Pravda Tells How Stalin Got Lenin Letter
One of V.I. Lenin’s last letters, in which he advised the removal of Josef Stalin, reached the future Soviet dictator by mistake, enabling him to secure his position, the Communist Party daily Pravda revealed on Friday.
The letter to the 1924 Communist Party Congress, which party founder Lenin did not live to see, was published under former Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev in 1956. But Pravda revealed for the first time how Stalin discovered it.
Lenin, who described Stalin as rude and said he feared he had concentrated too much power in the future dictator’s hands as party secretary since 1922, told his secretary, M. Volodicheva, to keep the document secret until the congress.
But Volodicheva failed to warn Lenin’s other secretary, L. Fotiyeva, about the embargo on the letter, and through her, it filtered to Stalin in December, 1922.
When the congress convened, the letter was read out to a small group instead of to all the delegates as Lenin had intended.
Stalin thus stayed on to rule the Soviet Union until 1953.