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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 18, 1953

TASS TO CPSU ON 'ANTI-SOVIET PROPAGANDA OF THE VOICE OF AMERICA' ON DEATH OF LEV MEKHLIS

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    This TASS information bulletin was sent to the Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers. Note the distribution to Stalin and Malenkov only.
    "TASS to CPSU on 'Anti-Soviet propaganda of the Voice of America' on Death of Lev Mekhlis," February 18, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, State Archives of the Russian Federation, GARF. F. R-4459. Op. 38. D. 477, pp.7-8. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121510
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Top Secret
Copy Nº 4

Outgoing Nº 283 ss
18 February 1953

Anti-Soviet propaganda of the Voice of America

New York (Voice of America in Russian, 17:45, 17 February, official transcript)

Regarding the death of the Soviet dignitary, Lev Mekhlis.

Moscow radio has reported the death and ceremonial burial of a prominent Soviet dignitary who was once close to Stalin, Lev Mekhlis.

When a report of the death of any eminent person appears in any free country no one is in any doubt that he actually died from the cause given. This cannot be said of the death of Soviet dignitaries. Possibly Mekhlis died from a heart rupture or from some other cause. It is possible that the medical report on the pages of Moscow newspapers signed by some important soviet doctors is true. And possibly it isn’t.

People ask themselves different questions. Did they kill Mekhlis in Moscow? Was he poisoned so that the doctors who signed the medical report of his death could then be accused of murder?

The Kremlin rulers have accustomed the entire world to such questions. No one ever knows what a particular Soviet dignitary dies of. Not one Soviet dignitary knows whether the medical report of his death will be true, for the Soviet government has already given notice of the falsity of several medical reports, sometimes many years later.

It is also possible that an elaborate funeral for Mekhlis was set up as a smokescreen in order to somewhat conceal the already obvious anti-Semitism of the Soviet regime from everyone.

In a country under Communist domination everything is possible.

Four copies were printed.

1-2 – to Comrade. Stalin

3 – to Comrade. Malenkov

4 – to the 4th Department’s files