Moscow (Mar. 4)
Abramovitch’s alleged visit to Moscow in July 1928 (which he has denied in Berlin on oath) was described circumstantially at to-day’s hearing of the big Menshevik trial by four of the accused, Grohman, Sher, Ginsberg and Zalkind, three of whom (Sher is the exception) are Jews. Abramovitch’s visit to Moscow, they said, was made chiefly for the purpose of inaugurating a campaign for disorganisation and sabotage in the Government offices, particularly among the responsible expert workers.
Sher said that Abramovitch had not expected to find much interest in Menshevism among the workers, and he had therefore ordered the Russian members of the Menshevik party to concentrate all their efforts on the higher professional and intellectual classes. Sher said that Abramovitch had definitely settled the status of the Russian Menshevist group by changing its name from that of Central Committee of the Menshevik Party of Russia to the Soyouznoye Bureau, which he thought more appropriate in view of the fact that the real heads of the Menshevist activity were living abroad. Sher also said that Abramovitch had been in favour of foreign intervention and had ordered the Russian Mensheviks to accept the intervention programme. Sher, Ginsberg and Zalkind all said that Abramovitch had expected foreign intervention, and was for the acceptance of intervention, even if it was to be accompanied by acts of war on Soviet territory. Abramovitch, they said, had believed that intervention was inevitable, because the Communist International had so antagonised the Second International that it had found itself forced into the camp of those parties which are calling for intervention against the Soviet regime.
When Krylenko, the State Prosecutor, read out at the hearing to-night a telegram signed by Abramovitch, declaring that he had never visited Russia since he had left the country in 1920, and stating that he had made a sworn declaration to this effect in a German court of law, there was a good deal of merriment among the accused and some expression also of resentment.
Ginsberg, summing up the position for the accused, said very dramatically that Abramovitch would have done better if he had offered to come to Russia to give evidence before the proletarian court instead of making statements to a bourgeois law court abroad.