Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The Militant, 17 January 1942

Dewey Refutes Davies
Whitewashing of Trial

Chairman of International Commission of Inquiry
into Moscow Trials Objects to Davies’ New Version
of Stalinist Frameups

From The Militant, Vol 6 No. 3, 17 January 1942, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Professor John Dewey, in a letter to the New York Times, Jan. 11, refutes the latest attempt to whitewash the Moscow frameup trials, the recently published Mission to Moscow by ex-ambassador Joseph Davies. Professor Dewey’s answer is based on the voluminous evidence he helped uncover as head of the International Commission of Inquiry into the Moscow Trials.

Dewey’s letter makes note of the fact that Davies himself admits that he held an opposite view of the trials at the time he witnessed them.

Professor Dewey then points out that. Davies’ present view of the credibility of the charges of “fifth column activities” against the Red Army High Command are admittedly based not on “detailed and specific proof, but ‘charges’ which in retrospect seem to Mr. Davies to justify the belief that the generals were guilty.”

The letter further states that it is impossible to find in the Moscow trials records “any credible evidence of fifth-column activity out of all the contradictions, confusion and patent lying, of accused witnesses and prosecution, without even taking into account such “promptly exposed lies as the famous testimony about the non-existent Hotel Bristol or that about Pyatakov’s alleged secret midnight flight to Oslo.”

Dealing with the political motivations for the trials, the letter points out that they were an attempt to kill off “all potential opposition” to Stalin’s rule, as Davies himself admit.

“What more likely foci of opposition could there have been in Russia than the surviving associates of Lenin and heroes of the revolution and civil war ...?” asks Professor Dewey, “And what more effective means could Stalin have found to discredit these men than to force them to confess that they had conspired with foreign powers? It is as though Aaron Burr had seized power and had then consolidated it by bringing George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and other American Revolutionary heroes to trial on charges of having conspired with foreign powers against the state they had helped create.

“Mr. Davies also chooses to overlook the pertinent fact that Stalin himself, at the very time of the trials and thousands of executions without trial, was trying very hard to reach an agreement with Hitler ...

“Seen in this light, Stalin’s liquidation of the Old Bolsheviki appears not as punishment for their alleged dealings with Hitler but as a possible price of success in his dealings with Hitler.”

Top of page

Main Militant Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 310 July 2021