Elimination of SMERSH: who needed it

History 16/01/20 Elimination of SMERSH: if it’s

Among the legends of SMERSH there is such that if its leaders was a certain clique in the Soviet intelligence services, and that after the death of Stalin cleaned them out – all planted, and someone was shot. Like any legend, this is also a little true. That was really the case?

Stalin’s counterintelligence

first, the unified intelligence service called SMERSH in the USSR during the great Patriotic war was not. This is the collective name of the counter-intelligence services with overlapping functions, but strictly delimited by the scope of activities. The ominous name came from the reduction of “Death to spies”.

July 17, 1941 by the decree of the Council of people’s Commissars (SNK) of the USSR NKVD was created by the Office of the special Department (DOE) on the basis of the Third (counter-intelligence) of the office of people’s Commissariat of defense. Hence the term “NKVD” preceding the term “SMERSH operative” or “smertniki” with the same value. In DOE focused the struggle with enemy agents and other unreliable and suspicious element in the Armed forces of the USSR.

during the war, Stalin realized the shortcomings of such system and decided to return counterintelligence in the Armed forces. The secret decree of SNK of 19 April 1943, uoo NKVD were disbanded, and on its basis was created three independent from each other organization SMERSH. The most important was established in the people’s Commissariat of defense. It was called the Department of counter-espionage and headed by Commissar of state security 2nd rank Viktor Abakumov. Abakumov was recommended to this post by Beria. SMERSH head of people’s Commissariat of defence of Stalin (as the people’s Commissar of defense) directly.

the other Two SMERSH was established in the people’s Commissariat of the Navy and (15 may 1943) into the NKVD. Their chiefs were subordinate to the respective people’s Commissars (Admiral Nikolai Kuznetsov and genkomissara of state security Lavrenty Beria). As GUKR NKO acquired in this system, the most important value, called SMERSH understand it mostly. Especially because his boss Abakumov was in its value is actually equal to any people’s Commissar, depend only on Stalin.

SMERSH against the army

About the sinister SMERSH goes a lot of legends that would be long to list and dismantle. SMERSH had the right to arrest suspicious persons and carry out investigation, but did not have the right to pass sentences and carry out executions. Historians believe that this provision was not always respected. The SMERSH is often eliminated without trial of suspects.

As the account of the repressed thus impossible, the authors of the individual publications in a unproven claim about “millions arrested by SMERSH” and that every fourth of them were shot. More accurate calculations lead to the figures: around 700 thousand of those arrested by SMERSH and transferred to the military tribunals of soldiers of the red Army, foreign armies and the civilians, of whom death sentences have been issued in respect of about one-tenth.

for More accurate data on those arrested by smernicama the generals and admirals of the Soviet Armed forces. They were 101 people, almost all captured by the Germans commanders. Of them 12 people died during the conduct of the investigation (which eloquently indicates the nature of the investigation), only 8 has been released without charge (for example, generals Mikhail Lukin, Ivan Muzychenko). The remaining 81 were transferred to the judicial authorities and sentenced to death mainly (for example, General Andrei Vlasov and his cronies, General Pavel Ponedelin and others).

the Triumph and collapse of Abakumov

In may, 1946, all three SMERSH has been liquidated. Formally, this was due to the exhaustion of its functions: the war is over, all the suspicious have been “filtering”. Actually, it was caused by the following circumstances. One of the most serious consequences of the cases were forTejano SMERSH after the war. On the charges of sabotage were arrested by the people’s Commissar of the aircraft industry Alexey Shakhurin, air force commander air chief Marshal Alexander Novikov and other senior leaders of the air force and the aviation industry.

This is the “aviation business” was used by Abakumov to the intrigues of “loss of vigilance” Minister of state security Vsevolod Merkulov. Abakumov took his place and “enhanced” footage of the MGB officers of his disbanded SMERSH.

But in 1951 it was the fall of Abakumov. Historians still haven’t established what it was. The formal reason for the removal and arrest was a denunciation of the investigator Abakumov, the MGB Colonel Mikhail Ryumin, and initiated its Georgy Malenkov. As a result, the attendant was elevated to the post of Deputy Minister of state security, and Abakumov was accused that he had not given the matter any “doctors-killers” and is a member of the Zionist conspiracy.

Despite the death of Stalin, Abakumov more from prison, was not released.

What has become of the leadership of SMERSH

In subsequent developments several political investigation files together in a tangle that is not clearly disentangled to this day.

Together with Abakumov was arrested a number of leaders of the MGB. Not to say that they were arrested on the basis of participation in a former SMERSH. So, Ivan Chernov was the chief of a Special group of SMERSH, Jacob Braverman – the chief of the Special group and the Secretariat SMERSH. At the same time, Alexander Leonov and Vladimir Komarov in the SMERSH didn’t work.

However, all five headed Abakumov after Stalin’s death began to sew a new case, and after the execution of Beria, they were accused of complicity in the “plot” of the former Minister. The trial was held in December 1954. Thus Abakumov, Komarov, and Leonov was shot, but officers in SMERSH Abakumov Chernov and Braverman sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, and Braverman did 22 instead of him for 25 years.

Arrested in the case of Abakumov’s Deputy in SMERSH Nicholas Selivanovsky Beria in March 1953 released from prison. He was allowed to resign from the authorities “for health reasons”. However, during the trial of Beria the wording of the dismissal he retroactively changed to “acts discrediting the title”.

Another Deputy in SMERSH Abakumov, chief of staff General Ivan Brady quietly worked in a managerial position in Comimage. However, in 1954 it still was fired from the interior Ministry and was stripped of the title, but not touched.

So the opinion that after the death of Stalin, stabbed specifically in the former SMERSH, not supported by the facts. While the repression against some major smershevtsev was initiated under Stalin.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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