Public reaction to the report of N.S. Khrushchev’s “The personality cult and its consequences” in Molotov region. March-April 1956

Print PDF

Annotation / Аннотация
The collection of papers from archive PermGANI contains information of reactions of ordinary Party members on denouncement of Stalinist terror at the CPSU’s XX Congress. The first reaction was a cultural shock, which entailed the temporary abandonment of habit norms of political behaviour. People were interested in the party’s mysteries and expressed their dissatisfaction with the conditions of everyday life. They expressed their distrust and disappointment of party leaders. It was their first step to the alienation from power and return to private life.
Подборка документов 1956 г., извлеченных из Пермского государственного архива новейшей истории (ПермГАНИ), позволяет реконструировать непосредственную реакцию партийных масс на разоблачение И.В. Сталина. Из информационных материалов, отправленных в обком партии непосредственно после чтения доклада Н.С. Хрущева «О культе личности и его последствиях», следует, что вызванный им культурный шок повлек за собой временный отказ от затверженных образцов политического поведения. В выступлениях и в вопросах, заданных партийцами, наблюдается сочетание живого интереса к тайнам недавнего прошлого с растерянностью перед будущим, недовольство бытовыми условиями жизни и недоверие к нынешним властям.

Keywords / Ключевые слова
CPSU’s XX Congress, the personality cult, cultural shock, political behaviour, disappointment, distrust. XX съезд КПСС, культ личности, партийцы, культурный шок, политическое поведение, разочарование, недоверие.

On March, 5th, 1956 the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU has accepted the decision. This decision said: "To regional committees and the central committees of communist parties of union republics to acquaint with Khruschev's report "About a cult of personality and its consequences" all communists and members of the Komsomol, and also a non-party active of workers, employees and collective farmers". It was improvisation. Regional party heads haven't received any additional orders. The report intended absolutely for other audience. The report intended for the upper class of the party nomenclature. Cultural shock became reaction to destruction myth about Stalin. People have lost control, have departed from norms of political language, specially lowered importance of a situation. People began to remember the forgotten names, to ask inconvenient questions and to doubt Khruschev's political sincerity. The published documents can be found in The Perm state archive of contemporary history (PermGANI).Many materials are published for the first time. Some of them have been published earlier in the collection "Russia. 1941 – 1991". Genre of these documents - "Inquiries" and "Reports" on party meetings and active meetings on which N.S. Khruschev's report "About a cult of personality and its consequences" has become engrossed in reading.


The questions set by members of the CPSU in connection with acquaintance with the report of Khruschev at a private meeting of XX congress of the CPSU (on March, 29th, 1956) to the representative of Molotov regional committee of the CPSU to comrade Krivoshein.

Comrade Ratanova: how is business with Yagoda, Tukhachevsky?

Сomrade Zimakov: whether Stalin wanted to destroy all old members of the Politburo?

Comrade Nekrasov: whether there are instructions on destruction of portraits?

Comrade Tregubov: why members of the Politburo didn't take measures to prevention of Stalin disgraces?

Comrade Tregubov: Voroshilov knew about Stalin's "merits" in civil war?

Comrade Rylov: whether measures to workers of consequence who were conducted by "affairs" under Stalin's instructions will be taken?

Comrade Mogilin: Malenkov made political mistakes. Why to it measures aren't taken? It is necessary to raise the question before the Central Committee about acceptance of measures. What destiny of Kosiora, Chubarja, Postysheva?

Comrade Zimakov: Khruschev and Bulganin went to India, Burma moved freely, and to us there come ministers under the strengthened protection, to them won't approach. It seems to me incorrectly.

Comrade Nekrasov: How is business with personal cars of heads? Whether there go their wives on the market and in other places?

Comrade Nezhutin: whether there will be Stalin together with Lenin?

The secretary of a Partburo of prison №1

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.