THE MYSTERY OF STALIN
Difficulties About Successor
From Our Russian Correspondent There are persistent rumours, indignantly denied in the Soviet press, that all is not well with Joseph Dzhugashvili, alias Stalin.
For a few weeks readers of the Soviet press have been struck by the mysterious disappearance from its pages of Stalin's portraits and doings.
Whereas formerly every number of IsvesHa displayed at least one photograph of the " beloved leader " and published the record of his utterances at the letess receptions of the innumerable delegations in the Kremlip, now only the portraits of the minor deities of the Soviet Olympus appear and, though loyal messages arc still printed, the man to whom they are addressed keeps silent.
Nervous Breakdown ?
Stalin's last public appearance was on August 10, immediately after the Zinoviev-Kamenev trial he took a trip to his native Caucasus: it was said that he went to take a cure for some throat trouble. Rumour has it that the cure had no effect and his physicians in ordinary have been superseded by others who have ordered complete rest.
It is also runtoured that the events of the last weeks have shattered Stalin's nerves so that despite assurances to the contrary, it is whispered in Moscow that Stalin's life is in danger, and at any time he may succumb to a fatal shock.
An extraordinary meeting of the Poutbureau is is expected to be convened this month at which, were Stalin's illness to take a turn for the worse, momentous decisions will be made.
When Stalin Goes
In the Berliner Tageblatt Paul Scheffer, former correspondent in Moscow, and one of the best informed men upon Soviet Russia, publishes very interesting data in relation to Stalin's illness.
Scheffer recalls the fact that for many hours after Lenin had died the Kremlin stubbornly denied the fact of his death. He adds that the position after Stalin's death will be very different from after Lenin's demise in 1924. Then Stalin, who for two years had known that Lenin was condemned, paved his path to power.
Now there is no direct successor to Stalin whose power is unlimited.
With him the Bolshevists will lose their chief mainstay, and after his death the whole structure of government will have to be changed. If by Stalin's wish Voroshilov is to succeed him, Scheffer believes this will only prove that Stalin's ultimate goal was " a military state aiming at world-revolution."
But Stalin's disappearance will accelerate the growing crisis in the U.S.S.R. It would mark an era of internal strife and a desperate struggle for the preservation of the inheritance of the Red Dictator.
"The end of bolshevism will be a great gain for Europe, though it may be preceded by events which would endanger her peace," concludes Scheffer.
Internal Crisis The position in the U.S.S.R. at the present moment, undoubtedly, indicates some great internal struggle.
A few days ago, the Paris Matin spoke of the steps Yagoda, chief of the OGPU, was taking against the Red Army cornNand. Besides Putna many other Red military attaches abroad have been summoned to Moscow to give explanations upon their alleged relations with Trotsky.
Scarcely had this news come out of press, when a new bombshell exploded—the allpowerful Yagoda himself had been summarily dismissed and replaced by Ezhov who is the first Russian to head the sinister OGPU.
This dismissal raises a number of intriguing questions. Some months ago it was said that Yagoda and his organisation were the one thing in the U.S.S.R. Stalin dreaded, and that he was compelled to palliate them. Now the Jew Yagoda (Yahooda) is dismissed to give way to a Russian, as Voroshilov, a Russian and former factory-hand is named as Stalin's successor.
If one remembers that of the sixteen executed after the Zinoviev-Kamenev trial thirteen were Jews, these changes appear full of significance and seem to indicate so powerful a growth of nationalism and anti-semitism which even the despotic Kremlin oligarchy dares not overlook.
Incidentally Radek and Bukharin have vanished from the pages of Isvestia, and Moscow believes the news of Radek's arrest. It looks as if Russia were on the threshold of some new and great changes.