Jun 29, 2011

A Closer Look at the Soviet "Extraordinary State Commission"(ESC) Part II


First published in
Inconvenient History Blog

 A Closer Look at the Soviet 

"Extraordinary State Commission"(ESC) Part II




By Wilfried Heink


The second subchapter in the essay by Marina Sorokina is titled:


"Broad and Authoritative Public Committee, Not Bearing Any Official Character"


"The idea of creating a special public organ for the investigation of Nazi war crimes was raised in the USSR at the very beginning of World War II, although for a long time the Soviet leadership did nothing about it." writes Sorokina.[1] Then on 6 August 1941, Iakov Semenovich Khavinson 28:


"...who in prewar days had already put forward numerous ideas for the modernization of Soviet propaganda, sent a note to the secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party (and director of Sovinformbiuro), Aleksandr Sergeevich Shcherbakov, in which he proposed the creation of 'a broad and authoritative public committee, not bearing any official character', as a 'systematic source of information about Nazi crimes on the occupied territories of the USSR.' Such an organ was necessary, Khavinson argued, because 'the accessibility and effectiveness of such information abroad depends quite heavily on the character of the source that is disseminating it'..."


(28 Iakov Semenovich Khavinson (1901-92) was the principal director of TASS, a member of Sovinformbiuro, and from 1942 on, the head of Sovinformbiuro's Department of Counterpropaganda. In 1943-46 he was a member of the editorial board and head of the foreign department of Pravda, and he later served as Pravda's permanent correspondent for international affairs (under the pseudonym M. Marinin). [2]


The idea then was to create a committee "not bearing any official character", because "who" wrote what was more important than "what" was written, as the last sentence above makes clear. In other words, the propaganda value was the determining factor. It continues:



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