So, most historians tend to connect the beginning of the epic with doctors with the death of Andrei Zhdanov (the closest ally of Stalin, one of the main characters in the party as a whole and the Politburo in particular) - 31 on August 1948 of the year. This death, as it turned out after the autopsy, occurred as a result of myocardial infarction. It would seem that nothing strange and conspiracy theological, because Zhdanov suffered for a long time from ailments of the cardiovascular system, if not one but ... The fact is that after a heart attack that happened in Andrei Zhdanov during a vacation in Valdai, the doctors from the health department The Kremlin (Lechsanupr), headed by Professor V.N. Vinogradov, did not diagnose myocardial infarction with Zhdanov, but recorded something streamlined in the style of heart failure against the background of other negative processes in the body. At the same time, Professor Vinogradov and other doctors noted the presence of the so-called myomalytic foci, which are an indirect confirmation of a possible heart attack. This understatement, or rather the ambiguity of the approach, gave rise to a high-profile case, as a result of which hundreds of fates were crumpled and trampled.
A few days after the survey, representatives of Lechsanupra Zhdanov passed away. In order to urgently help law enforcement agencies to find those responsible for Zhdanov’s death (and there was no talk of those responsible for such a case at that time), or rather, to divert a possible whistling over his head, a letter with the details of an incorrect diagnosis and the wrong treatment. Zhdanova sent Lydia Timashuk to the competent authorities. Timashuk, a cardiologist, said in her letter that after taking the electrocardiogram A. Zhdanov, she personally found out that he had all the signs of myocardial infarction, but the doctors did not take her considerations into account, telling her about her ignorance .
The letter reached intricate paths to Stalin himself, but in a strange way this story did not initially receive any progress. The reason that Stalin put a resolution “to the archive” on Timashuk’s letter may be that the death of Zhdanov, who in recent years had walked too briskly along the party ladder, was quite on hand to the Father of Nations himself. Moreover, Zhdanov was far from being in favor of other members of the Politburo, and many accused him and his entourage that he was going to cut off a weighty piece of power, transferring the hotbed of influence of the party’s policy of the Republic to Leningrad. Was it true, or is it just court intrigue - a mystery. However, having buried Zhdanov with honors, dealing with medical errors and incorrect diagnoses was hesitated.
The actual design of the "doctors' case" from anonymous letters and denunciations in the real process of the century happened a few years later. One of the reasons is the unexpected interest of the Soviet counterintelligence in the activities of the so-called JAC (Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee). The interest itself has identified itself after the Jewish state of Israel, which arose in the Middle East, supported by the Soviet leadership, after several years of receiving help from the USSR in the struggle for independence, did not decide to take a course towards socialist (communist) development. Historians saw in the desire to shake up Jewish organizations on the territory of the Soviet Union Stalin’s personal offense against the Israeli leadership that had fallen into tattle. Whether this resentment was connected with the wave, let's say, the work on the EAC or was not - today is not so important. It is important that, under the representatives of this very EAC, they began to dig deep in order to discover possible ties with foreign intelligence services.
One of those under whom the digging began to lead, was Dr. Jacob Etinger - the personal physician of Lawrence Beria. Etinger was interrogated, as they say, with passion. During one of these interrogations, the physician was asked to confess that he worked for several foreign intelligence services at once under the auspices of the non-profit organization “Joint”, whose headquarters were based in the United States. The fridge camera did its job, and Etinger "confessed" that he worked for Western intelligence services, and "confessed" that his tasks included improper treatment and a conscious reduction in the life of prominent party leaders of the USSR. Zhdanov’s death resurfaced, as well as the deaths of other party leaders. Etinger's “confession” took place in 1950, but it did not make the mechanism move. The reason is in the death of Etinger himself, who died during the investigation.
Mikhail Ryumin, who, like Lydia Timashuk several years earlier, decided to “shed light” on the situation, gave a powerful impetus to the matter. Ryumin, who served as chief of the investigative unit for particularly important cases in the MGB of the USSR, reported "to the very top" that Minister of State Security Viktor Abakumov, who supervised Dr. Etinger’s interrogations, did not make public after the death of the interrogator that Etinger) with a group of doctors "deliberately killed" prominent political figures of the Land of the Soviets. Like, he knew, but did not inform, thereby covering up the activities of foreign intelligence services in the USSR. It was after the denunciation of Ryumin that the “mill” turned in millstones. At the same time, there is a version that Ryumin decided not to bring Abakumov himself, and that there were higher figures behind him who wanted to settle accounts with his closest Stalinist entourage, using Ryumin as a tool.
In July, 1951, Abakumov lost his post, and after Stalin's death was executed. The shooting of Abakumov in 1954 was indirectly proved by the fact that the fall of the Minister of State Security was beneficial to those who were ready to sign up as Stalin's successors in the event of his death. Ryumin, after his revelation about the failure of the Ministry of State Security, rose to the deputy minister, making a lightning jerk up. It was to him that Stalin ordered the development of the case of "killer doctors", for which Mikhail Ryumin readily took it.
Caps flew with the majority of heads of representatives of Lechsanupra. Lydia Timashuk's letter from 1948 of the year was attached to the case (Timashuk, by the way, received the Order of Lenin for her vigilance, which was safely deprived of her after Stalin’s death), the "testimony" of Jacob Etinger about his and his colleagues , documents on the medical errors of Professor Vinogradov and other doctors. Vinogradov himself and other prominent doctors recognized their mistakes made during the treatment of Zhdanov, but not all declared themselves to be accomplices of foreign intelligence services who received assignments for "improper treatment" from abroad.
Mikhail Ryumin decided to go ahead and show Stalin that the doctors of Lechsanupra were not just representatives of espionage structures, but also double agents, and even triple agents. The deputy minister has compiled an entire register of “spies”, whose activities in the USSR were conducted almost from the moment Stalin came to power. At the same time, a special segment of the "enemies of the people", according to Rumin's materials, corresponded to persons of Jewish nationality, who were quite a few among prominent medical workers. Evidence of the existence of a spy network was based on the documented testimony of the doctors themselves, who were ready to confirm everything, simply not enduring "special measures" during interrogations.
The whole power of the “doctors' case”, as a result of which, in a short time, the entire top of Lechsanupra was in the dungeons, was cultivated through the main information mouthpiece of that time - the Pravda newspaper. Soviet citizens "learned" about doctors who brutally tortured party leaders, how spy doctors tried to restrict the head of state in his activities to govern the country, about how the Jewish international network took root in the USSR and tries to paralyze the control system of the Soviet state . Indignation and simultaneous fear of people in white coats literally paralyzed Soviet society. In each medica, especially impressionable and “alert” citizens were ready to see an agent of British intelligence ...
Stalin himself was rooted in the conviction that all the doctors around him, along with representatives of the security forces, were agents of foreign special services. From a psychological point of view, there is a situation when the need to promote a certain idea to the masses so captures the mind of a person that he himself begins to grasp any data that could even remotely help him to strengthen his conclusions.
Here are some headlines from the Pravda newspaper, a sample of the beginning of 1953 of the year.
"Vile spies and murderers under the guise of professors, doctors"
"The case of killer doctors"
"For treason - shooting!"
"Dog - a dog's death!"
Meanwhile, the persecution of doctors led to the fact that the head of state himself was left virtually unprotected. All the luminaries of domestic medicine from Lechsanupra fell into a far from unbiased investigation, and people who had never had access to such a high-ranking patient, were not obliged to take care of Stalin’s health, were not familiar with the history of his illness, with the nuances of the previous stages of treatment. This gives reason to ask the question: wasn’t it profitable to unwind a ridiculous story with spy doctors to those who wanted to get rid of Stalin as soon as possible? ..
Quite possible. And if we consider that Stalin himself was sure that there was a spy net around his person, hitting the web of his own conspiracy, the game was worth the candle for her entertainers. On the other hand, the very idea of using the case of doctors to approximate Stalin’s death could have appeared by chance, and, as they say, in the process. Whatever it was, but in March 1953, Stalin really had no one to help from among the eminent medical workers, and it would be up to everyone to decide whether to consider this as a common coincidence or as a continuation of conspiracy.
Within a month after the death of the Father of Nations, all the persecuted doctors in the high-profile case were released at the same time as the decision of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU to falsify the case of “pest doctors” was made. Thus, the blame for the "killer doctors" and the slandering of the name of prominent scientists was assigned exclusively to Stalin himself. Like, he and only he turned on the mechanism of the Moloch, and other representatives of the political Olympus could only aki the lamb of God watch the leader's anger ... And so that the direct participants of those events would not say too much, an additional purge was carried out. Under the hot hand of the post-Stalinist Seven-Boyars, the very same Colonel Ryumin, who “denounced” Minister Abakumov, also fell. As a result, both Abakumov and Ryumin were shot ... The doctors themselves were fully rehabilitated, making it clear that the main villain of this story is Stalin and only Stalin, and since Stalin is no more, then the ends with his death are in the water. It is done…
PS It is noteworthy that the full rehabilitation of doctors could take place even before Stalin's death (early March 1953), so S. Ignatiev (Minister of State Security) received in January 1953, data from the group of Nikolay Mesyatsev (assistant chief of the investigative unit), saying that all the evidence in this case was fabricated and obtained as a result of interrogations with addiction. Mikhail Ryumin was named among the main persons engaged in obvious fraud at the time. It is noteworthy that since February 1953, the newspaper Pravda has ceased to publish “incriminating” materials about “doctors-spies”, which can only say one thing: Stalin’s lack of guilt of doctors could well have realized shortly before his death, as well as realized his own spying, only for himself it was too late.