SPEECH BY COMRADE KHRUSHCHEV AT THE 6TH PUWP CC PLENUM (EXCERPT), 20 MARCH 1956, WARSAWCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationSpeech by Comrade Khrushchev at the 6th PUWP CC Plenum, 20 March 1956, Warsaw explaining the changes since the death of Stalin and criticizing Stalin"Speech by Comrade Khrushchev at the 6th PUWP CC Plenum (Excerpt), 20 March 1956, Warsaw" March 20, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AAN, (Archive of Modern Records) PZPR 2631 Materialy do stosunkow partyjnych polsko-radzieckich z lat 1956-1958, "Przemowienie tow. Chruszczowa na VI Plenum K.C.," k. 14-87. Translated from Russian and Polish by L.W. Gluchowski. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111920
VIEW DOCUMENT IN
[Head of State Council]
Comrade Aleksander Zawadzki [in Polish]
Comrades, the [PUWP] Politburo has taken advantage of the occasion afforded by Comrade Khrushchev's visit with us, and has invited Comrade Khrushchev to meet with the Central Committee plenum. As a result we should treat this as the beginning of the plenum-the actual meeting will begin in the late afternoon.
I suggest, in the name of all present, that we give Comrade Khrushchev a heartfelt greeting, at this, our plenum. (Applause.) We ask that Comrade Khrushchev take advantage of this meeting, and speak to all who are gathered, from a perspective of personal experience.
Comrade Khrushchev [in Russian]
My task is very difficult because I don't know which problems interest you, the Polish United Workers' Party. The questions [discussed at] the 20th [CPSU] congress. All the questions of the 20th congress.
I was told that you're familiar with the report presented at the closed session of the congress. You also read it. Now, comrades, I would like to talk about a very crucial question-the question of the cult of personality.
The report of the closed session [of the 20th CPSU congress] you have read. But......[Ed. Note: Dots not enclosed in parentheses are found in the original.] with such openness we presented these questions. We didn't hide anything; we said everything. Why did we introduce this question to the party congress? We had a discussion. We exchanged opinions, if such a topic should be touched. People, for decades, thought like this. And suddenly, we'll show them that it's not that clean, how we always looked at and understood this subject, that it's dirty, this subject. We discussed it a lot, argued about it, and finally decided to present this question. This is our capital, and we have to use it. Our biggest capital is that which aids in reinforcing the ranks of our party. And capital which aides in reinforcing our authority among the masses is our main capital. After the death of Stalin, we freed tens of thousands of people from jails. We reinstated thousands of people to party membership. We reinstated our friends. I talked to one of them, who spent sixteen years with......This is my acquaintance, we worked together in the Donbass. I was in charge of the orgotdel [Organization Department] of Stalin's regional committee, he was in charge of the......regional committee. A member of the party since 1917, joined as a young man, and spent sixteen years in jail, a completely honest man. Comrades, this was a member......up until the 7th congress and [he was] a delegate to the 7th congress. They came, they wanted, you see, not only the pants from the Red Cross, but......and he would have been satisfied. But, he wants to receive moral satisfaction. How can we say it to him? And we would have been simply.....if we simply......our head, and said that nothing had happened. So, thousands of people came, and people who were in the party for decades......
The most important thing is to educate correctly. ...Who will decide, how can one explain the absence of the......congress for thirteen years. How can one explain? But, we have so many people who asked us this question during Stalin's tenure. They were arrested. This is already an anti-Soviet person. The party should be informed at a certain time, right before the party congress, but this is arbitrariness. The party cannot live like this. Well, we have decided to report these questions to the congress, and said......and saying......To state the question, and where were you, you were with Stalin. We said we've seen, and we're saying, you judge. Let the congress judge, if it deserves trust or not. But, the party must know everything. As the master, the congress must know about it and decide. Therefore, we came and stated it. I would say......that after we had made this report, and now we're reading this report to members of the party, then we decided to read it to Komsomol members. There are eighteen million warm-hearted young people that were brought up by us in a certain direction. If they don't know everything-won't understand us......We decided......then we went ahead. We decided to have it read during workers' meetings. Not only to party members, but to non-party members as well, so that non-party members feel that we trust them......will know. When we were told......the entire world talks, the entire diplomatic corps is making noise that Khrushchev did......exactly. The connections [i.e., intelligence communications] aren't bad. Here he gave such a report, he talked for three hours, really talked for three hours, that such questions were presented, that such questions were really presented, and that after that, they won......so to speak. To each other......there's such a situation among the diplomats, that Khrushchev flew to Warsaw, Malenkov to London, Mikoian to Karachi, during a bad state in the [Soviet] Politburo they're not going to fly all over the world......checking themselves. Because, really, let them make some noise; make some noise and then they'll be left with nothing (na bobakh). But, we will only win from this, because now we have a colossal growth of party solidarity around the Central Committee, and firmness among party ranks, and it's only natural that the party receive satisfaction, that we, so to speak, the Central Committee......under the party......He made the report to the party, because......the reasons......and we're saying how to cure why this could have happen......
After reading this, you'd probably be indignant, and probably say, this is really an enemy of the people. (Voice from the audience [in Russian] No.) No? Comrades, comrades, you're saying no. I'm not upset with you. Yes, Comrades. But, you're saying this in 1956, after my presentation. Now, even a fool can be smart, as they say. But, you have to make the decision when the question is being discussed. Here, before you, sits your wonderful fellow-countryman, and our friend, Rokossowski. He spent two years in jail. (Question from the audience:......Berezhkov) There is. Yes, there is. Here, in my report, I was talking about Meretskov. Meretskov, I don't know if he sat for two years or not, but not for a long time. But, now he's a complete invalid. He was interrogated by Rodos.6 This big man was interrogated by Rodos. They had very smart techniques. The doctors' case. I was sick, before my trip to Warsaw. The professor, Vinogradov came, who was one of the saboteurs and had been in jail. And then he was freed. I ask: "So, what do you think, Vladimir Nikitovich, can I fly to Warsaw?" He says: "You can. Breath carefully, through the nose. Don't make speeches outdoors. Do not take off your hat." A doctor says that to a person who's not yet completely well. He was in jail. After jail he examined us. But, I read his testimony myself, that he was a German spy. It so happened that this doctor, Vinogradov, attended to me, and was at my place practically a day before his arrest. After my presentation to the 19th congress, I fell ill. And I was laying in bed, for three day. And he was taking care of me, and I was already reading the protocols on his statements. The other doctors were saying this......What could I do? What could I do, when a doctor who works with him says: I say such-and-such, I did such-and-such things, I poisoned this one, I strangled that one. I had the help of such-and-such. What could I say to myself. I'll go and say to Stalin that this isn't true. But, he'll say: "What are you doing, these people are admitting it." In any case, I wouldn't be allowed. The investigator should have been called, then the doctors, and questioned. But these conditions weren't available. These conditions-this is the cult of personality.
Well, you have read everything in the report. This is, so to say, fresh news. The situation in the agricultural field is difficult. Once I said to Stalin: "Comrade Stalin, we have a crisis in agriculture." He says: "What do you mean, crisis?" I reply: "A crisis: no milk......no meat, no milk. What's happening?" "This is not correct," he says, and immediately became defensive because of this word. "Stalin's age," "Stalin's leadership," and here is a crisis......Only enemies say this word. Malenkov was asked: "Do we procure more meat now or less?" "More." I said: "I'm saying more too." "More milk?" "More." "Well, the population has increased too." Wages have risen. The purchasing ability has increased too. Then, if that's so, talk like this. We couldn't tell him these things. Well, what kind of socialism is it when a person can't drink an extra cup of milk. I, at the time of capitalism, drank as much milk as I wanted, being a miner during capitalism. And now, I have to, I should be thankful, that now, I can buy a cup of milk for my child. But, such is the situation. This means that this is our fault; we're discrediting socialism. The workers and employees, and all the people-a socialist system, capitalist system, he doesn't choose by himself. But, he chooses a system which will provide a better lifestyle for him. This system for him, the socialist system, this is a social system where the tools of production are located in the hands of society. Therefore, the society itself, in its own interests, will use these tools of production. So, you have to provide uninterrupted growth in the standard of living of the population. Stalin said that a committee should be formed to study this matter. I was nominated as the chairman of that committee. I knew what it meant. I'm not going to do anything to cause problems. I'll get nothing. I can't do anything. I know this. I say: "Comrade Stalin, why me, maybe Malenkov is better?" Why did I nominate Malenkov, for that I had grounds. Malenkov was entrusted with leadership for agriculture. I said, why. I'm the secretary of the Moscow committee. I have so many things (vot tak vot) of my own to be done. Let Malenkov do it. "Let it be." So, what can I do, you can't argue with Stalin. He says, Mikoian should be in the committee, and others, let them work. Well, I know that if I had the opportunity to solve this question, I'd give a suggestion. But, I wouldn't be allowed to solve this matter. And they would make me an enemy. Because, whatever I'd have suggested, Stalin would say that it's all harmful. Only enemies can suggest this. We spent a lot of time sitting and arguing. But, do you know, comrades, how many ass-lickers are there? There was this Kozlov, an agriculture manager, we kicked him out from the Central Committee, but this big bastard (svoloch) remained in the party. I beg your pardon for such harsh words, but he should have been expelled from the party. All the time he presented documents to the Central Committee on how everything is moving, agriculture is developing, that we have nothing, but agriculture is growing. We sat, corrected the material a little bit. I'll tell you exactly how it was. Corrected the materials, and went to Comrade Stalin: The materials are ready. Spent a lot of time, not because we couldn't figure it out, but because we didn't know how to suggest it, how to put it. Therefore, we had to disguise it so that no one would be the wiser, and there was some benefit from it. Stalin read it. So, he says, many billions should be given. Something like six or seven billion. This is child's play, only enemies look at this question from this angle. They don't understand how the peasant lives......Stalin says. With one hen, he says, the peasants sells and pays duties with all of one hen. How can he say that, when Stalin didn't see a live peasant for probably thirty years. Stalin's more aloof than his dacha-he can't see anything from his dacha, because it's surrounded by woods, and with guards. And with field-glasses you wouldn't see a living person, except the guard. How can he think like that? But, a man who knows the village, who sees the peasants, he can't agree with him. Instead of accepting our suggestion, Stalin says-no. I suggested my own ideas. Together, with this proposition, we looked at this question and raised the duties on peasants some 40 billion rubles. My God, here I left. I told Mikoian, the only salvation is if the peasants rebel. Because there's no other way out. Because they sell all the produce to pay duties, their duties. Already, they don't have this money. From where can they get it? And, well, we researched. And we researched. But, what's there to research. And then I saw that the situation was like this. I knew, and I said: "Comrade Stalin, this is a very big problem you gave us. It's difficult to decide by such a committee. We need more people." He said: "What do you want?" I said: "Malenkov, Beria, Bulganin, Kaganovich"-named all the members of the Politburo, so that everybody will be involved. "What are you doing. What for?" I said: "It's a big question." "Big question? Well, include Malenkov and Beria." "Very well." At least now it's easier. I had to involve Beria, that bastard, because if he proposed what Mikoian proposed, then he would have to sign the document. You see what kind of complicated conditions existed. And then we all got together. "Well, I said, comrades, how are we going to solve this?" Well, Beria probably understood. He said this is all nonsense. Where can we get the money from? From where? Let's look for money. The matter ended with the death of Stalin. So the document was burned. But, just before the death, a document existed. But, if he had not died, I myself don't know how all this would have ended. I think that it would have ended with additional arrests. Because, Stalin told us-these are populists and SRs [Socialist Revolutionaries], meaning enemies. These were difficult conditions. If you look at it this way, Stalin died, we made way for an increase in agriculture. It means we understand. It means we can find the necessary solution. Why didn't we find it at the time, because of one person who was stopping it. And we couldn't do anything. Absolutely couldn't do anything. That's why, now, we have fuel. And that's why we're roaring like bulls: "Down with the cult of personality!" Just like the Komsomol. Why, because if we get rid of the cult, then we will always collectively find the correct solution. Stalin was telling us that the capitalist world will fool us, that we're like blind kittens. But, if Stalin came back now, we would show him what we've done after him, and how we've cleaned up the atmosphere. I think that Stalin couldn't have done it, and in ten years. And if he had lived a little bit longer, then he possibly would have started another war.
Listen! When Stalin died, 109 people were killed. 109 people died because everyone moved like a mob and smothered them. This is just such a psychosis (psikhos). Some people, when they were in the hall near the casket, started crying-What are we going to do now? Comrades, common people is one thing, but how many party members and Komsomol members thought when Stalin died, what will happen after him? Is it proper? Is it appropriate to imagine a hero, and make everything dependent on him? Comrades, do we then need the party? What is it? It means not believing in human judgment, not believing in the force of democracy, not believing in collective leadership. Comrades, then let's choose a king. The monarchists say their system is better, because all your elections depend on your voters, and they adapt [to each other], but our monarch, he was given the power to rule and manage by God. Then we must agree with even such an absurdity. And now, we're trying to break this myth of power and infallibility. Some say, what would you have done during the war, if you didn't have Stalin? Defeated the Germans. Defeated them-and defeated them sooner, with less blood [lost]. I'm sure of it. And maybe we could have avoided the war. Maybe, if our policy was a little smarter, maybe, we could have avoided the war. Nobody knows. That is how I and my friends in our collective see these things.
Listen, such absurdity. When Lenin died, no busts. Stalin died, there wasn't a single town or city where a monument to him was not placed. We, when he died, we couldn't imagine what to name after him, to immortalize him the day he died, because whatever we did would have been significantly worse than what he had done during his lifetime. Can this be correct? Can this be correct upbringing? There was no modesty, although he talked a lot about modesty. There were many, many shortcomings, which, unfortunately, we could not......We ourselves suffered from it. I vacationed with him one year. I lived next [door]. I told my friends and they understood it. They said that if you're still alive after this vacation, say "Thank God." Why? Because I had to dine with him every day. It means I had to be drunk every day. I beg your pardon. Am I saying it too frankly, yes? (Voices from the audience [in Russian]: You're saying the truth. Say it. Say it.) You just can't do this. We had foreigners arriving and coming over sometimes. We were ashamed when we came for dinner, because there was a battery of mortars (batareia minometov) [Ed. note: hard liquor] on the table. There's a limit to everything......It was like this, comrades. It was. But, if one doesn't drink and eat with him, you're his enemy. You're his enemy. This kind of absurdity, why did it happen? If he was not protected by the cult of personality, he would have been kicked out, and told: Listen, dear, drinking so heavily isn't allowed. You have to work. We're responsible for the work done. He [Stalin] himself once told us in the heat of conversation: "Go on talking. Once, Lenin called me [to him] and tells me: Why, my dear (baten'ka), are you drinking so heavily? You're buying champagne by the case, getting people drunk. And he wanted to put me on trial." He [Stalin] told us this......We couldn't tell him that it would have been for the best if Lenin had done it, because if you said it, you wouldn't be going home anymore. You're not children, comrades. You should understand. I have a lot of Polish friends. And [Stalin] made me a Pole. Stalin asked me: "What's your last name?" I said: "Khrushchev." "Your last name ends like a Polish one with [one line black out in text] ski." I said: "Who knows. I lived for a long time as Khrushchev, and now its-ski." Comrades, I was standing near Yezhov, and Stalin said: "Yezhov said it." Yezhov replied: "I didn't." "How is it you didn't say it? When you were drunk, you said it to Malenkov." Malenkov passes by. Stalin says: "Did Yezhov tell you that Khrushchev's Polish?" He says: "No." You see, they'll say, why is Khrushchev denying. First of all, I'm a Russian, I'm not denying. Second, what kind of crime is it if I had been Polish? What kind of crime? Look, comrades, when Stalin died, Beria took his post. And he was then the most influential man among us. Beria and Malenkov. He took the post of internal affairs minister, comrades. Beria. But, what kind of counter-revolution did we have in 1953? None. We have a good, friendly, lively society in the Soviet Union. What did he need it for? So that he could stand above the party. What does it mean to stand above the party? It means to raise his own cult of personality. What Stalin was, Beria would have become (Byl Stalin, stal by Beriia). He'd have destroyed the party. The party would be like a formality, because he'd be in command. So, then, we rebelled and arrested Beria for raising his hand against the party. We told him this. We didn't arrest him like Stalin arrested Kosior. Instead, we arrested him during the meeting. All members of the Presidium were present. We told him: "We accuse you of such and such actions. You encroach on the rights of the party as shown by. We said it to him." This, he says, I did because of this and that. We then said, arrest him. When the prosecutor interrogated him, Beria said: "On what grounds do you arrest me?" He replied: "You're asking me on what grounds? The entire Presidium and Council of Ministers were there when you were arrested. Not only them, but the entire government apparatus!" [Ed. note: For Beria letters from prison to Malenkov, see the Berlin 1953 section of this Bulletin and the CWIHP website: cwihp.si.edu.]
With these words, allow me to finish my presentation. (Applause.)
Chairman [Comrade Zawadzki in Polish]
In accordance with our mutual agreement, those among the comrades with a question, please ask them, and those among the comrades who want to express themselves-also feel free to express yourself.
Comrade Kazimierz Witaszewski [in Polish]
I want to deal with the following problem. Comrade Khrushchev spoke of Comrade Stalin as the strongest, the best type of Marxist-Leninist. On the other hand, we read Comrade Khrushchev's speech. And what Comrade Khrushchev said here, it's all about what Stalin did on his own, in spite of the collective, without coming to an understanding with anyone. I can't understand, how to explain this, that a Marxist, the party leader, who, on the one hand talks about what kind of person a party member ought to be- a communist, modest, ought to listen to the voice of the masses-and, on the other hand, this same party leader does not recognize the collective, the Central Committee, the Politburo, works on his own, shoots people, old Bolsheviks, without cause. Here, for me, a question emerges, how is it possible to reconcile one with the other, that Stalin was a good Marxist?
[Several questions follow. Then Khrushchev answers, not always to the questions, but at some length.]
Comrade Khrushchev [in Russian]
Where would you place Stalin? Would you say he's not a Marxist? Stalin, who occupied such a prominent position in the party, and possessed indisputable, colossal influence, and revolutionary abilities, led the party by what path? In the direction of building a socialist society. This is a fact. Could Stalin have led in a different direction? He could have. Could he have brought it to some other result? I think that he couldn't, because the party would have resisted. But, Stalin himself was a convinced Marxist, and he was convinced that society in particular must become a communist society, and he served this society with all his body and soul. Of this, I have no doubt. The question of the means and of the course taken, this is a completely different question. It's difficult to combine, but it's a fact. And these facts have already taken place. How you want to combine it, and think it through, this depends, so to speak, on your individual abilities. But, it's a fact. We can't say that by using such and several methods to kill people, he killed so-and-so many in order to destroy the socialist regime, so that he could put the Soviet Union onto the capitalist rails. This would be stupid (glupost'). This would be a lie. This would be stupid. Who would believe it? No, that's wrong. Here's the whole tragedy for Stalin was a revolutionary. And therefore, to affirm the new, we should fight with the old. And in this struggle, comrades, we never denied harsh methods and extreme actions. We didn't deny it in the past, and we don't deny it now. Therefore, on this, Stalin was a Marxist, and he served, and used all the methods available. He used them so that in this struggle to affirm [the new], he destroyed his own people. His own people were destroyed (svoikh unichtozhal). Of course it's possible. This was in every party. There were always cases where someone was under the suspicion of being an agent provocateur. Sometimes investigations and courts were used, but it later turned out that they had been honest people. Were there cases like these? Of course there were. And it was the same in the Polish party. It was everywhere. If there's an underground, if there's a struggle, then it's always possible. And the fact that the enemy sends its agents is known to everybody, comrades. Its all a question of intelligence, methods, and abilities. Stalin had such views, he understood it well, and tried to protect himself. And in protecting the revolution, he got to the point where, as they say, the artillery fired on its own army.
Well, my dear friend, I can't say anything else. I would be dishonorable, if after his death, everything was blamed on him. That wouldn't be very smart. We would then not have been Marxists, or we would not have understood it and explained it correctly. Stalin in particularly was a Marxist. A Marxist. We think so. The question of his mistakes on the questions of theory, and in other instances, is not being discussed right now, comrades. This was a man who devoted his body and soul to the working class. There isn't a single doubt about it.
But......always, so to speak, humans are fallible. Something unpleasant is omitted, something pleasant is exaggerated. So this kind of lesson is not accepted as a valid source of history. I don't want to insult our elders, I myself am not young, but I know that sometimes......[about events] forty to fifty years ago, everyone tells his own [version]
...Stalin valued every revolutionary. It had to be seen. We saw it. We're now talking about the negative [side of] history. But, Stalin, comrades, if I could talk about the good times, [Stalin's] attention and caring. This was a revolutionary. He lived life, but he had a persecution mania (maniia presledovaniia) about somebody pursuing him......And, because of it, he would never stop......He, even his own relatives......He shot them. Because, he thought that the brother of his first wife-a Georgian woman, she died a long time ago. (From the audience: Alilueva. No, Alilueva's the last wife.) Svanidze. Svanidze. Her brother. This was a friend of Stalin's. This was already an old man. He was a Menshevik, then he joined the party, and we often saw him with Stalin. And, evidently, Beria suggested that this Svanidze was an agent, that he was an enemy, and that he had a directive to kill Stalin. Stalin, of course, said listen, he sleeps over at my place, he dines with me, he's often been with me. So, why is he not doing what he's supposed to? He could have poisoned me a long time ago. But, Beria tells him: "No. You know there are different agents. Some get the assignment immediately. Some agents are kept near you, behave normally, then the time comes, he gets the signal, and then he'll do it!" Stalin believed him. Svanidze was arrested. He was interrogated by all methods [i.e., torture]. He was sentenced to execution by shooting. Stalin lived with Svanidze for so many years; something human [remained]; so he still had doubts. Then, he orders Beria: When Svanidze is about to be shot, tell him that if he admits his guilt-Stalin was already sure that Svanidze was an enemy-and asks for forgiveness, we will forgive him. We will forgive him. Before Svanidze was shot, we are told, he was told Stalin's words, and he said: "Exactly what am I guilty of? Why should I ask for forgiveness. I'm not a criminal. I'm a member of the party. I'm an honest person. I didn't commit any crimes before Stalin, and before the party and country. I won't ask." And he was shot. That's what was happening. So, why did Stalin destroy [Svanidze]? He destroyed him simply so (prosto tak)......He believed he was an enemy. We have to rack our brains to explain things that are not so easy. You have to complicate this question a little bit. Only then will you understand correctly, and correctly give an explanation. This is a complicated question.
The beginning of the war and Stalin. Comrades, here, it was said that maybe we could have used it to our advantage, when he turned out to be......This was impossible, comrades. The war began......the enemy attacks, and if we, at that time, had announced that we dismissed Stalin from the leadership. Comrades, a better present to Hitler could not be imagined......(Voice from the audience: Correct, [he] had to direct the collective.) Exactly, had to direct. Comrades, all this is being explained simply, right here at this meeting, and after Stalin's death, and you have to have [in mind] the concrete conditions. The war was going on, and the name of Stalin played a big part, and suddenly we're announcing we dismissed Stalin. Comrades, that is defeat. This would mean the death of the country.
...Stalin must be criticized, and we already see how we are criticizing him. But, comrades......even if you smear a person more and more, he won't get darker than he deserves. We can smear his reputation. But, after us, there are going to be people, you know, like restorers, who in cathedrals or somewhere start restoring things that were already painted and repainted, each artist in his own way. But, a good restorer takes it, cleans everything, washes everything off, and says: "This is, in reality, the work of such and such. And everything else was merely appended." So it is in this matter, too, comrades. Stalin, comrades, is such a figure that many historians will break their teeth trying to learn this history, and there will still be something left to learn. Stalin is Stalin. He's a very complex figure. He had a lot of good and a lot, a great lot, of bad. Now, we're trying to deal with the bad so that we can strengthen the party's correct path of action. But, Stalin will, in any case, from us, and after us, and from our grandchildren and children, receive what he deserved. He played his part and played in such a way that God left it to others, who worked with him, to know. I'm saying it directly, because it's a question of the struggle......Stalin had his own methods. He said that in order for the working class to succeed, in order to take power, many thousands and millions of workers had to die. Maybe it was a mistake. At such a moment of revolutionary struggle, it's possible that there are mistaken victims. But, he says, history will forgive me. Is it possible? Perhaps. The whole question concerns the scale of these mistakes. A question of methods. Because his doses were incorrect, because an incorrect method of leadership was used. And we want to avoid this. Comrades, we ourselves aren't guaranteeing that mistakes won't be made. We also can't allow; we also arrested people, and will probably make arrests in the future. I think that you'll also have to do this. But, if you now become liberals, and look at everybody and pat everybody on the back, then these enemies will bite your hands off (ruki pootkusaiut). We have such enemies and you have them. You probably have more enemies, because you're younger than we are, and we destroyed more, and you're closer to them. So, I think that even in the future mistakes are possible. I can't say, right now, that we promise that not even a single hair will fall from the head of any person. No. Comrades, this is very complicated. Comrades, the enemy is really insidious, the enemy really is, has been all the while, and we'll fight with these enemies wherever we recognize them and, maybe, where we don't recognize them. I, for example, know that when I worked in Ukraine, we destroyed not one, but many of our enemies using the hands of our enemies. We knew......these ones......we forged some documents. We would place them surreptitiously everywhere......they arrested them, tortured them, and hung them. But, you'll say that this is cruel. But, comrades, we're fighting with the enemy. Is this method with enemies allowed? I think it's allowable. Will we give it up, now? I, for example, won't refuse to use it, if it's used to destroy the enemy......If we're going to be cowardly, it means we are cowards. So there, dear comrades. (...)
(Applause. Stormy applause.)