October 16, 2020

Stalin to the leaders of the party organs about the unfavorable situation in the NKVD. November 25, 1938

A source: Lubyanka. Stalin and the Main Department of State Security of the NKVD. Stalin's archive. Documents of the supreme bodies of party and state power. 1937-1938. - M .: MFD, 2004, pp. 611-612.
Archive: RGASPI. F. 558. Op. 11.D. 58. L. 61-61 rev. Script. Typescript.

November 25, 1938

No. 1316


In mid-November of this year, the Central Committee received a statement from the Ivanovo region from Comrade Zhuravlev (head of the NKVD) about the trouble in the NKVD apparatus, about errors in the work of the NKVD, about inattentive attitude to signals from the field, warnings about the betrayal of Lytvyn, Kamensky, Radzivilovsky, Tsesarsky , Shapiro and other responsible [2] workers of the NKVD, that the People's Commissar comrade Yezhov does not respond to these warnings, etc.

At the same time, the Central Committee received information that after the defeat of Yagoda's gang, another gang of traitors appeared in the organs of the NKVD of the USSR, like Nikolayev, Zhukovsky, Lyushkov, Uspensky, Passov, Fedorov, who deliberately confuse investigative cases, shield notorious enemies of the people, and these people are not meet sufficient opposition from Comrade Yezhov.

Having raised the issue of the state of affairs in the NKVD for discussion, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks demanded an explanation from Comrade Yezhov. Comrade Yezhov filed an application where he admitted the above errors, admitted, in addition, that he was responsible for not taking measures against the flight of Lyushkov (NKVD of the Far East), the flight of Uspensky (People's Commissar of the NKVD of Ukraine), admitted that he clearly failed with his tasks in the NKVD and asked to release him from the duties of the People's Commissar of the NKVD, to keep his posts in the NKVod and in the line of work in the organs of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks.

The Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) granted Comrade Yezhov's request, dismissed him from work in the NKVD and  including Comrade Yezhov on the unanimous proposal of members of the Central Committee approved  the current first deputy of the NKVD, Comrade. Beria L.P as People's Commissar of the NKVD of the USSR..

You will receive the text of Comrade Yezhov's statement by mail.

* Immediately familiarize the NKVD People's Commissars and the heads of the NKVD with this message. *

Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) STALIN

[1] * - * This is what Stalin wrote in pencil.

[2] So in the source.

Transcripts from the Soviet Archives, Svitlana M, Erdogan A