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Hoover Institution claims Stalin poisoned Lenin

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Komsomol
Post 28 Sep 2009, 00:29
Hoover Institution claims Stalin poisoned Lenin
http://whatpaulgregoryisthinkingabout.b ... lenin.html
Did Stalin Poison Lenin?
In the Hoover Institution Archives’s Volkogonov microfilm collection, there is a remarkable document dated March 23, 1923 from Joseph Stalin to the Politburo.[i] The document is two pages long and written in Stalin’s hand on his official letterhead as secretary of the central committee. In this “strictly secret” memo, Stalin states that “On Sunday March 17, Comrade Ulianova (N. K.) (Lenin’s wife) confidentially communicated to me ‘the request of Vladimir Ilich (Lenin) to Stalin’ that I, Stalin, take upon myself the responsibility to acquire and administer cyanide poison to Vladimir Ilich. In her conversation with me, she said that ‘Vladimir Ilich is “experiencing unbearable suffering’ and that ‘it makes no sense to keep on living’ and stubbornly insisted that I ‘not deny Ilich his request.” In view of the special insistence of Ulianova and that Ilich demanded my approval (Ilich twice called his wife to his office during our conversation and agitatedly demanded the ‘agreement of Stalin which meant that we had to interrupt our conversation twice), I did not consider it possible to say no, declaring ‘I request that Vladimir Ilich keep calm and he must believe that when it is necessary, I will without hesitation fulfill his request.’ Vladimir Ilich did indeed calm down. I must , however, declare, that I do not have the strength to fulfill the request of Vladimir Ilich and I must refuse this mission, no matter how humane and necessary and which I relate for the information of the members of the Politburo.
All Politburo members, including Lev Trotsky, signed that they had read the memo. One, Mikhail Tomsky, wrote by hand that “I presume that the ‘indecisiveness’ of Stalin is correct. It follows that the members of the Politburo should exchange their views in a strict order of secrecy. Without a secretary present.”
Vladimir Ilich Lenin, the uncontested leader of the Bolshevik state, suffered his first stroke in May of 1922, leaving him partially paralyzed. A second stroke followed in December, and a third stroke in March of 1923 required him to withdraw from public life. Lenin died on January 21, 1924, ten months after his request to Stalin. Throughout his lengthy illness, Lenin experienced periods of improvement, leading his doctors to maintain hope that his situation was not hopeless.
As Lenin faded from the leadership, Stalin allied himself with two of Lenin’s allies, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev, to block the charismatic Trotsky. They reached agreements among themselves before Politburo meetings, thereby effectively excluding Trotsky from decision making. In fact, Stalin informed his allies about his meeting with Lenin first. In this undated “strictly secret” memo, he adds that Lenin’s wife could not bring herself to poison her husband and was therefore asking for his assistance. The emphatic joint reply of Zinoviev and Kamenev was “We cannot do this! Ferster (Lenin’s doctor) holds out hope. If only this were not happening. No, No, No!”
Years after his exile from Russia in 1929, Trotsky expressed the view that Stalin did indeed poison Lenin and that he did so, not for the “humane and necessary” reasons mentioned in his memo, but to protect himself. There are no accounts other than Trotsky’s of the Politburo discussion that followed Stalin’s March 23 memo. According to Trotsky, he and other Politburo members argued against assisting Lenin’s death, while Stalin took no position other than to emphasize Lenin’s desire to end his suffering. The Politburo did not vote, but everyone was left with the impression that there could be no further talk of administering Lenin poison.
If Stalin intended to poison Lenin, as Trotsky claimed, why would he inform the Politburo of Lenin’s request? A possible answer is that this would give Stalin the ideal alibi. If poison were detected in Lenin’s body, a reasonable conclusion would be that Lenin’s wife finally got the nerve to do it herself. Also, what would Stalin have to gain from poisoning the incapacitated Lenin? On December 25, 1922, Lenin dictated his final political testament in which he recommended that Stalin be removed from his position as general secretary of the central committee. Stalin was rude and was accumulating too much power. Especially troubling to Lenin was that Stalin had shouted at his wife in the foulest language in December of 1922. Lenin learned of this on March 5, 1923 and immediately wrote to him demanding that he apologize or else all relations between them would end. On the next day, the agitated Lenin suffered his third and final stroke. If Lenin’s condition were unexpectedly to improve enough to attend a politburo or central committee meeting, a proposal from him to remove Stalin would have surely been approved. A third issue with Trotsky’s charge is why Lenin would call for Stalin, with whom he had quarreled, to put him out of his misery? An inebriated Stalin himself recounted the incident in a meeting with writers in 1932: “Ilich understood that he was dying and he actually said to me, I do not know in jest or in earnest, but I will relate to you as a serious request, that I should I should obtain poison for him because he cannot ask his wife or sister. You are the most brutal member of the party.” According to one witness, Stalin spoke these words with a hint of pride.[ii]
We will never know the answer to the mystery: Did Stalin poison Lenin? What we do know is that no one should underestimate Stalin’s criminal instincts. On the evening of February 26, 1939, Lenin’s widow invited her friends to attend her seventieth birthday party. Stalin did not attend but he sent a cake. Later that evening, she was stricken with severe food poisoning and died the following morning. It was the grieving Stalin who carried her ashes at the funeral.[iii] It should also be remembered that by 1939, Stalin had executed almost half of the party leadership and almost one million ordinary citizens. Poisoning Lenin would have been consistent with his later actions.
[i] Dimitrii Antonovich Volkogonov Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, microfilm, collection.
[ii] V. Rogovin, The End Means the Beginning http://trst.narod.ru/rogovin/t7

[iii] Larissa Vasilieva, Kremlin Wives (New York: Arcade Publishing, 1992), p.32.
Kamran Heiss
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 25 Sep 2009, 21:46
Pioneer
Post 01 Oct 2009, 03:11
Well if stalin poisoned Krupskaya, he most likely poisoned Lenin.

If this is true this removes all credibility for stalin.
"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Politburo
Post 01 Oct 2009, 03:56
I think this is just another attempt to discredit Stalin. It makes no sense for him to have poisoned Lenin. His entire leadership was based on Leninism and being true to his legacy.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Post 01 Oct 2009, 16:42
Quote:
It should also be remembered that by 1939, Stalin had executed almost half of the party leadership and almost one million ordinary citizens. Poisoning Lenin would have been consistent with his later actions.


This is the key line in this speculative piece. The logic is that since the Stalin period saw great violence and excesses, anyone alive during Stalin's lifetime could presumably have been killed by Stalin. There are similar accusations toward Stalin regarding Mikhail Frunze and Sergei Kirov (probably among many others) which have yet to be proven by the accusors.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2009, 11:23
Pioneer
Post 01 Oct 2009, 17:51
Stalin also put FDR in that wheelchair and assassinated JFK. He's not even dead! he poisoned himself with a "false-death" syrum so he could continue plotting his nefarious plan for world extermination from the safe confines of his pinko-commie moonbase! It all matches up with his future actions of killing reactionary spies!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2008, 03:25
Embalmed
Post 01 Oct 2009, 18:03
Like soviet said there's no proof at all that Stalin killed Kirov. I don't think he did because it wouldn't make sense for him to have killed one of his closest associates who did whatever Stalin told him to do.
Once capitalists know we can release the Kraken, they'll back down and obey our demands for sure.
_Comrade Gulper
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2009, 07:13
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Politburo
Post 05 Dec 2009, 01:34
Quote:
to block the charismatic Trotsky

lol sounds like trotskyist propoganda to me. Why not just say, "To block Trotsky's attempt to gain power"?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Philosophized
Post 05 Dec 2009, 06:05
Two reasons:

1. Trotsky was known to be charismatic, in fact it was one of his most prominent features and this shows up in pretty much every biography of him. All except the most vitriolic anti-trotsky rants.

2. 'To block Trotsky's attempt to gain power' is a misrepresentation of facts. Trotsky was not some power hungry analogue to Stalin. He was among the established leadership, second pretty much only to Lenin, its not a stretch to imagine he would succeed Lenin. Furthermore people use your image of Trotsky to discount everything he said. He didn't really care about socialism he was just mad that he didn't get to become leader. frag off with this unsubstantiated bullshit.

And lastly the Hoover Institute is anything but pro-Trotsky. The only time they ever act even vaguely positive towards him is when they can use it against Stalin. Pretty much the classic capitalist manipulation of the trotsky v stalin issue.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2009, 07:13
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Politburo
Post 05 Dec 2009, 06:22
im simply saying that the adjective was out of place.
It's like if an anti-trotsky article said, "to keep power from the courageous Stalin," it was just kinda thrown in
I know that Trotsky was charasmatic, I've seen the videos in Paris.
I wont discredit Trotsky, I agree with a lot of what he has to say, I just thought the description made no sense
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Post 05 Dec 2009, 06:32
Remember when you read this kind of stuff it isn't written for you. Its written for John J. Jerkoff who doesn't even know who Trotsky is let alone that he was charismatic.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
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Forum Commissar
Post 22 Dec 2009, 21:48
I am profundly saddened by this. If these assertions are true, then I don't think we can contest that Lenin wished to be killed. Nobody is claiming Stalin carried this out, but they are raising the possibility. The end of the article is very speculative, but the existence of this memo and the accounts of the issue should raise some questions.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Resident Soviet
Post 22 Dec 2009, 22:37
There have been many cases of forgeries claimed to be 'from the archives' over the last 20 years, comrade praxicoide. Most recently I saw a set where 'Stalin' had scribbled a series of rude and profane notes on artists' drawings of nude people. It turns out it was a forgery. We've got to be especially skeptical because the typical Western journalistic and academic environment when it comes to the Soviet Union is one where the most evil, nonsensical and ridiculous accusations and stories are regularly approved of and published without raising an eyebrow.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Philosophized
Post 22 Dec 2009, 22:51
Skepticism has its place but you still have to be objective. I personally don't think this is true but I can't discount it out of hand. We need to make sure its a forgery before we say its a fake.

Although the fact that this, although an old rumor among some people, 'memo' was brought forth by a western institute (of who Robert Conquest is a fellow) is highly suspect.
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"Bin Laden was a badass
Bin Laden was a man that smoked his grass
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Bin Laden you've really been a good friend to me"
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KILLED IT!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Resident Soviet
Post 22 Dec 2009, 23:10
Quote:
Skepticism has its place but you still have to be objective. I personally don't think this is true but I can't discount it out of hand.


I agree. I didn't mean to imply that I think this is an outright forgery, but that more investigation by other scholars and organizations needs to be done. I just didn't want the impact of the claim to affect praxicoide's worldview while the claim hasn't yet been verified (and as you mentioned is based on suspect circumstances).
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 23 Dec 2009, 08:14
I see. You are correct, of course. I didn't know there were forgeries. Of course we have to be suspicious of this. I hope more light could be shed on this.
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