INTERROGATION REPORT OF D.S. AZBEL
March 17, 1935.
AZBEL D.S., 1911, born in Chernihiv, was brought up to 8 years old in the family of his grandfather – merchant, from 1925 to 1927 was a member of the family. Komsomol, was expelled for organizing a strike at school, in 1929 was detained by the b. OGPU. Auntie Shlafshtein I.E. in exile in the Narym region. Before his arrest he worked as a postgraduate student at the printing institute.
Question: When and for what were you expelled from Komsomol members?
Answer: I was expelled from Komsomol in 1927 for organizing a strike in the school.
Question: Who else was expelled together with you for organizing a strike?
Answer: Evgeny M. LEVENSON, currently a student of the Academy of Motorization and Mechanization of the RKKA, was expelled together with me.
Question: What views did you share at that time?
Answer: I shared the Trotskyite views.
Question: And now what views do you share?
Answer: I was a Trotskyite until my arrest.
Question: And Levenson?
*Answer: In 1927 LEVENSON together with me openly defended Trotskyite views. I know that he now hides his past connection with Trotskyism from the Komsomol organization…
Question: Levenson hides his past connection with Trotskyism, as he is still a Trotskyite?
Answer: I do not know it.
Question: How can you explain LEVENSON’s obviously two-colored behavior?
Answer: It is clear to me that he is a two-armed man, but I don’t know if he is connected with Trotskyites.
Question: That’s not true. The investigation knows that LEVENSON shared Trotskyite views even after 1927. You were connected with him by personal friendship until recently and could not but know his Trotskyite views.
Answer: I repeat that I do not know it.
Question: Do you know Lev Yakovlevich Nekhamkin?
Answer: Yes, I know him well and I’ve met him until recently.
Question: What are the political views of NECHAMKIN?
*Answer: He is a Trotskyite, and on this basis I was connected with him until his arrest…
Question: What practically counter-revolutionary Trotskyist work did you do?
Answer: I thought that the repressive regime in the party and the country made it almost impossible to carry out any serious mass work.
*As a result of this regime, any disgruntled elements in the country that could be relied upon were intimidated. The only way to awaken these disgruntled elements to actively fight against the APC leadership is to use terror. I saw all the evil in STALIN and therefore I thought that by killing him, as the most influential decisive figure in the party and the country, it would be possible to cause confusion among the current leadership of the party and to raise all the dissatisfied elements with the existing regime to fight. In my opinion, at this point in time will have to lead this struggle crystallized during the entire period of illegal work, as the most persistent and loyal to Trotskyism footage – a small part of the Trotskyites, who are in prison and in exile, the hidden Trotskyites who remained in the party and formally departed from Trotskyism, but actually kept their views*.
Question: Under whose influence did you come to the conclusion that it is necessary to kill the Trotskyites? STALINA?
Answer: The hatred towards Stalin was a consequence of my Trotskyite views and belief that the removal of Stalin will change the existing regime in the country. My terrorist intentions were formed and strengthened under the influence of a number of circumstances. Extreme anger against STALIN I had to observe not only among Trotskyites, but also among the right, with whom I once communicated.** Thus, in 1930, after the 16th Party Congress, I was at the apartment of Alexander SLEPKOV, where Andrei SVERDLOV, Dmitriy OSINSKIY, Viktor Belov, Dmitriy MARETSKIY and where Bukharin came. He told those present that he had just been to the bureau of the NTU VSNH Cell, where he was forced to express his attitude to the decisions of the 16th Party Congress. Bukharin boasted that he had “turned the fools around”, essentially telling them nothing about his real attitude to the decisions of the Congress**.
** That’s when Bukharin talked about STALINE in a vicious mocking tone. When we (I am AZBEL, Andrey SVERDLOV, Dmitry OSPINSKY and Viktor Belov) left SLEPKOV’s apartment and walked down Granovsky Street, Andrey Sverdlov, under the direct impression of Bukharin’s conversations about STALIN, said the following: “A kob needs a poke.” This thought of Andrey Sverdlov met our general sympathy**.
In 1933 I got acquainted with Olga Danilovna, the wife of the famous Trotskyite Sosnovsky. We got close to each other, as she was a Trotskyite.
Later, my terrorist intentions towards Stalin intensified under the influence of O.D. SOSNOVSKAYA.
Question: Did you discuss with SOSNOVSKA the specific possibilities of killing Comrade Stalin?
**Answer: Yes, I spoke to SOSNOVSKAYA about it twice in 1933 in autumn. Both conversations were at her apartment.
After O.D. SOSNOVSKAYA repeatedly in her conversations with me gave an extremely hostile assessment of the situation in the party and the country, accompanied by her vicious attacks on Stalin’s address, I, under the influence of these conversations, directly raised the question before her that Stalin should be killed.
She was sympathetic to my proposal and said that it would be good to do it not with the hands of the Trotskyites, as politically it would be disadvantageous for the Trotskyites**.
Question: What kind of preparatory work have you done to implement your terrorist plans.
Answer: I did not carry out any practical work to carry out a terrorist act, it was just intentions.
Question: With whom else did you discuss the issue of killing Comrade STALINA?
Answer: In the winter of 1933 I went to my old comrade Nekhamkin L.Ya., whom I knew as a malicious Trotskyite. Together with Nekhamkin we left his apartment and went to Tverskoy boulevard. On the Boulevard, Nekhamkin led **the discussion of the role of the individual in history, then moved on to the Trotskyite counterrevolutionary assessment of the current situation in the country and the role of Stalin, stating that the murder of Stalin will dramatically change the current situation. I supported and developed before him this idea of Nehamkin’s terrorism, which was outlined at the beginning of this testimony. I emphasized that killing Stalin would clear the way for Trotsky**.
Question: Did you discuss with NEAHAMKINA the murder of Comrade Stalin not only in 1933, but also later?
** Answer: Yes, I confirm that except for this case I had two more conversations with NECHAMKIN about the murder of STALIN. The last conversation was in February 1935, again on Tverskoy Boulevard, when Nekhamkin again raised the question about the murder of Stalin**.
Question: Except for the case in 1930, about which you showed whether you and WHITE Victor had any more conversations about the murder of t. STALINA?
** Answer: Yes, there was another conversation in 1933, at the beginning of the year, at his apartment. There were two of us, the conversation began with my question how Andrey Sverdlov lives, then moved on to memories, remember Sverdlov’s statement about the necessity of killing Stalin and together with WHITEVYM stated the necessity of its realization**.
Question: Who else have you talked to on the same topic?
Answer: I did not speak to anyone else about the necessity of killing Stalin.
Question: This is not correct. Once again we propose to name the persons with whom you discussed the issue of killing t… STALINA.
A: I repeat that I have not talked to anyone else about it.
Question: Do you know Boris ROSENFELD?
Answer: I don’t know him personally, but I know from NECHAMKIN that he is his friend.
Question: Do you know and from whom do you know that Boris Rozenfeld’s father is a brother of L.B. KAMENEV?
Answer: It’s the first time I’ve heard about it.
Question: What did NEAHAMKIN tell you about Boris ROSENFELD’s mood?
Answer: NEAHAMKIN told me nothing about it.
Question: NEAHAMKIN participated with B. ROSENFELD in the preparation of the murder of t. ROSENFELD. STALINA. With you, Nehamkin has repeatedly, as you have shown, discussed the necessity of killing Comrade Stalina. What did NEAHAMKIN tell you about this?
Answer: Nehamkin didn’t tell me anything about it.
Question: Tell me, what did you tell O.D. Sosnovskaya about Nehamkin in connection with his terrorist mood?
Answer: Did I say anything to O.D. Sosnovka about Nehamkin at all, I don’t remember.
Question: You are dodging the truthful answer to the question posed.
Answer: I did not say anything about the terrorist mood of NEAHAMKIN.
Question: What do you know about O.D. SOSNOVKA’s connections?
*Answer: O.D. SOSNOVSKAYA told me that she is dating SORTSOVY. From O.D. Sosnovskaya’s stories about her meetings with SORTSOVSKY, it was clear to me that SORTSOV has remained in his hostile party positions. O.D. Sosnovska told me that Syrtsov was not satisfied with his position and that he was in a “heavy mood” at all. SYRTSOV asked Olga Danilovna to pass on his advice to SOSNOVSKAYA to submit an application to renounce his views*.
With SYRTSOV’s sentiments, this proposal was clearly two-handed.
Question: How did O.D. SOSNOVSKAYA interpret her husband’s statement from the politician about his refusal of Trotskyite views?
*Answer: She did not give any assessment of SOSOVSKY’s statement, but said that she had some comments on this statement. From my conversations with O.D. SOSNOVSKYA I know that she, remaining on Trotskyite positions, went on a date with SOSNOVSKYA to persuade him to submit an application for renunciation of Trotskyite views*.
Question: Did O.D. SOSNOVSKAYA tell her husband about your moods?
Answer: Apparently, she did, although I do not know exactly,
Question: What about your terrorist intentions?
Answer: I don’t know.
Question: Did you meet with Sosnovsky after his return to Moscow and what kind of conversations did you have with him?
Answer: I met with SOSOVSKY. I did not have talks with SOSNOVSKI on political topics.
Question: You dodged a direct answer to all the questions you were asked about the practical preparation of the murder of Comrade STALINA by you and your accomplices. We insist on a truthful answer.
** Answer: I admit I’ve been advocating terror against STALINA. Other than that, I have not conducted any other practical work**.
Written down from my words correctly and read by me.
David Semenovich AZBEL
DISPOSILES: OTHER. SECRETARY.-POLIT. GUGGB DEPARTMENT SILENT
ZAM. BOTH. SECRETARY. GOOGLE HATCHES
For the right tools at the start. HUNCHBACK SPONG
APRF. F. 3. Oop. 58. Д. 233. Л. 80-87. Original. The typewriting.
*-* One line in the margins.
**-** Clearly marked in the margin with two lines.
INTERROGATION REPORT OF D.S. AZBEL