatized like other minorities. Only very few can - or want to."

He looked directly at Lazar. "They constitute an ever-present danger. Every Muscovite Jew has foreign connections. We are threatened by the danger of Zionism."

{Was jealousy Stalin's motive? Was the close Jewish involvement in both Communism and Zionism the reason for the rivalry between the two, perhaps like the rivalry between the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant branches of Christianity? Or was Stalin, who had overthrown the Jewish faction in Russia, afraid that it would come back, through the involvement of American & Israeli Jews? Jews were the only substantial "nationality" in the USSR who looked to an outside homeland and a worldwide diaspora, in the same way that American Jews are the only major group in America who consider themselves "American Jews" rather than "Jewish Americans".}

{Stuart Kahan seems unaware of the 1946 American Plan for World Government, crafted by American Jews David Lilienthal and Bernard Baruch, which seems to have convinced Stalin that Jews dominated America and were trying to dominate his government in Russia too; he had observed secret Jewish domination first-hand in the USSR, and was soon to be murdered by those same forces}

Lazar stared back. Stalin was waiting for a signal, the usual signal. Lazar nodded. Stalin smiled. That was all it took. Stalin would unleash his "apparatus of terror" again, and Lazar would once more play the part of a vicious dog ready to tear limb-from-limb any group that Stalin set him against.

Lazar would do what was required, except that it would be on an even grander scale. The purges, as in the 1930s, were all under his orchestration, and he relished it. No one doubted his sincerity, his honesty in dealing with the Jews, his faithfulness and loyalty to the

{p. 251} state. He had proven it over and over. And he didn't disappoint. He drove the spikes into almost every part of Soviet life.

The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, which was considered to have done excellent work during the war, was now dissolved, and its leaders were arrested. The charges were too easy. They were deemed to be working against the state. All Jewish cultural institutions, like the Moscow Jewish Theater, were liquidated. The Communist party apparatus and the ministries at all levels were purged of Jewish personnel. In colleges, in scientific institutes, even in many factories, a quota system was introduced. The number of Jews was reduced to a minimum, in some instances this number was set at zero.

Lazar's intention was simple. He would quietly wipe out all the victories of the revolution. He would rob the Jews of their dignity and turn them once more into second-class citizens, perhaps even less. In effect, he stopped just short of extermination.

Important Jewish figures were hustled off to detention camps for "redevelopment and reorientation" - if they survived. Prisons became filled to capacity. In Lubyanka, each cell contained one Russian and five Jews.

The level of sadism ran deep this time and touched every aspect of society, even those who had previously received the state's blessing. S. M. Mikhoels was a truly gifted actor who had been invited to give private performances of Shakespearean roles for Stalin. He had been a favorite, and each time he performed Stalin thanked him publicly and praised his acting. But in 1949 Mikhoels was shot to death in Minsk during a performance of King Lear. The order had been given by Lazar with Stalin's approval. After all, Mikhoels had been labeled as a spy for Anglo-American intelligence. This was his only "escape."

Those who had managed to escape the German slaughters in the Ukraine and Byelorussia now found themselves the subjects of another mass repression, but more grotesque than ever before.

For the next two years, the average citizen's life in the Soviet Union progressively worsened. ...

{p. 252} Late on the night of August 12, 1952, twenty-four of the leading

{p. 253} cultural figures in the Soviet Union were rounded up by the MGB and shot to death in the basement of Lubyanka prison. That same night, 217 Yiddish writers and poets, 108 actors, 87 painters and sculptors, and 19 musicians disappeared as well. Most were sent to the camps of the Gulag in Siberia as slave laborers. It was akin to death; many would not return. {yet Kahan does not show the same detailed concern for the Gulag's non-Jewish victims} Among the twenty-four murdered was Peter Markish, considered the best Yiddish poet of the time, whose wife, Esther, a writer and translator of many French authors, was a personal friend of Maria's. Also killed were the poet Itzhik Feffer, a friend of Lazar's, and the writer David Bergelson, who was a friend of Paulina Molotov's.

Lazar was aghast. He had not known anything about this: neither had Molotov, nor, in fact, had most of the inner circle. Stalin had issued the orders on his own. He had consulted with no one except Beria.

Lazar, however, found buried in the reports two little words: "i drugiye - 'and others.'" Obviously, there was much more to come, and he began to have an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was the first time that he felt genuine fear. ...

A few months later, Lidiya Timashuk, a radiologist in the Kremlin hospital, wrote Stalin saying that she had observed a number of eminent doctors applying inappropriate methods of treatment. ...

{p. 254} Abakumov, the minister of state security, ordered Ryumkin, the head of the investigation department, to "misplace" the letter. He even arrested him to make sure it was not found. Stalin caught wind of this and ordered Ryumkin's release. But he didn't stop there. He dismissed Abakumov ...

Israel ... denounced the entire affair as "typical Soviet anti-Semitism." Stalin was even quicker and more graphic. He had a bomb exploded in the Soviet legation at Tel Aviv {Kahan may be right, but provides no evidence that Stalin did it}. It proved fruitful for it gave Moscow the opportunity to sever all diplomatic relations with Israel. By carrying the anti-Semitic campaign to its highest pitch, Stalin had shown, without the slightest doubt, that he now had aligned himself with the Arabs ...

{p. 255} Toward the end of 1952, Stalin succeeded in deporting several hundred Jewish intellectuals, writers, actors, and others he termed "undesirables." He also banned the Jewish press and closed the Jewish theaters throughout Soviet Russia. Lazar knew that time was running out, but when Paulina Semyonovna Zhumchuzhina, known as Paulina Molotov, Vyacheslav's wife, was facing imminent deportation, that was the final catalyst.

... Paulina was being deported, and Vyacheslav was being forced from Stalin's inner circle. This meant he was also to be excluded from the midnight drinking parties at Stalin's

{p. 256} dacha at Gorinka, a key indicator of who was or was not in the premier's favor. It was evident to all in the administration what was happening. Stalin was about to launch a new terrorist campaign against the party's higher-ranking members, and it appeared that no one was safe, least of all those with Jewish connections. They would be the targets for the upcoming purges.

Besides Molotov, Voroshilov had married a woman of Jewish extraction, Beria's mother was half-Jewish, Khrushchev's son-in-law was of Jewish origin, and Lazar himself was a Jew. Even Bulganin was suspect; he had been strongly in favor of the recognition of Israel. There was no question what had to be done.

Bulganin, Molotov, Voroshilov, and Lazar left Stalin's dacha late one night, actually at 2:00 A.M. ...

They ordered their chauffeurs to drive them to Voroshilov's dacha at Zhukovka. It was the perfect place to meet, and, obviously, such a meeting was expected of them. One could not take chances with Stalin. His eyes and ears were everywhere. Every meeting, no matter how small, was reported back to him. Not even chauffeurs could be trusted. Everyone was a spy. The tiniest conversation between Politburo members reached Stalin's ears.

Voroshilov's home was ideal. He had no children, didn't believe in keeping servants or even guards around, and his wife was away visiting her mother for a few days. Anyone questioning such a meeting would be dismissed rather quickly, for Stalin had instructed them to prepare a report that very morning. ...

{p. 258} It was Molotov who finally summoned up enough courage to approach the subject.

"What do you mean by 'medicine?' "

The moment had arrived. Lazar knew that part of his plan had been flushed out. ... He looked around the room: Molotov, Bulganin, Voroshilov, all old friends, all trusted, all good men ...

Separately, each of them could not do what had to be done. Collectively, in the spirit of the revolution, they could now do the necessary, the essential, for with them would rest the fate of all Russia.

Lazar sighed and looked at the ceiling. They would have to know. They would have to join in.

They would have to understand completely the ramifications of all that he said. He had spoken to Rosa {his sister, Stalin's wife}, many times in fact, but it was also important to him that she not attend a meeting such as this. She had to be protected at all costs.

{p. 259} Voroshilov raised his hand. He usually did that to signify he wanted to say something, no matter how many people were in the room, one or a dozen.

"It seems quite clear to me what we have to do. A small dose of a drug slipped into his wine, which now is usually not pretasted, would render him into a coma, and with his weak heart, his death would be speeded up. But, it would not be poison in the purest sense, but rather a drug to aid in death, a helper."

He sounded almost professorial. All eyes now turned to Lazar. He had specifically suggested this meeting. ...

"We then come to the drug dicoumarol ... in its proper dosage, it is an anticoagulant. It makes the blood thinner and as a result retards the coagulation of the blood. In effect,

{p. 260} it liquefies and dissolves such a clot. This is what Stalin now takes ... I am not a doctor, but I have been told that the dosage is no longer monitored like before."

"What form is the medication in?" Molotov interjected. He was beginning to see where this was all heading.

"White tablets. They are unmarked. This is another reason why Stalin keeps a close tab on his medicine cabinet. He is obviously afraid of someone sneaking in and replacing the pills with something that will kill him."

{is this not what the Jewish Doctors were imputed to do?}

"Just as you are suggesting?" Voroshilov said. ...

Molotov walked around the room a few times, his hands behind his back, deep in thought. All eyes followed him.

{p. 262} Stalin's course did not alter. He was concerned with continuing to deport and kill Jews. It became an obsession. Orders poured out from behind the locked doors of the Kremlin office and from the

{p. 263} dachas. No one could get near him. Even Poskrebyshev had to keep his distance. He wouldn't let anyone in. In fact, Stalin would neither eat nor drink anything unless it was pretasted, and right in front of him. ...

Late in the evening of Sunday, March 1, 1953, the members of the new Presidium met in Stalin's office at the Kremlin. This was a typical time for a meeting with Stalin. ...

Lazar got right to the point. He proposed that a committee be appointed to study the case of the doctors who had been arrested and charged with "this so-called plot."

"There has been no evidence offered against them, and they have been languishing in prison these past couple of months."

Stalin, who previously had taken control of the matter, still had not set a trial date or determined exactly what he wanted to do with them.

That was only part of the two-pronged attack. Lazar also demanded

{p. 264} that Stalin immediately revoke his orders on the deportation and killing of Soviet Jews.

Stalin was shocked. He bolted upright in his chair, his eyes wide, disbelieving what he had heard. Lazar didn't hesitate. He quickly called for a vote. One by one right hands were raised around the desk. Only Beria and Khrushchev stepped back. They would have no part in such a decision. Lazar looked at his onetime protege {Khrushchev}. The short, bald man {a reference to Khrushchev - see p. 244 above} averted his gaze and instead stared at Stalin.

Stalin's face turned beet red. He rose from his chair and slammed his right fist onto the desk. "Huyisosy" - 'cocksuckers,' he screamed at the top of his lungs. "Huyisosy. Uyobvay" - 'Get the fuck out!' "Pasasis huy" - 'Suck a prick!' He was ranting.

The members backed up. Only Lazar held his ground.

"If we do not leave your office freely, the Red Army will occupy the Kremlin."

{this would indicate that Kaganovich had already liased with the heads of the military: a coup was under way}

Stalin shot a glance at Beria. Lavrenti cowered in a corner. His hand was upturned, his head shook from side to side.

Stalin came around to the front of the desk. He was shaking visibly now. Spittle appeared at the corners of his mouth. He poked a finger hard into Lazar's chest. "At yibis at mina - 'Get the fuck away from me.' At yibis at mina. Kurva - 'whore' - kurva, kurva."

He turned to reach for the button to summon the guards, but Mikoyan and Molotov pushed his hand away. Stalin fell backward, tripping on the edge of the carpet. He collapsed like a sack of potatoes, his head hitting the side of the desk. He lay motionless, his eyes riveted to the ceiling, saliva dripping into his mustache. The others in the room were paralyzed, looking in horror at their master, who was crumpled up at their feet. Stalin began to groan.

Bulganin rushed to him. Molotov wheeled toward the medicine cabinet. Lazar picked up the lead crystal paperweight from the desk and hurled it against the glass door of the cabinet. It shattered. Voroshilov stood by the door to deter anyone from leaving or entering. Only Beria wanted to escape.

Lazar reached in for a bottle, gripped the one with the clear liquid, and slapped it into Molotov's hand. Bulganin cradled Stalin's head in the crook of his arm. His eyes were fixed straight ahead as if he were in a catatonic state. Molotov held the bottle to Stalin's lips. Bulganin squeezed the leader's cheeks. His mouth opened and Molotov poured the liquid in.

{p. 265} Stalin drank from the bottle automatically. There were only two swallows left. He finished and closed his eyes. Bulganin continued to hold his leader's head in his arms. He was rocking him gently. Stalin's breathing started to return to normal. The redness in his face faded.

Each one in the room looked at the other. Some had tears in their eyes. No a single word was spoken. It was nearly over. ...

{p. 267} March 5, 1953

{p. 268} ... the four days since the encounter in Stalin's office were like an eternity.

Stalin had suffered another stroke. There was no question about that, and there was no question that it had been triggered by what had taken place, an event that touched on everyone present in one way or another.

There was nothing that could have been done to prevent the reaction. He distinctly remembered the expression on Stalin's face when he confronted him with his demand to revoke the order for the deportation of Jews. He looked stunned.

"Did Stalin really think I was so concerned about the Jews?'' he mumbled to himself. ''Did he think I had now done an about-face, a reversal? Now I was a Jew lover? Is that what he thought?"

Lazar frowned. "Did he think that blood was thicker than anything else?" What had Uncle Levick once said to him. "Your blood is your blood is your blood."

He shook his head. He couldn't believe that. It was a question of his own survival, not that of the Jews. Yet, wasn't he a Jew? Wasn't he still considered, after all these years, after all these purges, still a Jew? Was it that simplistic? By saving himself, wasn't he also saving all the Jews?

He stared at the light in the ceiling of the car. Can a Jew ever succeed here? Had he been deluding himself all these years? If Stalin would not accept him after all his work - and groveling - after all these years of loyalty, after all these commitments, would the Russian people do anything different? Could they ever accept a Jew? ...

{p. 269} Lazar understood what was happening the following day when Mikoyan told him that he was on Stalin's death list. ...

Survive. For the past three days Stalin had been doing just that, lapsing in and out of consciousness. Leading doctors from all over the country were called in for consultation after being screened first by the Politburo. One couldn't afford to have a physician who did not "understand. "

It seemed that Stalin was recovering rather well, although one doctor said this was the "classic improvement before the end." The members would have their work cut out for them.

There could be no announcements to the public until it was known for sure whether Stalin was living or dead. It was the same procedure that had been followed with Lenin. Everything must be in order first. The Politburo must have the successor picked. There could be no break in the transition. There must not be any opportunity for another faction to enter the arena. This was the only way to prevent an outbreak of violence, a civil war, or another negative change in control. Continuity must be maintained to ensure the survival of the party and of the positions the party members held.

Lazar looked at his watch. He would be there soon. Calls to the

{p. 270} homes ot the leading members of the hierarchy had been made not from Stalin or even from the attending physicians but rather from the officer of the guard. Where was Poskrebyshev or even his personal bodyguard? It was clear that something was wrong. The caller had said that he waited three hours, not daring to enter the inner sanctum of Stalin's bedroom. Everyone else had vanished. The door was bolted, and there was no answer to repeated knocks. He said he found one doctor, but he wouldn't take it upon himself to break down the door. No one would risk the penalty of death by choosing to violate Stalin's privacy.

The big Chaika, its bright yellow headlights sweeping the path in front of it and exposing the pines and white birches that lined the road, came to a stop at the wooden gate that led to the main driveway of the dacha. Lazar peered out the window. There was more activity than usual.

The number of guards at the gate had already been tripled, but now he could see red patches on the collars of their uniforms. This told him that the MGB people were here. Furthermore, it told him that Beria had arrived.

The gate opened, and as the Chaika lurched forward onto the path that would take him to the dacha itself, Lazar saw his route lined with trucks containing the MGB's elite troops. They were armed with automatic weapons. Beria again. He was sure Molotov and Voroshilov had seen this display. It wouldn't have surprised Lazar to find Red Square now ringed with tanks. He knew that this was all Lavrenti could muster with his own delusions of grandeur.

"No matter," he murmured. "We have other plans for you."

Lazar found that he was actually one of the last to arrive. Most of his colleagues were already in the main living room. A fireplace was lit in one corner; all the lights were on.

The first one he saw was Malenkov, who was looking grim yet calm. Georgi always seemed to have that demeanor. His lumpish, middle-aged face gave him the appearance of serenity and this was not betrayed by his soft and soothing voice. He was huddled with Beria, who was listening to what Malenkov was saying but whose eyes were darting everywhere. It was obvious that Lavrenti was trying desperately to keep his emotions until control.

Bulganin saw Lazar and quickly came over to him. "We have a locksmith who has just come in. Georgi called him.

{p. 271} Lavrenti wanted to bash down the door. We had to remind him it was steel, the ass. Georgi is trying to keep him down. He's already got the Kremlin surrounded with tanks."

Lazar smiled. It was exactly what he thought. Did Beria really think he would succeed Stalin? He was indeed an ass.

"What about the commandant? Did he report this activity?" Lazar asked.

"Commandant? What commandant? He's vanished. And so has Poskrebyshev. Gone. No one knows where."

Molotov walked over. He gripped Lazar by the arm. He had heard what had been said.

"The entire household is gone. Servants, guards." He stared hard into Lazar's eyes. There was only one question coming back to him.


Molotov nodded. Lazar sighed.

Voroshilov came from the hallway leading to Stalin's bedroom.

"There's a locksmith working on the door, and Konovalov, Tretyakov, and Kuperin are there," he said, referring to three of the medical experts treating Stalin.

He looked at Bulganin. ''Secure?"

Bulganin turned to the sole guard at the door.

"No one comes in for any reason, do you understand?"

The guard snapped to attention.

"Make sure the door is locked.''

He then turned to the officer who had telephoned the Politburo members.

"You are to do nothing without clearance from Comrade Malenkov or myself. And you see and hear nothing. That is clear, right?"

"Yes, Comrade Commissar." He, too, stood at attention.

No information would come from either of those two. Discussions had already been held about what would happen if Stalin did not survive. Tass had just released a communique announcing Stalin's illness and that the "highest medical authorities' had been selected to undertake treatment. It also served to assuage the feelings of insecurity in the populace by advising that "the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers have taken into consideration, with all necessary seriousness, the direction of the party and the country, and all the circumstances relating to the provisional withdrawal of Comrade Stalin from the activities of the direction of the party and the state."

{p. 284} Malenkov, backed by Molotov, Bulganin, and Khrushchev, argued for a "new foot forward," a concerted effort to relieve the people of the hardships and agonies of the past twenty-nine years. Malenkov wanted to concentrate on raising the standard of living. He wanted to reduce the cost of things. One way was to open more foreign trade doors and import a wealth of consumer goods, like washing machines, refrigerators, and even beds. Khrushchev was in favor of the concept of raising the standard of living, but he wasn't so sure washing machines were the answer.

"We need more tractors, more machinery that will produce more than just clean laundry. We have to zero in on agriculture. ...

Lazar looked at the sheepish grin, the wide-spaced teeth. He appeared every bit a clown; yet he realized that this fat little man who once listened to his every word, who once licked his boots and took every piece of gavno - "shit" - he dished out, was now sitting at this same table with him - almost an equal. The face had not changed in all these years. It was still ugly, and the wart on his nose seemed to be larger.

It was clear where things were heading, and they were changing dramatically now. Were they going to deemphasize completely what was already in place, to obliterate the past, to wean the Russian people onto a new life-style, a new way of thinking, a new way of reacting and behaving?

Lazar was reluctant about deviating too much from Stalin's policies. He felt he understood the Russian mentality better than any of the others. If he was arrogant, then so be it, he thought.

"Russians have always lived under one rule, a strong figure in front. They cannot function without this. They must have meets and bounds. They will be lost if you give them too much freedom. They must be given their limitations. Even Lenin said this."

His efforts were to no avail. Malenkov and Beria were both adamant. They wanted to dissociate themselves from the Stalin reign of terror. They believed the people had had enough of living in a nightmare. Khrushchev also wanted a de-Stalinization program, and he was ready even to vilify Stalin to get it. Molotov tended to side with Lazar but

{p. 285} was not as stubborn in holding firm. Self-preservation was still the most important line. He was ready to make concessions if need be.

As a result, Pravda, which had reported tirelessly on Stalin's death and the funeral, began to tone down its mention of the past leader. In fact, the name Stalin was becoming harder and harder to find in the paper. Finally, on March 22, the name was no longer seen. On April 7, less than a month after Stalin had been laid to rest, Pravda spoke about the "Soviet Constitution," not the previously known and titled "Stalinist Constitution."

Other changes took place. Articles against Jews ceased as did the infamous doctors plot. Pravda now said that the so-called conspiracy of the men in white never existed and that the doctors "implicated were therefore completely innocent of these unfound charges." One did not have to mention Stalin directly to slap him.

But the greatest emotional conflict among the hierarchy took place toward the end of March. Malenkov proposed to the Politburo that amnesty be given to those in prison.

"Most are there illegally. They must be released and put back into the labor force where they are desperately needed. Comrades, we cannot afford to keep good workers in prison on charges that may be unreal."

It was almost blasphemy, and Lazar was stunned at what was being proposed. Who was behind this? He had put most of those people there. What would happen if they were released?

He and Molotov argued strenuously against the enactment of such a proposal, but they were outnumbered. Malenkov, Khrushchev, Mikoyan, and Beria were all for it. Beria smirked as the vote was taken. He knew that such an action could only be to his benefit. After all, Kaganovich and Molotov had signed most of the decrees. He had kept his name off the papers, although everyone in the ruling body knew his hands were as stained as the others. ...

{p. 286} But Lazar could not stop it. The rehabilitation of the victims of the purges had begun, and those returning from the prison camps told of the crimes perpetrated on them by Lazar. His name was constantly surfacing. It was wrenching. For decades he had been supreme in his position, unquestioned and unchallenged. Although he was considered a leading Stalinist, Stalin's heirs in the Politburo now began to edge away from him. They did not want to defend and preserve Stalin's myth, at least not in its entirety. Lazar considered making some concessions as long as the Stalinist dictatorship, minus the bloody purges, remained intact. This would be difficult, if not impossible, to do.

These changes were disquieting to him. ... The one person who unnerved him more than any other was Beria. "The man is insane," he said to Bulganin. "He is basically wicked, the reincarnation of the devil - a dybbuk." Lazar was especially repulsed by the man's perverse behavior. He knew of his penchant for young girls, but now he had drifted into relationships with ten-year-old boys. It sickened Lazar. Children were off-limits. No Russian could tolerate cruelty or abuse to a child, not even Stalin. He heard many a tale about a young boy being disfigured because

{p. 287} of his refusal to accommodate Beria. One rumor circulated that Lavrenti even had a retarded twelve-year-old castrated so as to "prevent further propagation of this disgusting aberration."

There was only one thing to do. He backed Khrushchev and Malenkov in their plan to eliminate Beria. ...

The catalyst to the plot to derail Beria was East Berlin. It was also the new collective leadership's first foreign challenge. There was a workers' uprising in the East German capital. The Soviet Union had to be protected at all costs. Another workers' uprising had been seen in 1917, and its effects were now well learned history. No one in the Politburo hesitated in what had to be done. The revolt was quashed with the help of Soviet tanks and troops. A new liberal stance could just go so far. There was no way they would permit foreign, or unfriendly, elements on their frontiers or in the newly established buffer zones.

Beria, to everyone else's delight, was outspoken against the handling of the matter. He roared at the Politburo that the East German government should be sacrificed.

"They are too great a liability."

It was also clear that no matter which way the government moved, Beria would be lying in wait to snipe at every direction. He was obviously going out on his own and threatening Malenkov's own position. ... they were able to reach agreement, at least on Beria. He could

{p. 288} not be allowed to succeed. If he did, the results would be ten times worse than under Stalin; besides, each would be guaranteed his own death. Malenkov, Molotov, Voroshilov, Khrushchev, Bulganin, and Lazar raised their right hands in a secret meeting while Beria was in Leningrad. ...

In the middle of June, Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria was arrested and charged with criminal activities against the people of the USSR. ... Beria was taken to a cell in the basement followed by the marshals and generals of the military he supposedly controlled, and he was executed. ...

But Malenkov was in a no-win situation. Either way, he would eventually lose. With Beria alive, Malenkov had a strong supporter but one who was slowly and surely bent on replacing him. With Beria now out of the way, Malenkov found his star fading. He didn't realize

{p. 289} how weak his grip was on the reins of leadership. He was not strong enough to go it alone. He still faced the likes of Molotov, Khrushchev, and Lazar, and they were a handful for any group of people, let alone just him. As with Stalin and then with Beria, the wolves were closing in again. The chicken coop was open. By January 1955, Malenkov had been devoured. He was relieved of his duties. And then there were three!

Bulganin replaced Malenkov. It was as simple as that. Actually, Nikolai was the only Politburo member on whom Molotov, Khrushchev, and Lazar could agree. Nonetheless, his appointment would not be a "real" one. Bulganin would be the figurehead of the government, and that was all. He looked the part and played it to the hilt. The country would still be run by the triumvirate behind him. Nobody would be the wiser, nor could anyone even care.

... new battle lines were drawn. It didn't take very long for that to happen. On one side was Khrushchev, representing a middle-of-the-road apparatchiki faction that was against any continuation of Stalinist policies.

{p. 291} Khrushchev knew that in order to make gains he would have to change his position and damn Stalin completely and unequivocally. ... Khrushchev's speech was ... simplistically termed a "secret speech." It was anything but that. It quickly became public knowledge, as Khrushchev knew it would.

{p. 307} {in the Epilogue, Kahan records discussions with his uncle Lazar, at the end of the narrative}

"He {Lazar's cousin Morris} never approved of what I did, correct?" There was a hostile edge to his voice.

I paused to make sure I would say the right thing.

"Yes, that is correct. He never approved. 'A Jew doesn't turn against a Jew,' he said. 'We are landsmen; the Torah says it is so.' "{but what of compassion for non-Jews?}

{p. 309} {"... } Materially, your country, the United States, remains far more advanced than we. You have a high standard of living, I admit that. We admit that. And, as the strongest economic power in the world, it is thus the foremost enemy of socialism. We consider that to be true. And it will always be true until your capitalism is destroyed and you and your people are brought into our socialist camp."

I started to say something, but he put up a hand. His chest swelled. I could feel power oozing out of him. He looked down at me.

"History decrees this. You can do nothing about it. And remember, Lenin believed that it can best be achieved through whatever means are necessary to do so. We have those means."

He looked at the book titles in his library.

"I have seen it written, by some in your America, that you people have still to understand the morality of socialist behavior. An example was drawn that you must think of humanity as one great body, but one that requires constant surgery. Need I remind you that surgery cannot be performed without cutting membranes, without destroying tissues, without the spilling of blood?

"Thus, we must destroy whatever is superfluous. These are unpleasant acts, granted, but we do not find any of this immoral. You see, all acts that further history and socialism are moral acts. It is so written."

He turned from me and walked to the window. I rose from my chair and followed him.

"You believe that? You really believe it?"

Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich stood at the window. He saw the formation of the dominoes game. His partners were waiting for him. The electric lights had been turned on. He pointed outside.

"Here in Russia, my dear nephew, we all believe it. I assure you, we all believe it!" {end of selections}

(2) Relatives of Lazar Kaganovich call Stuart Kahan's book a fraud

I received the following email

{start of email}

Subject: [trotskyexposed] Fraud Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 17:48:48 -0000 From: "redguard1917" <> Reply-To: To:

Mr. Myers,

The book LAZAR KAGANOVICH: WOLF OF THE KREMLIN is a complete and utter fraud. It's author is a con man who claims to be Comrade Kaganovich's "nephew" when in fact no such relationship existed. Anyone interested can check out this link:

Which is a public statement on the part of the Kaganovich family repudiating the author. I'm surprised anyone takes this book seriously. All one needs to hear is the name "Rosa Kaganovich." This fictitious individual was supposed to be Comrade Stalin's third wife. Interesting that Comrade Stalin's daughter and numerous grandchildren never mention their "mama." This is because "Rosa Kaganovich" never existed. "She" was a product of rumor. Scholars have known this since the 1950s.

Mr. Myers, considering that this highly flawed -- to put it mildly -- work seems to form your main source for your arguments, it casts severe doubt on your credibility. This, of course, is in addition to the general anti-semitic and racist tone of your postings.

By the way, I'm not a Jew. I'm a Latino.

Sincerely, Alfonso, Moderator, Stalinist Group {end of email}

Red Comrades

Statement of the Kaganovich Family


The fall of the USSR has revealed that a number of 'authoritative' works on the Soviet Union published in the West are in actual fact forgeries. In 1987 the United States publisher, Morrow, published a book by one Stuart Kahan under the title 'Wolf of the Kremlin: First Biography of L.M. Kaganovich, the Soviet Union's Architect of Fear". The volume was published in 1989 in the UK by the British publishing house, Hale. In 1991 a Russian translation, 'Kremlyovskii volk', was published in Moscow by Progress Publishers, and a chapter of this volume appeared in the 'Nedyelya' weekly magazine. This statement was sent in the form of a letter of protest to the Director of Progress Publishers and the Chief Editor of 'Nedyelya'. No reply was ever received. The statement is published for the first time in this journal. We are grateful to the grandson of L.M. Kaganovich for having translated this text into English. Citations from the book are given in backward translation from the Russian. The pagination is that of the Russian edition.

We, the close relatives of the late Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich, are full of indignation due to the publication of the Russian translation of the book "The Wolf in the Kremlin" by the American journalist Stuart Kahan. The translation was published by Progress Publishers, and one chapter of the book also appeared in the weekly magazine "Nedyelya" No. 5, 1991.

We insist that this book is full of lies and slander. The author of the book falsely claims to be LMK's grand-nephew and makes an attempt to persuade the readers to trust his writings. In fact, he is an adventurer and neither LMK himself, nor we ever had any idea about his existence. On May 31, 1981 LMK sent a letter to A.A. Gromyko (who was at that time the USSR Foreign Minister) with a request to protect him against Stuart Kahan's pressing attempts to visit him (through the USSR Embassy in Washington). LMK vigorously denied the existence of any nephew in the USA. He wrote that he had not and would not ever receive him.

Being quite ignorant of the facts of LMK's life, Stuart Kahan has misinterpreted LMK's biography and has distorted totally his image. Relying on false information, on his own fabrications, as well as on all sorts of gossips circulating around LMK, he imputed to him absurd and dirty intentions, statements, and aspirations which in fact were alien to him, and attributed to him improper and even criminal actions which he had never committed. Throughout the whole book the author permits himself to make rude and insulting remarks in an intolerable tone.

We, who for many years had associated with LMK and were closely acquainted with his private life, his moral principles and his human nature, decisively refute the slanderous figments about LMK and testify that his personality was, in fact, entirely unlike the one worked out by this unscrupulous American "relative" who in pair with his daddy obviously intended to make a lot of money with this libel. In any case LMK's personality belongs to history, so all the facts connected with him should be authentic and reliable. That is why we cannot remain indifferent to such a crying distortion of facts, to such lies and falsifications.

The following are our particular observations and disproofs to the whole set of materials displayed in the book.

The author claims that LMK supposedly placed his sister by Stalin's side as a home doctor and at the same time, according to the author's expression, as the "dictator's wife", and with her assistance to several Politburo members the step-by-step poisoning of Stalin was carried out. All this is a wicked calumny.

The absurdity and falsity of this version is proved by the fact that LMK's only sister, by mistake named in the book as Rosa (her name was Rachel), died in 1926 and was buried in Kiev at the Baykov Cemetery. She was married, and she brought up five children. She had never been a doctor, she never went either to Arzamas, or to Nizhny Novgorod or Moscow, so she could not have taken part in the actions so zealously ascribed to her by the author (pp. 238-245). It goes without saying that the dialogue described in the book (pp. 219-223) which supposedly LMK had with his already late sister is fictitious.

A wicked calumny is the assertion on page 217 that LMK supposedly was present at the interrogation of his brother Mikhail and managed to slip a pistol into his pocket, which later was used by Mikhail to commit suicide. In reality, according to LMK's account, the circumstances of Mikhail's death were as follows. Mikhail, being at that time the director of an airplane construction plant in Kazan and not the Narkom (minister) of the Aviation Industry, was summoned to the Kremlin for confrontation with a high-ranking government official, who was arrested at the time (we do not reveal his name) and under specific pressure of well known kind slandered both Mikhail and himself. LMK was not present at the confrontation, he was informed later about what had happened. There was no funeral and no official announcement, even Mikhail's wife (her name was not Anna, but Cecilia) was not informed officially. All that happened not in 1945, as the author writes, but in 1941. After rehabilitation Mikhail's ashes were buried at the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow where a monument to his memory has been erected.

Here are several examples of the author's slandering inventions of absurd actions and statements ascribed by him to LMK:

- LMK made a bet on a bottle of vodka for the foretelling of the date of Lenin's death; - LMK gave false information about Krupskaya and organized her shadowing (p. 137); - LMK introduced harder restrictions and quotas for Jews than anybody' else; - Stalin commissioned LMK for the shadowing of his wife Nadezhda.

The author writes about LMK: "The man who created the security service of KGB" (p. 9) and "organized the murder department in the NKVD" (p. 141). He ascribed to LMK the following absurd words: "I want to survive, for that I am ready to oppose my family, my religion, and even my Motherland" (p. 220).

This is a calumny. LMK had always felt great esteem and love for Lenin and Krupskaya. He had never worked in any NKVD organizations and had no relationship with them. The outrageous views and statements ascribed to him on page 220 are in deep contrast to his ideas and moral principles, to his devotion to his Motherland.

During 1935-1944 and in 1937-1938 the years of mass repressions in particular he headed the Commissariats (ministries) of heavy industry, of fuel and oil industry, of railway transport, and later that of construction materials industry so he had not and could not have taken direct participation in the repressions.

Note should be taken of the devices absolutely inadmissible for a journalist which are used by the author: he expresses his own artificial and groundless speculations about the thoughts, statements and actions of other people in such a way as if they all had taken place in his presence. It inevitably leads to calumny.

It is necessary to note that the information sources the author refers to can not be regarded as reliable and do not prove anything.

In his Preface the author refers to his father's (Jack Kahan) testimony under oath, in which the latter asserted that "the majority of the materials included in the book were based on conversations with two persons - LMK whom the book is written about, and Morris Levik Kaganovich, LMK's cousin, his friend in childhood and my father". The author also mentions another uncle Levik, who as well as Morris associated with LMK and accompanied Morris to the USA. Let us see now whether these information sources are reliable.

1. The information the author received from Morris and uncle Levik. These names had never been mentioned in our families. If we assume that they actually lived in our village in the days of LMK's early youth, they could not know anything about his later political and government activities and inform the author about them. At the same time the information, which he supposedly received from them, concerning the locality where LMK had been born and had spent his youth, concerning the members of his family and other facts and events, is far from being correct.

On page 27 the place "Kabany" is described as a small town with a bookstore, a bakery, a railway station, and a police-station. In fact Kabany was a remote village. There was neither a bookstore, nor a bakery, nor a police-station, and as for the railway it passed at the time and still passes some tens of kilometres from the village.

On page 21 the author writes that 2600 people lived in the village, 70% of them being Jews. In fact there were only 12 Jewish families among the total of 300 homesteads.

Contrary to the author's allegation (p. 31) there had never been any Cossack raids on the village.

During World War I nobody had been evacuated from the village, as the author alleges on page 25. The battle front was much more westward from our village and there had been no migrants from the western regions.

The author has no idea about LMK's family. LMK's parents did not leave the villages at that time, his mother did not die on the way from it and was not buried in the fields (pp. 90-91). LMK's mother died in the 1930's in Kiev and was buried at the Baykov Cemetery next to her daughter's grave.

LMK did not have two brothers - Mikhail and Julius, as is stated on page 25, there were four of them including two elder brothers Aaron and Israel, who are not mentioned in the book. The names of LMK's mother and sister given by the author are wrong (pp. 24, 40). The mother's name was not Sasha or Sarah, but Ghenya, the sister's name was not Rosa, but Rachel. LMK's father Moisey (Moses) had never been a tailor (p. 6), he was an unskilled labourer. LMK's grandfather had never been a cantor (p. 20), he was absolutely illiterate and during almost all of his life he worked as a shepherd at a merchant's sheep-fold and had no musical talent. Mikhail and Julius had never worked at a steel mill in Gomel (p. 36). There had never been such a plant there.

2. The information supposedly received in the conversations with LMK. The author writes on page 5: "The most important point is that the main part of the materials has been written down according to the words of Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich." So what materials had the author received? The description of the supposed 10-hour conversation with LMK clearly shows that the author has invented such absurd statements, ascribed to LMK, as: "Don't you think after you leave I'll at once call up Andropov?", or "I'll let Leonid know and he'll protect you from troubles", or Do you know that I am a champion in dominoes?", and so on. The author writes: "Lazar would like to know whether he would live to the day, when his grandchildren appear. Maya was still unmarried" (p. 288). All this is undoubtedly made up by the author himself. In actuality LMK's daughter Maya married in 1939 and by 1981 she and his adopted son had already given him four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

We confirm that such a meeting had never taken place. LMK avoided meeting with journalists, all the more he would never meet with an American who called himself his nephew, whom he had never heard about.

Estimating the help given to him by his father Jack (p. 6) the author writes the following words: "Thank God for his knowing Yiddish". According to his words he himself had visited LMK without his father, knowing neither Yiddish, nor Russian. We testify that LMK could not speak Yiddish, neither did he know English. By means of what language did they converse in that case?

The author's description of the apartment and its furnishing does not correspond to reality. On page 14 the author writes that on the shelf in LMK's flat there stood a photo of Morris and uncle Levik, and on page 292 he writes that a portrait of Trotsky also stood there. These things had never been in LMK's flat.

The book is full of many other figments, perverting LMK's biography.

On page 104 it is written that after his return from Tashkent in 1922 he visited Nizhny Novgorod where he was introduced to Maria. In fact at that time he had already been married to Maria and they had a three year old daughter. He had made the acquaintance of Maria in Kiev.

On page 236 the author writes that after his dismissal from all the government posts LMK went on a trip to his birthplace - the village Kabany, which, according to the author, has become an industrial centre with artillery production plants, a fertilizer factory etc. We testify that at the time LMK did not go there and in reality no such objects existed there. All these are the author's fibs.

Many other examples of the author's fabrications can be listed (pp. 112, 174, 200, 225, 233, etc.), but we believe it is no use going on citing them because the dishonesty of Stuart Kahan as the author of the book is quite evident.

To our great regret and distress the respected publishers in pursuit of sensation have made this concoction public without verifying and critically evaluating the contents of the book. The behaviour of the "Nedyelya" editors, who hastened to publish the chapter which relates a quite improbable version of Stalin's poisoning, also should be regarded as improper.

The people who have irresponsibly authorized the publication of these false and slandering figments are worth disapproving. We call upon the editorial board to publish our refutation and to present apologies to the relatives of LMK and his maliciously slandered sister. It is the honour, the dignity and the good memory of our relatives who are no longer with us which is dear to us.

Signed by: Maya L. Kaganovich (1919), LMK's daughter. Boris A. Kaganovich (1904-1992), LMK's cousin, was born and grew up in the same village. Oscar M. Lantsman (b. 1912), LMK's nephew, son of his sister. Rachel J. Kaganovich (1918-1994), LMK's niece. Rosa I. Kaganovich (b. 1919), LMK's niece. Leonid M. Kaganovich (1927-1993), LMK's nephew.

Translated from the Russian by Igor Minervin. {end of statement}

(3) Reply to the Statement of the Kaganovich family - Peter Myers

Stuart Kahan wrote in The Wolf of the Kremlin, "Some of my own family will not like what they read here" (p.5).

Here is a photo of the affidavit of Stuart's father, Jack Kahan, from p. 7 of The Wolf of the Kremlin: kahan-affidavit.jpg.

Here is a photo of Rosa Kaganovich at age 13, from Stuart Kahan's files, in The Wolf of the Kremlin, p. 149: rosa-kaganovich.jpg.

On the death of Stalin's second wife Nadezhda Alliluieva, and Stalin's involvement with Rosa Kaganovich, whom Stuart Kahan says was Stalin's third wife: wives-of-stalin.html.

I am interested in what Kahan's book says about the death of Stalin. However, I don't rely only on this book.

There is also Edvard Radzinsky's material on that topic: radzinsk.html.

The Death of Stalin, by Georges Bertoli, and The Death of Stalin: An Investigation by "Monitor" (this book shows that Stalin was overthrown by a coup d'etat): death-of-stalin.html.

The fact is, that Stalin died within 7 weeks of the Doctors' Plot being announced:

January 13, 1953: Tass announced the discovery of a terrorist group of poisoning doctors (Radzinsky, p. 539).

February 8, 1953: Pravda published the names of Jewish saboteurs etc.

February 11, 1953: the USSR severed diplomatic relations with Israel (Yosef Govrin, Israeli-Soviet Relations 1953-1967, pp. 3-4).

End of February, 1953: rumors went around Moscow that the Jews were to be deported to Siberia (Radzinsky, p. 542), with March 5 rumoured to be the date when this would happen (p. 546}. Radzinsky claims that Stalin was inviting war with America, the home of Zionism and world finance, over this issue, because America was dominated by Zionist financiers (p. 543).

March 5, 1953: Stalin declared dead.

Stalin killed, directly and indirectly, millions of people; there is no question of making him a hero. But the murder of such a powerful man, and its cover-up, raise even more questions about who was controlling Communism.

Stuart Kahan's book makes the following amazing statement:


{p. 285} As a result, Pravda, which had reported tirelessly on Stalin's death and the funeral, began to tone down its mention of the past leader. In fact, the name Stalin was becoming harder and harder to find in the paper. Finally, on March 22, the name was no longer seen. On April 7, less than a month after Stalin had been laid to rest, Pravda spoke about the "Soviet Constitution," not the previously known and titled "Stalinist Constitution."

Other changes took place. Articles against Jews ceased as did the infamous doctors plot. Pravda now said that the so-called conspiracy of the men in white never existed and that the doctors "implicated were therefore completely innocent of these unfound charges." One did not have to mention Stalin directly to slap him.
{end quote}

This is corroborated by "Monitor": "With almost indecent haste Stalin's name disappeared from the newspapers" (The Death of Stalin: An Investigation, p. 59)

and by Bertoli (pp. 175-6):


{p. 175} Pravda remained Stalinist-tinged for about thirteen days: From the mourning issue of March 10, which was devoted entirely to the funeral ceremonies, to March 22 inclusive. During this time, Stalin continued to be quoted in many articles. Poems inspired by him still appeared, and his name was still accompanied by glowing superlatives. One also found the themes that had filled the paper before his death: "doctor-assassins" "hidden enemies of our people," "henchmen of the Zionist Jews," as well as the usual appeals for spying on

{p. 176} one's neighbors and the usual denunciations of "slackness and naivete."

With spring, everything changed. The great man's name appeared only two or three times in each issue of the newspaper; sometimes it was completely absent.

On April 7, the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. ceased to be "Stalinist Constitution," and became, quite simply, the "Soviet Constitution." On the same day, Yekaterina Furtseva, quoting Stalin's last work, already failed to qualify it as "inspired."

On and after March 23, the word "vigilance" seemed to have been forgotten as all the commentators began discussing the "prosperity of the people." The plots of land given to the workers to grow potatoes became a subject of great concern to the organ of the Central Committee.

At the same time, the articles against Jews ceased. The last big anti-Semitic feature article- one of the most violent published- appeared in the March 20 issue of Krokodil. Vasily Ardamatsky, the author of this ill-timed article, would have the unpleasant experience of being shunned by his colleagues ...

{end quote}

(4) Miriam deVore (nee Kanagovich) says "my aunt florence cohen told me that her aunt rose was married to stalin"

I have had a number of emails from people of Kaganovich ancestry, who have lost touch with other family members. I have put them in touch with each other. One, Miriam de Vore, has a family tree like this:

Mother: Eunice (Elxha) Fradin.
Mother's sister: Florence.
Mother's brother: Martyn.

Mother's mother: Sarah Kaganovich.
Sarar's brother: Lazar.
Sarah's sister: Rose.

Miriam says that her Aunt Florence told her that her Aunt Rose was married to Stalin.

Miriam sent me a photocopy of a note her father wrote to her, at the bottom of a newspaper clipping. Here is an image of it: miriams-fathers-note.jpg.

Her father wrote at the bottom:

{quote} Elxha's mother was K. & sister Rose married S. {endquote}

Elhxa = Miriam's mother (Prussian spelling).

To say she "was K." means that Kaganovich was her maiden name.

S. = Stalin.

Miriam gave permission for her emails to be quoted on this webpage.

From: Miriam deVore <> To: Date: 22.12.2008 10:29 AM Subject: LAZAR KAGANOVICH WAS MY UNCLE

i found your page on the internet:

can you please write me back. i have been looking for my people my whole life.....about 40 years ago my aunt florence cohen told me that her aunt rose was married to stalin..... PLEASE write me back about this....thank you.....Miriam deVore

From: Miriam deVore <> Date: 22.12.2008 11:22 PM Subject: RE: LAZAR KAGANOVICH WAS MY UNCLE

yes, i just NOW found out the family denies Rose Kaganovich was married to Stalin.

I have no reason to lie about this because I was told about Aunt Rose 40 years ago. My aunt florence didnt have any reason to lie either because she was just telling me about life in Russia when she was a little girl, and one day she told me "Aunt Rose was married to Stalin"....

o.k. here is the family tree from what i have been told. my mother died when i was 5 so she was not around to tell me anything much. if it doesnt make sense i will try to get to a scanner and send it to you that way.

My birth name is Miriam Kay deVore. i was born in 1943. My mothers maiden name was Eunice Fradin. She had a sister Florence and a Brother Martyn. she was born in 1913. they all came over here when they were young children. all i know is they remember their parents being killed in some revolution. how they survived i dont know, but they had uncles waiting for them in New York City when they got here....all their names were Cohen so i guess they changed their names when they got here?

My grandmothers (my mothers mother) name was Sarah Kagonavich. SO Lazar must have been HER brother and ROSE her sister. do you know how i can get a hold of the author of the book, who claims to be Lazars nephew. do you think he would be interested in talking to a long lost relative? he is probably dead by now also, isn't he. I have a question...i remember seeing Lazar's funeral on t.v. many years ago and it seems there were literally millions of people mourning his death. i dont understand that, if he was so horrible, who were those people all mourning his death? i am sitting here also holding a scribbled note written by my father approximately 50 years ago, where he says my mother's mother was a Kaganovich and sister was Rose and married Stalin.

From: Miriam deVore <> Date: 23.12.2008 04:16 AM Subject: RE: LAZAR KAGANOVICH WAS MY UNCLE

yes, you may use my comments, name and email address. please send me a link to the page.

From: Miriam deVore <> Date: 04.01.2009 06:40 AM Subject: piece of the puzzle?

i just found my mother's (Eunice Fradin) (daughter of Sarah Kaganovich and neice of Rose Kaganovich who was Stalin's 3rd wife) obituary. it says she was born in Nausovitch, Russia (close to Moscow). I am not able to find the village on the internet. i wonder if there is any other way to track it down.....

From: Miriam deVore <> To: peter myers <> Date: 08.01.2009 12:29 PM Subject: RE: you will notice

> That newspaper cutting: "Ex-Soviet President Podgorny ..."
> Your father wrote at the bottom:
> Elxha's mother was K. (= Kananovich) & sister Rose married S. (= Stalin).
> Elhxa = your mother (Prussian spelling).
> To say she "was K." means that Kaganovich
> was her maiden name

my mothers name was Eunice Fradin. Her Father was Mendel Fradin, Her Mother was Sarah Kaganovich. according to the note on the newpaper clipping, ROSE was Sarah's sister., so she would have been my mother's aunt. Rose was my mothers Aunt. the reason I know this is because My mother had a sister named Florence, and a brother named Martin. They all came over because of the revolution, all by themselves. i think their parents were both killed. anyways, my mother died when I was 5, BUT her sister, MY Aunt Florence told me 1975 that HER Aunt Rose was Stalin's favorite wife. 1975 was a LONG time before Stuart interviewed Lazar and wrote the book.

From: Miriam deVore <> To: , peter myers <> Date: 11.01.2009 09:24 AM Subject: Lazar Kaganovich

... I had four Uncles who came over here in the early 1900s. Their names were
Jacob Kaganovich
Samuel Kaganovich
Izzy Kaganovich
Phillip Kaganovich

They all changed their last names to Cohen.

{end Miriam emails}

(5) New York Magazine, February 2, 1947, said Rosa is Stalin's third wife

The book"Palestine" Plot, by B. Jensen, published by W.L. Richardson in 1948, and reprinted by Omni Publications in 1987, quotes the following on p. 196:

"Lazar M. Kaganovitch has the distinction of being the only Jew on the Politbureau. He is unique in another respect, too. His sister Rosa is Stalin's third wife, which makes him the Generalissimo's brother-in-law. His job was one of the half-dozen most important during the war. It was Kaganovitch's militarized railroad who got the supplies to the Red Army. No one, possibly including Kaganovitch, knows exactly how this miracle was accomplished, but American railroaders who inspected the system when it was going full blast ... regard him as a genius."

and attributes the quote to New York Magazine, February 2, 1947.

(6) Comparison: US military had a policy of strafing refugees in Korean War

Whatever the atrocities of Lazar Kaganovich & Stalin, we must remember that ALL regimes have skeletons in their closets. Propaganda is about highlighting an opponent's sins while hiding our own. During the 1930s, the USSR had its famine, its Gulag and its purges, but the West had its Great Depression. During the Korean War, US troops shot thousands of Korean civilian refugees because North Korean infiltrators might be among them. That's just one example on the blood on our hands.

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korean investigators, matching once-secret documents to eyewitness accounts, are concluding that the U.S. military indiscriminately killed large groups of refugees and other civilians early in the Korean War.

A half-century later, the Seoul government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has more than 200 such alleged wartime cases on its docket, based on hundreds of citizens' petitions recounting bombing and strafing runs on South Korean refugee gatherings and unsuspecting villages in 1950-51. ...

Commission researchers have unearthed evidence of indiscriminate killings in the declassified U.S. archive, including a report by U.S. inspectors-general that pilots couldn't distinguish their South Korean civilian allies from North Korean enemy soldiers.

South Korean legislators have asked a U.S. Senate committee to join them in investigating another long-classified document, one saying American ground commanders, fearing enemy infiltrators, had adopted a policy of shooting approaching refugees.

The Associated Press has found that wartime pilots and declassified documents at the U.S. National Archives both confirm that refugees were deliberately targeted by U.S. forces. ==

Pentagon withheld document from report on Korean War killings

By Charles J. Hanley and Martha Mendoza

New York Times Sunday, April 15, 2007

Six years after declaring that the killing of Korean War refugees by U.S. troops at No Gun Ri was "not deliberate," the U.S. Army has acknowledged it had found, but had not divulged, a high-level document stating that the U.S. military had a policy of shooting approaching civilians in South Korea. ...


Wives of Stalin
The death of Stalin's second wife Nadezhda Sergeyevna Alliluieva, and Stalin's involvement with Rosa Kaganovich, whom Stuart Kahan says was Stalin's third wife: wives-of-stalin.html.

The Death of Stalin, by Georges Bertoli, and The Death of Stalin: An Investigation by "Monitor":  death-of-stalin.html.

Also see
Edvard Radzinsky's account of the murder of Stalin: radzinsk.html,

and Pavel Sudoplatov's denials of any plan to deport Jews: sudoplat.html.

The Jewish identities of Lenin and Trotsky: lenin-trotsky.html.

New evidence on Beria's downfall:

The Wolf of the Kremlin is out of print. To order a second-hand copy via ABEbooks:

To order a second-hand copy from Amazon:

Write to me at contact.html.