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Universal History

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USSR, 19281930: Mining case and Case of the Industrial Party Steps Towards the Great Terror
B.S. Ratner

The sharp deterioration in the economic situation in the Soviet Union after the death of Lenin and the abolition of the NEP led to growing discontent of the workers. Stalin decided to show that bourgeois engineers being related to foreign counterrevolutionary circles deliberately injured installations and machines. So in 1928 there was Shakhty (Mining) case. As a matter of fact, explosions, fires and flooded mine shafts happened because of race for fulfillment of rigid planning, disruptions in the supply of necessary materials, poor qualifications of many young Soviet and party industrial chiefs, who led the mining enterprises, their disregard for safety. Of the 53 defendants 5 people were shot.
The Industrial Party case had a significantly larger scale. Several outstanding engineers, industrial designers and transport functionaries were accused of crashs and accidents in enterprises and in logistic infrastructure erected by Stalins industrialization plan of the country. The leading figure was claimed to be L.K.Ramzin, the director of the Heat-engineering Institute, the largely known boil constructor, author of the famous straight-flow boiler. Accused were also famous professors and engineers: V.A.Larichev, I.A.Kalinnikov, N.F.Czarnowski, A.A.Fedotov, S.Kupriyanov, V.I.Ochkin, K.V.Sitnik. Apart from them, the mining engineer P.A.Palchinsky, employees of the Commissariat of Railways N.K.von Meck and A.F.Velichko were shot in the spring of 1929, and metallurgical engineer S.A.Khrennikov died before the start of the process. At the trial, which was led by A.Ya.Vyshynsky and N.V.Krylenko. Ramzin was the only one who pleaded guilty on all articles. All the others, except Ramzin, were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment and died in the camps. Since that time almost all Ramzins colleagues ostracized him, and Ramzin suffered from it until his death.
Meantime, prof. N.I. Gelperin, main chemical industry assistant of narkom (chief of the ministry of machine building) G.K.Ordzhonikidze was sent secretly for objective investigation of the great explosion at a chemical plant in Lugansk. He reported that its reasons were: the rage race for the plan, disgusting quality of concrete foundations of the installations, theft of materials? low level of the personnel. In process of exploatation, iIntolerable vibrKey words:

Keywords: Mining (Shakhtinskoye) case; Case of Prompartia (Industrial Party); prof. L.K.Ramzin; A.Ya.Vyshynsky; N.V.Krylenko; prof. N.I.Gelperin.

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