Clear the Names of the Moscow Trial Victims

Against the Current, No. 12-13, January-April 1988

IT IS NOW OVER fifty years since the infamous Moscow Show Trials. It is astounding that at a time when the Soviet government is at pains to emphasize its concern with “human rights” and proclaims the need for “glasnost” — “openness” — the accused in these trials, with a few exceptions, are still considered guilty of being paid agents of Nazism, and other crimes.

Among these men were numbered several who played outstanding roles in the Russian Revolution of 1917. The reputations of founders of the Soviet state like Zinoviev, Radek, Trotsky and Bukharin* were besmirched or expunged from the history books. Today, no one doubts that the “confessions” at the trials — the sole basis for the prosecution — ere utterly false. Seven defendants in the third trial, Krestinsky and others, have been both judicially rehabilitated and politically exonerated. So have the military leaders, Tukhachevsky and others, whose military trial in 1937, was held in secret. But the admittedly false evidence against these men was inseparable from the charges against all the other accused.

None of the accused, of course, is alive today. Many were executed immediately after their trials. Others died in prison or camps. Leon Trotsky, the chief accused in all three of the trials, was murdered in exile in 1940. However, families of some of the defendants are still living in the Soviet Union. Some had also suffered imprisonment and exile ….

We the undersigned, from the United States, who are opponents of the cold war policies of the U.S. government, therefore call on the Soviet government to exonerate and rehabilitate the victims of the Moscow Trials.

Noam Chomsky
Dan Georgakas
Bill Henning
Norman Mailer
Louis Menasche
Grace Paley
Annette T. Rubinstein
George Wald
Susan Weissman
Howard Zinn

[*exonerated since campaign began]

For information, or to add your signature, contact the Moscow Trial Campaign Committee, c/o P.O. Box 318, Gracie Station, NYC 10028.

January-April 1988, ATC 12-13

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