Sunday, May 13, 2012
I would like to add a postscript to the report on the Paul Preston contretemps at the meeting on the Spanish Civil War. The following anecdote is referred to by Alan Bullock in his book "Hitler and Stalin". Rykov a member of the Politburo reported to Lenin that an altercation had broken out in Ordzhonikidzes appartment and that a Georgian opposition leader was slapped in the face by Ordzhonikidze. Lenin found the latter behaviour intolerable. Not even in Czarist Russia would a high official lay hands on a subordinate. Lenin referred to both Stalin and Ordzhonikidze as "grubost"- Russian for rude and "khamstvo"- Russian for a mixture of brutality and boorishness. If the cap fits!