In August, 1953, 60 years ago, he gave a talk in which he proposed a new economic course. As it was appreciated by the people: “Comrade Malenkov came, gave both bread and blinks”.
The pedigree of Georgii Maksimilianovich is ambiguous. His father was a petty employee on the railway, but a nobleman, a descendant of immigrants from Macedonia, his grandfather was a colonel, his grandfather's brother was a rear admiral. And the mother is a simple philistine Anastasia Shemyakina, the daughter of a blacksmith. In 1919, the future party leader graduated from the classical gymnasium and was drafted into the Red Army. After joining the Bolshevik Party in April, 1920 became a political commissar squadron. So began his party career.
At the end of 1940-x - the beginning of 1950-x Malenkov - the second person in the state and the party. 9 March 1953, at the funeral of Stalin, Lawrence Beria actually announced him the successor to the leader. The “second” was, it seemed, ready to become the first, and also independent in determining, at a minimum, the economic course. The Malenkov reforms begun in 1953 were called “perestroika”. But they had nothing to do with the Gorbachev innovations of the mid-80 and, if they were not stopped, could seriously change the structure of the national economy.
Alas, in February 1955, Malenkov was forced to give up the post of chairman of the Soviet government to Nikolai Bulganin, “temporary ally” Nikita Khrushchev. And two years later, after a clearly belated and therefore unsuccessful attempt to seize power, the ex-successor, at that time - the Allied Minister of power stations, was completely removed from the Central Committee and "exiled" to Ust-Kamenogorsk.
Western Sovietologists, following Josip Broz Tito, claim that Malenkov failed to retain power, being not too sophisticated in the hardware struggle. This is plausible, although, in our opinion, an incomplete vision of the situation at the top.
Under Stalin, Malenkov 12 spent years “selecting” the party nomenclature, leading the personnel services of the Central Committee, and knew perfectly well who was worth it. He was the most experienced apparatchik, he knew how to calculate for many moves ahead, besides, he had a phenomenal memory. But, first of all, the personal merits of the leaders, as they left the “cult”, played an ever smaller role. Secondly, the peculiarity of the formation of the Soviet synclite in the post-Stalin period is that all potential leaders: Semichastny, Shelepin, and later Katushev - fell victim to their own views rather than political ambitions.
Malenkov was the first in this series of failed (by and large) executives of the fate of the country. Of course, he had not only opponents, but also enemies. With Khrushchev, they differed in everything and, probably, experienced mutual antipathy.
In general, Malenkov’s political career in 1957 ended unexpectedly. But this was not the last "turn" of fate: in 1980, he seeks reassurance in the Orthodox faith. According to the stories of people who knew him closely, he repeatedly asked for forgiveness from the Almighty, regularly listened to Christian radio programs from abroad and even ... was a reader in churches on the outskirts of Moscow at that time (Malenkov became very thin and did not recognize him).
It can be assumed what the Soviet pensioner, who was once the “second” and the first person, repented of. The purges in the apparatus of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) in the second half of the 1930s took place just in the first period of the leadership of the Central Committee's Malenkov personnel department. Although in the summer of 1937, on the instructions of Stalin, he traveled with various prominent party members to various republics and regions to "verify the activities of local party organizations, the NKVD, the NKVD and other state bodies", where mass terror took place. At the January plenum, Malenkov made a report “On the shortcomings of the work of party organizations with the exception of the Communists from the CPSU (B.)”, And in August of the 1938, with a report “On the excesses”. Together with Beria, Malenkov took part in the arrest of N. Yezhov, who was arrested in the office of Malenkov.
The physical liquidation in 1949-1950 of many party and economic leaders of the North-West of the RSFSR and, in particular, the “Leningrad Affair” was the elimination of competitors who could claim power in the post-Stalinist USSR. Malenkov was not the main instigator of the massacre, but he took an active part in it, like Khrushchev. And not only on the instructions of Stalin, but probably reducing personal, one might say, “career” scores with the then chairman of the USSR State Planning Committee Nikolai Voznesensky and other influential figures - people from Leningrad (Kuznetsov, Rodionov, Popkov, etc.).
The inner-party struggle, as it was then initiated, was conducted only for destruction.
But in June, 1957 was not to Khrushchev, but Malenkov had to explain about this at the plenum of the Central Committee; after five years, the “Leningrad case” and some other facts became grounds for expulsion from the CPSU.
Attempts of the “Leningraders” to strengthen their positions in the Central Committee in the second half of the 1940's were actually supported by A.A. Zhdanov - the second person in the Soviet leadership at that time. But his sudden death in the summer of 1948 th radically changed the situation. Which facilitated the victory of one group (Malenkov, Beria, Khrushchev) over another, Leningrad.
At the same time, the pages of the biography of Georgy Maximilianovich, depicting a skillful manager, a decisive and consistent policy, were closed for the majority of readers in the last half-century.
In the war years, he showed an outstanding talent of the organizer, became one of the initiators of the development of tank and rocket production, in every way supported breakthrough developments in these industries.
As Soviet and Russian historians testify, Malenkov, quickly and professionally solving personnel and economic issues, helped Zhukov to stop the collapse of the Leningrad Front, to strengthen the rear of the 1941 in the fall. A year later, in August, 1942-th Malenkov arrived in Stalingrad, where he led the regrouping of military forces and the organization of the defense of the city, gave the order to evacuate the population. In November-December, 1942 achieved a significant military-economic gain of the Astrakhan defensive area, in particular - the replenishment of the Caspian and Volga flotilla with weapons, modern for that time, boats and other vessels.
General A.V. Gorbatov (1891-1973) left a story testifying to Malenkov's authority among the military.
In the middle of September, 1942 in the headquarters of the Don Front, created on the initiative of Malenkov, this conversation took place. “Tell me, comrade Gorbatov, why did we end up on the Volga?” He asks the combat general.
At first, he responds with general phrases, but then, believing the interlocutor, he goes to the essence of things: “The main reason for failure is that we lack qualified personnel ... The posts of the commanders of the formations and above are occupied by honest, loyal, but inexperienced people. This deficiency in the course of the war is not corrected, but is aggravated by the inept selection of people. Who is in charge of this issue in the General Directorate of Personnel of NGOs? .. Sasha Rumyantsev. In my opinion, General Rumyantsev is more suitable for the role of an investigator than for the role of deputy commander-in-chief for personnel ... There is a war, the units suffer losses, receive replenishment ... All of them are able to die for our Motherland, but, unfortunately, they do not know how beat the enemy, and in the districts they are not taught this. And all this is happening because Efim Afanasyevich Shchadenko directs this. It is necessary to replace him with a gray-haired one and at least an armless or legless general who knows a lot about business. ”
Generals A. Rumyantsev and E. Shchadenko were soon relieved of their posts.
Gorbatov also declared his readiness to go to Kolyma, where he himself was on penal servitude, in order to select there the commanders of the divisions who "would do great things." Malenkov proposed to submit a list of these persons; the general recalled the move and wrote down eight names. But at the next meeting, already in Moscow, the commander learned that the divisional divisions named by him were no longer alive. “Therefore, your request, Comrade Gorbatov, has not been fulfilled by me,” said Malenkov.
Chief Air Marshal A.E. Golovanov, during the war years - the commander of the Long-Range Aviation, recalled: “G.M. Malenkov, as they say, “supervised” us, and for the sake of justice it should be said that we received great help and support from him.
I personally think that Stalin was the best assistant in military affairs and the military industry. Uncommon organizational skills, the ability to communicate with people and mobilize all their forces to perform the tasks set him apart from people like Beria.
Between them, it seemed, there was nothing in common, even in the slightest degree similar in their approach to the solution of questions, or in personal behavior. Beria was a rude, avid foul language. From Malenkov I have not heard a harsh word for the entire war. Their characters were clearly different, and I was always surprised - what was the friendship between these people? ”
In 1943, as a representative of the State Defense Committee on the Central Front, Malenkov actively participated in the preparation for the Battle of Kursk, thoroughly investigating all the questions of the upcoming operation and its logistical support. This was his last front-line appointment. With the creation of the Committee for the Restoration of the Liberated Regions (under the SNK of the USSR), Malenkov became its leader.
After the war, he headed the Committee for the dismantling of German industry. His work in this post was constantly criticized - influential agencies fought to get as much equipment as possible. Malenkov had sharp disputes with the chairman of the USSR State Planning Committee Voznesensky, which led to a deterioration in personal relations (established mutually respectful when both of them worked in the Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Liberated Regions). A commission headed by A.I. was created to consider the conflict. Mikoyan. She made an unexpected, almost “compromise” decision: to stop dismantling German industry and to set up production of goods for the USSR in East Germany as reparations. The decision was approved by the Politburo in 1947, despite objections from Kaganovich and Beria.
The rise of Malenkov occurred in the fall of 1952. In October, on behalf of Stalin, he delivered a report at the XIX Congress of the CPSU. That is, Malenkov was actually introduced as the successor to the leader.
It is obvious that Stalin put forward Malenkov (with all of his strengths and weaknesses) as a compromise figure, balancing the influence of the party elite and, as they would say now, the siloviki, and, moreover, arranging the generals.
But he did not officially become first secretary. Because the "hidden" struggle between Stalin's "comrades-in-arms" continued, and this post eventually went to Khrushchev in September 1953. However, in March 5 of 1953, Malenkov became the chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
At his direction, at the end of the same month, many strategic projects in the economy were stopped, which slowed down the further industrialization of production and exports, accelerating their raw material reorientation. But on the other hand, the new pre-Council actively advocated the development of industries producing consumer goods; for the expansion of the service sector, he understood the need for relaxation in the “collectivization” mode of agriculture.
In early July, 1953, USSR Finance Minister Arseny Zverev, sent Malenkov a draft of the new agricultural law. In a memorandum, in particular, it was explained: “the average size of the agricultural tax in the USSR grew over the 1941-1952. from 198 to 528 rubles (in comparable prices), that is, 2,7 times. The back taxes of July by 1953 amounted to 528 million rubles according to the agricultural tax; a significant part of the arrears was attributed to the families of widows and elderly households. ... a systematic reduction in government retail prices in the country (annually since 1947 - Auth.) Significantly affected the profitability of collective farms and collective farmers themselves. ... I propose to write off the "collective farm" arrears and replace the current system of taxation in this area with a new system at progressive rates (depending on the amount of income in each farm). Providing for taxation in solid rates with one hundredth of a hectare of a plot that is in the personal use of the collective farm yard, workers and employees, individual peasant farms ”. A similar proposal was twice rejected by Stalin, in 1951 and 1952. Under Malenkov, the project was approved.
And on August 8, the Pre-Council 1953 spoke at the session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR with an extensive report "On the urgent tasks of agriculture and measures to further improve the material well-being of the people."
It was proposed to “dramatically increase the production of food and consumer goods by increasing investment in the light and food industries, as well as by raising the procurement prices for meat, milk, wool, potatoes and vegetables, reducing taxes on farmers twice and reducing mandatory supplies to the state from the farm of collective farmers. " The report also noted that "the industry producing consumer goods must now grow faster than the industry producing means of production."
On the same day, August 8, the state budget was adopted - with a significant delay. It first appeared a deficit, which amounted to 10% - 50 billion rubles. And in the budget-1953, defense spending was cut by half, and the deficit was planned to be filled by “streamlining” trade, in other words, to stop regular “Stalinist” cuts in government retail prices (the last time was in the spring of 1954).
At the same time, the plan of the Fifth Five-Year Plan, which began with 1951, was revised in favor of the light and food industries. Moreover, in August 1953, at the initiative of Malenkov, even the enterprises of the military-industrial complex were assigned the task of starting production of consumer goods. What became compulsory later became known as "conversion" and was carried out until the collapse of the USSR ...
The policy of creating a socially-oriented economy developed: October 23, 1953, Malenkov said of "accelerating and expanding the plan for the release of consumer goods." According to his speech, the investment in the TNP industry in 1954 was planned to be brought to 5,85 a billion rubles against 3,14 billion in 1953. What was done. Already in 1953, the output of these goods increased by 13%, with 12-percent growth in the production of means of production. Such an intersectoral balance - in favor of group “B” - was formed in the economy of the USSR for the first time since 1929.
Under Malenkov, the centralization of party-state control over the implementation of plans was strengthened. This led to protests by the leaders of the Union republics, which Khrushchev and Bulganin successfully used in the struggle against Malenkov.
It is worth noting that, in May, on the initiative of Malenkov, in May 1953, a closed decree of the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR government was adopted, which reduced the rations of party and state nomenclature by half. By the way, this decision was announced by Stalin in the middle of November of the 1952, at the plenum of the Central Committee, but was actually ignored. Its implementation under Malenkov caused even greater irritation, or rather, the resistance of the nomenclature ...
This conflict also increased the chances of Khrushchev-Bulganin to seize power. And on February 8 1955, Malenkov was dismissed from his post as chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. His place was taken by Bulganin. And, as follows from the archival documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU, a month later, that is, in March of the 1955, the “Malenkov” social and economic program was almost completely curtailed, but the previous nomenclature “benefits” were completely restored. Moreover, 80% officials were compensated for their “material losses” in 1953-1954 years ...
The English historian Andrew Hobart rightly believes that “Stalin has weaned all his“ heirs ”to take independent initiative, and the“ Leningrad affair ”convinced them of the extreme danger of any independent steps. But Khrushchev was a “master” in the struggle for power. Therefore, both Malenkov, Bulganin, and Molotov did not dare to prevent Khrushchev’s famous report against Stalin. After that, attempts to dismiss Khrushchev from the post of first secretary were initially doomed. ” It is difficult to disagree with such an opinion.
In February, 1955-th Malenkov was appointed Minister of Power Plants of the USSR - he studied in the 1921-1925 years at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Moscow State Technical University. Bauman and, according to official data, defended his diploma with honors. (Although at the end of 1980's, in the wake of the "perestroika" revision stories, some "experts" argued that Malenkov MSTU did not finish, and was almost ignorant).
Later, Malenkov spoke, of course - not publicly, against the indiscriminate defamation of Stalin, for bringing Khrushchev and Bulganin to justice for repressions. He criticized the creation of economic councils (which led to sectoral imbalances, caused the growth of the bureaucratic apparatus and were abolished immediately after the deposition of Khrushchev). Considered ill-conceived development of virgin and fallow lands. He spoke out against the sale of machine and tractor stations to collective farms that, contrary to spells about "the further development of the collective farm system and the rise of socialist agriculture" (decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and Council of Ministers of the USSR from 18 April 1958), the agricultural sector was drained of blood, provoked a rise in food prices, veiled monetary reform, and an almost widespread shortage of staple foods in the early 1960's. He spoke about the erroneousness of the policy of winding down energy construction in the Non-Black Earth Region (the consequences of this policy — the shortage of generating capacity — are affecting this day).
Focusing on the internal problems of the country, Malenkov, of course, was in control of the international situation and tried to warn against some erroneous and hasty foreign policy decisions. In December 1954 - January 1955, shortly before his resignation from the pre-ministerial post, he objected to the early liquidation of Soviet military areas and the evacuation of units from Finland (Porkkalla-Udd) and from northeastern China (Dalniy, Port Arthur).
Malenkov was outraged by the "connivance" of the leadership of the USSR Ministry of Defense and accused Khrushchev of "a primitive desire to please the West at any cost."
Some prints of Yugoslavia and the West noted at that time that Malenkov and Molotov openly talked about causing irreparable damage not only to the defense capability, but also to the prestige of the USSR. Naturally, these factors also played a role in the final “overthrow” of the first Prime Minister after Stalin.
Since July, the 1957 of Malenkov has been removed away from Moscow by the director of the Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric Power Plant (in the north-east of Kazakhstan). From 1960, he is appointed director of the CHP plant in Ekibastuz. It is noteworthy that at that time these power plants began to work more successfully, and the social arrangement of workers, employees and their families was promptly resolved there. Which, of course, increased the popularity of Malenkov, already high. According to the testimony of Volya Malenkova’s daughter, “the whole city went up in a demonstration at the Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric Station with flags and portraits. And in order to avoid a meeting with this demonstration, we were stopped in the steppe, transplanted into a car and out of the way secretly brought to the place. ” May 1 and November 7 at the house where the Malenkovs lived, in Ust-Kamenogorsk, and then in Ekibastuz, numerous groups of people gathered, walking along the street with his portraits ...
On this in the political biography of George Maximilianovich Malenkov should put an end.
He died on January 14 1988, buried at the Novokuntsevo cemetery in Moscow. In the Soviet periodicals there were no reports on this issue. But in the media of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, as well as Yugoslavia, Romania, China, Albania, there were obituaries, somewhere even very extensive ...
As an epilogue, we present, with some abbreviations, one of them - in the magazine "Der Spiegel" (Germany), 1988, No. 6:
“In Moscow, Malenkov, a follower of Stalin, died unnoticed ... After several years of exile in the bordering country with China (Kazakhstan - Author), he spent his last years in the capital. He lived with his wife, Valeria, on the Frunze Embankment, redeemed in a special store for functionaries, and traveled by train to his dacha in Kratovo.
He was seen there in the village church, as well as in the cathedral on Bauman: he turned to the Orthodox faith — repentance seized him.
The pensioner, who died quietly in the middle of January at the age of 86, underwent annual treatment courses at the Voronovo sanatorium, until he was recognized there by the old Bolshevik. He ... was obliged to Malenkov 15 for years of camps, and he turned to Malenkov. He replied that he did not know anything about it, and he heard: “But I myself saw your signature on my document!” ...
Malenkov, a Mao-style bureaucrat, with a photographic memory and a good sense of heresy, was liked by General Secretary Stalin. Preparing for the presentation to him, for eight weeks, every day, by 18 hours, he memorized by heart: he could answer Stalin’s question about steel production in the 1926 year just as accurately as the number of party members in Belarus. He learned his master's speeches by heart. He was the ideal type of intelligent and yet dedicated to his boss functionary ...
During the war, he was appointed to the State Defense Committee, Stalin’s command headquarters, he was responsible for the production of aircraft, and by the highest order was at the front four times. After the war, Malenkov became a member of the Politburo and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of Stalin. He liked him more and more. At his last party congress in 1952, he instructed him to read the main report, thereby calling him his successor. The next spring, the tyrant died, and Malenkov was the first to give a farewell speech; the leading comrades elected him chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Here Malenkov showed weakness - he acquired the ability to make his way to the heights of power and ruthlessly implement it, but did not comprehend tactics, how to save power ... Premier Malenkov promised people a respite, consumer goods instead of weapons, "new life for all", "peaceful coexistence of capitalism and socialism ". He was the first Soviet leader to warn against atomic weapons, because in the event of war the whole civilization would have perished.
The US ambassador to the USSR, Charles Bohlen (in 1953-1955 - Auth.) Found Malenkov cute: "... he was different from other Soviet leaders because he didn’t drink too much." Malenkov then made a bid for the Germans, and on January 15, 1955 proposed reunification through free elections. When this did not find a response, Khrushchev struck: three weeks later he managed to remove Malenkov. The prime minister was Defense Minister Bulganin, who called his predecessor an "adventurer" and an "intriguer." In self-criticism, Malenkov admitted that he was too inexperienced for a leading post; he became minister of electrification.
Khrushchev invited Chancellor Adenauer to Moscow in 1955, the social democrat Carlo Schmid who accompanied him met Malenkov at the Kremlin reception and talked with him in Latin (!!! - Auth.). Khrushchev borrowed Malenkov’s revisionist program and strengthened it until Stalin’s condemnation at the XX Party Congress the following year, against which the old fighters united around Malenkov fought. They wanted ... to overthrow Khrushchev by majority Politbureau in the summer of 1957. The latter convened the Central Committee and defeated the Stalinists ...
14 Janvar Malenkov died and was buried 6 by the Christian rite far from the Kremlin wall ... ".
According to media reports, in the village of Semenovskiy, which is in 150 kilometers from Moscow, there is the temple of St. George the Victorious, erected in memory of those who fell into the Great Patriotic War. The architect Volia Georgievna Malenkova designed the temple, and the artist Peter Stepanov, the grandson of George Maksimianovich, painted it.
Andrei Malenkov, the son of a party and state leader, doctor of biological sciences, recalls in his book: “A respectful attitude to the church, as I understand it, did not contradict the sovereign ideas of the father.
One of the father’s fundamental attitudes was a statement that he liked to repeat: "What is good is what unites people, and what is bad is what separates them." In religion, the father saw more beginnings uniting than separating.
In connection with these reflections, I will tell you about the episode, which once shook me deeply and stayed with me for the rest of my life. A week before the death of my father, I, my brother and sister, came together to congratulate him on his birthday. It was 7 on January 1988, on the bright feast of the Nativity of Christ. As if, for some reason, in my conversation with my father, I mentioned Lenin's fiercely irreconcilable attitude towards religion. There was a pause, and then I did not find anything better than to aggravate an awkward situation with a question: "Do you think, father, is this the greatest mistake?" Again, a pause, and then followed a short answer: "Yes, I think so." These words sounded like a difficult but necessary confession. ”