Biography 21/02/20 Soviet “Nasreddin Hodja”: what Stalin liquidated Karl Radek

the retelling of political jokes in the Soviet Union could pay with their freedom or even life. However, the author jokes about Stalin – journalist Karl Radek (Kopel of Sobelson) – from time to time avoided repression. However, in the end, his fate was no less tragic than the other “jokers”.

all-Union “Nasreddin Hodja”

In the early twentieth century Karl Radek was a well-known figure in the social democratic movement in Austria-Hungary and Germany. After the October revolution he moved to Russia, worked on the line of the Comintern. After the death of Lenin, Radek supported Trotsky and was expelled from the Bolshevik party in 1927. Membership(KRC) was restored in 1930 for that Radek had to write several “repentance” letters. In 30-ies he worked as the head of the Bureau of international information of the Central Committee and was informed of all important political events.

while Still living abroad, the journalist famous for his ability to joke. Even alias Radek took in honor of the comic character of the Austrian Newspapers. In the USSR, it was compared to Hodja Nasreddin – the Jolly-Joker of the folklore of Central Asia. In fact, Radek continued rather a tradition of Jewish humor. For instance, he belongs to the famous phrase, “Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, and Stalin from the Politburo”. It is the “father of Nations” has been the subject of most jokes and anecdotes attributed to Radek.

“comrade Stalin it is difficult to argue — says Radek, he quote it to you – exile”.

Party leader was referring to the episode in his own biography – a forced stay in Krasnoyarsk in the years 1927-1930. Radek told anti-Soviet jokes in person, during official events at the hotel. In society, these jokes are spread top-down from the Communist nomenklatura to a simple NaroYes. That got away with very Radek could “to bring under article” worker or peasant. A large part of the puns Radek recorded in the reports of the NKVD. However, in the face of Stalin and Karl Radek to let go of the jokes were not resolved. On the contrary, he sought to please the dictator.

“Stalin long treated him well for his shameless, but slippery flattery,” wrote Radek on the playwright Alexander Gladkov.

Opal and death

Radek was arrested not for jokes. In 1936 he was accused of involvement in the “Parallel anti-Soviet Trotskyite center.” “Nasreddin Hodja” was even on the court laughed at his accomplices. What he told sounded so ridiculous that some townsfolk even believed that instead of Radek came to the court disguised actor. It is possible that he is hidden ridiculed by the Stalinists. Radek has appointed a very soft penalty – 10 years imprisonment, but he served only 3 years.

19 may 1939, former Secretary of the Comintern Executive was killed in Verhneuralsk prison at the hands of other prisoners. According to the report of the administration, Radek heavily hit head on the floor. Officially guilty was a “Trotskyist Vareznikov” who allegedly attacked Radek and tried to strangle him. In 1956, the KGB had started an investigation into the death of a social Democrat. It turned out that Radek to eliminate Lavrenty Beria ordered Stalin personally. From materials of the Commission Nikolay Shvernik that in Verkhneuralsk came the operative of the NKVD Peter Kubatkin. Under his leadership, the chamber has implemented a felon Martynov, but the one provoking a fight, to kill Radek could not.

the Operation failed for only the second time, with the same scenario. The role of the “Trotskyist Vareznikov” sang former commandant of the NKVD of the Chechen-Ingush Ivan Stepanov. Elimination Radek gave him a pass to freedom – the killer was released from prison in November 1939 with the official wording “for completing special tasks”. Subsequently, Stepanov served in SMERSH. Peter Kubatkin insoon received a notable promotion, as head of the NKVD in the Moscow region.

Karl Radek posthumously rehabilitated and reinstated in the Communist party only in the late 1980-ies – just at a time when the country started to print once his political jokes.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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