ABSTRACT

Against expectations, the 12th Party Congress in April 1923 was a relatively dull event. The leading “troika” of Zinovev, Kamenev and Stalin, formed immediately after Lenin’s first stroke, was in charge. Zinovev delivered the political and Stalin the organizational report of the CC. Trotskii did not dare to put up a fight. The new Politburo of 11 men elected on 26 April differed only in one respect from the previous one: Ia. E. Rudzutak was added as candidate member. Unimportant in itself, this was a sign of changes: Rudzutak was one of the three members of the Secretariat. The other two, Stalin and Molotov, were also on the Politburo. Stalin’s secretarial job was now his main one, and the influence of this institution grew in the Politburo. According to Stalin’s secretary, Bazhanov, his boss even operated a listening device from his office at the building on Staraia Ploshchad (Old Square) to tap his colleagues’ telephone calls. 1