Beria is Condemned

Minutes, Third Session, Plenary Session of the Central Committee. July 8, 1953


Original Source: Postanovlenie plenuma TsK KPSS “O prestupnykh antipartiinykh antigosudarstvennykh deistviiakh Berii,” 8 July 1953, RGANI, f. 2, op. 1, d. 28, ll. 10, 12, 15.


Photocopies prohibited return to the office of the Presidium of the Central Committee CPSU

Plenary Session of the Central Committee CPSU July 1953
Evening, July 3rd

Main Speakers: Patolichev, Kirchenko, Mikoian, Shatalin, Mikhailov, Mirtskhulava, and Zaveniagin

Chairman comrade Khrushchev: Comrade Shatalin has the floor. Comrade Mikhailov should prepare (Moscow).

Shatalin: Comrades, the essence of the question in comrade Malenkov’s report and in the speeches of the members of the Presidium is presented with extreme clarity and thoroughly proved. I must say that the operation in cutting off Beria’s evil activity and arresting him elicited a feeling of joyous satisfaction. And this is no accident. And as I saw in the Secretaries of the Oblast Committees, they were no less glad to see this situation, this joyous situation.

Voices: That’s right.

Shatalin: Why did this happen, and why did we react so? Why did we react in such a Bolshevik way? The fact is, Beria’s non-Party spirit, his desire to oppose the Central Committee, could be seen even from afar (I’m thinking of those comrades who did not work closely with him).

How was this expressed, how were these symptoms seen?

Nearly all the Secretaries of the Oblast Committees, of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Republics, experienced the arrogance, independence, impudence and insolence of this scoundrel.

Voices: That’s all right.

Shatalin: In the apparatus of the Central Committee, we also felt a serious abnormality in the relationship with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, especially in personnel work. Lately, Beria had become so impudent, that he began to obviously circumvent at least the apparatus of the Central Committee. In many cases he appointed and removed people without permission from the Central Committee. I attempted (please understand me) to grumble, expressing some dissatisfaction…

Khrushchev: This did happen.

Shatalin: But Nikita Sergeevich told me that under the circumstances that kind of expression of dissatisfaction was nothing more nor less than waving your hands and leaving them in the air. (Laughter). He spoke about this threatening gesture in order to actually hit the table with his fist. I admit, at that time I didn’t totally understand this whole thing. (Laughter). And here a mighty blow has been brought against the adept and dangerous adventurist. The endurance, and when it was necessary, the decisiveness of members of the Presidium of our Central Committee has helped them do a noble deed. He thought to seize by cunning and skill, but we found people more cunning and smarter.

Now it is totally clear that Beria would do anything for his criminal careerist purposes. Comrades Malenkov, Molotov, Khrushchev, Bulganin and others who have spoken here mention the Jesuit methods of this scoundrel Beria. I want to once again emphasize that, skillfully covering himself with Lenin-Stalin resolutions both in the nationalities question and in other questions, in the final analysis he did great harm to us; every matter, every question he presented exclusively from the aspect of increasing his own persona, his own personality. Of course, the interests of the State or the Party did not interest him.

In fact, take the well-known question of the doctors. As it later became clear, they were wrongly arrested. It’s totally clear that they must be released, rehabilitated and allowed to work. No, this treacherous adventurist achieved the publication of the special communiqu» of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, this question was in all ways bent in our press, etc. I must say that this has all produced a very distressing impression on our community. This error was corrected by methods which brought great harm to the interests of our State. Responses in other countries were also not to our benefit. In the light of materials we now have on Beria, it is absolutely clear that presenting the Doctors’ Affair was useful only to him and his protectors. He wanted to use this incident to make points as a humanitarian and brave initiator. What does this rogue care for the interests of the State.

In his criminal-careerist goals, Beria managed to include in the protocol of the Presidium his own letters on the Western Oblasts of the Ukraine, and on Lithuania, with garbled and falsified figures, and doubtful facts.

I would like to say a few words about a matter which characterizes his clearly non-Party attitude, his evil activity, regarding his attitude toward Party organizations. Take the Georgian Party organization.

Beria did everything to break the Georgian Party organization away from the Central Committee of the CPSU. He gave unauthorized and individual directives to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia, he placed workers there useful to him. Beria suggested to the comrades of the Georgian Party organization that they deal only with him. And we must say, he achieved a great deal. Even the Secretaries of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia don’t telephone the Central Committee CPSU, in Moscow they have only one addressee and subscriber. Need I say that only an anti-party person, an enemy of our Party, can behave like this.

Take Beria’s behavior of late. He was obviously looking for a well-known support among the Secretaries of the Party Oblast Committees. He ran into a different kind of people! The pupils of the great Stalin and the Lenin-Stalin

Central Committee will slap the hands of any rogue, teaching him not to do that in the future.

Here, Viacheslav Mikhailovich mentioned that after everything that happened, with satisfaction we washed our hands of this dirt, this filth, which all this time had been stuck to our nucleus. But obviously he was thinking of the political side of the question.

Molotov: Both.

Shatalin: I feel it necessary to acquaint the members of the Presidium with facts which characterize Beria’s morals.

The Presidium of the Central Committee charged me to search for documents bearing on the activity of the former First Central Administration in Beria’s office (in the Council of Ministers). In executing this task, examining the contents of safes and other locations, where documents could be stored, we came upon some things and objects which are unusual for offices. Along with the documents, we found a large number of all manner of–how should I say this–items of women’s clothing. Here are excerpts from a description which I would like to read. I remind you that this was found in an office. The description includes: women’s sweat suits, women’s tops, foreign made women’s stockings11 pair, women’s silk slips-11, women’s silk stocking pants-7 pair, lengths of material for women’s dresses-5 lengths, women’s silk scarves, handkerchiefs (foreign made), etc.-an entire list of 29 ordinal numbers. We found numerous letters from women, the content of which was intimate and vulgar. We also found a great number of items of a depraved man. These things speak for themselves and, as they say, a commentary is not necessary.

Nevertheless, for greater convincingness of this aspect of the affair, I will read a statement of one Sarkisov, who for 18 years Worked in Beria’s security force. Lately he had been chief of his security force.

Here is the testimony of this same Sarkisov: “I know of numerous relationships Beria had with all manner of casual women. I know that through a certain citizen S. (allow me not to mention her name) Beria was acquainted with a friend of S. whose name I don’t remember. She worked in the House of Models. Later, I heard from Abakumov, that this friend of S. was the wife of a military attach». Later, in Beria’s office, I heard Beria telephone Abakumov and ask why this woman had still not been jailed?

In addition, I know that Beria cohabited with a student of the Foreign Language Institute, Maya. As a result, she became pregnant by Beria and had an abortion. Beria also cohabited with an 18-20 year old girl named Lyalya. She bore Beria’s child, with whom she is now living in the former summer house of Obruchnikov.

While in Tbilisi, Beria became acquainted with and cohabited with citizen M. After cohabiting with Beria, citizen M. bore a child. On Beria’s orders I, together with special messenger Vitonov, took the child to the orphanage in Moscow.

I also know that Beria cohabited with a certain Sophia. At Beria’s suggestion, through the Chief of the Health Department of the USSR MVD Voloshin, she had an abortion. I repeat, Beria had many, many such relationships.

On Beria’s instructions, I kept a special list of women with whom he cohabited. (Laughter in the hall). Later, at his suggestion, I destroyed this list. However, I kept one list. In this list are the surnames and names and addresses of telephone numbers of more than 25 such women. This list is in my apartment in my jacket pocket [The list to which Sarkisov was referring was found, it contained 39 names of women].

One or one and a half years ago, I learned for a fact that, as a result of his relationships with prostitutes, Beria contracted syphilis. He was treated by a doctor in the MVD clinic, initials U. B. I don’t remember his name. Sarkisov.”

There, comrades, is the true face of this, so to speak, pretender to the throne of the Soviet people. And this dirty dog dared to compete with a giant, with our Party, with our Central Committee. I ask you not to misunderstand me, not to think that I am underestimating the abilities of this very skillful, treacherous adventurist, or the size of the difficulties which he could create. He has already done much harm. I want to say that the Party, the Central Committee, have dealt with bigger mutts. At a time when the whole Soviet people, our whole Party, are united as never before around the Central Committee and its Presidium, no one will be able to sow dissension in our Tanks, no one will be able to hinder the execution of our tasks, bequeathed us by V. I. Lenin and I. V. Stalin.

Having cleansed yourself from this filth, expelled the instigator and adventurist from our ranks, having no more interference, which he was able to create, under the leadership of our Lenin-Stalin Presidium of the Central Committee we will every More successfully realize building a Communist society. (Applause).

Chairman comrade Khrushchev: Comrades, there is a proposal to announce a break. Are there no objections? No. A fifteen minute break is announced.

Source: D. M. Stickle, ed. The Beria Affair: the secret transcripts of the meetings signalling the end of Stalinism (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1992), pp. 118-121.


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