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Soviet Show Trial Confessions in 1930s Extracted by Torture

Nov. 15, 1961 - The fantastic confessions by high Soviet figures that amazed the world in the 1930s were obtained by torture, Premier Khrushchev (pictured with Joseph Stalin in 1938) indicated in his speech to the Communist party Congress last month. In light of Mr. Khrushchev’s disclosures, it is clear that all of the celebrated purge trials of 1936, 1937, and 1938 have now been repudiated as frame-ups based upon false confessions extorted through torture. The mystery that remains is what position will be taken on Leon Trotsky, the man who, next to Lenin, was most responsible for the Bolshevik Revolution. Nothing has been said in Moscow about Trotsky’s murder, presumably by a Stalinist secret police agent, in Mexico City on August 21, 1940. The trials now being repudiated were relied upon for “evidence” to support the argument that Trotsky was a traitor to communism who had allied himself with capitalist intelligence services to overthrow the Soviet regime.


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